With the intense NBA offseason cooling down, there is time for reflection on what the Washington Wizards accomplished and a chance to look at the road ahead. For the next couple of weeks, CSNwashington.com Insider J. Michael and Wizards correspondent Ben Standig will examine various issues and answer questions as the Wizards move toward the 2015-16 campaign.
What move in the Eastern Conference left you scratching your head?
J. Michael: It would be easy to say the Detroit Pistons giving Reggie Jackson $80 million or the Cleveland Cavaliers opening the vault for Kevin Love at $110 million. But both of those moves were made out of necessity. Both teams gave up valuable assets to go get them (Cavs, Andrew Wiggins; Pistons, two draft picks and two role players) so come free agency, which automatically drives up the pricetag, they already were pot-committed to retaining their own free agents. That’s standard business practice in the NBA.
The Atlanta Hawks were so good last season when they won 60 games and the East because of the way they share and shoot the basketball, so acquiring Tim Hardaway Jr. in a trade with the New York Knicks seems to do nothing to advance that cause. He’s a high volume, low percentage shooter who is perfect for exhibitions such as the rookie-sophomore game during All-Star weekend where launching threes from five feet behind the arc without passing can be entertaining. To make matters worse, the Hawks shipped Jerian Grant, who appears to be more in the mold of the player they’d want, for Hardaway.
Ben Standig: When giving Reggie Jackson $80 million over five seasons isn't your most baffling move of the offseason, you're going to be questioned.
Detroit Pistons head coach and general manager Stan Van Gundy also handed reserve center Aron Baynes a three-year, $20 million deal. Sure, the 6-foot-10 forward had some moments with the Spurs and he can grab a rebound. Then we remember Brandan Wright received $18 million over three years from the Grizzlies and the Knicks signed Kyle O'Quinn to four for $16 million -- and Andre Drummond remains the main man at center in Detroit. Combined with the Jackson (necessary?) overpay and it's apparent the Pistons lot their way a bit this summer.