Wizards Trade for James and Crittenton
The changes to the Washington Wizards just keep on coming.
A little over two weeks after firing Eddie Jordan, and replacing him with Eddie Tapscott, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld decided to make a few moves on the personnel side of the ball this time around.
As part of a three-team trade, the Washington Wizards acquired guards Javaris Crittenton from the Memphis Grizzlies and Mike James from the New Orleans Hornets. Also as part of the deal, the Wizards sent veteran Antonio Daniels to the Hornets and sent back a conditional first round draft pick to Memphis that was initially acquired from Memphis in exchange for the draft rights to Juan Carlos Navarro on August 16, 2007, while New Orleans also receives a conditional second round pick from Memphis.
To make room for James and Crittenton, the Wizards waived guard Dee Brown.
In the statement released by the Wizards PR department, Grunfeld explained why he felt this move was necessary.
“This trade strengthens and energizes our backcourt by giving us a veteran guard in Mike James who can help us immediately with his stability and scoring ability and a young guard in Javaris Crittenton who can help us now and in the future with his athleticism,” said Grunfeld. “We’re excited to welcome both players to Washington, but we’re also appreciative of what Antonio did for this team during his three-plus years here and we wish him the best.”
James entered the NBA in 2001 when the Miami Heat signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Duquesne, and since then he was played for the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets (twice), Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves. James finest season came during the 2005-2006 season when he started 79 games and averaged 20 points and five assists. He also set a team record that season by scoring 30 or more points in four consecutive games. The 6’2″ James saw limited action this season as the backup to Hornets’ All Star guard Chris Paul. He has career averages of 10 points and 3 assists.
The 6’5″ Crittenton was drafted the Los Angeles Lakers with the 19th pick in the 2007 NBA draft after leaving Georgia Tech after just one year. In February of this year, he was traded to the Grizzlies in the trade that sent former Wizard Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, Marc Gasol and a pair of first round draft picks to Memphis for Pau Gasol and a future second round draft pick. In 57 career games, Crittenton has averaged 5.2 points and 1.0 assists.
12-year veteran Antonio Daniels had spent a little over three years with the Wizards and had averaged 5.1 points and 3.6 assists. When Gilbert Arenas went down last year, Daniels stepped in and averaged 8 points and a career high 4.8 assists, and played a big role in the Wizards earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
This season, despite starting the season as the starting point guard, Daniels battled nagging injuries, and he was not as effective. He eventually lost his starting job to Dee Brown, and found himself sharing point guard duties with Juan Dixon as well.
To Daniels credit, he always took time to talk to the media no matter the circumstance. During the Wizards losing streak, he’d get dressed, throw on a stylish suit, and then answer any and every question thrown his way. During victories, he did the exact same thing, except he offered perspective instead of overconfidence and excitement. He’s definitely a class act, and Memphis is getting a solid veteran.
Selfishly speaking, it is Dee Brown that I’ll miss the most. Brown started the last 10 games for the Wizards, and he only averaged 2.4 points and 1.9 assists in 13 minutes a game. His playing time had been dwindling recently, and he was often exposed on both ends of the floor, despite his blinding quickness.
But that’s not why I’ll miss Brown. He had the best attitude of any athlete I’ve seen in my limited time covering the NBA. He was upbeat, grateful to be playing in the NBA after playing overseas last year, and he was determined to make the most of his opportunity. Whenever he saw me coming in or out of the locker room, he made it a point to make eye contact and ask me how I had been. Just last night after the shootaround, he asked how I was, spoke to me a bit, and then resumed shooting. I’m going to attempt to contact him in the next few days to get an extensive interview with him.
According to the Washington Post’s Ivan Carter, James and Crittenton are scheduled to arrive in Washington D.C. this evening for their physicals. No word on when Daniels is scheduled to arrive in Memphis for his.
None of the players can play until all have passed their physicals.
The World Champion Boston Celtics will be the Wizards next opponent tomorrow night at 8pm. Juan Dixon will start at the point guard, if James and Crittenton cannot go.