Sometimes you get a real gem of a made-up trade on Twitter that’s so far beyond-Thunderdome ludicrous that you’ve just got to roll your eyes, shake your head, and if you’ve got a national NBA column, write about it.
Because this one’s a doozy:
Who says no? (Poll following tweet) pic.twitter.com/AQ46UV0lJc
— NBA Best Matchups (@NBABestMatchups) January 21, 2019
With all due respect to one of NBA Twitter’s more entertaining accounts, go home, you’re drunk.
And the question of who says no? The Wizards say no, and they use a lot of words unprintable in a family publication to say it.
Yes, the Wizards are going to be sellers at the trade deadline as they try desperately to unload a “Big 3” that even at its best couldn’t do any better than fourth in the wretched East, giving Boston all they wanted but ultimately surrendering in seven games on the Celtics’ home floor in the second round of the playoffs.
If you’re going to pay a team that kind of money, you should be in the Finals, and the Wizards haven’t even won 50 games with this group.
But there exists a world of difference between selling at the deadline and trading the one legitimate All-Star (pipe down about Wall; he can’t stay healthy and he’ll be making $40 million) on the roster for non-asset assets.
For one thing, tanking ain’t what it used to be. Thanks to Sam Hinkie, the lottery odds got changed so a team that’s bad on purpose is a lot more likely to end up with the booby prize of the fourth pick when most drafts have at most three legit future stars at the top of the draft and others (2017, when Fultz went first overall ahead of Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum) don’t have a generational talent waiting to be plucked.
Or, in simpler terms, there’s only one Zion Williamson and you can’t bet your life on getting him.
And for another, the whole problem the Wizards have is that their salary cap is a disaster movie that is just good enough not to be good.
When Wall, Beal, and Porter are all healthy, they’re a second-round exit if that.
When two of them are healthy, they’re a fringe playoff team at best.
When one is, they’re bad but “mid- to late lottery” bad, not Cleveland/Knicks/Suns bad.
And when none are, they’re paying $92 million to the Capital City Go-Go to play for them.
The only way the Wizards are getting out of this is to either find someone stupid enough to give them real value back for Wall and/or Porter and rebuild around Beal or to get all three stars out of town for cap relief.
And if you’re trading your best players for assets, you need to either be so atrocious at it that you can’t possibly screw up (you or I could’ve built the Sixers given what Sam Hinkie got to work with) or so deft at it that you completely ruin the future of the franchise taking your stars off your hands for the next five years (Danny Ainge giving an atomic wedgie to the Nets in the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett trade, although to Brooklyn’s credit, they’re making chicken salad out of chicken not salad these days.)
Fultz, Korkmaz, Chandler, and a couple of mediocre assets (does anyone seriously think the Heat will be bad enough in 2021 to convey a pick worth trading Bradley Beal for?) doesn’t even satisfy the conditions that Hinkie could work with.
Which also means that if Ernie Grunfeld makes that move, he is dumber than the dumbest GM in the history of the National Basketball Association.
You know what, scratch that. Grunfeld can’t be dumber than himself, but that won’t stop him from trying.
The Wizards are a garbage fire, but trading their stars for non-asset assets in a salary dump, unless they can move all three of them, won’t solve the problem and will in fact only make it worse.
Ain’t it fun being a Wizards fan?