That the Wizards are terrible should not surprise you. A terrible team looking to change its personnel should not surprise you. But when any team declares itself completely open for business outside of one player, yeah, that’s worth at least a look. From the Washington Post’s Michael Lee:
So as bad as the Wizards are, there are players worth pursuing. JaVale McGee can be a blockhead, but he’s also an extremely talented athletic center with upside. Chris Singleton is a gifted wing defender. Jan Vesely is raw but shows a world of potential to make an impact all over the floor. Nick Young is a sharpshooter. And Trevor Booker is an extremely underrated big man who attacks the ball like a bulldog.
It’s good that the Wizards recognize the problem that Andray Blatche gives them considering his contract, and that they’re open for business. They’re not pursuing trades for everyone, they’re just making it known. Even if they take a loss on a deal, who cares? They need to clean house, by any means available, and being willing to take on a little blood loss to do so is worth it. They can’t squander John Wall’s career any more.
The Wizards do have to be careful, though. Moving Blatche and taking on more long-term contracts (for say, Stephen Jackson) only digs them a different kind of hole. Moving Blatche for nothing is fine. Moving Blatche for something worse is unacceptable.
Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake City Tribune has the report:
The Jazz remain open to moving starting point guard Devin Harris, league sources said, and reserve small forward C.J. Miles could be made available in the right situation. But Utah continues to take a long-term approach in building its team after the Deron Williams trade last February, and the Jazz won’t make a move simply to pull the trigger.
The 29-year old Harris, whom the Jazz acquired along with Derrick Favors in the Deron Williams trade last season, has struggled this season, averaging just 9.1 points and 4.5 assists per game. It’s hard to imagine that there will be many suitors at the deadline for Harris, considering that his large contract doesn’t expire until the end of next season and that his athleticism was one of the main keys to his success as a young player in Dallas, but you never know what can happen at the deadline. Still, I’d be fairly surprised if Harris doesn’t finish this season in Utah.
The defending NBA champions started slow — we’ll call it a championship/lockout hangover — but have found their footing of late. Despite all the roster changes this summer they look good — Dirk Nowitzki is healthy again and their offense is clicking.
But the Mavs don’t as good as Oklahoma City in the West. Or Miami or Chicago in the East.
So is Dallas going to make a move to chase that back-to-back ring? Probably not, owner Mark Cuban told ESPNDallas.com.
“We’re not looking to change unless someone makes us an offer we can’t refuse,” Cuban said. “We’re not looking to shake anything up. We think we’ve got a good team that hasn’t played its best basketball yet.”
(Cuban’s dismissive take on the rumor that Rodrigue Beaubois is available: “That’s what people in New Orleans say because they’ve always liked him.”)
Dallas went through a lot of pains to have a lot of cap space this summer — enough to sign Deron Williams or Dwight Howard to a max contract. If someone wants to take Shawn Marion’s contract off their hands, the Mavs can sign both of them. Do any of that and Dallas is not only a contender next year they set up a bridge to the post-Dirk Nowitzki era.
After all that effort to clear the cap space, you’re going to have to blow the Mavs out of the water to get them to make a big move before this summer.