It is the Wizards’ conundrum — they need to remake their roster and bring in guys with a professional attitude, but they can’t get rid of the guys they have to make room.
For example, Andray Blatche. The talented and wildly inconsistent (which is kind) big man is on the block, but there are no takers, reports Michael Lee at the Washington Post.
The Wizards have aggressively tried to deal Blatche in advance of the March 15 trade deadline, according to multiple league sources, but struggled to find any takers. Blatche is certainly open to a change of scenery, according to a person close to him.
The team discussed dealing Blatche to Charlotte last month for Tyrus Thomas but were rejected, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Blatche is still owed nearly $23 million after this season, and rival teams have expressed concern about his conditioning and character.
Blatche is shooting 38 percent this year and his game overall has regressed as he has been battling an injury to his calf. And that is not what is scaring teams off — it’s an effort and attitude that nobody else wants to bring into their locker room.
The Wizards have had a lot of those guys over the years. There’s a reason Blatche and others before him (Kwame Brown) have been booed by local fans. Passion and effort can make up for a lot in fans minds, not showing those things leads to anger from the fan base.
Don’t expect the Wizards to have much luck finding a trading partner — Blatche has three guaranteed years left on his deal. Unless he shows market improvement on the court, he will be very hard to trade (and if he were to show that improvement would you want to trade him.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.