The Hinrich trade: A step in the right direction

I’ve repeatedly been looking out my office window today, verifying that pigs are, in fact, not actually flying above the District.

Because for once, the Wizards ended up on the better end of a trade, and actually did something right for the long term.

Really, trading Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta for the pu-pu platter that was Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans, and Atlanta’s first round pick was really much more about  shipping away Hinrich – and his $9 million cap figure in 2011 – for Crawford and Atlanta’s 1st rounder in the upcoming draft.

Let’s be honest: Kirk Hinrich didn’t want to be here. There just wasn’t any point in hiding that. Hinrich went from a team that was an annual playoff contender to a team what was an annual “worst team in the NBA” contender. He might not have the most talent or athleticism in the world, but he works hard, plays defense, and acts like a professional in general – something you can’t say about any single player on the Wizards, save for John Wall.

If your team was one or two guys away from being a legit contender, Hinrich is a solid glue guy that you might want to keep around (though certainly not at $9 million a year). But this Wizards team needs all the talent and help it can get in general.

Bibby and Maurice Evans are non-factors in this trade, when it’s all said and done. There’s already thoughts that Evans’ contract will get bought out; he was only scheduled to make $2.5 million this year.

If Bibby’s contract also gets bought out – certainly a possibility, considering that his $5.5 million salary for 2011 is relatively palatable to buy out, and that he’s way past his prime as a player – then this trade is even better.

Crawford could turn out to be a decent combo guard – ironinically, his game is similar to that of Jamal Crawford – that could play the point some (if/when Wall isn’t on the floor), and provide some scoring off the bench if nothing else. But more than anything else, he’s young and cheap talent to add to a team that sorely needs it.

And given that Atlanta is 5th in the Eastern Conference right now, and assuming it stays that way, the Wizards will probably be getting a pick that falls in the #20-#24 range, where players like Darren Collison, Serge Ibaka, Ryan Anderson, Jared Dudley, and Wilson Chandler have been drafted in the past three years.

So in one fell swoop (and potentially a few million in buyouts), the Wizards rid themselves of the albatross that was Hinrich’s contract, and potentially exchanged a handful of cash for Kevin Seraphim, Crawford, and Atlanta’s #1.

If you’re a Wizards fan, this is a step in the right direction. The 2010 season is already a lost cause, but this trade puts the team in a better position in the years to come.

On a personal note, I think, my favorite part of this trade was the exchange I had with my wife (and fellow partial-season-ticket-holder) last night:

[While watching the Wizards completely shit the bed vs. Philadelphia last night]:

Wife: So the Wizards traded Kirk Hinrich?
Me: Yep, it looks like it
Wife: …. Wait, so who are we going to make fun of now?
Me: Kevin Seraphim
Wife: [pauses, then nods head vigorously in agreement]

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