Jeremy Hyman - WashingtonWizards.com
With plenty of rumors flying around over the last week, the Wizards did make a deal right at the 3pm trade deadline as they acquired center Jason Collins and guard Leandro Barbosa from the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard Jordan Crawford.
Here was Ernie Grunfeld's quote from the team's press release:
"Our team has started to come together and play well over the last 20 games," said Grunfeld. "This trade allows us to keep moving in that direction with the solid rotation and defensive commitment we have established on the court, helps us continue to build on the culture we are establishing in the locker room and gives us additional financial flexibility."
Grunfeld spoke with Monumental Network's Casey Phillips about the deal:
Grunfeld also spoke with the media at a press conference at Verizon Center on Thursday evening where he answered questions about the trade. Here he said that Crawford did not fit into the team's current or future plans, plus this gave him a chance to go help a team that is contending for a playoff spot.
Grunfeld also reiterated the points that this is a defensive-minded team that has been moving the ball very well over the last 20 games with Crawford playing a lesser role. He said that there has been a "workmanlike culture" that has developed here and this move allowed the team to gain financial flexibility moving forward. He did not feel that this was the perfect fit for Crawford and realized that it was time to move on.
He also talked about adding Jason Collins who is a veteran big man and a true professional who will have a good impact on the younger players in the locker room.
Barbosa has a torn ACL and is out for the remainder of the season.
Both Collins and Barbosa's contracts are up at the end of this season, while Jordan Crawford still had one more year left on his deal.
Earlier in the day, the Wizards held practice as they prepared for this weekend's back-to-back stretch against the Nuggets and the Rockets. Practiced ended in a bizarre way as Bradley Beal and Cariter Martin collided, causing Beal to chip his two front teeth and Martin to receive a laceration which required stitches. Neither injury is expected to keep either out of the lineup for Friday night's game, although Martin is still recovering from a knee injury and is listed as questionable.
Randy Wittman spoke about the incident and about the matchup with the Nuggets in his media availability:
We also heard from Nene, who talked about playing against his old team:
The Wizards beat the Nuggets in Denver back in January and there is no doubt the Nuggets will have payback on their mind when they play at Verizon Center on Friday night. The action kicks off at 7pm, make sure to join in the Live Chat on WashingtonWizards.com and remember to use #WizNuggets when tweeting!