Arthur visits

The Wizards took one last look at a couple of prospects today with a workout at VC that included forward Darrell Arthur (Kansas) and forward Novica Velickovic (Serbia). Arthur is one of the most intriguing guys in this draft because his status has been all over the place. A few resources have listed him as a going in the 12-15 range while others see him falling all the way or beyond 18 where the Wizards will be.

Arthur, who left Lawrence after his sophomore year, is a 6-9, 216-pound ultra-skilled power forward type who would make one heck of a backup to Antawn Jamison or, if Antawn somehow gets away, I guess he could be a young AJ. His issues are that he's foul prone, he's a poor free throw shooter and he's very skinny for life in the NBA. Also, the Wiz already have two skinny PF types in Andray Blatche and Oleksiy Pecherov. Do they need another? Wouldn't they be better off taking one of the 7-footers in this draft and hope the guy works out?

Velickovic is a 6-9, 240-pounder from Belgrade who played for KK Partizan Belgrade.

A profile on Big V

This draft is wild because I really have no idea how it's going to play out for the Wizards. Ernie Grunfeld was pretty frank yesterday in stating that he has several options and will explore them all. If you saw today's print paper, you'll notice that we came up with five players who could potentially be Wiz kids. That was a lot of pressure because as a beat guy, you just hope that the team winds up with one of them so you look good. Last year, I listed Nick Young as one of the five potential guys and it worked out. (Cue the Ice Cube song)

Anyway, I selected Roy Hibbert (because he's the local big name more than any other reason), Mario Chalmers (it's my belief that the Wiz need a young PG type in the fold and he's nice though I don't think he'll slide to 18), J.J. Hickson (I loved what I saw of his workout - he's the broad-shouldered, rebounder, banger-type this team needs), Donte Greene (Bmore kid with a nice upside) and Arthur.

Naturally, they'll take someone I didn't mention and I'll look like an idiot.

A note: I'll be on Washington Post Live this evening at 5 talking draft so check it out if you get the chance.


By Ivan Carter |  June 25, 2008; 1:08 PM ET
Previous: Who Should the Wizards Pick? | Next: Keeping the pick?

Comments

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So, it looks like we're going big with the 18th pick, or trading it altogether. We have to operate under the assumption that we'll have the current team in place, regardless of who we plan to sign (or re-sign).

Best player available is a good route to follow, if it's Hibbert, so be it, Arthur, fine, Chalmers, cool...

Posted by: CN | June 25, 2008 1:42 PM

Meet the new PF, same as the old PF.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 1:46 PM

For what it is worth, I think you are on target Ivan... I worry a little bit about Hickson only because it has been so very, very long (Googs?) since anyone decent came out of NC State. But he sounds like a Maxiell-type player and that ain't bad.

Posted by: khrabb | June 25, 2008 2:11 PM

How about that kid from Florida the center I think he would be a nice addition. What Veterens would they trade for anyways?

Posted by: Anthony | June 25, 2008 2:12 PM

Looking for info on Arthur...here are a few tidbits:

This is from Chad Ford's combine wrapup...

• Donte Greene and Darrell Arthur -- two guys touted for their athleticism -- disappointed many with their poor vertical-jump scores. Arthur also fared very poorly in the lane-agility drill.

More from draftexpress...

"Arthur has been one of the most inconsistent draft prospects we've followed over the past few months, often following up one good performance with two bad ones, and then getting back on track the next game as if nothing happened. As we've expressed in the past when evaluating him, very few of our concerns with Arthur revolve around his physical tools or skill-set...for him, it's all about the mental aspect of the game and whether the light bulb is on on any particular day."


and...

"Defensively, Arthur seemed to be trying to avoid the ticky-tack foul problems that have plagued him all season and played a huge role in his struggles staying on the court for Kansas. He did show very quick feet hedging screens on the perimeter, though, which is very nice to have from your power forward in today's pick and roll infatuated NBA. Despite the 9 rebounds he pulled down, we again saw why he struggles so badly in this area, as he still suffers those mental lapses forgetting to box out his opponents. Last time we checked up on him, he ranked 79th in rebounding per 40 minutes pace adjusted...."


Sounds like a prospect to me. If you're gonna get a prospect, get the biggest one. I vote for Hibbert.

Posted by: mark | June 25, 2008 2:14 PM

Looks like Arthur's workout was cut short because of a stiff back.

Dominic McGuire had injury issues with his workout too.

Just sayin'

Posted by: TruthAboutIt.net | June 25, 2008 2:15 PM

i have a feeling that we will be selecting mario chambers cause daniels is gettin old and u cant be sure bout arenas'injury. we already have lots of tall players and we dont need it anymore even though jamison is the only one who play well

Posted by: ak47 | June 25, 2008 2:23 PM

wiz should trade back from 18 to 27 and get j. jack or 28 and get lowry

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 2:28 PM

Please wizards select a PG. As long as Eddie Jordan remains the coach, the wizards are going to play free flowing ball. Sure they need better big men but we don't need another project.

Posted by: Bart | June 25, 2008 2:29 PM

i like a trade down to get hickson. most "mock" drafts have going after 20. good prospect the fills a need and maybe we can get something else to go with it.

Posted by: hibachi | June 25, 2008 2:32 PM

Trade UP!!!!!

Posted by: Prison Balls | June 25, 2008 2:40 PM

I will be happy with just about any move as long as it isn't Hibbert. Hibbert will just be yet another in a long line of wasted wizards 1st round picks.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 2:51 PM

"Pecherov has a long way to go before even coming close to earning 3rd string C status, let alone backup.

Posted by: kalorama | June 25, 2008 1:35 PM"

Arf! Arf! Arf!

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 25, 2008 1:41 PM

So you really are A DOG ??!! damn...

Posted by: | June 25, 2008 2:52 PM

LMAO!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 3:04 PM

I like Hibbert at 18

If we keep the pick...

Posted by: Darnell | June 25, 2008 3:15 PM

Assuming he's still on the board. Rumors have been floating that Sacramento would take him with # 12.

Posted by: kalorama | June 25, 2008 3:22 PM

Ivan, don't be hard on yourself, you won't look like an idiot, just the GMC dude.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 3:31 PM

Trade our pick for a good team physician, a trainer, and a substitution pattern.
Since we are going into this coming season with essentially the same team, we need to stay healthy and that means subbing properly to preserver the stars' health.

Posted by: mark | June 25, 2008 3:40 PM

1. Hibbert
2. Greene
3. Chalmers
4. Speights
5. Lopez

Those are my top choices

Posted by: Darnell | June 25, 2008 3:42 PM

RealGM has the Wiz taking Kosta Koufos. Any thoughts? All I know is that he is young, 7 foot and from what I read skilled offensively with some upside. Perhaps a better pick than Hibbert at 18?

Posted by: joNAThan | June 25, 2008 3:48 PM

RealGM has the Wiz taking Kosta Koufos. Any thoughts? All I know is that he is young, 7 foot and from what I read skilled offensively with some upside. Perhaps a better pick than Hibbert at 18?

Posted by: joNAThan | June 25, 2008 3:48 PM

From the last thread:

Sorry to be the barer of bad news to everyone here but I spoke with a source with knowledge of the situation and Hibbert is telling friends that he has a guarantee in the top 15. He's not saying which team though.

Posted by: | June 25, 2008 2:16 PM

I wouldn't take this as gospel because teams often tell prospects that "If you're there when our pick comes up, we'll take you," and then, for one reason or another, they don't. The only "guarantee" at this time of year is that teams lie about what they're going to do in the draft.

Posted by: rbpalmer | June 25, 2008 3:49 PM

Posted by: rbpalmer | June 25, 2008 3:50 PM

Do we even know what kind of player the Wiz are trying to get ? What position has he identified as our area of greatest need or are we doing the whole 'best athlete available' thing? Not knowing kinda sucks. Maybe I missed it but has Ernie identified what he thinks we are missing? At 18, I'd think that the Wiz wouldn't be trying to play games and could at least come clean about what is on our wish list. It's pretty much out of our hands who falls to us. I can see how ppl lie and play mind games in the NFL draft because you have so many rounds in the draft and might make deals to move around or accumulate picks. I've heard everything from pg (Chalmers) to defensive pf (Hardin) to sf (Rush) to c (Hibbert). WTF ?!!

Posted by: mark | June 25, 2008 4:05 PM

I hope we get Arthur or Chalmers.

The benefit of Chalmers is that it would be an incentive to sign and trade Gilby.

Who knows. If we draft Chalmers, Gilby might throw a hissy fit and sign elsewhere.

If we go big, we definitely need to get rid of some of the 4's that we have.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 25, 2008 4:13 PM

88,
You have to know that Gil and AJ will be here next year and for the foreseeable future based on all the signs and what EG and EJ have said. Assuming that, which PF would you get rid of? I think AJ, Songaila and AB (out of position at C) are our only real PF's. McGuire is too small, Etan and Pech are too slow. Darius signed a 5 year 23 mill contract just 2 years ago and EJ likes him. He aint going anywhere. AB is signed on the cheap and has potential. Etan is untradeable.
Pech is in trouble. He's the only guy that I can see getting cut.
Why is no one talking about adding a guy like Posey who can shoot 3's and play defense? Seems like since we have our core set, we should be trying to get a nice role player or two. Joe Smith, Posey both made key contributions.

Posted by: mark | June 25, 2008 4:30 PM

We definitely have a lot of depth in the front court. Too bad our depth behind BTH and Jamison (if re-signed) is Etan, Blatche, Songalia, Pesh. If we draft a PF, Pesh seems like a lock to go to the D-League to get some PT, maybe the new pick will join him there too, depending on how the rookie progresses. If we knew that Jamison's not going to re-sign, we'd have a slew of PF options to choose from. But Jamison's status is up in the air...

Obviously, the majority on the blog seems to be leaning toward Hibbert, his pros/cons have been broken down to pieces, so no need to beat a dead horse...

Chalmers seems like a safe (& perhaps the best) pick, being that he's a true PG and steady defender. Even if Gil re-signs, Chalmers wouldn't crowd our backcourt, since he can play behind Gil & AD this year. AD would then be prime trade bait next year (if Gil proves he's healthy & Chalmers performs solidly), b/c he would be in the last year of his deal. That'll leave our 08-09 backout with Gil (??), DS, NY, AD, Chalmers. However, the issue is whether or not Chalmers would be a reach at 18, but it doesn't seem like we would, thoughts?

Posted by: CN | June 25, 2008 4:37 PM

"However, the issue is whether or not Chalmers would be a reach at 18, but it doesn't seem like we would, thoughts?

Posted by: CN | June 25, 2008 4:37 PM "

That's the question.

Is EG going to be aggressive and make moves to get someone who the team likes because he can help the Wiz fill a big need, or is EG content to sort through whatever riff raff is left at 18?

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 25, 2008 4:48 PM

Do we even know what kind of player the Wiz are trying to get ? What position has he identified as our area of greatest need or are we doing the whole 'best athlete available' thing? Not knowing kinda sucks. Maybe I missed it but has Ernie identified what he thinks we are missing? At 18, I'd think that the Wiz wouldn't be trying to play games and could at least come clean about what is on our wish list. It's pretty much out of our hands who falls to us. I can see how ppl lie and play mind games in the NFL draft because you have so many rounds in the draft and might make deals to move around or accumulate picks. I've heard everything from pg (Chalmers) to defensive pf (Hardin) to sf (Rush) to c (Hibbert). WTF ?!!
Posted by: mark | June 25, 2008 4:05 PM

When EG talked to CSN, he said that they will draft the best available regardless of need.

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 25, 2008 4:50 PM

Should the Wiz consider Aleks Maric as an undrafted FA for backup Center?
Should be cheap, as he doesn't show up on anyone's mock draft lists and he won't have to have a guaranteed contract. His numbers in the draftexpress article look alright, not too far from the top guys. However he supposedly is slow to run full court and a couple more deficiencies. His numbers are good, but I could not find more recent reports on him. Was he a bust in his senior year at Nebraska?

Posted by: rgz | June 25, 2008 4:53 PM

More I look at the other players in the draft, the more I think Chalmers is the guy. He's projected to go between 12-20, so I don't think he's a reach.

Sacramento is going to be key, they really need a PG (they have Anthony Johnson & Udrih), but they also need front-court (PF & C to fill in for an aging Brad Miller and a sucky Shelden Williams) help. If Chalmers is still there after Sacramento picks, he'll probably be available at 18 (only the Sixers at 16 would be a threat, but they've got Andre Miller)...

Posted by: CN | June 25, 2008 4:54 PM

followup question to youse guys: Is the 2nd rd pick salary also an exception to the salary cap (like the 1st rd pick)?

Posted by: rgz | June 25, 2008 4:56 PM

Neither the 1st nor the 2nd round picks are exemptions to the cap. They both count against the cap once the players are signed. Pesh didn't count against the cap until last year, when he signed his deal & played (got dunked on) in the states...

Posted by: CN | June 25, 2008 4:59 PM

RGZ:
You don't need to be under the cap to sign drafted players, but their salaries do count against the cap after they are signed.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 5:08 PM

Thanks, I think you confirmed what I suspected - 2nd rd draft picks also are exceptions. (I did not say EXEMPTION).
This is what I referred to and it only mentioned 1st rd:
ROOKIE EXCEPTION -- Teams may sign their first round draft picks to rookie "scale" contracts even if they will be over the cap as a result (see question number 41).

Obviously their salaries are part of the team's total salaries and will definitely count when looking at the luxury tax.

Posted by: rgz | June 25, 2008 5:46 PM

"That's the question.

Is EG going to be aggressive and make moves to get someone who the team likes because he can help the Wiz fill a big need, or is EG content to sort through whatever riff raff is left at 18?

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 25, 2008 4:48 PM"

Well, is it even possible for the team to get someone who can help fill that big need? (i.e. rebounding/toughness and inside scoring) I think most teams need someone like that, so the Wiz may not have many options in moving up in the draft short of blowing up the team, which EG obviously does not want to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 6:29 PM

sorry, that last post was me. this site really should get a simple login/registration system.

Posted by: babbtong | June 25, 2008 6:30 PM

Chalmers seems like a safe (& perhaps the best) pick, being that he's a true PG and steady defender. - CN

Chalmers' biggest weaknesses as an NBA prospect revolve around his average athleticism and ball-handling skills, which makes him fairly ineffective as a shot-creator at the point guard position - Draftexpress

Chalmers can apparently shoot the lights out but do the Zards need another shooting guard? Maybe with the Princeton, ball handlers are beside the point and he would fit but Chalmers is apparently not a true point guard.

Posted by: Myshkin | June 25, 2008 6:52 PM

How athletic and how good is Chauncy Billup's ballhandling? I know he's strong and all, but he can't exactly jump out of the roof.

Posted by: babbtong | June 25, 2008 7:04 PM

Why is Etan untradeable? His salary comes off the books when Lebron is a free agent, he has passed physicals and is ready to play and is a relatively cheap big man high energy guy that every team needs. If we draft a true centre like Hibbert, Etan would see little time on the court in the VC. Package something like 18, Thomas and Stevenson to Chicago for Hughes and Noah. Thomas gets to hang out with his beard buddy Gooden, our big three becomes big four and everybody knows the system except our new, intelligent, high energy rebounder.

Posted by: yankeevicar | June 25, 2008 7:35 PM

"When EG talked to CSN, he said that they will draft the best available regardless of need.

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 25, 2008 4:50 PM "

Don't expect any fireworks tomorrow.

By EG saying that he's going to draft the best available tomorrow, that means to expect more mediocre players who either will stay in europe, or will wallow in the D-League/bench, as consistent with Wiz draft history.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 25, 2008 7:52 PM

"How athletic and how good is Chauncy Billup's ballhandling? I know he's strong and all, but he can't exactly jump out of the roof.

Posted by: babbtong | June 25, 2008 7:04 PM "

babythong....why exactly would you need your point guard to be able to "jump out of the roof?"

Was Stockton able to jump "out of the roof?" What about Nash, Deron, CP3, Parker, etc?

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 25, 2008 9:16 PM

"Chalmers' biggest weaknesses as an NBA prospect revolve around his average athleticism and ball-handling skills, which makes him fairly ineffective as a shot-creator at the point guard position - Draftexpress"

just wondering about that quote

Posted by: babbtong | June 25, 2008 9:27 PM

ballsack

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 10:04 PM

Batum was going to be a lottery pick last year, and now he's not in the discussion at 18? I think he's being left out, considering his physical talent. Also, some are you are referring to draftexpress as a source of info: if so, then you have to mention that Jason Thompson's stats measure up real nice against the other centers. Dude's a legit 6'11" with skills and straight head, Y'all.

Posted by: DC | June 25, 2008 10:31 PM

I'll be very surprised if Arthur is the pick. As Ivan mentioned, they have plenty of PFs, 216 lbs is awfully small for a PF, and it's not as if he was an over-achiever in college. Speights would be my choice, but I think Koufos will be Ernie's pick - if he stays at 18. Hunch - if there is a trade, Pecherov is going.

Posted by: Ruz | June 26, 2008 5:49 AM

Chalmers fits here better than he does other places because of the offense. He wasn't able to handle the point at Kansas which is why Russell Robinson started next to him.

He's not a guard who will burn you to the basket time after time. He's more of a spot up shooter who has played lead guard in his career.

Posted by: Monte | June 26, 2008 12:08 PM

"Why is Etan untradeable? His salary comes off the books when Lebron is a free agent, he has passed physicals and is ready to play and is a relatively cheap big man high energy guy that every team needs."

He makes 14.2 Million over the next two seasons. Thats a ton of cash for a guy who didn't play last year and when he played the year before that he was average at best. That also moves him out of the "relatively cheap" tax bracket.

Posted by: Monte | June 26, 2008 12:17 PM

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