Revisiting the Ariza/Okafor trade

Jason Miller

For a team looking to the future, Demps in one fell swoop created loads of financial flexibility without sacrificing any potential. Little did we know, we also avoided a catastrophic headache.

With the Hornets facing the Wizards this coming Tuesday, let's re-examine the deal that sent two Monty Williams stalwarts out of town. At the time of the trade, Rohan correctly surmised it was about cap space. Who would have guessed that it just might end up being even more than that?

Trevor Ariza

Status: PhuYuck

Used to be that Ariza couldn't hit the broadside of a barn. Now he can't even throw it into the ocean: .76 points per possesion (rank of 301), 38.8 eFG% and a 43.1 TS%. Any which way you slice it, his ability to put the ball in the hoop is atrocious. So much so that he is averaging a mere 25 minutes a game despite playing pretty well on the defensive side of the ball.

Emeka Okafor

Status: Continued Decline

No doubt about it, Mekatron is a shell of his former self. A dip in his numbers last year were a sign perhaps not only of injury, but rather, an erosion of ability. This season he is sporting a pathetic 46.7 TS%, a miserable .83 PPP and a career worst 14.9 total rebound percentage. It's telling that notwithstanding Nene's ongoing issues with plantar fasciitis, Coach Randy Wittman has limited Okafor to under 21 minutes a game.

Rashard Lewis

Status: Ring Chasing Leech

The day the Hornets landed Lewis, it was widely speculated he would be immediately waived to save further cap space for the upcoming 2012-13 season. Ball don't lie. Hopefully no one isn't bothered anymore by the fact that the Hornet's current highest paid player is playing for another city. Remember your economic classes: a non-performing sunk cost is infinitely better than significant inefficient prospective costs.

2012 2nd Round Draft Pick (Darius Miller)

Status: Potential Rotation Player

Usually, trading away burdensome contracts requires sending out along some youthful potential. In this deal, the opposite occurred as the Wizards handed us the 46th pick of the 2012 NBA draft. With it, the organization selected Darius Miller, a seasoned player from arguably the best collegiate team the last 5 years. Miller has yet to make statisticians salivate, but teams everywhere have a spot or two for developing guys with his makeup.

Summary

A 43 million dollar mistake. That's how Mike Prada and countless of Wizard fans have characterized this trade, merely after just the first week of the regular season. Three weeks in, they started pondering any and every alternative Ernie Grunfeld could have made instead. Yes, the duo we shipped off to the nation's capital has been that bad. They comprise roughly 1/3 of the Wizard's payroll but have played in under 19% of the available minutes. That's unacceptable that on a bad team, they have simply been worse than most of their counterparts. We really do owe their fans some type of condolence letter.

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