Wizards, Grizzlies Finalize Trade of Spanish Guard

Friday, August 17, 2007

Guard Juan Carlos Navarro's trade to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a future conditional first-round draft pick was completed yesterday, the Washington Wizards announced.

The Wizards and Grizzlies agreed in principle to the trade on Aug. 3, but the deal's completion was delayed because Navarro had to finalize the details of the buyout on his contract with his team in Spain, FC Barcelona.

Navarro, a 6-foot-3 guard who has been one of the top players in Europe for several seasons, was drafted by the Wizards in the second round of the 2002 draft but never signed with the team.

According to a league source, the draft pick received by the Wizards will be top 19 protected in 2008, meaning the Grizzlies would keep the pick if they finish with one of the top 19 picks. The pick is top 16 protected in 2009, top 14 protected from 2010 to 2012 and top 12 protected in 2013.

If the Wizards have not received the pick by 2013, they will receive a second-round pick and cash considerations.

Also yesterday, former Wizards guard-forward Jarvis Hayes, the team's first-round pick in the 2003 draft, signed with the Detroit Pistons. Hayes appeared in 226 games with 94 starts and averaged 8.9 points and 3.4 rebounds on 40.2 percent shooting in four seasons with the Wizards.

Knee injuries limited Hayes to a total of 75 games during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons, but he bounced back to play in 81 games last season. However, Hayes struggled to find consistency with his jump shot and the Wizards declined to make him a qualifying offer. The team also re-signed shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson to a four-year, $15 million contract on July 14 and drafted shooting guard Nick Young with the 16th pick in the June 28 draft.

After expressing a desire to play in the NBA earlier this summer, Navarro negotiated out of his contract with FC Barcelona and the team agreed to lower his buyout from $14 million to around $2 million.

In Memphis, Navarro will team up with longtime friend Pau Gasol. Navarro and Gasol came up together in the Spanish basketball system and have starred for Spain's national team.

The Wizards have followed Navarro's development over the years but never seriously considered signing him this summer because the team's priority was retaining Stevenson.

The Wizards have 13 players under contract and are also expected to sign restricted free agent forward Andray Blatche. The team has also expressed an interest in re-signing free agent shooting guard Roger Mason, who appeared in 62 games for the team last season.

-- Ivan Carter

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