Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wizards, Arenas Finally Move-on with Life...

In a deal that was long overdue in my opinion, the Washington Wizards finally completed a deal to move the oft-injured guard, Gilbert Arenas to the Orlando Magic in exchange for forward, Rashard Lewis this past Saturday. Even amid the rumors, the deal was somewhat of a surprise to me as I was under the impression that his 2008 contract extension (worth $111 million) would prove just too hard to pass on to another team.

Fortunately, I was wrong about that & the team freed up a reported $30 million by trading him. Some might recall Arenas arriving in DC to much fanfare following the departure of Michael Jordan (which still burns me to this day) in 2003. The 3-time all-star went on to average just under 22 points per game during his time in the District, but constant injury and ill-timed controversy plagued his final 3 (full) seasons as a Wizard.

In return, the Wizards get the services of Lewis, who spent the 1st 9 years of his career with the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder), where he was drafted out of high school in the 2nd round of the 1998 NBA Draft before landing in Orlando in 2007. The 2-time all-star has averaged over 16 points per game during his 13 years in the league, but brings with him just 12.2 point per game this season (his lowest ppg avg since 1999).

I think the trade will make the Wizards a much more competitive team, Lewis won’t be expected to be such a scorer here in DC, so the fact that his production has slowed shouldn't diminish the value of the trade much. The table is now officially set for the NBA’s top overall draft pick (John Wall) to claim his team.

It seems to me that both teams will benefit from the trade & while I haven’t heard much reaction from Lewis regarding the trade, I’m sure Arenas (who has a home in Orlando), is very happy to have fresh start – as are the rebuilding Wizards, specifically their president Ernie Grunfield, who was primarily responsible for the aforementioned contract extension in 2008.

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