Exchange of Guards Works for Both Sides

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 30 -- Every now and then, an NBA trade works out for all of the parties involved. That certainly appears to be the case with the Dec. 10 trade that sent Antonio Daniels to New Orleans for Mike James.

Also as part of the three-team deal, the Wizards acquired second-year guard Javaris Crittenton from Memphis for a conditional first-round pick.

The swap of Daniels, a veteran pass-first point guard, for James, a veteran who looks to score, has benefited both teams. Entering Tuesday's game, James was averaging 12.3 points on 40.2 percent shooting as a Wizard, while Daniels had carved out a role as a backup to all-star Chris Paul.

Daniels's numbers haven't been eye-popping (3.7 points and 2.2 assists in 11.8 minutes for New Orleans), but he's been exactly what the Hornets wanted: a savvy ball-handler to run Coach Byron Scott's offense, play good defense and spell Paul.

"He's a true point guard, and that's been the biggest thing," said Scott, who felt that James was too offense-minded. "We're extremely happy to have him here."

The Wizards, who have had one of the least productive back courts all season in the absence of Gilbert Arenas, feel the same about James, who totaled 21 points and 13 assists in back-to-back wins over Oklahoma City and Houston.

"It's a trade that has worked well for both teams," said interim coach Ed Tapscott, who hugged Daniels before the game. "Mike is playing real well. He's a vet, a real pro. He does all his work, gets it done early and stays prepared, so it's always good to add a guy like that to your squad."

Up Next: Friday at Boston 7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

Sunday vs. Cleveland 1 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

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