Portland Wants Brendan Haywood, Washington Wants Way Too Much Back

I realize that negotiating, in general, is each side proposing two extreme offers before eventually moving toward common ground. But there’s also a danger that if your extreme offer is too extreme, the other side will just stop dealing with you or at the very least be too insulted to try to work toward an agreement.

ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Portland Trail Blazers covet Brendan Haywood’s, the Wizards’ underrated center. Their interest is obvious because of injuries to Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla. Haywood’s contract is manageable (six million this year) and expiring, meaning the Blazers won’t need to make a major financial commitment to Haywood once Oden and Przybilla return healthy next year.

However, the Wizards, hoping to receive a king’s ransom for their key players, are reportedly asking for both Nicolas Batum and Rudy Fernandez, Portland’s two marquee young players outside of Oden. For a superstar like Chris Bosh, this makes sense, but for a decent center like Haywood, who most likely is just a half-year rental, it’s outrageous. Haywood’s a nice player, but the Wizards are going to be lucky to get one of Batum or Fernandez, much less both.

Who knows if this is true — it’s trade deadline season, after all. But if the Wizards are serious about rebuilding, they shouldn’t demand such ridiculous packages in return and run the risk of their trading partner saying “Screw it, we’re never going to agree, so why waste our time?”

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