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Pre-draft camp, day 3

Getting ready to hop on a flight and head back to DC early so I can finish packing up for my move across town tomorrow so I'm cutting out of the pre-draft camp a lilttle early. It wraps up tomorrow morning but I feel like I saw a bunch of basketball and spoke with some good folks about the June 28 draft, Wiz matters and other various NBA info.

The main thing I learned the last three days is that point guard play is everything in this type of setting because the players aren't familiar with one another and the coaches had very little time to put in a few basic offensive sets. Defense was strictly man-to-man. The games that moved well typically involved the following point guards: Flordia's Taurean Green, Marist's Jared Jordan, Virginia Tech's Zabian Dowdell and Oregon's Aaron Brooks (Georgetown fans may remember him as the little guy who led the Ducks to a win over the Hoyas at Verizon Center early in the season).

Green would be my pre-draft camp MVP. He consistently got his teammates good shots, took care of the ball, played pesky defense and made shots when they presented themselves. Dowdell was probably the most offensive minded of the PGs and he had some strong moments. One thing that stood out was his utter lack of wasted motion. When he decides to put the ball down and get into the paint, he does so quickly and with explosion. The fact that he's a legit 6-foot-2 (he's listed as 6-3 but I stood in front of him for an interview and trust me, he's 6-2) and has long arms only helps.

Maryland's DJ Strawberry did some good things as well. The one game I really keyed in on him, he was 2 of 7 from the field with 5 points but he showed nice playmaking skills and finished with four assists in just under 19 minutes.

-A few more guys who have been invited to workout for the Wizards (In last night's blog, I listed Colorodo State's Jason Smith, Boston College's Shawn Williams and Florida's Green): North Carolina F Reyshawn Terry, who has played well down here this week, USC SG Nick Young, who declined an invite because he's projected to go soewhere in the middle of the first round pick, Rice SG Morris Almond, who averaged 26.4 points per game last season and Pittsburgh center Aaron Gray, who was high on the Wizards list before withdrawing his name from last year's draft. The Wiz also have plans to workout Strawberry, Virginia's JR Reynolds and Sean Singletary and Virginia State's Avis Wyatt.

-I blogged the other day that DeShawn Stevenson may be looking for something in the neighborhood of five-years, $25 million when free agency opens July 1 but the the word I got from folks down here this week is that he could be more in line for something like three-years, $10 million, which is what he turned down from Orlando last summer.

-The schedule for summer league play was released today. The Wiz are in Vegas from July 10-15 but won't play either Seattle or Portland, though both Greg Oden and Kevin Durant will be out there with their teams. Seattle plays Portland on the 15th several hours after the Wiz play Milwaukee. That should be one of the most interesting summer league games ever no?

-Something I forgot to add to this post (and I know you Wiz fans will get a kick out of it): By far my favorite moment of the week happened today when a security guy working the door stopped Michael Jordan and asked for identification. Jordan, who was on hand but has been keeping a low profile in his capacity as part owner of the Bobcats, busted into a smile and pointed to his pass which had flipped over his shoulder and was lying on his back.
Maybe that guy should apply for a gig at the Department of Homeland Security. Nobody would get through that cat.

By Ivan Carter  |  May 31, 2007; 2:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

I like DJ Strawberry as a scrapper, but by no means is he or should he be considered a point guard. He's got bad handles, can't handle a trap, and does not have PG instincts. He failed miserably at PG during his JR. year where Sterling Ledbetter had to take over, and come senior season, they gave the ball to Eric Hayes to run the point. If anything, he's like a poor man's Eric Snow who can hit an occasional 3.

Posted by: DC Man88 | May 31, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting that almost all of the players Ivan has identified as the Wizards bringing in are projected as second round picks. I'm guessing Ernie is keeping the first round list to himself for now (and the disclosure of Jason Smith at this juncture could be an indication of great interest or no real interest).

Posted by: Sean | May 31, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Or they may be looking Rudy Fernandez as their pick, who'd not in Orlando cause he's still playing in Europe.

If they are looking at center, all those guys (Williams, Gray, Jason Smith) will probably go 1st round.

If they are looking at SG it's probably Young or Almond, who they're working out, or Fernandez.

The rest of those guys are most likely 2nd round, or possibilities for summer league invites.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the camp updates, great stuff

Posted by: Daniel | May 31, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Uhh IVAN-

To clarify:

--Nick Young will work out for the Wizards.

--And it's possible he has a promise from a team who is picking 'in the middle of the first round'-- like say, the Wizards, who pick exactly in the middle of the first round.

The way it's written it sounds like you're saying he declined an invite by the Wizards...

I'm happy Almond will get a workout. On this squad he's an instant veteran. If he's the pick wiz fans will be very happy with his game. Reliable, consistent, tough, savvy, and makes in-game adjustments to score on anybody.

He'll play very well with a pick and pop guy like Darius. And will fill it up from outside as the exclamation point for AD's (and Gil's) drive and kick game.

As a rookie he'll quickly earn bench minutes. Imagine how many games we'd've won if Jarvis actually hit 3-4 more of his jacked shots per game.

He may not be the most talented/most athletic guy in the game. But he's a nice fit for what the Wiz do, and even more so for what they want to do. Offensively.

It would be nice if we had one other guy who could hit a three point shot to counterbalance Jamison on the opposite side of the floor.

I think he'd intuitively get what EJ wants to do, better than most guards in the draft.

Posted by: doclinkin | May 31, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

hey doclinkin

I was wondering the same thing when I read the sentence about Nick Young (did he decline to work out for the Wiz or in the pre-draft camp)

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see the workout with Gray, Smith, and Williams and see how they do against each other. I gotta say I am definately intrigued with Williams.

I just think we gotta address the SG spot one way or the other. If we could deal Haywood for someone like Mike Miller or Ricky Davis, and get that 4th wheel for the big 3. If not I gotta look hard at Young or Fernandez in the 1st round. But if we can, then we'd have to address the center spot to replace 'Wood.

I like DeShawn, seems like a cool cat, and I'd like to keep him. He won't be happy about it, but that 3 for 10 sounds about right. I think his role is backup 2 and defensive sub. I even wouldn't mind keeping Hayes if we can as our backup at sf. Dude's gotta be able to play better than he did last year.

A free agent I'm hoping for is Joe Smith, the former Terp, NCAA POY, and #1 pick. Would love to bring Joe home, he's still good (8 and 6 last year), he's still a 6-10 banger at PF who runs, and he'll be 32 next season. Eddie wants veterans, and guys who scrap and that's Joe Smith. He'd be a major upgrade over Ruffin, and could fit our price range.

All together, I guess my "plan"...

Draft Sean Williams #16
Draft Taurean Green #47
Trade Haywood for a SG
Sign FA Joe Smith
Bring in Pecherov and if possible Navarro
Keep DeShawn, Hayes, and of course Bulletproof, who I would move to center (imagine a future offense/defense rotation at center of Andray Blatche/Sean Williams)

Center: Blatche, Etan, Williams
PF : Jamison, Darius, Smith
SF : Butler, Pecherov, Hayes
SG : Haywood Trade, Stevenson, Navarro
PG: Arenas, Daniels, Green

And before someone knocks the Pecherov at SF placement (I know someone will :), think Kirilenko and even Nowitzki plays there sometimes and essentially has a SF game as does Pech. Right now he's probably just too thin to be a legit PF and is more suited to SF and the perimeter. It would be a matchup thing, and really I just have him there to balance the roster. Consider Antawn can play sf and get some pt there, in essence backing up Caron at sf when we use someone like Pech, Darius or Smith as the "other forward" when Caron needs to come out. Get my drift. Plus also SF is where Pech played last summer league and looked good there (Blatche was at 4, Ramos at 5).

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

If we can deal 'Wood for a 2 who also can slide up to the 3 when we go small (which you know we will do often), such as Mike Miller or Ricky Davis, that would also fill the backup sf when Caron is out, and also open up some additional pt at the 2 for Stevenson and/or Navarro and/or Daniels.

Posted by: Darnell | May 31, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Oh and sorry, the anonymous post above is DARNELL. Gotta get credit cause that plan is GOOD!!!

Posted by: Darnell | May 31, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Good update, keep it coming Ivan. Goodluck on the move...hire movers not friends!

Pech will be playing center next year...count on it! Wizards will draft a center at 16 only if Splitter is available (and of course if they like Jason S., which I doubt...too many questions.). If Splitter is not available then they will be taking a SG like N. Young, Fernandez, Almond. 47 pick will be for a point guard Donnel taylor is gone.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Good update, keep it coming Ivan. Goodluck on the move...hire movers not friends!

Pech will be playing center next year...count on it! Wizards will draft a center at 16 only if Splitter is available (and of course if they like Jason S., which I doubt...too many questions.). If Splitter is not available then they will be taking a SG like N. Young, Fernandez, Almond. 47 pick will be for a point guard Donnel taylor is gone.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Wow for anyone that saw that Cav-Pistons game, did you see Prince do one heck of a Jamison impersonation on that final bucket by LeBron?!?! Looked just like him!! Duckin, movin back and gettin outta the way!! Man now I don't feel so bad. For a dude that's supposed to be a great defender... it's like he was possessed by the spirit of Antawn! Guess when you see a 6-9 powerhouse like LeBron comin it's a natural reaction, but man, their playoff lives are on the line and that's the game winning play! Come on Tayshaun! You gotta step up on that play! Not pull an "Antawn"!!! (That's the official term now in the NBA dictionary by the way, the act of ducking and moving out of the way)

Posted by: Darnell | June 1, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Sorry correction...

The final play Prince just didn't get over in time and was late to defend the drive. The play where he actually pulled an "Antawn" was the drive by James that put the Cavs up 89-88. My bad.

Posted by: Darnell | June 1, 2007 2:19 AM | Report abuse

One question Darnell, isn't Navarro more a point than a 2. I mean the guy can score but from what I have seen and read Navarro might be the point guard we really need (and move Gilbert to 2).

Posted by: George Templeton | June 1, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Hey You are not giving DJ Strawberry his props!!! The guy can flat out play!! I look for him to go early in the second round put your bets up boys!!!

Stop hating!!

Posted by: sheera | June 1, 2007 3:05 AM | Report abuse

The truth hurts, doesn't it? DJ is a role player. Might get drafted in the second round, might not.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 1, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Well, last night changes things, doesn't it, for the Wizards? If the goal is to make the Eastern Conference Finals, maybe it doesn't. But if the goal is to be able to go farther, which will likely require beating the Cavs, the Wizards need to find a LeBron-stopper. The Wizards have lacked a very good perimeter lock-down defender for as long as I can remember. Someone on this blog has pushed making a move to get Corey Brewer, and that would be a fantastic move. But I question how much the Wizards would have to give up. Bruce Bowen types (great defenders, not much offensively) can be had in the second round. Might Strawberry become that type of player? Hopefully Ernie and his group have been scouting for that sort of guy. Lord knows the Wizards don't need more jump shooters.

Posted by: Henry | June 1, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I never thought I would say something like this, but aren't we all glad that Michael Jordan has taken his show somewhere else? Good coverage and updates from the pre-camp sessions. Let's hope the Wizards pick someone to complement our super trio! Oh, fun next season!!!!!

Posted by: aramey1 | June 1, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

The funny thing is, Jared Jeffries was christened the Lebron stopper right before he up and left for nothing in return to Les BouleS. Corey Brewer may be a decent defender, but he's way too thin boned to be able to handle LeBron. If Shawn "The Matrix (ska Praying Mantis head)" Marion is on the outs due to lack of touches, he may be a consideration.

In any regard, I think Caron likes to match up with Lebron and get physical with him. I know for sure, Caron won't take an elbow to the head like how Cwebb did and like it.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 1, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Caron probably is the Wizards' best option at this point to defend LeBron but he has the same problem as everyone else, how can he keep LeBron in front of him? Caron would probably be the centerpiece of any deal for Marion.

Posted by: George Templeton | June 1, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

For my sleeper perimeter defender, I like Demetris Nichols out the 'Cuse. He's a spot-up 3 pt shooter who actually likes to play D.

But he may be playing himself unavailable at #47.

Posted by: doclinkin | June 1, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

My how the mighty are falling..What shall come of the almighty of the eastern region. They let "one man" single handedly beat them. Break down their famed defense, penetrate to the basket, get open shots from the preimeter. Who will save them?
***
How pitiful it looked - During OT - Cavs lost 2 important pieces from the board and still they outmaneuvered all of Detroits players left standing on the board. Brown must be a heck of a chess player or the Pistons just didn't have it in them. They actually "looked scared" They had the fear of defeat before it happened. Desperation and persperation penetrating their heads, eyes and brows. Shoulders slumped, stomachs tightened, mouths dry, eyes darting back & forth, lack of focus - they couldn't pull it out..they were "Too Desperate" They were in total SHOCK & EMBARRASSED.

The looks on the fans faces in the last 15 seconds of 4th qtr...women, men children hands to their mouths, holding their breath, covering their ears, tears filling the brim of their eyes at they watched frozen in fear - eyes pleading with Rip and Chauncey - "please don't let it be!!!!
Their great horseman, Chauncey is held captive, Rip is now frozen - petrified, his skinny little legs begin to appear thinner than before, Tayshaun's willowy fingers now tightened into a ball - lost as they fall from the Kings row....The dagger goes in deeper, deeper still.
Checkmate..game over. They tumble into the abyss of darkness and loss. They now will become as all mere mortals - "Witnesses"
They tuble and fall into the abyss one by one..all in despair..bodies listless.

Although fallen, a seething,disgusted Rasheed crawls, pushing off the slime and mire, qwik sand - clawing up the sides of the abysss-struggling - hanging on refusing to become "mere mortal." Finally reaches the edge of the abyss only to see the throngs of damsels & analysts
"praising the annointed one" for his great feat!! The fallen warrior with fingers bleeding, chest heaving, tears flooding his eyes, his body trembling, shaking with disgust yet feeling helpless; hangs there on the edge, watching yet refusing to let go and die the death of a defeated warrior-utters his one last threat - He will release his road dog "Hell"

To be continued

Posted by: Robin | June 1, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of which, Les BouleS have been rumored to be considering Anderson Varejao. This guy is a scrappy guy, but has no toughness.

Towards the end of the 2nd OT, he was scrambling for the ball. While sitting on the floor, Chauncey flew at him and gave him a flying body block (note, he was not going for the ball) and leveled him, but this Brazilian did absolutely nothing. Didn't even look angry. Chauncey (got a mug like PDiddy) got away with it.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 1, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't have minded A.C.Law, a tough, defensive minded shutdown corner, I mean , point guard to run this offense. I am totally unconvinced that Arenas should be running the show. The argument that Arenas is best with the ball in his hands has no historical value. Jorden was best with the ball in his hands but he didn't play the point and neither does Iverson. Even when Hughes in town he became the defacto point. I like A.C. Law points only need a season or two to develop, and lordy knows they need someone in their backcourt to stay on Wade. I don't know where he's going in the draft, but if he's there for the taking take em'.

Posted by: hopedforHibbert | June 1, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

hnoestly, if Greg oden is as good as they say, then why wouldnt the wizards offer a trade to the blazers that looks like this. 16th pick this year, 1st rnd pick the next 4 years and etan/haywoood. we already have 3 stars and if you add in oden, we dont need any draft picks, who r we gonna get better than oden, or even will get a chance to contribute...

Posted by: Mrodlauer | June 1, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Mrodlauer,

What if Oden is a bust? Does Mike Ditka trading away all his NFL picks for Ricky Williams ring a bell? Not the Ricky was a bust but things certainly did not work out the way Ditka planned.

Posted by: Lisa | June 1, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

To clarify my post on Nick Young: he declined to workout in Orlando but will workout for the Wizards. Sorry for not making that more clear.

Posted by: Ivan | June 1, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Does that mean the Wizards might be a team that is going to make a promise to Young?

Posted by: George Templeton | June 1, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

It means Nick Young likes his chances of being drafted mid-first and thinks he could only hurt his stock by playing in Orlandocamp-- because the odds look like it ain't no way he's gonna move up into lotto land.

>>Mrodlauer>>

If Greg is as good as everyone says, why the heck would Portalnd want a bunch of late-round picks.

The Wiz are a playoff team without a supastar big. With Oden they're an ECF lock. So essentially it's the usual tlakradio trade: 'Why doesn't our team trade away all their garbage and bring in Kevin Garnett....'

Becasue nobody wants our garbage. The only difference is you want Portland to trade for UNPROVEN garbage.

Which quite frankly, is goofy.

Posted by: doclinkin | June 1, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

'Talkradio' and 'because' by the way.

.................
DCMan.

Shawn Marion would be ideal in a Wiz uni.

And PHX was rumored to be shopping him some time back not because of lack of touches but because he's due a DONKEYLOAD of money over the next few years and they don't want to risk the lux tax.

Trade proposals that have looked plausible on Realgm.com a few months back--

[Say-- Antawn + his large but expiring contract + the Wiz #1 + the rights to Navarro ---for--- Marion + two of PHX' three first round picks)

-- those thoughts have sorta evaporated in light of 2 things:

1. Jamison's grown-up play in the postseason for the Wiz. And Uncle Abe's thing about loyalty & character.

2. And more importantly how close PHX looks to championship material. They'd be willing to take a luxtax hit if they could win it all. The dividends would more than even out in their favor.

Nice to dream though. Shawn is one of my top 5 favorite players and an ideal fit for the Wiz. Pound for pound the best defender in the league, he'd give LeBron some trouble. Make him work.

I'm curious to see a Bruce Bowen/Tim Duncan match-up on Queen Janes. Seems like they'd play him just about right.

Right now the Wiz' best hope is to get some muscle and plyometrics (lateral speed) training for Andray Blatche. Have him study agility training and footwork with Hakeem at the Dream Camp for Big Men in Houston. He's got the right instincts and length to bother 'Bron, is just a little footslow.

Posted by: doclinkin | June 1, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

On Shawn Marion.

I can't tell if Marion's game is a futuristic advanced highly evolved form of Next Order ball. Or if he's a real throwback to something from the oldest of Old School.

Maybe both.

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2006/writers/marty_burns/06/26/draft.preview/t1_marion.jpg
http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/troufs/anth1602/images/lucy-recon_big.jpg

Posted by: Anonymous | June 1, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Gilby and Marion in the backcourt would be a huge, huge upgrade. Then maybe have Navarro and AD coming off the bench. Marion would be great insurance if Caron gets hurt again, given the fact that Caron plays physical. Marion would definitely be Les BouleS answer to getting more athletic. Given that, his 3 point stroke will be hard to stomach. I don't know what's worse, Marion's 3 point stroke or Andris Biedrins' free throw stroke.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3828

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 1, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Upon last reading - Marion was one of 2 possible considerations for Lakers. Pacer's O'Neal and Marion has been long time discussion. Lakers were also coveting Amare but now realize that trade is unlikely to happen but Marion is still in discussions. I don't see Marion coming to D.C. unless he gets -as you say - a boatload of cash. Lakers aren't trying to get off of any money either todate thus the hold up. Otherwise - he'd prob be gone to LA. And uh by the way - perhaps you hadn't read very much about PHX - there have been issues reg. Marion "wanting more touches and not having more control of ball" The major discussions were Nash always managing the ball. Everything isn't always as happy as it seems.

oh well - if they don't improve wiz - its onto 1st round & out again 2008 if they make playoffs at all. Got a feelin this season was a gift ie with all the other teams short due to injuries, etc. They should have taken advantage but couldn't. Come next yr. Miami, Jersey & Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit shall be ready willing and able. If wiz keep same tired below DLeague bench - seriously-thats pathetic. if nothing else, the playoffs show the importance of a real bench. Hungry players with a "clue." These teams had players come off bench & give serious contributions. After viewing these virtually unknown players hustle & noting what they contribute when needed I can't imagine why Jordan & Grunfeld could justify keeping any of them. Except being cheap.

Please bare in mind - Gilbert will have a great deal of input about all this.
From what I read in Wise' various articles - Arenas wants to keep same team together. He wants a championship! great. But if he is like most players - they have no talent in picking a team & he doesn't have a vision to see they need a stronger talented bench? - they will be first round fodder again for the -what is it? 3rd or 4th yr. The proverbial dog chasing its tail. Yr after yr yappin about "We're in the playoffs!!" We're glad to make it in!! thats it.....its time we get sick of just makin it in the playoffs. Cleveland did it - and aged out Miami did it. Ya gotta want to get past mediocrity at some point.-

And honestly - showtime, sporadic heroics don't get it done either. Its called team ball - thats what wins championships.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2007 3:57 AM | Report abuse

To the anonymous poster above, it's difficult to "take advantage" when your team is missing it's two top scorers and 48+ points combined per game.

Posted by: Lisa | June 3, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Thing is, GMEG has an opportunity to completely remake the team's bench this offseason. [Well half an opportunity, half a necessity].

Fact is, the Wiz only have seven players under contract.

Core guys:
----------
Zero
Tuff Juice
Tawn
AD
DSong
............

Plus:
Etan
'Wood

These last two are the only leftovers from the previous regime (and GMEG re-upped each of them-- so he can take credit or blame).

He has the chance to remake the team into whatever his vision or Eddie's vision prompts him.

The caveat is that he has next to no wiggle room-- barring a huge surprise and relief in luxury tax headroom.

[Since the lux tax is determined by league wide profits in relation to player salarys-- well let's just say it's a good thing that LeBron's team advanced (pray for seven games and high TV ratings)].

The Wiz are over the cap, and like most owners througout the league Abe doesn't want to pay the over-tax.

(Especially since the money gets kicked back to other teams across the league. It cuts an owner twice: they lose millions of dollars of free revenue -- and have to pay their competitors for the priviledge instead of taking their money for not knowing how to manage their budget...)

So the Wiz are left with whatever money they got left under the cap. Not much.
And within that limited budget, since they are over the cap (not 'cheap' at all) they need 'exceptions' to sign anybody:
----------

1 MLE (mid-level exception: equal to the average salary league wide.)

1 LLE (the lower level exception. A team can use it only every other year, it used to be called the 'million-dollar' exception, though I think it's like 1.3 mills now or something).

'Bird rights' (or 'Early-Bird rights') on any player they want to re-sign-- the right to match and retain any offers to players they have had for 3 (or 2) years or more.

The so-called 'Gilbert Arenas' exception that gives them matching rights on any player they had on a rookie contract for 2 years.

And as many 'minimum contracts' as they need to fill out a 12 man roster.

Plus they have the right to sign their rookies to a scale contract.
---

They have Bird Rights on:
Jarvis Hayes

Early Bird rights on:
Calvin Booth (I think)
(Though they have to keep him for 2 years on a +75% raise)

Arenas rights on:
Andray Blatche.

Rookie rights to sign:
Pick 16, 47
Pecherov
Veremeenko. But VDub is under contract and has no escape clause.

Navarro was a second rounder (no exception rights?)-- and I'm not sure how long their rights to sign draft picks lasts. But in anycase they would need to use the MLE to grab him.
-----------------------------

They may wish to swap Haywood out to minimize offcourt distractions (despite his oncourt positive effects) but the problem is he has a good cheap contract, so no useful 2-for-1 deals will show up.

If the lux tax were to remain at ~$65.42 mils

(or if we guesstimate an increase equivalent to the avg salary increse over the past 5 years-- even though the 2 numbers should be inversely linked if at all--call it ~67 million. Though that number is what we term a 'DRE'-- deep rectal extraction).

--and the wiz are committed to $57.7m in current salaries (according to draftexpress) the have say $7.72m to $9.3million to play with before they risk the penalty.

On the low end that's about a total cost of one MLE, one LLE, and two rookies.

Which gives us 11 players. Though we're allowed to split the MLE and the LLE if we want.

We probably wont need to split them-- considering the team wants to resign Bulletproof'32, and bring over Pecherov.

(9 players). But if we want to placate Gil and retain Deshawn we'll have to use some part of the MLE to do it. Which probably rules out Navarro.

Anyway. That's where we start the offseason.

Personally I'd rather trade our 16th pick to land Philly's two late 1st rounders, maybe flipflop our 2nd round pick (in a Brendan/Etan trade?)--unless somebody really good slips out of the lottery.

There are bargains out there, in the D-League, in Europe, in the Draft. But Ernie's gonna have to be a savvy shopper, we got a cupboard only half stocked right now. We need to go out and get an entire bench in one offseason.

Posted by: doclinkin | June 3, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

But anyway:
>> quote DCMan?>>
"Otherwise - he'd prob be gone to LA. And uh by the way - perhaps you hadn't read very much about PHX - there have been issues reg. Marion "wanting more touches and not having more control of ball" The major discussions were Nash always managing the ball. Everything isn't always as happy as it seems."
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

He can complian all he want, my point is it's not hurting the team results, so likely PHX won't let him go --unless it's to avoid the lux tax.

And the fact is, except for an ugly series of referee miscues and whistle-swallowing, the Suns would be in the Finals this year.

I can't see that Stern liked this result --(imagine the ratings on a LeBron vs PHX bout)-- and I get the feeling that next year there will be an emphasis on the Refs calling the game the same way in the post season as they have the regular season.

PHX got jobbed, they won all season with one rule set, then the rug got snatched out from under them by muggings on defense that hadn't been allowed all year.

Still even so, PHX is damn close. A championship would mean enough extra revenue that they could eat a lux tax penalty for a year or so.

So unless the right trade comes along I bet they keep the atavism Shawn Marion.

Posted by: doclink | June 3, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I've got to agree with much of Doclinkin's post. If you're going to talk about the off season it has to be based on reality. Just sitting down and banging the keys and saying because because Mr. Pollin is dishonest and if he'd just spent more money we'd have a lineup with Kevin Garnett, O'Neil from Indiana and maybe another couple of other free agents to boot.
There's no reality in that, trades and free agent signings have to be based on the twin realities of the cap and and the luxury tax. The Wizards do have some wiggle room and some manuverabilty, Doclinkin layed most of that very well.
I think that back in January in a discussion I said Mr. Pollin may need to be prepared to exceed the luxury tax this year if we need to acheive the twin goals of improving the team and retaining the core of what we have now. Jamison will be in the last year of his big deal and next year he can most likely be resigned to a deal that will save the team millions off of the present payroll.
The good news is that at the 16th pick we will get a good player. No matter who's mock draft you look at there is a good player to be had to at #16. They all vary but every one leaves us with a player that will be rotation ready.
We will also gain Pecherov who many think would have been a top 10 pick if he'd have waited until this year to enter the draft. Navarro could be a starter or a valuable 6th man. Navarro is plain and simple a winner, he has a mid range game that would be valuable on this team and can stroke it from outside. His ability to play point or two gaurd would make him a valuable running mate to Arenas similar to Hughes. But, his buyout is not going to be easy and there is only so much that ANY NBA team can do there because of the rules, not because Mr. Pollin is cheap. I'm sure we will pony up the $500,00.00 that the rules allow for a buyout in a minute. In the end, endorsement money will most likely dictate what happens with Navarro. If he's accomplished about all that he can in Europe as far as endorsments go the shoe companies(I'm not sure who he's with) will have him over here. I think it will happen this year or next and he will be a valuable peice when he gets here.
The third reality is that alot of teams are battling the luxury tax. There are going to be a glut of vets floating around at bargain basement prices. The other day Darnell brought up Joe Smith, he's a guy that could be a hugh upgrade over Ruffin but could be had at a similar price.
And there will be teams trying to deal players to solve their own cap problems. Grunfeld is a savvy trader and has steadily built this team. Injuries ruined this season plain and simple, not Allstar appearances or birthday parties.
Grunfeld needs to add to this core and build the bench. You can't carry three D-league quality guys at the end of the bench. I think that Grunfeld didn't commit to contracts to fill out that bench because he needed the cap space this year to bring in Pecherov our number 1 pick and hopefully Navarro on board. In short Grunfeld scrimped on the end of this year's bench to save dollars to use this year for potential rotation players for next season.
Without our two best players the remaining players on this team played competitive basketball for three plus quarters in every game against the team that is going to the NBA Finals. This team will bounce back and if healthy and will be competitive again next year.
There's work to do this offseason but Ernie Grunfeld is the right guy to be doing the job.

Posted by: GM | June 3, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I hate to interrupt the excellent discussion on the Wizards offseason moves but I have to vent. After watching Andray Blatche progress and then not get any time during the playoffs didn't it just piss you all off to see Daniel Gibson get a chance and make a big difference. I am not saying Blatche would have had the same effect on the game but it just really pisses me off that the Wizards didn't play Blatche and give him the opportunity Gibson got.

Posted by: George Templeton | June 3, 2007 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Main reason why you didn't see much of Blatche this season's end is because Les BouleS don't want any team out there throwing him money that they can't afford to match.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Main reason why you didn't see much of Blatche this season's end is because Les BouleS don't want any team out there throwing him money that they can't afford to match.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2007 11:01 PM | Report abuse

George,

Has Gibson been getting playing time until now? I have not been truly turned in to the Cavs season so perhaps he did. I just don't remember his name being mentioned very often and thought he did not get much playing time during the season - even the latter part - and has just come into the limelight.

Posted by: Lisa | June 3, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

They don't sell shoes in Europe?

Navarro is golden in Europe. Here there's an even chance he's a bench player, but whether or not he starts there's no question: he's not gonna be the best guard in the game. Endorsement-wise he's better to stick over there.

He just likes the competition, what more is there to do over there? He's won the Euroleague Championships, the ACB championships, the World Championships. He's been the MVP of the league (IIRC).

The issue that prevents JCN from leaving is the fact that his team doesn't want him to go. You hear figures like a $6m buyout. We can't afford to pay him enough, the MLE doesn't cover it, and even if it did we can't afford to use up all our salary cushion jsut to bring him over. The only way around it is if JCN can beg them to let him go, but there's no incentive:

Remember in the Euroclubs they get no draft picks if they stink for a year. You win or you die. The only thing they have going for them is irrationally passionate fans who stick with a team whether or not they are winning, becasue they have a sort of Civic pride. And because the basketball teams are tied to their football clubs.

So. Point being, our chances of getting JCN this coming year are slimmer than Rip Hamilton on Jenny Craig.

Nah barring a surprise trade our offseason will likely be:

---#16 pick
---O.Pec.
---Blatche
---Half(+) the MLE for DS2
---#47 pick if someone good slips.
---Swap Haywood for a veteran with championship experience

And hold onto the LLE and the other half of the MLE for the sake of caproom and just in case we can pick up someone.

The only question I have is whether GMEG will try to resign JHayes on the cheap based on his postseason work and not his long resume of sub-mediocre play.

Posted by: doclinkin | June 3, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I have been thinking tonight that we as a team are so close to the Cavs who are going to the finals. I don't see a Cav dynasty unless they make major changes. The Pisotns and a Heat need to retool. Next year could easily be our year.

Big difference between us and Cavs is this: did you notice the TNT Cavs bench discussions during timeouts where they showed Labron having embraced his role as leader? He talked as much as Coach Brown and they seemed to be on same page. Most importantly he stressed that they work on defense. When the best player says it the coach's shouting begins to be heard. Until Gilbert and Ernie get on the same page and get committed to making stops consistently in the fourth quarter, rather than outscoring people, we will never surpass the Cavs, a team that I believe has less talent than we have.

I hope Spurs sweep. It will send great message to all these pretty, smallball offensive oriented teams that teamwork, discipline, on the ball defense and protecting the paint still wins rings.

Posted by: BmoreRev | June 3, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the anonymous writer, doclinkin, Bemorrev and George. The Wiz need strong leadership, Ernie G will have to be very, very savvy this year but as the anonymous writer wrote - I agree. Wiz need an entire bench. I said same before. It was so clear - Cav's rookie, D. Gibson, rolled out, filled in for Larry Hughes and helped win those games. Deron Williams, a 2nd yr rookie, stunned the NBA world, the 2nd round draft players with Golden State surprised a lot of folks. The rookie, Brown with Utah..rolled great his first time on court "in the playoffs"

And George T. I very much agree with you that hiding Blatche in the dark for fear of offers? So what are the Cavs, Utah, Golden State going to do now since they played their special hidden talented players? Nothing!!! Thats business and the desire to win in the NBA The purpose of signing a player is WINNING..I agree George. I thought our final game plans were odd, to say the least. But then I've never drawn a GM's paycheck and they are n't looking for a consultant --so for now, its just my opinion.

Wade & Shaq(maybe) are going to be so ready to make some noise this up coming year - Wiz better be ready.

Posted by: Robin | June 4, 2007 2:29 AM | Report abuse

Given the money limitations noted above, Ernie has to at least give Hayes the $3.5 million, one year qualifying offer. If another team gives him a much better contract, then the Wizards can refuse to match. If not, though, then they have him for one more year at $3.5 million. I know he struggled at times this year, but (1) he came off of two injury-filled seasons; (2) EJ had him playing power forward a lot; and (3) where will the Wizards find and how will the Wizards fit a similarly talented guy onto the team? You'd have to use the MLE. You can't complain about the Wizards lack of bench strength in one breath and then say, "Dump Jarvis" in the next. I'd rather the Wizards keep Hayes and then use the MLE for someone else. The Wizards might have no other option than to keep him for another year if it wants to have a decent bench this year. Plus, I would be willing to gamble another year on a lottery pick like Hayes who has shown real potential.

Posted by: Sean | June 4, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I don't see Arvis coming back at all. He just isn't worth it! I belive the wizards made a calculated mistake in not playing blatche down the stretch in fear of over exposure and the risk of losing him in the free agent market this year.

When ever you have a head coach that doesn't "personally" trust a player, It affects both the team and the player in terms of confidence. sometimes that damage is to sever and can't be corrected. AKA Brenda.

With olny 5 million in cap exemtion left and a former number one pick to sign in Pet Boy. Blatch is probable the odd man out over Deshawn and Pet Boy.

Then Blatche will exployed else where and Fast Eddie will be canned! Just like previous wizards befor Blatche.

Posted by: TheGodfather | June 4, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The more you watch the eastern playoffs, the more you realize how Les BouleS let opportunity and a chance at stardom slip away. These teams that are on TV are and were easily beatable by Les BouleS if they had held it together not just physically, but mentally.

Gilby should have skipped ASW to rest up, EJ shouldn't have let the team implode, EJ and Grunfeld should have nipped it in the bud between Etan and BTH, EJ should have played Blatche more, Grunfeld probably should have had Opech here to at least absorb some experience towards the end of the season, etc.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda, but the bottom line result year after year is deja vu curse of Les bouleS all over again.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 4, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Sure they sell shoes in Europe, and imagine how many shoes Navarro could sell if he'd come over here and stars on a team that would go deep in the playoffs. He could be in position to become an international star,that's one reason why he wouldn't come over to ride pine. If he's going to come up with the money to buy his way out of Europe he's going to want to be sure he's in the right situation to increase his marketing value not hurt it being just a role player. Got to sell alot of shoes to come up with a 6m buyout if that's what it is. I've read figures from 2m to 10m so I have no clue what the right figure is. I asked Micheal and Ivan to clarify, there were actually two different figures in the Post on the same day, but they've never posted anything.
I've only seen him in bits and peices over the years and I'm not sure how his game would really translate over here. The most similar guy that I can compare him to is Ginobilli with his slashing moves and assortment of finger rolls and midrange game. And he can really stroke it from long range, he does seem to do what ever it takes to win. I've seen games where he's worked as a classic point gaurd distributed the ball. I've seen him take over as a scorer, and I've seen him work without the ball.
I think if we go gaurd in the draft that would be a pretty sure sign that Navarro's not coming over this year. It's really hard to tell who will be available at 16 but chances are increasing by the day of getting a good player.
A couple of weeks ago I said there is always a guy that rockets up the draft boards out of no where. This year it looks like that guy could be Javaris Crittenton, Chad Ford has reported that the Hawks are talking about taking him at #11. And that the Clippers are hoping to get A.C. Law at 14. Supposedly there are some lottery teams that are taking a look at Tomic.
Each one of these guys that leapfrogs up into the lottery increases the chances that somebody is going to slip. At 16 Ernie is got to be waiting for someone to fall unexpectedly.
One guy that Ernie might be eying is Tiago Splitter. He's a guy that some early mock drafts had in the top 10 even though he's tied up in Europe another year. Lately it seems many of the drafts have him slipping. 7'0" centers that can play don't come around real often in the middle of the first round, even with the year's wait Ernie might find him hard to pass on.
I can't imagine that we won't match any offer that Blatch would get and I look for him to be a rotation plyer next year. We could have been hiding him at the end of the season, but I really think Eddie just didn't trust him in the more ball control system that he reverted to when Gil and Caron went down.
Jarvis is a tougher call, it's tough to improve your bench and just let a guy walk that was a first round pick and is coming off of two years of injury. If he doesn't fit here he could be packaged in a sign and trade deal as a way of improving the team.
Like Stevenson I don't think that he improved his value when he had the opportunity to step up at the end of the year. But they can both contribute on a winning team.

Posted by: GM | June 4, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Really, the only serious market outside of the US for shoes is China. That's why all major corporations are throwing money at Yao Ming even though his team was eliminated a long time ago, for several in a row now. In Europe, basketball stars are competing with futbol stars, which is the #1 sport in the world.

If Navarro wants a shoe, he needs to get in line behind Tony Parker, Ginobli, and even Dirk.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 4, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

If we want to sell shoes and Jerseys in China we'd be better off picking 6'9" smallforward/point guard Sun Yue.

He'd actually be a decent fit for the Wizards (and a poor fit for most teams ) at the shooting guard spot, despite the fact that he basically can't shoot.

He'd play a better passing version (and worse defending) of Jared Jeffries-- except that he can actually finish on the fast break. And of anybody out there I think he's the only guy I've seen who could actually learn Jamison's midrange game of flip shots finger rolls, floaters and junk ball array.

He's not my favorite guy in the 2nd round, but no question he'd be a crowd favorite in garbage time. And he'd sell hella tickets with various asian fans. Would probably make the allstar game on fan vote the first week the ballots are out.

Come on, we play in Chinatown for cryn' out loud.

---

I like Tiago, but he plays forward in Spain (defends the post against centers, but has no back-to basket game on offense). He's not a shotblocker, not an intimidator, not really a great rebounder (Nick Fazekas will be better) he's a 7' hustle player.

If he were able to play this year I'd take him. But there's Gilbert to account for. if the team doesn't look like we got a chance to advance, he's making noise about opting out. Taking TSplit this year doesn't make up for the risk of losing our franchise guy. We need a quick dose of instant improvement. JCN or no I'm happy if we take the best offguard available.

When else do you get a chance at a lottery quality 2-guard with a midround pick?


Still not a bad fit for what we do, except that

Posted by: doclinkin | June 4, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how high Li Jianlian is going to go. He's projected top 3 right now and many predict better than Yao Ming. Given that, I think Yao Ming is overrated. For my money, I'd take Corey Brewer at 3 though.

For the 2nd round pick, taking Sun Yue is a good idea. He'd be the only thing chinese in chinatown though. At 16, Les BouleS should pick the best available, not need.

I hope the Post provides better draft coverage than they have done in the past, besides pre and post coverage. USA Today blows the Post away easily.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 4, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

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