The 3 pm trade deadline came and went and it seemed as if Ernie Grunfeld was content to hang on to his mess of a roster through the rest of the season. But alas! A late-breaking trade was made.
The Wizards came away with Nene, Brian Cook, and a second round pick in the 2015 draft. In acquiring them, Ernie Grunfeld traded JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to the Nuggets, and Nick Young to the Clippers.
I think this trade has some good to it, but a lot of bad too.
Getting rid of JaVale McGee and Nick Young was a necesary move given their knucklehead natures. They were also both scheduled to be free agents this summer, and both unlikely to return. Ronny Turiaf was also sent packing, but he had only played in 4 games for the Wizards this season. It’s the downside of taking on Nene’s contract — he’s due 52 million over the next four years — and his bad knees that is so troubling for Washington.
The second round pick is nice, I guess. It’ll probably be meaningless, but “the plan” is to build through the draft. Brian Cook will also wear a Wizards jersey for the next month-and-half before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Bottom line: If Nene can stay and remain productive, then the Wizards win. However, that just seems unlikely given his past.
And this risk comes at a high price.