Give Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis credit. In his words, and ours, "transparency is good." And in eschewing the typical "everything is great! Mo Williams(notes) and Baron Davis(notes) were once All-Stars!" nonsense of most post-trade press releases, Leonsis has come clean about yet another trade in the midst of yet another Washington Wizards rebuilding process.
And although the Wizards are one of the worst and least-promising teams in the NBA, even with rookie point guard John Wall(notes) on board, Leonsis is still earning points around the league for his trade breakdown.
Last July, the Washington Wizards traded for Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich(notes) with their available cap space, and earned a first-round pick (project big man Kevin Seraphin(notes)) for their troubles. Wednesday, the team sent Hinrich to the point guard-starved Atlanta Hawks for Jordan Crawford(notes), Mike Bibby(notes) and Atlanta's first-round pick this June.
Leonsis knows that this is far from a boffo deal, and while he is trying to spin it, he's working that wand honestly.
I'll let him take over from here, speaking about Kirk Hinrich, and what comes next:
And [Hinrich's] value was so great that he essentially played for us for 5 months and in return we received Mike Bibby, Kevin Seraphin, Jordan Crawford, a first round pick and a bunch of money. That is great productivity from a set of trades.
The rebuild is messy. It is painful.
It is going as I expected. Lots of bumps; lots of emotion; and lots of frustration. I have been down this road before. That is the reason I remain calm and steadfast. There is no other option for us.
But I am happy that we have loaded up on picks and prospects. That part of the rebuild after we pick twice in the next draft is over. We have enough young assets now.
We will soon have more financial flexibility.
We are rebuilding just as I said we would.
Transparency is good.
I apologize for the short term pain. I believe we will see mid and long term gain.
Points for honesty, Ted. There were 117 points for the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night against your team, and that's too many, but kudos on coming clean about the rarely cut-and-dry nature of rebuilding and NBA transactions.
The salaries of Hinrich and Bibby are more or less a wash both this season and next. But though you might have fond memories of Bibby's time with the Sacramento Kings, Bibby is one of this league's worst defenders, and that was too much for Atlanta to bear, even while considering his 44 percent shooting from behind the 3-point arc. Hinrich isn't a great playmaker, so he's on Bibby's level there, and he's a streaky shooter. But he will lock down defensively, and is a younger player to bank on for 2011-12.
New Hawk Hilton Armstrong(notes), however, isn't much of an NBA player, while Jordan Crawford may have rotation-level talent for the Wizards. And though Atlanta's first-round pick won't zoom to the top of the lottery charts this spring, the Wizards need all they can get, while only paying a couple of hundred thousand more for it.
Not the best deal, and nothing to laud GM Ernie Grunfeld for. But a piecemeal deal that, unlike Cleveland's grab of Baron Davis for a (much better) draft pick, won't upset the team's on-court play or locker-room situation.
Made all the more better by the Wizards owner honestly evaluating his team's situation, on record. Kudos for that.