Stumbled across "Quan" on Twitter today. Thought "Hey I remember him being decent on Walt's board." Tailed his picks today. Big mistake. If anyone comes across him, don't bother. Must've lost his mojo. Down a looooot today.
It's nice to have a draft order set and the Senior Bowl behind us (other all-star games, too, I suppose). The combine is the other big event of the offseason, so we really are halfway to the draft. Sort of.
The team continues the re-building effort that began last offseason when it traded Chris Paul and also saves the franchise more than $22 million in cap space for next season. Reports say Lewis and his outrageous $23.8 million salary will be waived before July 1 which will save the Hornets about $10 in cap space this season. In other words, this was purely a salary dump for New Orleans, which will look to build for the future with a core of Anthony Davis, whoever it takes with the 10th pick, and hopefully Eric Gordon assuming he re-signs a long-term extension.
Speaking of that 10th pick; I had been assuming that the Hornets were targeting either point guard Damian Lillard or Kendall Marshall, but by trading Okafor, there is now a hole in the middle alongside Davis. Therefore, you can expect the team to switch its attention to adding some size at No. 10 with Tyler Zeller, Meyers Leonard, Jared Sullinger and Arnett Moultire all possibilities.
Washington Wizards Get: C-Emeka Okafor, SF-Trevor Ariza New Orleans Hornets Get: F-Rashard Lewis, 2nd-round pick (46th overall)
Why this makes sense for Washington:
The Wizards pretty much give up next to nothing for a pair of veterans who can step in right away and contribute on a young team. This process of adding experience began prior to the trade deadline with the acquisition of Nene and continues with this deal. The biggest concern from Washington's perspective is having to pay Okafor more than $28 million the next two seasons while the team is already giving Nene $13 million per year. That's a ton of money to cough up on two guys who play the same position unless the Wizards are confident the duo can be affective on the floor at the same time. Even paying Ariza nearly $15 million for the next two seasons is a tough pill for me to swallow.
What is interesting is how this deal will factor into Washington's draft decision. With Ariza and Chris Singleton at small forward, the trade suggests that the team will pass on Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist since it would create quite the logjam at the three. I would expect the Wizards to now be targeting Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal since Jordan Crawford is their only two under contract for next season.