- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DALLAS — John Wall will not be traded Thursday. But the fate of every other player in a Washington Wizards uniform is anyone’s guess.

Thursday is the NBA trading deadline, a day when many teams will drastically or subtly alter their rosters in an effort to make a playoff push, build for the future or simply dump salary.

The Wizards players whose names have been mentioned in trade talks know who they are, and each is handling the unknown outcome in his own way.

Trevor Booker, 24, is a player in demand. Generously listed at 6-foot-8, he’s a defensive stopper who can score when needed, play small or power forward, and guard a 7-foot center without a second thought. Booker handles the impending trade deadline by not thinking — or talking — about it.

“We just worry about playing basketball,” Booker said. “We can’t worry about [being traded] and let it affect our game. We just have to keep going out and getting better. I’m not sure what other people, my teammates, are thinking [but] we’re not talking about it.”

For Andray Blatche, it’s a slightly different scenario. The Wizards are seeking to trade the 6-foot-11 forward, but league sources indicate not many teams are interested. Blatche, 25, hasn’t lived up to expectations since signing a contract extension two years ago, and he hears the disappointment in the boos from hometown fans.

“It’s a business,” Blatche said of the possibility of being traded. “That’s something I’m not stressed about or losing sleep over. I’ve been here for seven years. I know that comes with the job. If a trade was to happen for anybody on this team, everybody knows not to take it personal, just go to the next team and work hard.”

Asked where he expected to be Thursday, Blatche laughed, looked over at guard Nick Young and asked, “Where will we be Thursday? New Orleans? That’s where I’ll be until I find out anything else.”

Young, 26, is also the subject of trade rumors. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard isn’t overly versatile, and he won’t make an NBA All-Defensive Team anytime soon. But when his shot is falling, he can score 25 points a night without breaking a sweat. Young broke into his signature wide-eyed grin when asked where he expects to be Thursday.

“I’ll wake up, right? I’ll be in my hotel and watching some TV. In New Orleans. Maybe. I don’t know. It’s crazy,” Young said. “I’ve been cracking jokes with everybody because it happened last year. I joked that this year, somebody’s going to be gone by halftime. I’ve seen it all.”

Last year, the Wizards traded Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong for Jordan Crawford, Maurice Evans and Mike Bibby during halftime of a game Feb. 23.

Only Wall has been deemed by the Wizards as untouchable in the frenzied trade market.

“You never know what’s going on, that’s the tough part about it,” Wall said. “I think certain guys are worried, nervous about it. It’s something you have to deal with and just move forward. If somebody new comes in, you just got to keep the chemistry.”

Asked if he would prefer to have a few new teammates by Thursday, Wall, as expected of a point guard and leader, gave the appropriately diplomatic response.

“You enjoy playing with the teammates you have, and you know it’s a part of the business,” he said. “You don’t want to see people go, but you know it might be the best situation for you and your organization.”

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