Feb
14

So long Tuff Juice, Haywood, and DeShawn

The Washington Wizards traded away Center Brendan Haywood, Forward Caron Butler and Guard DeShawn Stevenson to the Dallas Mavericks this week.  The Wizards gained financial flexibility as well as players Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, James Singleton and Quinton Ross.  So let me get this straight, the Wizards traded away Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson and lost part of their soul in exchange for… well, not much.

Words cannot describe how much I'll miss this...Photo by John Kuntz/The Plain Dealer

Mike Prada at Bullets Forever digs into why this trade is more than awful.  Two things about this make this particularly frustrating for me:

1. Better options seemed to be on the table

2. It’s truly the end of an era.

Over at Bullets Forever, Prada cites Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports who reported that the Portland Trail Blazers were offering: Steve Blake (yeah, the guy from that Terps championship team who actually made it in the NBA) , rookie Jeff Pendergraph (young potential) and a first-round pick (always a good thing) for Haywood.  Instead we got Gooden, Howard (an all star 3 YEARS ago) and two no namers?  That’s almost embarrassing to think about.

Haywood was a rebounding machine this year and someone you could count on to bring his best every game.  He wasn’t an offensive juggernaut, but the man brought board game better than Parker Brothers (compared to what we’ve had before) and played some pretty decent defense.

Butler, has always been one of the toughest guys on this squad.  He’s got grit and guts and even though he hasn’t been on offensively much this year, he’s been one of the only ones on the Wizards willing to play defense.  I’m not sure what wasn’t working out with Flip Saunders’ offense and Caron but I think he was starting to catch on the past two weeks.

To be honest, I’m going to miss DeShawn Stevenson for purely nostalgic reasons.  I will miss him for his hatred of LeBron James, for his amazing defense on some of the best offensive players in the game and for his “I can’t feel my face” taunt after his three pointers.  I loved everything about DeShawn.  I understand the past two years he’s had it rough, and I get that people call him Debrick… Yeah yeah, but he was to me, the most exciting underdog of this team.  Media darling LeBron James was Goliath and Michael Vick jersey wearing DeShawn was our David.  Alright, DeShawn didn’t have the virtues of a regular hero but I’d be damned if you said he didn’t have fight.

A few months ago, after the Wizards got schalacked by Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena (where I unfortunately witnessed it first hand), LeBron James said the “rivalry is over”.  The comment was infuriating to Wizards fans.  Some thought it was acknowledgment of more than just the poor state of the franchise but also of the fact that Antwan Jamison could be a part of the Cavs sooner rather than later.  This team will be unrecognizable in about a month and even though they’ll have more salary cap room, what have we really gained?  I know I’m not the only Wizards fan that is looking forward to the end of the season and is hoping that Leonsis is able to buy this team and right this wreck of a ship.

5 Comments to “So long Tuff Juice, Haywood, and DeShawn”

  • Steve May 28, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Rajon Rondo? That would definitely be a better trade, but I have hard time seeing the Celtics trading away their young starting PG. I’ve read reports stating they may be trying to move Ray Allen before the deadline, but in my opinion, they’d be foolish to trade Rondo. I totally agree with what you’re saying about using the financial flexibility they are gaining wisely when it comes to possibly signing free agents. As we’ve seen with the Redskins, you need talented guys, yes, but they also need to fit into your system. That being said, I think whenever you have a chance to land a guy like DWade, who has a player option for next season, Chris Bosh, or even the player from Ohio that shall not be named, you have to take a chance and hope it will work out. For me, it’s going to be interesting to see if the Wizards end up trading Jamison or Miller before the deadline. Jamison has been one of my favorite players ever since he was playing at UNC so it will be sad to see him go, but if the Wizards are truly going to rebuild, they probably need to get younger as well. I totally agree with what you said about Leonsis. I love what he’s done with the Caps and how he’s built this team. The team has been successful not because they signed guys like Jagr (one of the worst DC free agent signings ever), but because they built through the draft, which is something we Redskins fans are still waiting for. Another thing I’m interested in is seeing what happens to Gil. This may be just me, but I think he’s going to be back next season. I don’t know all the legal issues, but I don’t see them being able to void his contract. If the Warriors were unable to void Sprewell’s contract after he choked his coach, I wonder how the Wizards will be able to void Arenas’ contract, especially if he doesn’t receive any jail-time.

  • Bruce May 22, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    That’s a good point Phil (as always), but there were also other options out there. Not all rumors are probably true but if you check into Bullets Forever post, Boston wanted Antwan and Caron for Rando. That’s another option that’s, at least in my mind, wayyy better.

    The only time financial flexibility matters is if you use it wisely. I’m not sure that will be the case. I don’t know if it’s in the best interest of the Wizards next year to go out and try to find some big name player to try and build around again. What they need are younger players who can play defense and will fit within Flip’s offensive system. If it’s time to rebuild, it starts with principles. I think the long term plan is unclear here and a better trade offer could have been had if they waited.

  • Phil D. February 15, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Rajon Rondo? That would definitely be a better trade, but I have hard time seeing the Celtics trading away their young starting PG. I’ve read reports stating they may be trying to move Ray Allen before the deadline, but in my opinion, they’d be foolish to trade Rondo. I totally agree with what you’re saying about using the financial flexibility they are gaining wisely when it comes to possibly signing free agents. As we’ve seen with the Redskins, you need talented guys, yes, but they also need to fit into your system. That being said, I think whenever you have a chance to land a guy like DWade, who has a player option for next season, Chris Bosh, or even the player from Ohio that shall not be named, you have to take a chance and hope it will work out. For me, it’s going to be interesting to see if the Wizards end up trading Jamison or Miller before the deadline. Jamison has been one of my favorite players ever since he was playing at UNC so it will be sad to see him go, but if the Wizards are truly going to rebuild, they probably need to get younger as well. I totally agree with what you said about Leonsis. I love what he’s done with the Caps and how he’s built this team. The team has been successful not because they signed guys like Jagr (one of the worst DC free agent signings ever), but because they built through the draft, which is something we Redskins fans are still waiting for. Another thing I’m interested in is seeing what happens to Gil. This may be just me, but I think he’s going to be back next season. I don’t know all the legal issues, but I don’t see them being able to void his contract. If the Warriors were unable to void Sprewell’s contract after he choked his coach, I wonder how the Wizards will be able to void Arenas’ contract, especially if he doesn’t receive any jail-time.

  • Matt February 14, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    That’s a good point Phil (as always), but there were also other options out there. Not all rumors are probably true but if you check into Bullets Forever post, Boston wanted Antwan and Caron for Rando. That’s another option that’s, at least in my mind, wayyy better.

    The only time financial flexibility matters is if you use it wisely. I’m not sure that will be the case. I don’t know if it’s in the best interest of the Wizards next year to go out and try to find some big name player to try and build around again. What they need are younger players who can play defense and will fit within Flip’s offensive system. If it’s time to rebuild, it starts with principles. I think the long term plan is unclear here and a better trade offer could have been had if they waited.

  • Phil D. February 14, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    You mentioned that the Wizards could have traded Haywood to Portland for Blake, Pendergraph, and a first round pick. Nothing against those two guys, but the only reason I would make that trade is for the first round pick, which at this point would be just outside the lottery. However, I read several articles, including Wizards Insider by Michael Lee, stating the only reason Dallas would trade for Butler and Stevenson is if Haywood were included in the deal. I’m sure if Dallas were willing to take just Butler and Stevenson, the Wizards would have strongly considered making that Portland trade.

    I like the trade for one reason and one reason alone, and you said it best…”financial flexibility.” Player for player, the Mavericks won out, but the main objective for the Wiz was to put them in better position for this off-season’s free agent class. By getting rid of Butler’s and Stevenson’s contract, they save around $14M from next seasons payroll. I’ve heard talk that Gooden may not even play for the Wizards, and may be bought out of his contract. But if they don’t, Gooden, Singleton, Ross will all be free agents at the end of the season, and Josh Howard has a team option for 2010-2011. So if Howard comes in and reverts back to his All-Star form, that’s great for Washington, but if he doesn’t, they can just as easily move on. I like Brendan and Caron, and they have been solid players for this team, but I think the time is right for Washington to move on and start the rebuilding process.

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