Make no mistake, the Washington Wizards did not trade for Rashard Lewis to fill a major team need on the court. They have Thornton and Howard at the small forward and Blatche at the power forward, all of whom can space the floor and score in isolation situations. Rashard certainly fits with the drive and kick John Wall, but he’s no season-savior.
The Wizards made this trade specifically to part ways with former team captain and handgun enthusiast Gilbert Arenas. Gilbert had no future in Washington. He was waiting to be moved, a cloud of smog hanging uncomfortably over the capital. Finding a contract to match Agent Zero’s and a team willing to take a chance on him was a long-odds bet. Otis Smith, GM of the Orlando Magic, had a long-standing relationship with Arenas and a need to shake things up on a roster that seemed to peak in the second round of the playoffs last season.
A perfect storm in the Magic Kingdom swept into DC and blew Ernie Grunfeld’s clinging cloud right out of town. Don’t expect Washington to be appreciably better due to change in talent post-trade, but they may get better thanks to the boost in morale from losing a talented by unhappy team member. Also the logjam at the PG/SG position is greatly alleviated, giving ample minutes to Wall, Hinrich, and Young moving forward.