"Wizards Make A Clever Trade" was the headline of a blog post by Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, who expressed his full support for the deal that sent Rashard Lewis and the No. 46 overall pick in this year's draft to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza.
I am happy we were able to turn an expiring contract into very productive players for us next season. Two players with high character, high basketball IQ, winning attitudes and they are both still young players even though they are considered to be seasoned vets.
Over at SB Nation's Wizards blog, Bullets Forever, Mike Prada went deep on the salary cap implications of the deal, summing his overall thoughts up thusly:
Essentially, [the Wizards have] decided that Nene, Ariza and Okafor are their free-agent acquisitions for the next two years, with Nene also being one for the two years after that. This also means that the Wizards will not be able to execute unbalanced trades with the salary cap, which could be even more valuable that using the space to sign free agents in the coming years, with many teams likely to shed long deals to get under the luxury tax before harsher penalties kick in after the 2012-13 season.
The Wizards clearly are a better team now than they were before making this trade. It remains to be seen if the salary-cap cost is worth that improvement.
Over at SB Nation's Hornets blog At The Hive, poster OnPointLikeCP3 had this to say about the deal.
Dell Demps is a genius. Hornets dump two bad contracts and can buy Lewis out for $13 million, saving $7-8 million on his contract, and have tons of cap space. We also get a 2nd rounder to boot. Liking this deal.
And finally, here's what Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld had to say about the deal.
We think we're a better team today than we are yesterday.
Well, he would, wouldn't he?