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Draft chatter

With the lottery out of the way and the rumor mill in full swing, it's time to really begin thinking about the June 26 NBA draft. The Wizards hold the 18th and 48th picks.

A couple of things to keep in mind:
-Don't be surprised if Ernie Grunfeld figures out a way to package the 18th pick in a trade. The Wizards already have four young players in Andray Blatche, Oleksiy Pecherov, Dominic McGuire and Nick Young and don't really need to have another young fella sitting on the bench unless the workout process unveils a young player who can really help next year.

-The annual Orlando pre-draft camp begins next week and the Wiz will be on hand to check out prospects. In the recent past, the pre-draft camp has been light on first-round prospects because players and their agents have elected to instead work out privately. To try to change that, a rule was put into place this year preventing teams from working guys out before the camp. Last year for instance, only three first rounders showed up (Daequan Cook, Jared Dudley and Aaron Brooks. I was there and really felt that Dudley and Brooks particularly stood out).
This year, more potential first-rounders are expected to attend including Ty Lawson, Brandon Rush and Joe Alexander but it's still light on the big names.

-Still, the players who really can help themselves are potential second-round guys and undrafted free agents. Last year for instance, McGuire attended and though he didn't particularly stand out to me, the Wizards were able to continue tracking him. That turned out to be key because an ankle injury prevented McGuire from attending an individual workout at the VC. A guy like Patrick Ewing Jr. could earn himself a spot on some team's summer league roster with an impressive showing in Orlando.
The pre-draft camp is helpful but be careful when reading about how players look down there because the games are guard-dominated and somewhat rag tag given that so many guys are trying to impress at the same time. A player like McGuire or a true post player can be easily lost in such a game while a point guard can be particularly impressive because they have the ball so much.

-Pay only passing attention to mock drafts. Last year for example, many mocks had the Wizards taking Thaddues Young or Jason Smith in the first round. In fact, the team wanted to go another direction because it already had two young power forward/center types in Blatche and Pecherov. Nick Yong didn't play in Orlando and really caught the eye of the Wiz during individual workouts. The Wiz will start working guys out as soon as the first week of June. I'll follow the process and update accordingly here.

- I'll pay particular attention to the point guards the Wiz look at because that is one area where this team could stand to add a talented young athlete, a guy who won't play a ton of minutes but maybe can help change the pace of a particular game by pushing the ball and pressuring on defense. Basically, a player the Wiz hoped Donell Taylor would become.
One player who intrigues me is Kansas PG Mario Chalmers. Another is North Carolina PG Ty Lawson, who could be there at 18.

By Ivan Carter  |  May 22, 2008; 12:57 PM ET
 
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Comments

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Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Pat Ewing as a FA signing sounds like a good idea. I doubt anyone drafts him unless as a favor to Pat Sr.

Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

PG makes a lot of sense to me. Gil doesn't distribute the ball naturally and AD doesn't push the ball any more, plus he's near the end of his career. Lawson would bring speed off the bench and give the team an added dimension. He has uncommon speed too.

I think they take a guard in the second and like the looks of Jamont Gordon and Lester Hudson. Hudson is 6'1 with 6'9 wingspan. he's a combo guard but was the first player in NCAA history to record a quadruple-double. All are works in progress but he could be our "Stuckey".

Posted by: Monte | May 22, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

draft jamont gordon in the 2nd.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Would Bill Walker make any sense at 18? He'd be by far the most talented and have the most upside of anybody left on the board that late. I love DeShawn, but unless he becomes, and not just talks about, being a true defensive stopper, he can't be a starting 2 on a Conference Finals team.

I know 2 isn't the biggest need for the Wiz, but they don't really have any huge need for any position. Draft for upside.

You could use Young/Walker at 2, and Caron/Walker at the 3. Plus, if you have Walker, once B-Easy's rookie contract runs out Walker could recruit him to come home to Washington.

Posted by: CRitch | May 22, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

don't like Lawson. would have to show me something against NBA talent. his J is flat and he has to be wide open to shoot it. i don't think he's 6 feet in shoes and he didn't show me the finishing skills at the basket that Felton did when he ran point at UNC. Lawson does have speed though end to end. would rather get Aaron Miles back over him. hope Ernie can somehow unload Etan or A-D this summer. maybe package one of those high $ salaries with the 18th pick and throw in that Grizzlies pick too.

Posted by: G$ | May 22, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

They aren't going anything of real value in trade for the pick. There's not a lot of demand for the number 18 draft selection, and none of the players they have to offer in combo with the pick are in high demand.

Ewing Jr. is a Turiaf, Maxiell, Millsap type of player. I can easily see some team taking a chance on him in the second round.

Posted by: kalorama | May 22, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Ivan,
The Wiz had their pg last year and let him walk (Aaron Miles). Do you think Grunfield would trade for a pg rather than draft one? And how bad does that JCN trade looks now? I know Ernie didn't want to pay him, but at least he could've got something (Kyle Lowry) back instead of a draft pick we'll never see. If thats the case, why didn't he just drop him off for some money like Phoenix does?

Posted by: C.Bell | May 22, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Grizzlies weren't going to offer Lowry (or anything else of value) in trade for Navarro. If a trade deal hadn't been worked out, Navarro was going back to Europe. The Wizards had no leverage. It was either take what they got or let him go for nothing.

Posted by: kalorama | May 22, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Another thing Ivan or Mike, I was wondering if Chicago had any interest in Eddie Jordan. Eddie ALWAYS gets overlooked by the media but he's (and not D'antoni) been to the NBA finals twice with a Jason Kidd running his (and not Byron Scott) offense. And now Chi-Town has a chance of drafting Derrick Rose who many call "Jason Kidd with a jump shot". Also, he's known as a player's coach. I know Avery might be considered the favorite but I was just wondering if Paxson has made any contact to the Wiz about Eddie?

Posted by: C.Bell | May 22, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Jordan for Luol Deng in a trade would be sweet.

"Don't be surprised if Ernie Grunfeld figures out a way to package the 18th pick in a trade. The Wizards already have four young players in Andray Blatche, Oleksiy Pecherov, Dominic McGuire and Nick Young and don't really need to have another young fella sitting on the bench unless the workout process unveils a young player who can really help next year."

I don't understand this thinking. Is Grunfeld going to package the 18th pick and a player for a starter? To replace whom? If not, then what Ernie gets in return for the 18th pick will be on the bench, too. And it's not as if the Wizards four young players all ride the pine. Blatche was a key rotation player all year, and Young figures to be next year.

The best argument for trading the 18th pick is that EJ and his staff haven't shown an ability to develop draft picks, so why not trade the pick for a player some other coach has already developed?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"The best argument for trading the 18th pick is that EJ and his staff haven't shown an ability to develop draft picks, so why not trade the pick for a player some other coach has already developed?"

Damn good point.
I think the Wiz are in a different position than a lot of teams, though, and it's partially a testament to EG. Excepting AJ, our most talented players are all relatively young and under contract for a little while. We have a window of opportunity that should be open for at least another 3-5 years (assuming we resign GA and AJ). That being the case, we really could draft young and develop guys. Now whether we have the ability to develop them is another story.
I think folks around here including me get impatient but we really could take our time and build something. If we had to tear it down and rebuild, there's time because our core should be intact for a while.

Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

how about songaila and the 18th for to milwaukee for villanueva and their 2nd

Posted by: jojo | May 22, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Then again, if we're rebuilding I guess that means rebuilding the core. My guess would be that EG packages a player or two and/or the pick and goes after a veteran just for depth. If we try to get a PF, we're pretty much admitting that the Songaila signing was a failure. Our area of need would be sg in my opinion. Deshawn was subpar all year and NY may not be deemed to be ready. I don;'t see any starter quality names out there on the Unrestricted FA list.

Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The best argument for trading the 18th pick is that EJ and his staff haven't shown an ability to develop draft picks, so why not trade the pick for a player some other coach has already developed?

Posted by: | May 22, 2008 3:24 PM

Unless the team is UNDER the Salary cap, you can't just trade a pick for a player.

Since the Wizards are over the salary cap - the incoming salaries for players received must match (or be very close) to the outgoing salaries for players traded.

Therefore, the only value the 18th pick has for the Wizards are:
1. Choose a player in the Draft with the pick.
2. Combine the pick with an existing player and trade for another player (with a matching salary)...

Posted by: Rook | May 22, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Let's just draft CDR and call it a day.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"2. Combine the pick with an existing player and trade for another player (with a matching salary)."

Problem is, assuming the big 3 are off limits, none of the rest of the Wizards players have much market value. They're either average (at best) vets on relatively overvalued deals or really raw young guys on cheap deals. The 18th pick isn't enticing enough to get teams to trade anything of value for the former and all the Wiz will likely get for the latter are (A) other really raw young guys on cheap contracts or (B) borderline journeyman on cheap contracts.

Posted by: kalorama | May 22, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Problem is, assuming the big 3 are off limits, none of the rest of the Wizards players have much market value. They're either average (at best) vets on relatively overvalued deals or really raw young guys on cheap deals. The 18th pick isn't enticing enough to get teams to trade anything of value for the former and all the Wiz will likely get for the latter are (A) other really raw young guys on cheap contracts or (B) borderline journeyman on cheap contracts.

Posted by: kalorama | May 22, 2008 4:21 PM

OH - not so sure about that...

How about a trade with Memphis... They're looking for size (specifically a Center).

We could package the 18th pick, Etan Thomas, and Andre Blatche for:
Mike Miller and Kyle Lowry

The Griz are packed with Point Guards, and it looks like Lowry is the odd man out. They've been shopping Mike Miller around since last season. They would get an established NBA Starting Center (Thomas), and a promising big man with a raw but developing outside game (Blatche). With the 18th pick, they could also pick up a young Center to groom (Hibbert, Lopez, McGee, or Marreese Speights)...

The Wizards would get a young PG to back-up Arenas/Daniels - and a big (6'8") shooting guard with tremendous range and a very good shooting percentage (over 50% last year, over 43% from 3) to come off the bench. He can also play some SF.

Need to sweeten the pot? Give em the draft rights to Veremeenko(6'11") and give em back their useless 1st round pick.

Posted by: Rook | May 22, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Rook, that would leave us with BTH and Pech as our only C options. I think our biggest weakness against the Cavs was rebounding and interior size. I'm almost positive we'd never give away that many assets for Lowry and Miller when our present sf and pg are all stars. (I still consider GA an all star)

Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Love the idea of a point guard for the Wiz, especially with the Gilbert situation (is health and contract) up in the air. I wrote as much in one of those dreaded mock drafts the other day.(http://www.fftoolbox.com/basketball/2008/2008-nba-mock-draft-projections.cfm).

As for dealing the pick, yes in theory it would be for a vet or specific role filler (post scorer, offensive reboudner, etc) and it makes sense. Assuming Arenas and Jamsion return, the Wiz are 10-deep already so adding another young guy wont do much for now.

Posted by: Ben | May 22, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I just say keep the pick and put Pech in the NBDL. He's 2 years away from being a contributor. PG and PF are the immediate needs.

Posted by: Dave, | May 22, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

It would also solve their dilemna about what to do with their pick at # 5.

The Grizzlies desperately need a Center after trading Gasol for Kwame Brown. If they get Thomas, they could then use their #5 pick to take O. J. Mayo (instead of filling a need by taking Brooke Lopez or Kevin Love)... Mayo is one of probably only a handful of players in the draft right now that WILL be able to contribute to an NBA team right away. And he could easily fill in the void left by Miller.

Posted by: Rook | May 22, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Etan is virtually untradeable until 2009, when his expiring contract is looming and looks attractive. He signed a 6 year deal in 2004. Given his health history, I'm thiking he's gonna be a Wizard until 2009 at least.

Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Rook, what do they Wiz do for a 5 with no Etan and no AB?

Dave, If Pech needs 2 years in the NDBL, he's not an NBA caliber player and just needs to be released. He's played professionally for years. It's time to show something or leave. I personally think he can contribute.

Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Why are so many people wanting to trade Blatche? He's 21 years old!!!!!! If he just finished his junior year in college and put his name in the draft, everyone on this blog would be saying the Wizards should draft him.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking...the funny thing about immediate needs are that as soon as a guy gets hurt, that position becomes an immediate need. If AJ were to go down long term or CB, we would be in desperate need of a PF or SF.
I'm saying that to say this... I doubt that Ernie sees pg as an immediate need if GA is healthy. An all star with a capable veteran backup is more than we can say we have at any other position. If anything, we're probably set at pg and sg and need help everywhere else. While getting a nice young pg like Lowry sounds good, he'd get very little time behind GA and AD and would just be a waste of talent on the bench. We'd probably be better off getting a big because he'd probably be in a position to get some minutes.

Posted by: mark | May 22, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

not sure if the salaries would work for Lowry and Miller for Etan & a pick. The Grizz might very well be willing to part with Lowry now but the Wiz may not have the assets. Could we sign and trade Mason Jr in that deal also? The Wiz need a pg and another center. It might take a 3rd team to make the deal beneficial to the Wiz.

Posted by: G$ | May 22, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"How about a trade with Memphis... They're looking for size (specifically a Center).

We could package the 18th pick, Etan Thomas, and Andre Blatche for:
Mike Miller and Kyle Lowry"

Aside from the fact that he's undersized, Thomas is also overpaid and injury-prone. Add to that the fact that the Grizzlies have spent the entire season shedding veteran players and long-term contracts like dirty clothes and there's no reason to think they'd be interested in Etan. it's pretty clear that, given their unsettled ownership situation and the team's impending (?) sale, keeping the payroll under control is as or more important to them than what happens on the floor. Trading for Etan does nothing to help them on either front.

Posted by: kalorama | May 22, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

besides, they already got the rights to Marc Gasol in the L.A. deal, thus filling (at least for now) their need for a project big man to develop.

Posted by: kalorama | May 22, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The wiz should do what they scout the players. Then just take the best player on their board. its simple

Posted by: Matt | May 22, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm still for taking gist with our second rounder. He's very athletic and could provide some much-needed interior defense and shotblocking.
Meanwhile, I have an interesting question. Who would you take, the Wizards Big 3 or Boston's Big 3? Personally, I would take GA,CB, and AJ but that has a lot to do with their youth and the fact that Ray Allen can't hit an open layup right now. The youngest member of the Boston Three Party is Pierce, who is 29 but has a lot of mileage on him. Same goes for KG.
...Just some thoughts

Posted by: Matt | May 22, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Etan Thomas & Blatche for Lowry? are you smoking crack? dude who the hell cares about kevin lowry the dude is a bum, hes a joke, get off his nuts man your obsessed. I say w/ the 18th pick draft 7 foot 8 behometh KEVIN GEORGE from UNC ASHEVILLE!!! WE need another Muresan in D.C., 18th pick is garbage anyways, why not get an 8 foot freak & make him into another one of EJ's pet projects.

Posted by: aJ | May 22, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

If Chicago takes Beasley with the first pick, then Chicago will not need Drew Gooden, who can be the rebounder and experienced player with size the Wiz need. The Wizards first round pick could sweeten the trade for Gooden to Chicago. Etan Thomas salary is very close to Gooden's salary. I hope Ernie Grunfeld would consider.

Posted by: Joe | May 22, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Joe that Drew Gooden could be cut loose by Chicago, and would be a good pick up by DC. Plus, he's so quirky, he'll make the rest of the Wizards seem normal by comparison.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Please, no, no, no Drew Gooden. Dude can't catch the ball and his head goes to la-la land at random times. Not what we need, got enough defensive discipline problems already.

Posted by: andy | May 22, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

it's nice to see people so optimistic, but I must say, the trade ideas that get batted around on this board are absurd. "I know! let's trade Etan Thomas, who may or may not ever play ball again, and whose contract is outrageously bloated, for Mike Miller!" splendid idea. funny they didn't think of that as part of the JCN deal.. I can't imagine why not.

or, "you know who the Bucks are probably very, verrrry interested in? oh yes, you guessed it -- it's Darius Songaila! Charlie Villanueva will be ours! bwaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaaaa haaaa!" (rubbing hands together fiendishly)

and to the guy who said that Aaron Miles was the Wizards' best point guard opportunity- come on now Aaron, is that you?

I see the Wizards keeping their draft picks. they're not in any better position for a trade deal now than they were when they were trying to unload Navarro. all their leverage is in players they're unlikely to part with. they need to focus on the talent available to them, and make cuts or adjustments as necessary.

Posted by: satch | May 22, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

they should bring Kwmame back. he's a free agent, right? i don't think he'll be getting big bucks.

maybe people can forget that he was a number one, and maybe he can get it together, at least a little. The Wizards need a big guy who can get a rebound and push people around. the guy doesn't have to score any points. Brown could do potentially do that, if somebody could teach him to be nasty.

it might actually be worth a try.

Posted by: stevie | May 22, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

trade the 18th and daniels/etan to move up to grab a lottery if possible or trade for a young up and coming PG. Lamont Gordan is a good second round pick. But in the first i like McGee or Nicolas Batum or France.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if there is any possibility of re-signing Roger Mason. He played a lot at the point and I thought he did pretty well.

Posted by: John Brisker | May 23, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

I think if we are going to trade, the best thing to do, would be to trade Haywood. Lets face it, he is NOT going to get any better. Other teams may feel encouraged by his progress this past season ... scuffle-free, improving FT%, etc. His trade value right now is at the highest it can be. And we must take advantage of that. Couple him with the 18th pick. Call me crazy, but I think we could get a guy like Okafor out of that.
If we decide to draft, do a value pick rather than a need pick. I do not like any PGs realistically available when the Wiz pick. I think the 2 most NBA ready players realistically available at the time of our pick are Marrese Speights (C) and Donte Greene (SF).

Posted by: arenasmvp4ever | May 23, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

Trade G-Wiz for the Bulls first pick.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if there is any possibility of re-signing Roger Mason. He played a lot at the point and I thought he did pretty well.

Posted by: John Brisker | May 23, 2008 12:57 AM

If some other team offers him their mid-level exemption or some other figure that would put the Wizards in luxury tax-land, I don't think the team will match. If Arenas resigns (that is, assuming he does opt out) and is healthy next year, they won't need Mason to play the point, and they can give his minutes at the 2 guard to Nick Young. I thought it was very significant that EG said that the team's off-season priorities were resigning Arenas and Jamison, with no mention of Mason.

Posted by: rbpalmer | May 23, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

In terms of moving up in the draft, one team that is not trying to get younger is Portland, and they could use a steadying hand at PG. Perhaps Daniels and Thomas for Portland's 13th pick plus Rael LaFrentz(whose contract expires at the end of next season). The numbers work, even when Etan's trade kicker is factored in, I believe. I'm not convinced that deal makes the Wizards better, but it does offer a lottery pick and cap relief.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

If they let Mason go, they still need to find a #3 point guard. The best option is to resign mason if possible.
For all of the talk about what we may do, I would not be surprised if the Wiz traded the #18 for a future pick and just tried to roll with what we have. I'm pretty sure that if Etan is healthy next year (big if), EJ will find some minutes for him. As an energy guy playing limited minutes of the bench, ET is pretty good. His numbers are as good as or better across the board than Anderson Varejao's. We may not be as far off as some think in terms of inside beef. I've always hated on Etan because of the whole BTH vs. Etan thing and I like BTH's impact on the game more than Etan's. When I view ET as a backup, though, he starts to look a heck of a lot better.

Posted by: mark | May 23, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I also still think that you can't discount Pech. For all of his faults, he's still 7 feet tall with long arms and a solid trunk. He seems to rebound decently when you play him. He only played over 20 minutes twice last year and had 15 points 5 rebounds in 23 minutes(don't look at the 6 turnovers) and 10 points with 10 rebounds in the other game. Let's give him a shot at a few minutes and see what he does. It's hard to gauge a guy when he's getting sporadic time. While he aint Dirk, he could very well be Biedrins. Let's see.

Posted by: mark | May 23, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

On a different note, it's interesting and kind of sad that Jarvis Hayes has 6 minutes total in the last 4 games for Detroit, with DNPs in the last 2 games.

I bet he misses the days of playing 20 minutes per game at power forward for Eddie.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

mark, re. pecherov I agree we should play him more. I believe he has decent passing skills. While I am not sure about his back to the basket abilities, he has made (and received) good passes leading to baskets between him and Blatche as well as him and Songaila. That leads me to believe that he will play well with whomever he has practiced. If he practices with the first team, he will learn their habits too.

Posted by: rgz | May 23, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

stevie, I like the idea of bringing Kwame back as a backup center. Only two problems: 1) Kwame thinks he's a starter and has the attitude to match it 2) he's going to get booed regardless of whether he plays well or badly. If he resigns himself to being a backup, then folks will not expect much out of him, and won't need to see any improvement. He'll probably end up somewhere with a nice contract for a couple more years - people still like 7 footers.

Posted by: rgz | May 23, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Trade for Raef LaFrentz? Seriously? It is possible that no other blog, no other web site and no other fan board---for any NBA team---has had someone post THAT idea this year. That is astounding.

Someone else said sign Kwame. Wow. Seriously?

A lot of people seem to want to trade AD. Wow. Seriously? He is the perfect backup PG. He doesn't turn the ball over, his assist to turnover ratio is fantastic, and he is stable and dependable. I don't want him starting, and I don't buy the "Wizards are better without Gil argument" but the fact is, last season the offense was stagnant and awful until Gil got hurt. When AD started playing regular minutes, there was a flow and ball movement that was refreshing... Don't get rid of AD.

Posted by: psdfx | May 23, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Trade for Raef LaFrentz? Seriously? It is possible that no other blog, no other web site and no other fan board---for any NBA team---has had someone post THAT idea this year. That is astounding.

Someone else said sign Kwame. Wow. Seriously?

A lot of people seem to want to trade AD. Wow. Seriously? He is the perfect backup PG. He doesn't turn the ball over, his assist to turnover ratio is fantastic, and he is stable and dependable. I don't want him starting, and I don't buy the "Wizards are better without Gil argument" but the fact is, last season the offense was stagnant and awful until Gil got hurt. When AD started playing regular minutes, there was a flow and ball movement that was refreshing... Don't get rid of AD.

Posted by: psdfx | May 23, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Re: Kwame.
It's interesting that he is exactly what this team needs, if he had developed properly. It makes sense that since the team was built with him in mind, that when he didn't pan out, he left a hole that has yet to be filled. He had the promise to be exactly what the Wizards now need -- a bruising PF who is an excellent defender, and can score on the blocks -- but it didn't turn out that way.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

That trade wasn't FOR Rael LaFrentz. It was FOR the 13th pick and cap relief. LaFrentz came as part of the deal.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

One more thought, everyone who is down on Blatche or wanting him to be traded is simply out to lunch. I would be very angry with EG for trading him unless the deal was beyond great.

He is (I believe) younger than NY and DM. He has just finished his third year. His contract is very reasonable, considering his upside. He can play 4 or 5 and even 3 in a pinch.

Here is the key thing about AB. Consider Jermaine O'Neal, also drafted out of high school, averaged--in his third year--9 minutes a game for Portland. He averaged fewer than 3 rebounds and fewer than 3 points per game. Even his fourth year was less productive than AB's season this year, by far.

O'Neal went to Indy before the 2000-01 season, and THAT was when he began to blossom. I'm guessing Portland wishes they hadn't given up on him.

I'm not saying AB will become a superstar, but I'm going on record as saying it is way too early to write him off or to give up on him.

Posted by: psdfx | May 23, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

OK, one more.

Kwame HAS shown one remarkable trait. Every time he is traded the team that gives him away ends up getting a star. But I think that run is just about over.

Kwame could have been great... if he could have ever learned the semi-important skills of (a) actually catching passes that were thrown to him in the post; and/or (b) actually holding onto the ball without turning it over once he did manage to somehow corral the ball.

Posted by: psdfx | May 23, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Etan Thomas & Blatche for Lowry? are you smoking crack? dude who the hell cares about kevin lowry the dude is a bum, hes a joke, get off his nuts man your obsessed. I say w/ the 18th pick draft 7 foot 8 behometh KEVIN GEORGE from UNC ASHEVILLE!!! WE need another Muresan in D.C., 18th pick is garbage anyways, why not get an 8 foot freak & make him into another one of EJ's pet projects.

Posted by: aJ | May 22, 2008 6:43 PM

Talk about smoking crack!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Etan Thomas & Blatche for Lowry? are you smoking crack? dude who the hell cares about kevin lowry the dude is a bum, hes a joke,
Posted by: aJ | May 22, 2008 6:43 PM

hmmm... now there's a person that's really in tune with the NBA...

KEVIN Lowry...

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

How many imaginary Kevins are there in basketball? see above, should be Kenny George and Kyle Lowry?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know what the word is on Veermenko? Can he play for us, will he play for us, what position, what would he do to our salary cap situation?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Etan Thomas & Blatche for Lowry? are you smoking crack? dude who the hell cares about kevin lowry the dude is a bum, hes a joke, get off his nuts man your obsessed. I say w/ the 18th pick draft 7 foot 8 behometh KEVIN GEORGE from UNC ASHEVILLE!!! WE need another Muresan in D.C., 18th pick is garbage anyways, why not get an 8 foot freak & make him into another one of EJ's pet projects.

Posted by: aJ | May 22, 2008 6:43 PM


Kenny George is not ranked very high in any pre-draft scouting reports (certainly not high enough to spend a 1st round pick on). AND, he has not declared for the draft, so the Wizards could not pick him, even if they wanted to.

You know, I don't mind criticism from knowledgable NBA fans....

Kal, Thanks for your remark about Memphis not needing a Center project because they already have the rights to Marc Gasol - I had forgotten that LA had thrown him into the trade.

Mark - you pointed out that without Thomas and Blatche, our backup Center would be Pecherov. - Something I didn't even think about when I suggested the trade.

But aJ - At least learn the player's names. Don't come in here saying the Wizards should take a player that has not even declared for the draft.

And to call KYLE Lowry a bum and a joke says much about your Basketball knowledge, or lack thereof.

Perhaps you could say that Lowry needs work on his 3-point shot; or perhaps you could say he needs more seasoning - but

He played 82 games last year for Memphis (an NBA team, by the way - NOT UNC Asheville !!), and averaged almost 10 points per game on 43% shooting with 3.6 Assists per game and a decent 2 to 1 Assist to turnover ratio (especially considering how young he is). He has blazing fast speed and quickness; and he's a pretty good rebounder for his size - averaging almost 5 per game.

To call him a bum and a joke only proves that either:

1. You don't watch too much Basketball and you are ignorant.

2. You are a troll looking for a fight.

Posted by: Rook | May 23, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know what the word is on Veermenko? Can he play for us, will he play for us, what position, what would he do to our salary cap situation?

Posted by: | May 23, 2008 11:24 AM

The last word I saw on Veermenko was that he does want to play in the NBA, but he has a buy-out in his Russian contract. Similar to the Navarro situation.

Posted by: Rook | May 23, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody have any insights about the kid from UVA as a potential second round pick to fill our need for a third PG?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Unless they think Veermenko is going to be an immediate impact player, I don't any reason why the Wizards would bring him over next year, given that their against the lux tax and the front court is already crowded with projects and so-so role players.

Posted by: kalorama | May 23, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Ernie: How about DSong, ET and #18 for Zach Randolph? He would be a great 6th man for the Wiz. He can play both PF and SF to reduce AJ and CB's minutes as well.

Posted by: oddjob | May 23, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

EDIT:

Unless they think Veermenko is going to be an immediate impact player, I don't see any reason why the Wizards would bring him over next year, given that they're against the lux tax and the front court is already crowded with projects and so-so role players.

Posted by: kalorama | May 23, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

You do realize Isiah Thomas is no longer running the Knicks, right? (And I won't even get into the notion of Zach Randolph as a SF.)

Posted by: kalorama | May 23, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's more about Vladimir Veremeenko, currently playing for Khimki in the Russian League.


http://www.ulebcup.com/ulebcup/home/on-court/players/showplayer?clubcode=khi&pcode=LLM

At least from the stats I see on that web page, Veremeenko looks like a scrub on the Russian ULEB club... only appearing in 9 games (4 starts). Averaging 15mpg, 5.9ppg (52% shooting), 3 rebounds and 1 assist.

I think he's probably still a couple years away from making it in the NBA, IF HE MAKES IT AT ALL!

Posted by: Rook | May 23, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Satch is right on. Listen up, folks: NO ONE IS GOING TO TAKE ETAN THOMAS! He has 0, as in Zero (and I don't mean Agent) trade value. Until he's in the last year of his deal, you won't get a jelly donut for him. Ain't gonna happen, not no way, not no how.

Know why Memphis traded Kwame for Gasol? "He was the biggest expiring contract we could find," to quote their GM.

Please stop with these pie-in-the-sky trade proposals involving Etan.

Posted by: Keithinator | May 23, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Here is the key thing about AB. Consider Jermaine O'Neal, also drafted out of high school, averaged--in his third year--9 minutes a game for Portland. He averaged fewer than 3 rebounds and fewer than 3 points per game. Even his fourth year was less productive than AB's season this year, by far.

O'Neal went to Indy before the 2000-01 season, and THAT was when he began to blossom. I'm guessing Portland wishes they hadn't given up on him.

They didn't give up on him. At the time Portland's frontcourt was crowded with productive veterans with big contracts (a couple of whom were recent all-stars). They knew he'd be a good player down the road, but they were a potential contending team at the time and didn't have the minutes to give him on the floor and knew he'd bolt as soon as he became a FA, so they traded him rather than lose him for no return.

Blatche's situation is very different. When O'Neal got his first taste of extended run in Indy, he made the most of it. Blatche got his shot this season and was inconsistent, mistake prone, and often looked lost.

He doesn't have a bunch of quality players ahead of him. He played every game this season and was the primary backup at C and while his raw ability is obvious, his weakness were also on open display. His talent isn't the question; his attitude and commitment are.

Posted by: kalorama | May 23, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Problem is, assuming the big 3 are off limits, none of the rest of the Wizards players have much market value. They're either average (at best) vets on relatively overvalued deals or really raw young guys on cheap deals. The 18th pick isn't enticing enough to get teams to trade anything of value for the former and all the Wiz will likely get for the latter are (A) other really raw young guys on cheap contracts or (B) borderline journeyman on cheap contracts.

Posted by: kalorama | May 22, 2008 4:21 PM

THANK YOU ... all the talk about just packaging the 18th pick and Blatche or the 18th pick and Etan is unrealistic. Unless Ernie works some real magic, there is no team that wants these pieces in return for a solid post player or a quality PG.

Millsaps and Maxiels are not exactly a dime a dozen, the 18th pick is a crapshoot, and i don't think too many teams are in the market for a guy who just missed a full season following heart surgery or a listless bum like Blatche. If there is anyway possible to get something in return for Etan, Blatche or Pecherov I'd be all for it, but it seems unlikely.

And I agree with whoever said not to trade AD. Outside of the "big 3" he is the best veteran player on this roster, and more often than not AD plays with the most poise in the 4th quarter of a tight game.

Posted by: pepcoenergy3 | May 23, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Ivan - I like the Chalmers call. If they use the 18th pick (which I hope they do) I think Chalmers, B Rush, or Douglass-Roberts would all be nice picks if they're still on the board. I say Rush ... but I think all three could provide meaningful contributions right away ... experienced college players who have proven they can play on the biggest stage to this point.

Posted by: pepcoenergy3 | May 23, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree that taking the best player available who is a proven college player is the wizards' best bet. We have four "projects" (Pecherov, Blatche, Young, and DM to a lesser degree) already and could you use some good college experience to fill in the roster.

Posted by: tribe | May 23, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

My vote for the Wiz draft pick at #18 is Roy Hibbert. He's a 7-2 278lb center who can shoot, rebound, and block. They've needed a big, backup center for years and that would free up Blanche, Songaila, Pech, and possibly Thomas to backup at PF. Haywood was much improved last year and is the staring center.

I'd prefer to resign Mason, as the #3 PG, rather than draft Ty Lawson -- he's too small at 5-11. I wouldn't draft another SG, because I don't think any of the available draft picks could unseat Young as the backup.

The Wiz have two open slots on the team. There's a chance Thomas might not make it back or they could try to resign Jamison and Gilbert at a certain value, where there is enough money left to sign Mason and two rookies + still be under the luxury tax.

Posted by: Siris | May 23, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I really don't care who they draft as long as its not a foreign bum (ala Pecherov) or Roy Hibbert.

Posted by: bryan | May 23, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I really don't care who they draft as long as its not a foreign bum (ala Pecherov) or Roy Hibbert.

Posted by: bryan | May 23, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

No PGs worth taking when we pick in the 1st round. If you really want a PG, the best thing to do would be to get Jamont Gordon, in the 2nd round. We need immediate production and there are only 4 realistic prospects that would be able to provide this by the time we pick 18th. And this is the order.

1. Marresse Speights
2. Donte Greene
3. Nicolas Batum
4. Brandon Rush

Posted by: arenasmvp4ever | May 24, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

In the draft I really would love to see us get Roy Hibbert.

As far as a pg addition, I'd like to get Carlos Arroyo from Orlando. He's an unrestricted FA who should be in our mid-level budget range if we are not keeping Mason.

Posted by: Darnell | May 26, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

I also like the idea of trading Stevenson and Etan to Chicago for Hughes. Throw in the pick we got from Memphis and our 2nd round pick this year if that helps get it done.

After Stevenson running his mouth during the playoffs, and seeing Hughes at the game, I'd love to get him back here. Moving Etan also keeps more pt open for Haywood and Blatche, and opens a spot for Hibbert to come in.

Posted by: Darnell | May 26, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Haywood
Hibbert
Blatche
Songaila
Pecherov
Jamison
McGuire
Butler
Hughes
Young
Daniels
Arenas
Arroyo

Posted by: Darnell | May 26, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Ernie will deal the pick along with rights to Veremeenko if he can unload AD, Song or especially Etan.

If we keep the pick, Ernie does not draft on need so the big question will be, who will be BPA at pick #18? Someone is going to fall us, and that is who Ernie will pick regardless of position.

Posted by: Realistic | May 27, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I like Darnell's suggestion but the problem with Etan is that he has 2 years left on his contract and Stevenson has three. None of our veteran reserves are going to attract much interest or bring much in return. Hughes is injury-plagued and needs the ball in his hands to be effective (not to mention his contract is $12-14M per year). Songaila appears to have been a bust for what we paid and the length of his contract. Don't understand signing him long-term when we could have gotten him for the MLE two years ago.

Best move for the Wizards at No. 18 is a quick PG who can play some D or a big man who isn't a project. Wiz could offer next year's 1st to help move up into the Top 10, but that would be very risky if we don't resign GA and AJ & need to rebuild. I'd still like to see them go after Turiaff who will be a restricted FA and the Lakers have Bynum back next year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 27, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Wizards Offseason
.Resign Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison
.Trade #18 pick and#47 and Antonio Daniels to Kings for #42 and #43 pick and SF. John Salmons and PG.Quincy Douby
we draft at #42 C.DeVon Hardin #43 PG.Goran Dragic(goes overseas)
.Sign Pg.Carlos Arroyo
Depth Chart
PG.Arenas/Arroyo

Posted by: domo | May 31, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

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