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Yesterday, I attended a Wizards press conference where they introduced draft picks Trevor Booker and Hamady Ndiaye. Right off the bat, general manager Ernie Grunfeld and coach Flip Saunders praised their toughness and talked about how the team is explicitly trying to bring in guys who will compete and throw their bodies around. They said (or implied) that this was a major weakness with the team last year that they were trying to fix.
And then, on the same day, just hours before the press conference, Ernie Grunfeld traded for Yi Jianlian.
Say what you want about Yi Jianlian and the wisdom of the trade, because there are ways to argue that it made sense. But if there's one thing we know about Yi Jianlian, it's this: he's the antithesis of a tough player. He's a jump-shooting big man that hates banging inside and doesn't rebound. No amount of coaching is going to change all of that.
I'm not saying the trade was terrible. It's not. But I am saying that the trade kind of undermines the rhetoric of getting tougher. That it happened on the same day the team spelled out this desire only makes the whole situation more ironic.
Today's must-reads from around the SB Nation network:
- Here are some quick reactions to the Yi Jianlian trade from Bullets Forever and SB Nation's Nets blog Nets Daily.
- Japers Rink takes another look at evaluating the Capitals' two young goalies, Seymon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth.
- Redskins fans at Hogs Haven aren't too thrilled about this Vincent Jackson rumor.
- Black and Red United reacts to D.C. United's decision to release Cristian Castillo.
- John Thompson was named Citizen of the Year in Syracuse? That's right, according to Casual Hoya.