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Pesh arrives

I went down to Verizon Center this morning to see workouts involving center Glen "Big Baby" Davis (LSU), Italian sharpshooter Marco Belinelli, forward Jermareo Davidson (Alabama), shooting guard Brandon Heath (San Diego State) and forward Ali Traore (France) but was surprised to bump into Oleksiy Pecherov in the hallway.

The man called "Pesh" flew from the Ukraine to DC yesterday and was on the court working out with Andray Blatche and director of player development Harvey Grant when the day's draft workouts were over. Pecherov, last year's first-round pick, can sign a standard rookie contract after July 1. He said he's staying in DC from here on out and is looking forward to playing in the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins for the Wizards on July 10.

I got a chance to chat with Pecherov, whose English skills are pretty darn good for a 21-year old who has never lived in an English speaking country, and I got to watch him go through some drills with Blatche.

Here's what I saw:

-for starters, Pesh has obviously been in the weight room since last summer. His calf muscles were strong when I saw him a year ago but now they look like footballs and his upper body is bigger and more sculpted than last year. Still, he moves smoothly around the court with none of the awkard, funky-looking steps associated with some 7-footers. This kid's an athlete.

-It didn't take long to see that Pesh has a smooth shooting stroke and a feel for when to use the backboard and when to shoot straight on. The ball comes out of his hand with a nice rotation and it's obvious that he has good body control when going up for and coming down on his shot.

-Pesh and Blatche formed a relationship in Las Vegas last summer and they clearly have nice a chemistry going. I was watching them before and during their workout and they were talking, joking and encouraging one another. The most interesting thing was seeing two young athletes with that size (Blatche is 6-11 and Pesh is 7-feet) move like guards as they worked their way through various drills.

- I've pointed this out before but Ernie's vision for this franchise obviously includes having two long, athletic, multi-skilled playes who can swing between several positions. Blatche can play anywhere from the two to the four while Pesh can play anywhere from the three to the five. When you consider where this league is going in terms of big men, that's a very intriguing prospect for future Wiz teams. And yes, Blatche is a restricted free agent but I have no doubt in my mind that he's going to be in a Wiz uniform next season and beyond. Trust me.

- I asked Pesh about his routine in Ukraine to get an idea of how it was different from what he would have experienced had he been here with the Wiz last season or in the NBDL. He said BC Kiev played only around 40 games but practiced twice a day, several times a week. That may explain why he has such a solid fundamental background. "All we did was practice, practice, practice," he said. "We'd start with drills then go to four on four and then to five on five. We did this every day, twice a day. It was a lot of practice."

Oh, a couple of housekeeping items before getting to today's workout guys: it appears that last year's second-round pick, Vladimir Veremeenko, will be spending at least another year overseas. Veremeenko, who plays in Russia, has a nice contract and a nasty buyout clause. Also, an agent I spoke with today said he seriously doubts that Wiz fans will seen Juan Carlos Navarro in the blue and bronze (or is it black and gold, two-toned of course) anytime soon. I hear that Navarro's buyout option with Barcelona is as high as $10 million and the Wiz can only pay up to $500,000 of that so unless JC wants to cough up some serious loot, he's going to be playing in Spain for at least another year.

As for today's workout players, the most impressive thing I witnessed was Marco Belinelli's shooting touch. The guy can really stroke it, especially when he's curling off screens. He has a really quick release, moves well without the ball and clearly has major confidence in his shot. He averaged 16.4 points on 54.4 percent shooting in Italy's top pro league last season and dropped 25 points on the United States in a preliminary round game at last summer's World Championships. According to some scouts, Belinelli was the best player at the recently completed eurocamp in Treviso, Italy.

Belinelli is a legit 6-5 and is built exactly like a classic shooting guard. Not a lot of muscle but not a rail either, quick but not super explosive. Defense could be an issue. He's been projected to go somewhere late in the first round or early in the second but based on what I saw today and based on what folks were saying at the eurocamp, he could go higher.

The Wiz will continue working guys out on Thursday. I'll keep you posted.

By Ivan Carter  |  June 18, 2007; 3:53 PM ET
 
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Next: The Silly (Bryant) Saga That Won't End

Comments

...what a cliffhanger Ivan, we need more...

Posted by: Juan DC | June 18, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

from wut you saw who do u think is better pesh or blatche

Posted by: Anonymous | June 18, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, are you pulling a "Sopranos" ending on us? Where's the rest?

It's all love, though... you always give us great posts.

Posted by: Eric | June 18, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

THX Ivan - great insight.

Your'e killing me with the feast or famine.
1 post in 2 weeks and 2 posts in 1 day
you still da man!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 18, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'll be more regular in coming days. Took a few days off after covering the finals to catch my breath. I'm back on it now. Don't worry.

Posted by: Ivan | June 18, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Ah, some good Wizards material after that nonsense NBA finals. Good stuff, keep it coming.

Posted by: AV | June 18, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, love the posts. Do you think that have Pesh and Blatche signed for the next 3 years show enough promise to keep Gil around?

The way i see it, Butler is locked up, they need to upgrade the 2, but if we can get a frontcourt of Pesh abd Blatche, playing to the hipe, that could be a great team with Gil, (maybe 16th pick, caron, blatch, pesh (and using the Twans cap space to sign gil, and make upgrade th 2. I love twan, but at his age, and with our young talent, i cant imagine he will be here after this season.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 18, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Ivan! Welcome back bro! Thank you for the post, great info! Very glad to hear about Pesh! I am psyched!! And good info on Belinelli. But that really makes me even more intrigued about Rudy Fernandez, who from what I've read it rated as a better player with even more potential than Belinelli, and is expected to go around where we are picking. Any word on if we're working out Rudy?

I also noticed Pesh and Blatche played real well together last summer league, and seemed to compliment each other nicely.

Posted by: Darnell | June 18, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Ivan! Welcome back bro! Thank you for the post, great info! Very glad to hear about Pesh! I am psyched!! And good info on Belinelli. But that really makes me even more intrigued about Rudy Fernandez, who from what I've read it rated as a better player with even more potential than Belinelli, and is expected to go around where we are picking. Any word on if we're working out Rudy?

I also noticed Pesh and Blatche played real well together last summer league, and seemed to compliment each other nicely.

Posted by: Darnell | June 18, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Any more insight into JCN? How's the buyout going to look next year? Maybe he could just hold out in Barcelona?

Youtube makes him look like Steve Nash.

Posted by: Andy S | June 18, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, thanks again for coming back in a big way! I've been dying for some info and you came through with some great stuff here. Thanks for the word on Navarro, figured that was the case, at least we know not to get our hopes up. Do you think his rights have any trade value?

When I watched the summer league games last year, Blatche and Pech looked good together, had some nice passes and plays between them if I remember correctly, and their skills worked well together. Seemed to me though that Blatche was primarily the 4, with Pecherov mostly out on the perimeter at the 3 (at least on the offensive end), with Ramos at center. Regardless, it is intriguing to think of those 2 in a frontcourt together, where they could essentially switch back and forth between the 3 and 4 spots depending on matchups, and just to utilize their multiple skills. Plus Eddie says in his system they really don't have a 1, 2, 3, 4, they have two guards and two forwards.

Seems the Wizards are working out alot of guys projected as late 1st round, Gray, Belinelli, Byars, T.Green, Cook, Dudley, etc. Do you think Ernie is considering moving down?

And lastly, back to Pecherov, and what you said about the plans for the future. I'm just curious if you think Pech is a legitimate option at center now and/or in the future? Blatche played there a fair amount this past season, and I thought he looked very good there. Certainly not to be confused with Shaq, but possibly as a Camby type. Having someone with Blatche's skills at the 5 would be unique and a matchup problem for alot of teams. And he has the athleticism and shot-blocking ability to make it work. I guess I'm wondering of the two, who do you think is more suited for the 5, if either? Or do you think we will look for other options (like Aaron Gray) as far as our center of the future, with Pech and Blatche staying at the forward spots? Thanks.

Posted by: Darnell | June 19, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

So with no Navarro does that mean PG is a high priority for the Wizards in the draft?

Posted by: George Templeton | June 19, 2007 2:25 AM | Report abuse

"Seems the Wizards are working out alot of guys projected as late 1st round, Gray, Belinelli, Byars, T.Green, Cook, Dudley, etc. Do you think Ernie is considering moving down?"

What trade do you guys think we'd even be looking at? Not that Randolph trade I hope.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

"Seems the Wizards are working out alot of guys projected as late 1st round, Gray, Belinelli, Byars, T.Green, Cook, Dudley, etc. Do you think Ernie is considering moving down?"

What trade do you guys think we'd even be looking at? Not that Randolph trade I hope.

Posted by: Andy S | June 19, 2007 6:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow, looking forward to the Ukranian sensation joining the Wiz!

Posted by: Ricky Tan (DC) | June 19, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I would agree that it sure looks like Grunfeld is looking at alot of late first to early 2nd guys.
I think the Suns and Philly both have a pr. of late first picks. Could Ernie be thinking of trading our number one for two later picks? I think Darnell first floated that idea awhile back. Philly is rumored to be trying to move up in the draft, they could be considering trying to package our pick with their late lottery selection to move up again.
The Suns are desperate to move some salaries and don't want to carry a couple of late 1st rd rookies or have to have the cap holds for them. They over paid Marcus Banks and have Kurt Thomas on the last year of his deal. I'm not advocating taking either guy, but the rumor is they'd pay with draft picks to move the contracts. Kind of like years ago when Orlando gave us a draft pick to take Scott Skiles so they could sqeeze Shaq and Penny's salaries under the cap.
Jordan is supposed to be shopping the Bobcats second first round pick and is said to be looking to get some young Vets on his roster. I don't know if we have anything he's looking for but that's another possibility.
I'm thinking Grunfeld may have targeted Splitter or one of the other Euro prospects early. Splitter seems to have dropped from a lottery guy to many saying he'll be around in the 20's. Could Ernie be thinking he can get two guys that he targeted instead of one?

Posted by: GM | June 19, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Don't look too much into who Ernie is working out. Remember, its all a big smokescreen, especially with Ernie. Make no mistake about it, he's not going to draft Gray or Jason Smith or anyone like that. In fact, it probably means he is more interested in Rudy, who is not here.

Personally, I hope we get him. I think he has a lot of pro experience that will help him over here. And I think it's safe to say that Ernie will NOT trade down. He knows he needs help, now, and with this draft being as deep as it is, you can still get an impact player at 16.

Posted by: AV | June 19, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

What other players will the Wizards be bringing in? There are reports than Yi, Thorton, Brewer and Thaddeus Young are dropping. Will the Wizards get those guys in for workouts?

Posted by: Henry | June 19, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

For what it is worth, Peter Vescey is "reporting" that "Word has it the Wizards and Suns are discussing a Jamison-Shawn Marion swap."

Posted by: Joe | June 19, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Putting some of the above comments together, could the Wizards be thinking of packing Jamison and the #16 to the Suns for Marion and either or both of the Suns' first round picks?

Posted by: Sean | June 19, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

How would taking Jamison's contract help the Suns salary cap situation THIS YEAR? I would understand if it was for NEXT YEAR. Am I missing something with this trade?

Posted by: Wizzin' by Ya | June 19, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Yea I am not sure how taking on Jamison would help the Suns salary cap problems so we will see. Am I the only one who wonders about Sean Williams from BC. I know he has had problems and what not but the dude is a beast and would fit perfectly into our up-tempo system, plus is a great shot blocker and help defender. Let me know if I am out of line thinking he could possibly be a good pick for us.

Posted by: Trev | June 19, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

If Phoenix includes another player, such as Marcus Banks, there would be savings.

Posted by: Sean | June 19, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM


Trev, you're not the only one wondering about Sean Williams. I mentioned how talented he is and the typical high risk-high reward deal w/ him in a somewhat lengthy post about possible Wiz draftees. I totally agree that he could be a force IF ONLY his character issues aren't a big concern. Someone did say he was a headcase or something and the discussion about him being a good potential Wiz was shot down after that.


DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Sorry that last post was mine.

Posted by: Wizzin' by Ya | June 19, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Sean, including Banks in the trade would absolutely save the Suns a lot of cap space but there's no way EG takes that garbage contract for a player of Banks' abilities. That was a mistake on the Suns part in signing him to that contract. If they somehow include Banks in a trade w/ Marion for Jamison, there's got to be something really good for the Wiz for EG to even contemplate it.

Posted by: Wizzin' by Ya | June 19, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivan, I was wondering if you know anything about what's going on with Jarvis Hayes? Most people seem to think it's a foregone conclusion that he won't be back. I know alot of Wizard fans had high hopes for him, and he had a disapointing season. I think his confidence really took a hit when he lost the starting sg spot to DeShawn. I know going into training camp, he felt he was the starting 2, and would potentially provide us with a "big 4" but that obviously didn't come close to happening. I think that kind of set the tone for his season, and he was never able to adjust to the role of spark off the bench. He would come in shooting cold, trying to do too much too fast, and then his confidence seemed to just nosedive.

Anyway, just wondered if you knew what his mindset was. Is he down about the season, or is he confident he can do better and anxious to show that? Any chance he'll be a Wizard this season?

Also, your comment about the blue and bronze or the black and gold... I really disliked those gold uniforms, and not really a big fan of the smurf blue and bronze either. Any chance the Wizards might go red white and blue?? We're the nations capital, and it's patriotic. They could go with a modern look like the US Basketball team's got with the navy blue, or old school with an ABA type of style with some blue stars and red stripes down the sides. I mean, I understand why they changed the name from Bullets to Wizards, but I'll never understand why they changed our colors. I mean what did our colors have to do with gun violence? It's the colors of our flag! And as a longtime fan of our team and our history, I really resent them taking away our colors and I really don't dig it. And replacing it with that ugly teal or whatever, and don't even start with that disco dancer Gold garbage they wore last year. That was horrible!

Not that it will ever happen, but just as a comparison, if the Redskins ever changed their name as some advocate for them to do, and they changed to Warriors or some other such thing. Don't you think they'd still keep the burgandy and Gold as their colors? They would at least keep the colors for the fans! You think they'd change to some lame blue and bronze? Why Susan OMalley or whoever decided to take away our Red White and Blue I will never understand, and I will never be happy about it!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, last post was DARNELL

Also about the draft I wanted to say I think it would be good for us to trade down with the Suns if we can, our pick at 16 for their two later 1st rounders. I suggested this a couple months ago. With their 2 picks we could get a sg like Almond or Belinelli AND a center like Aaron Gray. The Suns can get a pf projected at 16 like Jason Smith, Splitter, or McRoberts. It makes sense for us because we already got players like them in Pecherov and Blatche, and Songaila. And we have two needs to fill at center and sg, and where the Suns are picking there will be good players available at those positions. And our 2nd rounder at 47 we can take a backup pg like Dowdell or JR Reynolds.

Posted by: Darnell | June 19, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Trading down only makes sense if Ernie puts together his "tiers" of prospects (interesting article on the tier concept by Chad Ford on ESPN's website, by the way), and finds that one of his tiers covers the 16th and 24th picks, for example, meaning that the tier has at least nine guys so that if the Wizards choose 24th instead of 16th, they are still choosing a guy in the same tier, not in a lower tier. Why trade the chance to draft one good guy for the chance to draft two so-so guys?
You look at draft history, and mid-round picks sometimes make the league and sometimes don't. Late first round picks have even less success.
Plus, where are you going to put all of these selections? I assume that Pecherov is going to replace Ruffin. Let's say you draft Gray with that second first round pick -- would he replace Booth? Sorry, but give me Calvin any day. And even if you think Gray is an upgrade from Booth, you are trading the 16th pick for a pick in the 20s so that you can exchange Booth for Gray? Pass.
Finally, I'm not sure of the history, but has trading down ever really worked? (The Houston-NJ trade a few years ago that gave the Nets Richard Jefferson and one of the Collins' brothers is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.)

Posted by: Sean | June 19, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Trading down can work if there's a specific player you want that you think is going to be around several picks later and you want to avoid paying the higher salary that comes with taking him higher. It's a risk, but then everything about the draft is a risk.

Nothing about the draft is an exact science. Lottery picks often turn out to be busts (Darko, Olowokandi, Kwame) and guys taken in the late first or second round often become stars (Arenas, Prince, JHoward, Redd, Boozer). There's no formula to it.

That being said, I still think Gray's a stiff, fated to become the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th, I've lost count) coming of Eric Montross.

Posted by: kalorama | June 19, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe that the Wizards should break off the trio of Arenas, Jamison and Butler. I think since the Wizards have now brought in "Pesh", they would need to play Blatch together with him and perhaps injurey reserve some rarely used Bigs. They need to play Daniel more & Taylor more also to keep the guns fresh.

Posted by: Tom Tom | June 19, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe that the Wizards should break off the trio of Arenas, Jamison and Butler. I think since the Wizards have now brought in "Pesh", they would need to play Blatch together with him and perhaps injurey reserve some rarely used Bigs. They need to play Daniel more & Taylor more also to keep the guns fresh.

Posted by: Tom Tom | June 19, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

They need to find a better option at the 3rd PG spot to avoid having to play Taylor at all. he's is simply not a rotation quality NBA player. Mason could be, however.

Posted by: kalorama | June 19, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I do not think that the Wizards should break off the trio of Arenas, Butler and Jamison. Now that they have brough in "Pesh", they would need to play "Pesh" and Blatch together more and inurey reserve some rarely used Bigs. They should play Daniel and Taylor more to keep fresh the top guns.

Posted by: Tom Tom | June 19, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I do not think that the Wizards should break off the trio of Arenas, Butler and Jamison. Now that they have brough in "Pesh", they would need to play "Pesh" and Blatch together more and inurey reserve some rarely used Bigs. They should play Daniel and Taylor more to keep fresh the top guns.

Posted by: Tom Tom | June 19, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Sean I see your point, but it would be good to do if we are targeting if a guy we want will be there later. For example, if the Suns want a guy like McRoberts or Jason Smith, and they don't think they'll be there when they pick at 24. We can trade them the 16 so they can get the guy they want, in exchange for their 2 picks at 24 and 29, if a player we want will be there at 24 such as Belinelli, Almond, Byars, Rudy Fernandez, Marcus Williams, Cook, there are a slew of good SGs projected later in the 1st. If that is the position we are drafting it would make sense to move down when we will still be able to get a guy we want, and add another pick in the process. With the 29 pick we can get a center such as Aaron Gray, Sean Williams, Marc Gasol, or Fesenko(who looks like he might be a steal, and the type of player we need: http://draftexpress.com/viewprofile.php?p=1065)

Posted by: Darnell | June 19, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Link didn't work right, here it is:
http://draftexpress.com/viewprofile.php?p=1065

Posted by: Darnell | June 19, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM

Kalorama, yeah in no way should Taylor be getting any more minutes than he has already. He's an OK defender due to his quickness and effort but for all intents and purposes, his outside shot is a turnover. In all honesty, his roster spot should be used by a better prospect. Mason is definitely a better player and shooter while being a more physical perimeter defender, sometimes too much so.


DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM

Posted by: Wizzin' by Ya | June 19, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree we gotta find a replacement for Taylor. He just is not a pg. At 47 we could have a shot at Zabian Dowdell who'd I'd love to get. If not, Ramon Sessions out of Navada could be a steal. Also I always liked Mustafa Shakur from AZ. I also thought Mason did pretty good, and wouldn't mind seeing him stick as a reserve sg, good D and comes in and knocks down some 3s.

Posted by: Darnell | June 19, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

And notice the game they scouted on Fesenko was against BC Kiev, Pecherov's team, so I'm sure Pesh knows all about him, as does Ernie. He's a true center 7-1 270, a low post player who's physical and athletic. Plus it would be cool for Pesh to have a teammate from his homeland.

If we can get this guys AND a sg like Belinelli or Almond that would be a very good draft for us!

Posted by: Darnell | June 19, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM


If we don't get one of the top SGs in the 1st, I hope we don't sleep on Aaron Afflalo. He would be a great 2nd round pick IMHO. The kid is a very good athlete (not great) but is tough, smart, and an unselfish team player. He'll be better than DS in a year or two especially on offense. Defensively, he's already as good or better defender than DS. He obviously didn't play well vs. Florida and Brewer but he was UCLA's number 1 scoring option vs. a stacked champ and best perimeter defender. He's not going to be asked to do that on the Wiz team. Offensively, he reminds me of an Allan Houston type player while he's like a Raja Bell type on defense. Every team needs a player like that especially the Wiz.


DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM

Posted by: Wizzin' by Ya | June 19, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

At best Gray is a second rounder, I think he'll make in the NBA, I'm just not sure his skill set match our offense.
The other thing that Ernie might be eying is picking up an additional draft pick in the second round. Portland has a slew of them, can't see them keeping them all unless they draft some guys they can park overseas.
These next few weeks will be interesting, seems like ESPN beleives our whole roster is in play. I really don't think Ernie will blow up what he's been building, but that he'll find away to keep building around his core.

Posted by: GM | June 19, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

DJ Strawberry is working out Friday. He actually reminds me alot of Stevenson, 'cept he's got a better handle and is a better passer too. I wouldn't mind picking him up in the 2nd round as a possible Taylor replacement. He's a guy I think could turn out to be better as a pro than he was in college.

Posted by: Darnell | June 20, 2007 1:49 AM | Report abuse

I thought Sessions pulled out of the draft. And I agree Dowdell would be a good idea at 47. It may to be earlier to do this with 8 days left until the draft, but what is everyone's top 3 choices for who the Wizards should take at 16? Mine are 1. Acie Law IV, 2. Tiago Splitter. 3. Nick Young.

Posted by: George Templeton | June 20, 2007 2:00 AM | Report abuse

George, Sessions stayed in.

As far as the draft I really like the idea of trading down, ideally with the Suns and picking up the 24 and 29 for the 16.

If we can do that then at 24 I like Almond, Belinelli or Byars.

At 29 I am really liking this guy Fesenko. He is a 7-1 270 Center from the Ukraine (same as Pesh). Here's an excerpt from his scouting report: "No wonder why everybody wanted to see Fesenko. The guy certainly looks intriguing. It starts with a remarkable physical/athletic profile. Not only is he a legit seven footer with a nice wingspan, and it doesn't finish with his strong body and solid frame; Fesenko is a pretty athletic guy who actually uses his gifts with a notable level of activity. He's a high-energy player, enjoying a solid understanding of the game, it's hard not to think of other international guys such as Andris Biedrins or Anderson Varejao when trying to project what kind of player he might be able to become in the NBA." And if he's not there either Aaron Gray or Marc Gasol.

At 47 I like Dowdell, Sessions, or Shakur.

If we do stay at 16, I like Young, Stuckey, or Rudy Fernandez.

Posted by: Darnell | June 20, 2007 2:30 AM | Report abuse

My top three for the 16th spot:
Anyone in the projected top 13 that slips (Thorton, Yi or Young, for example), Rudy Fernandez, and Stuckey. Wouldn't mind if Jason Smith were the pick either.
For the second round, I'd like to see a potential defensive stopper like Dominic McGuire or DJ Strawberry (though he might be an unselected guy the Wizards could sign after the draft), or going another way, Nichols, Dowdell or Glen Davis.

Posted by: Sean | June 20, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Interesting conversation guys , Reading the Ivan's story about Pecherov it's easy to see why Grunfeld likes the foriegn guys so much, it's the amount of practice time that they've put in. I'm old enough to remember when Grunfeld played, like Chris Mullin he was a gym rat kind of guy. I think Ernie is attracted to those kind of players, the ones that never have a tan.
The reason to trade down or make another deal that might yield a late first to early 2nd pick is the fact that there are alot of centers and shooting gaurds that appear to be going in that area of the draft. The reason not to deal down is that someone may unexpectedly fall out of the lottery. Seems like every year there's one of those guys picked early where you kind of go,who...and somebody falls unexpectedly.
I'm sure Ernie's working the phone looking at all kinds of possibilities. Don't forget he's also trying to move Haywood so there might be the possibilty of picking up a pick in a Haywood deal. And a sign and trade after the draft with Hayes is possible with someone picking a guy that they later deal to us.
Not all the good basketball moves involve blockbuster deals involving AllStars, this is the kind of stuff Ernie does best at. I think he's going to concentrate at building around his core this offseason, not trying to pull a deal that involves Arenas or Jamison as ESPN is reporting.

Posted by: GM | June 20, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

But is this the draft to trade down in. It looks like we can get a very good player at 16. Then again the draft is deep. I have heard very little about Haywood trade talk (again take a lesson Redskins executives), what will is Ernie looking to get for him.

Posted by: George Templeton | June 20, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I don't think this is the draft to trade down. I think much of the discussion about trading down is coming from the realgm contingent that seems to have a man-crush on Morris Almond. They might be right, but it seems that guy keeps being projected as a late 1st/early second round pick, maybe a Randolph Childress type that was very good in college against lesser competition but couldn't make it in the pros.

Posted by: Red | June 20, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that EG's keeping all of his options open at this point and may not decide his cours of action til he sees how the first round shakes out.

Posted by: GM | June 20, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

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