By Rashad Mobley
The Washington Wizards traded forward Quinton Ross to the New Jersey Nets for forward Yi Jianlian and cash considerations according to Team President Ernie Grunfeld.
“This trade is a good opportunity to add a skilled seven-footer with significant NBA experience who was the sixth overall pick in the draft just three years ago,” said Grunfeld. “Yi fits in very well with our ongoing plan of building towards the future with a core of young, talented players.”
For the Nets, this move clears more salary cap room as they continued their quest for LeBron James and the other major free agents of 2010. And according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Yi’s skillset did not exactly fit in to new Nets coach, Avery Johnson’s plans.
In Yi, the Washington Wizards gain a player who can play both the small and power forward positions, and he gives them a bit of insurance while Andray Blatche recovers from foot surgery. Salary cap wise, this still allows the Wizards flexibility since Yi has a player option that the team has the option of picking up at the end of the 2010-2011 season.
Yi was originally the sixth pick of the 2007 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he averaged 8.6 points and 5. 2 rebounds. He was traded to the Nets before the 2008 season, and in two seasons there, he averaged 10.3 points and 6.2 rebounds a game.
The Wizards acquired Ross along with Josh Howard and James Singleton on February 13th of this year as part of the trade that sent DeShawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler to the Dallas Mavericks. He played sparingly for the Wizards averaging just 1.5 points in 25 games.
The acquisition of Yi, is one of the several moves the Wizards have made this offseason. During last Thursday’s NBA Draft, they took John Wall number one overall, along with Trevor Booker and Hamady N’Diaye. The Wizards have also reportedly added former Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich and Kevin Seraphin from France, and Washington Post beat writer Michael Lee is reporting that an qualifying offer will not be made to Wizards guard Randy Foye, thus making him a free agent.
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