An eight-year veteran with playoff experience, Hinrich averaged 11.1 points and 4.4 assists in 48 games this season. Wall credited Hinrich with helping him adjust to the league by offering tips on how to play pick-and-roll defense and prepare for opposing point guards. Wall spoke with Hinrich before he left to join the Hawks. Hinrich "said I was doing great through my rookie season, fighting through the injuries, staying strong," Wall said. "I told him I was going to stay in contact with him. He's somebody that really helped me and pushed me to get through this rookie season when I felt like I was down or wasn't making certain plays. He told me to keep going and also made me step it up on the defensive end and be more competitive."
An hour before the game, Hinrich was on the court working out while Armstrong was joking with teammates Andray Blatche and Nick Young in the locker room. Armstrong, a 6-foot-11 big man had fallen out of the rotation with the team relying more on Seraphin and fellow rookie Trevor Booker. Wizards center JaVale McGee said he was "angry" about the trade because Armstrong was his best friend on the team. McGee even left the arena wearing Armstrong's No. 24 jersey.
The Wizards participated in the first blockbuster deal of the regular season, dealing Gilbert Arenas to the Orlando Magic on Dec. 18 in exchange for Rashard Lewis. That trade completed the roster makeover that began last season, when the Wizards started the rebuilding process by trading Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Dominic McGuire - going from a $79 million payroll to not having to pay the luxury tax.
"I think we're in a different stage," Grunfeld said earlier Wednesday. "We started the whole process last year and I think we've come a long way. A lot of things have happened. We've put ourselves in a very good financial situation moving forward. We've added some good young pieces to the mix and I think our future looks good. If we can add some more pieces to that, we will."
The trade also provided a savings for the Wizards next season. Hinrich is slated to earn $8 million next season, while Bibby is owed $6.4 million. Crawford will make $1.12 million next season, but Evans's $2.5 million salary comes off the books after this season.
Bibby is a 13-year veteran who has played in Vancouver, Sacramento and Atlanta. He is averaging 9.4 points and 3.6 assists this season. One of the league's best three-point shooters, he is shooting 44.1 percent from beyond the three-point line this season. Evans is a solid perimeter defender who is averaging 4.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in his eighth season. Crawford is averaging just 4.2 points in 16 games for the Hawks, who rank fifth in the East.
The Wizards (15-41) have the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference and lost their first 25 road games this season before winning in Cleveland. After an embarrassing 117-94 loss in Philadelphia, the Wizards have lost 12 of their past 14 games.
"We're all very competitive and we want to win. And when you're not winning as much as you want to, it's frustrating," Grunfeld said. "Knowing that we have a young team, we didn't have any expectations, as far as wins and losses. Obviously, we'd like to win every game that we go into. Again, what we're looking for is for our players to improve and give a good, solid effort and be competitive."