For many Wizards fans Thursday, the reaction to the Andre Miller trade went something like this: relief and satisfaction over upgrading the backup point guard position, but frustration that such an upgrade was necessary, especially considering the apparently serviceable backups who have gotten away from the franchise in recent years.
Michael Lee went through the list in a blog post on this very topic earlier Friday:
Ever since the Wizards dealt [Kirk] Hinrich to Atlanta after he and Wall played just four months together, Washington has tried Mike Bibby, Jordan Crawford, Mustafa Shakur, Shelvin Mack, A.J. Price, Garrett Temple and Eric Maynor. Bibby lasted two games and surrendered his entire $6 million salary the following season just so he wouldn’t have to play in Washington. Jannero Pargo and Shaun Livingston were on the roster but never played for the team while Wall was healthy. … Kendall Marshall — a former lottery pick whom the Wizards acquired in the Marcin Gortat trade and immediately waived before the start of the season — joined the Los Angeles Lakers and developed into a competent point guard, averaging 10.7 points and 9.8 assists.
Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld was on 106.7 The Fan to talk about the trade Friday morning, and he was asked specifically about Mack and Marshall, and whether he had any regrets.
“Well, you know, we had Shelvin, he wasn’t at that time … he needed more time to grow,” Grunfeld said. “And maybe we didn’t have the time to let him grow in this situation. He’s had some solid games down [in Atlanta]. And Kendall Marshall, really, we didn’t have roster space for him. When we made the Okafor deal for Gortat we had a full roster already. And the reason that two or three other players actually were also put in the deal was to make this deal work from a salary cap standpoint. So Kendall never even really reported here because we never had any roster spots to be able to fit him in.”
So, no regrets. Grunfeld also talked further about the decision to move on from Jan Vesely.
“You know, Jan had his moments,” Grunfeld said. “He was really good on the defensive end, obviously very athletic, he was a good rebounder, very good defensive player. When we first got him he had some nice moments, but we got some better players along the way: We got Nene, we got Gortat, we signed Ariza and Webster, and the minutes weren’t there as much as they were before for him. And it was unfortunate, because he was a real professional, he worked very hard, he was a real good teammate – both of those players were. But it just didn’t work out the way they wanted it to and the way we wanted it to. And in this league, if you want to get something, you have to give up something. And we’re wishing both of those players good luck int heir next situations and hopefully they can have more success there.”