Tuesday the Hornets acquired Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith for Tyson Chandler. Most versions of the st ory were written the other way.
Here's how our site wrote the headline : Hornets ship Chandler to Thunder for Smith, Wilcox
Point is, Chandler was the key element. And there's a big reason why. Smith and Wilcox, simply put, are NBA journeymen. Heck, Smith can probably be considered the posterboy for NBA journeyman. Traded five times, Smith has donned nine different franchise jerseys, not including two separate stints in Philly. Wilcox, meanwhile is on his fourth team since entering the league prematurely in 2002.
Two spare parts among a growing bin of NBA afterthoughts.
Correction, two spare parts from a growing bin of Maryland-created NBA afterthoughts. Smith, Wilcox, Juan Dixon, D.J. Strawberry, Sarunas Jaskievicius, Terrence Morris, Laron Profit, Tony Massenberg, Keith Booth ... it goes on and on. Remember Obinna Ekezie? Doubtful.
Sure, there's Steve Francis, Buck Williams and Joe Smith in his early Golden State years. But as a collective, Maryland is well, Duke.
That is in the way everybody says Duke doesn't create good pros. It's Maryland that doesn't create good pros. There are some big names, like John Lucas and Gene Shue. But there's also Walt Williams, a first-round wizardly dud. There's Lonny Baxter, a firearms wiz and there's Exree Hipp, a globetrotting wizard of excitement.
I grew up a short ride from College Park, where Duke bashing was a pastime. And that meant making fun of Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Antonio Lang, Danny Ferry, Cherokee Parks and Trajan Langdon for their unremarkable careers. But time is a tricky SOB. Not that Maryland ever produced much in terms of valuable NBA talent, but there was Len Bias, The Future. And Steve Francis was The Franchise. And Len Elmore was, well, The Voice.
As if seeing two Terps go in a trade as spare parts wasn't bad enough, the pipeline is dry. There's nothing of note there now, or in the near future. At least Steve Blake is turning out to be a serviceable point guard, something Duke hasn't contributed to the NBA since, well, ever.
(Eric, Chris Duhon's doing just fine in New York)
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