Maybe We Owe Otis Smith an Apology

Most of us were perturbed that Otis Smith didn't make a trade yesterday. But maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. As John Denton tells us, the Seattle SuperSonics were asking for Carlos Arroyo, Pat Garrity, and three (!!!) future first-round draft picks in exchange for Kurt Thomas. Okay, as much as I would love to have a legit, veteran, playoff-proven power forward in the middle for us, there's no way a 35-year-old guy is worth two expiring contracts AND three draft picks, especially when we almost certainly wouldn't re-sign him anyway. So I don't blame Otis for not pulling the trigger on that deal.

Regarding Chris Wilcox, Seattle's other expendable big man: he's playing like total crap lately.

  • From SuperSonicSoul on Wednesday:

    [A]nd Chris Wilcox proved - once again - that anyone who thinks he is ready to become an above-average power forward is sorely mistaken. Big Weezy showed he was still in all-star break mode by contributing 6 (!) points and 4 (!) rebounds in 30+ minutes, while his counterpart, Hakim Warrick, finished with 22 points on 18 shots.

  • And from Ball Don't Lie today:

    Seattle's getting better, and it's nice to see a SuperSonics rotation that is relying almost exclusively on the young talent this team is trying to develop, but it was a pair of vets that wouldn't allow Seattle to turn the corner. Chris Wilcox could have fouled LaMarcus Aldridge out by the third quarter, but his head wasn't into it on Thursday, and Wilcox mustered only two points and two rebounds in 14 foul-plagued minutes.

Yeah, it still stings that Joe Smith got traded -- could we have gotten in on that deal? -- but given that he's playing absolutely out-of-his-mind right now, we probably wouldn't have had the goods to acquire him.

For what it's worth, ESPN.com's John Hollinger went back and graded every trade in the NBA this season. He gives us a B for trading Trevor Ariza for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook:

Could the Magic have tried harder to find a role for Ariza? Probably. Was upgrading their situation at the 2 more important than fitting Ariza's non-shooting ways into their space-the-floor system? Absolutely [....] [A]lthough I like this trade a little better from L.A.'s end, this is another deal that clearly helped both teams.

Maybe Otis knows what he's doing after all.

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