February 21, 2013

The NBA Trade Deadline Should Be A Holiday

After spending all last week roaming around Texas in search of D-League basketball and barbeque, I'm off work again today because today is the NBA trade deadline day. I'm serious. Incredibly, I cannot take this day as one of the 96 calendar days my company offers as a floating holiday so I'm dipping into my Paid Time Off bank for a day of sitting at home in my Eames lounger with ESPN on the TV and Twitter up on my iPad Mini waiting for the latest NBA trade rumor that may or may not morph into an actual swap of players.

This is the second year in a row I have taken the trade deadline day off. A couple of years ago on this day at work, I closed my office door at about 1 p.m. and just surfed the internet endlessly in search of trade news. The actual trade deadline is 3 p.m., although trades just have to be submitted to the league for approval at that time so trades can be reported and confirmed after the actual deadline. It doesn't matter if the Wizards make a trade or not, I cannot work on this day from this point forward.

I do some silly things as a Wizards fan (insert any number of smart ass lines here...) but none is perhaps as silly as taking this day off. I mean, watching the NBA Draft either in person or on TV is as un-exciting as hearing a bunch of names read out loud sounds but at least there is a show or event to watch. On trade deadline day there's nothing to watch: no program, no in studio analysis, nothing. It's just waiting for something to happen and reacting to every speculation by every pundit connected in any way to the NBA out there. Nonetheless, I'll be attached to the TV/iPad the whole day today and each future trade deadline day.

Last year the Wizards pulled off a stunner of a trade which first came to light right at about 3 p.m., sending dead weight and perennial knucklehead JaVale McGee to Denver for Nenê, who went a long way to instantly changing the culture of the organization. Despite the team's recent surge, going 11-9 over their last 20 games, there's no doubt some more tweaking this year might seem in order. The big speculation for the Wizards this year was possibly moving Jordan Crawford, who started the season strong on a depleted roster but who recently has not seen a whole lot of time on the court.

The biggest deal of the day was the Orlando Magic sending J.J. Redick to the Milwaukee Bucks involving multiple players from both teams. Yep, that's it. The second biggest deal is debatable. Not a whole lot of action today. The highly anticipated deal (to anywhere) for the Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith didn't go down. Nor did Dwight Howard get traded (no suprise there). Definitely a quiet day.

The Wizards did end up moving Jordan Crawford to Boston for Jason Collins, who is on a one year deal, and Leandro Barbosa, who is on a one year deal and is also, by the way, done for the year with a torn ACL. This deal doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, unless somehow Jordan was a problem in the locker room when not playing, which I have never heard (doesn't mean it isn't true). We do get a little more than $2 million of salary off the books next year for trading the last year of Jordan's rookie deal for nothing but since we are already over the salary cap for next year anyway that doesn't help the team a whole lot, unless we are willing to exceed the salary cap next year. I hope we are not just shedding salary in this move, although I'd applaud the move if it allows us to wrap up Martell Webster for the next few years, which it might.

It's too bad we had to part with Jordan from this fan's perspective. I thought Jordan carried our offense a lot in the first couple of months this season and never got the credit he deserved. On the other hand, he's clearly not Bradley Beal and suffers at the defensive end of the court so if we lose a guy who isn't playing right now who we wouldn't have re-signed anyway, I'm not sure I'm losing any sleep over this decision. This season's trade deadline is clearly different than last year's. Last year, I unfollowed Nick Young and JaVale McGee on Twitter as soon as the trade was confirmed. I won't be doing that with Jordan.

Looks like I need to take Jordan Crawford's picture off my Wizards wall.

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