As today’s trade deadline for the NBA comes and goes, the Washington Wizards made their move by trading Kurt Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong to the Atlanta Hawks for Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, and a first round pick in this year’s draft.
At 34-23 the Hawks currently hold the 5th seed for the playoffs but lost their third game in a row last night and have the Melo-infused Knicks gaining ground on them in the standings. Hinrich will help the Hawks as a veteran role player, a job he embraced here in Washington filling in for John Wall throughout the season.
However Hinrich will be paid 9 million this season with another 8 million owed to him next year. When Wall is healthy at point guard the team has to try and fit both Hinrich and Wall into rotations. Earlier this season I saw the all-guard line-up of Wall, Hinrich, and Gilbert Arenas. It didn’t look all that threatening. On the bench Hinrich is a very pricey backup.
Like Hinrich, Bibby is an aging veteran but has taken a big step back offensively last year when he dropped to 9.1 PPG from a 14.9 PPG mark in 2009. It’s also no secret that he doesn’t have the speed to keep up with players on defense. However he is still an effective long-range shooter, this season he’s draining 44% of his three-pointers. It will be interesting to see both Bibby and Nick Young on the floor, with all the spot-up shooting going on the Wizards will start to look like a college team.
Then again who says the Wizards aren’t any better than a college team right now.
Maurice Evans is a bench player in decline over the past four years but former 2010 first round pick Jordan Crawford is an interesting flyer. In his rookie season he’s seen minimal playing time but with Washington he’ll definitely get a look from Coach Saunders as he continues to throw anything and everything at the wall to see what sticks.
In reality the big name with this deal was Atlanta’s first-round draft pick. Team President Ernie Grunfeld has already said he wants to rebuild through prospects and draft picks, now with two first rounders in the upcoming draft the Wizards are on track to do that.