The elusive JCN

Funny, I spent day after day last summer updating the status of the "Elusive One" otherwise known as Juan Carlos Navarro. The Wizards eventually traded Navarro's NBA rights to the Grizzlies for a conditional future draft pick. Navarro was able to get out of his contract with Barcelona and was thrilled at the prospect of teaming up with fellow Spainard Pau Gasol. One problem: the Grizz stunk and Gasol got traded to (or stolen by) the Lakers for Kwame Brown and a bag of rocks.

Now, JCN is headed back to Barceleno for big money.

In case you are wondering,

By Ivan Carter |  June 19, 2008; 3:27 PM ET
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nads

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 3:40 PM

Question, this do anything to effect the draft pick the Wizards got from the Grizz?

Posted by: Jake | June 19, 2008 3:42 PM

Grunfeld does it again... even though "it" in this case is to get second round pick two years from now for nothing.

I can only hope that watching the leagues best defensive team beat the best offensive team will stop any plans to fashion the wizards into the Suns-East.

Posted by: Truthsayer | June 19, 2008 4:02 PM

I can only hope that watching the leagues best defensive team beat the best offensive team will stop any plans to fashion the wizards into the Suns-East.

Posted by: Truthsayer | June 19, 2008 4:02 PM

Until the Wizards get Kevin Garnett to anchor their defense, trying to emulate the Celtics would be a bad idea.

Posted by: psps23 | June 19, 2008 4:10 PM

Wow! Am I glad the Wizards didn't sign him to some long term contract. At least we know DeShawn won't get homesick and leave for another league :)

Posted by: Bart | June 19, 2008 4:15 PM

If the Wizards signed him to a long term contract, he'd be playing for them until the contract expired.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 4:25 PM

No worries Bart. He was never going to sign with the Wizards in the first place.

Posted by: kalorama | June 19, 2008 4:31 PM

I'm kinda bummed for the guy to be honest.

Makes you wonder if Gasol and him had a blow up or something after he got traded since they were supposedly BFF's.

Also tells me the Grizz are gonna be really bad for a long time and Navarro saw the writing on the wall. I bet if he landed in Miami he would still be in the NBA.

I don't blame the guy, I hope he does well in Spain. Looks like EG is gonna make out on this one as well even if it ends up being a second round pick and some cash.

My only thing is why keep drafting all of these overseas guys if you're never going to get a good player out of it?

They might as well trade thier picks if they are going to do that.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | June 19, 2008 4:51 PM

I hope you're not trying to compare EJ with Phil Jackson and how they are able to get players focused and mold them into a team.

EJ surely isn't. Case in point BTH and ET. Also, EJ's loose leash on Gilby and how Gilby openly flaunts his disregard for respecting the coach is not forgotten by the players.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 19, 2008 4:32 PM

I used to vouch for EJ, but not anymore. Not after this last playoff performance. If a choice has to be made between Gil and EJ, I'll choose Gil every day of the week and twice on sunday.

Posted by: psps23 | June 19, 2008 4:58 PM

If anyone has ESPN Insider, could you cut and paste Chad Ford's new column about player tiers into this blog? That was an interesting article last year, so I'm interested in what the tiers are this year. Thanks.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 4:58 PM

You can be sure that at the current dollar-euro rate that Navarro's 5-year contract with Barcelona is worth more than 25$ million. I doubt he would have gotten either the money or the years from an NBA squad. BTW, Navarro's countryman Garbajosa has rescinded his contract with the Raptors. I don't think he solves any pressing problems of the Wizards but he is smart and hard-nosed. I wonder what he's worth.

Posted by: mtl | June 19, 2008 5:37 PM

Yes, that US dollar-Euro exchange rate really changes the dynamic for European players. If the dollar continues its slide, I wonder when US players may start to be enticed to play in Europe. Money talks....

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 5:47 PM

For all those who lambasted Ernie for not getting more from the Griz for Navarro, this is proof he die not have a big upside in the NBA. You can be sure that if any team thought he could make a major contribution his agent would have gotten those vibes and at least waited until after July 1 to see what offers were out there. Scoring 10 pts. a game for a really bad team doesn't make a future all-star (see Harvey Grant). Ernie got what he could get for a player he knew would not make the Wiz any better......it is probably a 30% chance that the pick ever will pan out but it is better than zero. More proof that Ernie knows what he's doing.

Posted by: arnie | June 19, 2008 8:20 PM

My only thing is why keep drafting all of these overseas guys if you're never going to get a good player out of it?

They might as well trade thier picks if they are going to do that.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | June 19, 2008 4:51 PM

One reason to draft a guy and "stash" him overseas is Salary Cap and/or Luxury Tax implications.

You can draft a Euro player, let them play and develop overseas, without ever signing them to a contract. So, although you keep their NBA rights, they don't count against your Salary Cap.

With the weak dollar, and with Euro teams paying more, you may see more and more marginal NBA players opting to play overseas for decent money - vs trying to scratch out a meager living on only $500K - $1M here in the States.

Posted by: Rook | June 19, 2008 8:45 PM

Until the Wizards get Kevin Garnett to anchor their defense, trying to emulate the Celtics would be a bad idea.

Posted by: psps23 | June 19, 2008 4:10 PM

The Wiz aren't gonna contend the way they are constructed. What do you suggest?

Posted by: Truthsayer | June 19, 2008 8:58 PM

The Wiz aren't gonna contend the way they are constructed. What do you suggest?

Posted by: Truthsayer | June 19, 2008 8:58 PM

The Wizards haven't contended because they haven't been able to stay healthy. If you think the Wizards should re-think their team because of health concerns, that's fine - I can't really refute that other than to say I don't think they'll be "cursed" forever. But I think it's unfair to judge the current makeup as inadequate because we haven't seen the whole team together and healthy since the '06-'07 all-star break...which is coincidentally when we were 1st in the East. We're still a player or two away IMO, but there's no need to remake the makeup of the team.

Posted by: psps23 | June 19, 2008 9:37 PM

"The Wizards haven't contended because they haven't been able to stay healthy. If you think the Wizards should re-think their team because of health concerns, that's fine - I can't really refute that other than to say I don't think they'll be "cursed" forever. But I think it's unfair to judge the current makeup as inadequate because we haven't seen the whole team together and healthy since the '06-'07 all-star break...which is coincidentally when we were 1st in the East. We're still a player or two away IMO, but there's no need to remake the makeup of the team.

Posted by: psps23 | June 19, 2008 9:37 PM "

LOL!

So how do you propose the team stay healthy? Everybody buys a hyperbaric chamber?

How about starting by suing the parachute maker?

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 19, 2008 10:01 PM

But the fat that this team hasn't been able to get through a whole season anywhere close to healthy the entire time they've been together hints at a possible structural flaw in how the team is put together. Something about the particular mix on talent and the roles they ply that adds to the injury problems. If that's thew case, keeping the same flawed group together and hoping to get different results is perhaps overly optimistic.

That being said, I understand why Grunfeld would resist altering the core. Because he probably feels, justifiably, that there aren't any good moves to make that would produce immediately better results and that his only other option would be to tear it down, take several steps back in the team's development and start closer to ground zero. I can see why that's not an attractive option.

Posted by: kalorama | June 19, 2008 10:03 PM

"which is coincidentally when we were 1st in the East. We're still a player or two away IMO, but there's no need to remake the makeup of the team.

Posted by: psps23 | June 19, 2008 9:37 PM "

BTW, how "unhealthy" was the Wiz when they lost 4-2 against the Cavs 3 seasons ago in the first round?

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 19, 2008 10:05 PM

"

But the fat that this team hasn't been able to get through a whole season anywhere close to healthy the entire time they've been together hints at a possible structural flaw in how the team is put together. Something about the particular mix on talent and the roles they ply that adds to the injury problems. If that's thew case, keeping the same flawed group together and hoping to get different results is perhaps overly optimistic.

That being said, I understand why Grunfeld would resist altering the core. Because he probably feels, justifiably, that there aren't any good moves to make that would produce immediately better results and that his only other option would be to tear it down, take several steps back in the team's development and start closer to ground zero. I can see why that's not an attractive option.

Posted by: kalorama | June 19, 2008 10:03 PM "

I've said it before, I'll say it again.

When you have an owner who's unwilling to even EVALUATE players that may help the undermanned team and you have practices where you can only run a 4 on 4, that means that guys are probably being overworked during the real games.

I said early in the season that Caron couldn't sustain the minutes he was playing, and sure enough, he got hurt. Same goes for AD.

I don't see Abe changing his approach on how he spends on the team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 19, 2008 10:08 PM

"On a larger scale, Jordan wants to win now. Like any coach who signed a two-year extension with a team option for the third year last summer, the continuity line gets old.

"But I understand Mr. Pollin's standpoint," Jordan said. "We want to stay within a certain budget for the Washington Wizards. We're not going to be like four or five or six other teams that can do anything it takes to win. Those are decisions we made within the organization. It doesn't bother me. There are times when you say, 'How come we can't get this guy?' But then you say, 'These are the parameters the organization has set.' "

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602210.htm

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 19, 2008 10:11 PM

If anyone has ESPN Insider, could you cut and paste Chad Ford's new column about player tiers into this blog? That was an interesting article last year, so I'm interested in what the tiers are this year. Thanks.

Posted by: | June 19, 2008 4:58 PM
------------

Here's the article (it's a long one...):

Every time I put up a new mock draft (Mock Draft 5.0 came out Tuesday), I get a lot of feedback from readers who wonder how I put it together and how it differs from the Top 100.

This is how it works: Both pieces are reported pieces. In other words, I talk with NBA scouts and executives to get a sense of:

A. Which teams like which players (mock draft).

B. What the consensus is among all 30 NBA teams about who the best players in the draft are (top 100).

I use the word "consensus" lightly. Often, even GMs and scouts employed by the same team can't agree on their internal rankings of players.

"I fight with my scouts constantly," one prominent GM told me last year. "Everyone has their own ideas, their own preferences, their own methodology. There really is no consensus and, I hate to say it, I'm not sure there's even any real right or wrong."

Obviously, both lists are imperfect because the draft is a bit of an inexact science. NBA teams do more than just watch prospects play games. They work out players, give them psychological tests, do background checks and conduct personal interviews. All of this factors into the process and can change opinions.

Factor in the ranking wars with another age-old debate -- do you draft for need or for the best player available? -- and it's no surprise the draft can be so volatile. Many teams take into account holes at certain positions (i.e., the team has no small forward) or coaching/system preferences (i.e., the Jazz draft players who can fit into Jerry Sloan's system) when making their decisions.

To make sense of disparate rankings and debates over team needs, last year I chronicled a draft ranking system employed by several teams that have been very successful in the draft -- what I call a tier system. Instead of developing an exact order from one to 60 of the best players in the draft, these teams group players, based on overall talent, into tiers. Then, the teams rank the players inside each tier based on team need.

This system allows teams to draft not only the best player available, but also the player who best fits a team's individual needs.

So what do the tiers look like this year? After talking to several GMs and scouts whose teams employ this system, I put together these tiers. (Because the teams do not want to divulge their draft rankings publicly, the teams will remain anonymous.)

Players are listed alphabetically in each tier.

Tier 1
Michael Beasley
Derrick Rose

Note: There seems to be a clear preference for Beasley on talent and for Rose on position. In other words, most of the folks I spoke with think Beasley is the more talented of the two but believe Rose's combination of size and athleticism at his position makes him the better choice.

Tier 2
Jerryd Bayless
O.J. Mayo

Note: Virtually every team I spoke with has Mayo and Bayless as the No. 3 and No. 4 picks in the draft, regardless of team need. A few teams argued that Mayo should be in Tier 1, but for now, I left him in Tier 2.

Tier 3
Joe Alexander
D.J. Augustin
Danilo Gallinari
Eric Gordon
Brook Lopez
Kevin Love
Anthony Randolph
Russell Westbrook

Note: Unlike last year, it is very difficult to get a consensus for this tier. Every team I spoke with has Randolph and Westbrook in this tier. Gallinari was almost a unanimous pick. And there was some debate about Augustin and Alexander, but enough of a consensus to put them here instead of Tier 4.

Tier 4
Darrell Arthur
Donte Greene
DeAndre Jordan
Kosta Koufos
Brandon Rush

Note: There was a lot of debate about Jordan and Greene. A few teams have them in Tier 5. Koufos is gaining momentum at the moment and, along with Rush, has worked himself into this group.

Tier 5
Alexis Ajinca
Nicolas Batum
Mario Chalmers
Roy Hibbert
J.J. Hickson
Serge Ibaka
Courtney Lee
Robin Lopez
JaVale McGee
Marreese Speights
Ante Tomic

Note: This is what I call the upside group -- a group of young, athletic, inexperienced players who have big upsides but significant risks. A few teams have Ajinca and Lopez in Tier 4.

Tier 6
Ryan Anderson
Chris Douglas-Roberts
Jamont Gordon
Nathan Jawai
Jason Thompson
Bill Walker
D.J. White

Note: If you do the math, there are 35 players on the list. Why 35 guys for 30 slots? In Tier 6, I included every player a team has told me is in its top 30. I suspect that, had I polled every team, this number would have expanded to about 40.

So how does the tier system work?

A team ranks individual players inside each tier according to team need. So, if point guard is the team's biggest need, Russell Westbrook is ranked No. 1 in Tier 3. If power forward is the biggest need, Kevin Love or Anthony Randolph is ranked No. 1, depending on the team's preference. (See the table for an example.)

TEAM B

Needs
1. PF
2. SF
3. PG
4. C

Tier 3
1. Kevin Love
2. Anthony Randolph
3. Danilo Gallinari
4. Joe Alexander
5. Russell Westbrook
6. D.J. Augustin
7. Brook Lopez
8. Eric Gordon

TEAM A

Needs
1. PG
2. SG
3. PF
4. C

Tier 3
1. Russell Westbrook
2. D.J. Augustin
3. Eric Gordon
4. Anthony Randolph
5. Kevin Love
6. Brook Lopez
7. Danilo Gallinari
8. Joe Alexander

The rules are pretty simple. You always draft the highest-ranked player in a given tier. So, for example, if the Warriors are drafting at No. 14 (Tier 4 territory) and Joe Alexander (a Tier 3 player) is on the board, they take him regardless of position. You never take a player from a lower tier if one from a higher tier is available. So if the Warriors have Darrell Arthur ranked No. 1 in Tier 4, they still take Alexander, even though power forward is a more pressing need.

WARRIORS

Team needs
1. PF
2. PG
3. SG

Tier 3
7. Joe Alexander
8. Brook Lopez

Tier 4
1. Darrell Arthur
2. Brandon Rush
3. Kosta Koufos
This system protects teams from overreaching based on team need. The Warriors won't pass on a clearly superior player like Alexander to fill a need with Arthur. However, the system also protects teams from passing on a player who fits a need just because he is ranked one or two spots lower overall.

Let me give you an example from the worst-drafting team over the past few years, the Hawks. Former Hawks GM Billy Knight said in the past that he takes the best player on the board, regardless of team need. He proved that in the past few years by taking Marvin Williams ahead of Chris Paul and Deron Williams in 2005, and taking Shelden Williams ahead of a point guard like Rajon Rondo in 2006.

A source formerly with Atlanta's front office told me the Hawks had Marvin Williams ranked No. 1, Andrew Bogut ranked No. 2, Deron Williams ranked No. 3 and Paul ranked No. 4 in 2005. So on draft night, Knight took Marvin Williams with the No. 2 pick after the Bucks selected Bogut No. 1 overall.

In a tier system, however, the source conceded that all four players, at least in his mind, would have been Tier 1 players -- in other words, the Hawks thought all four had equal long-term impact potential. If the Hawks had employed a tier system, they would have ranked inside the tier based on team need and fit, rather than just ranking the prospects from 1 to 30.

In that case, the Hawks likely would have ranked either Bogut (they needed a center) or Deron Williams (they still need a point guard) No. 1. Marvin Williams actually would have been ranked No. 4 under that scenario.

In any case, like every draft system, the tier system isn't perfect. But the teams that use it have found success with it. It has allowed them to get help through the draft without overreaching. Compared to traditional top-30 lists or mock drafts, it seems like a much more precise tool of gauging which players a team should draft.

Posted by: CN | June 19, 2008 10:26 PM

heheh, I tried to break Chad Ford's tier analysis and apply it to us, but it's past 10:30 after a long day at work and 4 pick up games at the gym. I'm too old (A shade younger than Etan Thomas) to try, but I'd like to hear thoughts on this...

Posted by: CN | June 19, 2008 10:35 PM

Screw it, I remembered that my age is actually closer to BTH than the Poet... Here goes my breakdown (based on Chad Ford's tiers) of Tier 4 - 5 (which covers the 18th pick):

Tier 4:
D Arthur PF
K Koufos C
D Jordan PF/C
B Rush SG
D Greene SF

Tier 5:
A Ajinca PF/C
M Speights PF
R Lopez C
M Chalmers PG
R Hibbert C
J Mcgee PF/C
JJ Hickson PF
S Ibaka PF
A Tomic C
N Batum SF
C Lee SG

I think PG & a physical PF/C is the equally top need. I put Hibbert behind Chalmers because I think Chalmers will be a better pro than Hibbert at their respective positions...

Posted by: CN | June 19, 2008 10:47 PM

This is great. I've blogged about how fantastic Ernie Grunfeld's
moves have been thus far with the Wizards. I still felt like the JCN situation was the one situation he could have dealt with better....but this proves that he nailed that one too.

Bravo, Ernie.

Also, the needs/tier draft system is pretty cool. Good insight.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork.com | June 20, 2008 4:49 AM

CN:
Thank you very much for posting that article. It gives us a lot of substance to discuss (for a change).

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 7:10 AM

Why is everyone applauding the JCN trade? They used a 2nd round pick on the off chance JCN would be able to play for them. Years later, he's finally free to sign with the wiz and the wiz trade him for what will likely amount to ..... A SECOND ROUND PICK. So, what did they gain in the end? Meanwhile, did anyone else wonder, as they watched the celtics celebrate their title, i wonder if minnesota would have traded garnett to the wiz for gilbert considering what they accepted from boston?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:24 AM

Not everyone is applauding the JCN trade.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 8:52 AM

Trade conditions for JNC:

The Wizards receive a top-19 protected first round pick in 2008, a top-16 protected pick in 2009, a top-14 (lottery) protected pick from 2010-2012, a top-12 protected pick in 2013 or a second-round pick and cash considerations if they have not received a pick by 2013.

So what happens if the Grizz acquire a high 1st rounder through a trade (not sure the details of the Gasol trade). If the Grizz have Lakers first rounder next year, and that picks ends up being higher than 16, will the Wiz get that pick? Or is it conditional on the draft pick that originated with the Grizz?

Posted by: CRitch | June 20, 2008 8:58 AM

Why is everyone applauding the JCN trade? They used a 2nd round pick on the off chance JCN would be able to play for them. Years later, he's finally free to sign with the wiz and the wiz trade him for what will likely amount to ..... A SECOND ROUND PICK. So, what did they gain in the end? Meanwhile, did anyone else wonder, as they watched the celtics celebrate their title, i wonder if minnesota would have traded garnett to the wiz for gilbert considering what they accepted from boston?

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 8:24 AM
---------

This is the way I look at it:
1) Michael Jordan used the '02 2nd rd pick on JCN b/c of the potential of him becoming a good player. Years went by and it looked more & more unlikely JCN was coming over to play, due to his contract with FC Barcelona
2) Grunfeld came aboard in 2004, and inherited the rights to JCN. Still, JCN's contract buyout was an issue.
3) Summer 2007 comes along and JCN wants to play in the NBA, FC Barcelona accomodates this, by lowering their buyout. However, Grunfeld is strapped due to the luxury tax and a logjam at backcourt (before the slew of injuries during the season) and opts to sign DS instead for continuity & "defense."
4) Grunfeld gets the best deal he can get, even though it's a complex-filled protected 1st rounder.
5) JCN has marginal production in the league, and even less against us (meaning he didn't come back to haunt us in any of the games this year).
6) JCN heads back to Spain, thus pretty much endig his NBA tenure.

Grunfeld probably would have liked to sign JCN earlier, but the circumstances didn't work. The fact that JCN didn't do any more damage in the NBA caused us more relief than applause...

Posted by: CN | June 20, 2008 9:02 AM

Agree with everything but point 5, CN. JCN had a pretty productive rookie year.

If this trade nets the Wizards a first round pick, it is a good trade. If the Wiz get a 2nd round pick, it's a bad trade. Most 2nd round picks don't ever make a team or amount to anything, and JCN was better than that.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 9:54 AM

"Meanwhile, did anyone else wonder, as they watched the celtics celebrate their title, i wonder if minnesota would have traded garnett to the wiz for gilbert considering what they accepted from boston?"

No.

The Wolves got a young 20/10 low post big man in exchange for Garnett. Those are much harder to come by than scoring guards, esp. scoring guards in the middle of rehabbing from knee surgery who have already made it widely known they plan to opt out of their contract at the end of the upcoming season.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 10:06 AM

"If this trade nets the Wizards a first round pick, it is a good trade. If the Wiz get a 2nd round pick, it's a bad trade."

If the Grunfeld hadn't made the trade, Navarro would have stayed in Europe, never come to the NBA, and the Wizards would have had nothing to show for it.

He was not going to sign with the Wizards. Period.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 10:10 AM

"20/10" 4's or 5's (or close enough to it):

Boozer, J O'Neal, Gasol, Jamison, Garnett, Jefferson, Amare, Dirk, Chandler, Bynum, Yao, DHoward, Brand, Bosh, Duncan, West, Rasheed, Shaq(maybe)

Young Big Men who have a great chance at getting there:

Aldridge, Horford, Josh Smith

Game Changing PGs: Paul, Williams, Nash, Davis, Arenas, Parker, Billups, Kidd(maybe)

That's 21 to 7. Not really convincing to me, even taking into account the fact that I'm comparing 2 positions to 1.

That's also why I think people overlook the Rose/Beasley position battle for the #1 pick. "Dominant" big men come out all the time. "Dominant" PGs, not so much. I think that's an underrated argument.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 10:29 AM

If EG was shrewd, he would have unloaded AJ to Memphis for Gasol and Lowry and then Memphis could have written AJ off the books this season.

Well, EG kept AJ and now AJ might not be here next season. Oh well.

Everybody knows what a great trade Memphis ended up with.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-heisleygasol060308&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 10:37 AM

"He was not going to sign with the Wizards. Period."
Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 10:10 AM

Who is your source for this, Kalorama? Do you know JCN's agent?
The fact is that Grunfeld didn't have the money so sign Navaroo.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 10:44 AM

Good PG vs PF (or 4/5) analysis psps. I am pretty convinced that the Bulls will draft Rose. If they do, two or even three of their current guards could become dominoes in some fascinating trade scenarios.

I could see the Wizards, for example, being interested in Chris Duhon or Larry Hughes... for different reasons obviously.

If the Wizards were to go for Duhon, that would make Daniels tradeable... Hughes would make Young or Stevenson expendable.

On the other hand if the Wizards draft following psps logic (and points raised earlier based on the tier analysis) then Mario Chalmers is likely to be their pick ahead of Roy Hibbert or Darrell Arthur.

This assumes that they project serious progress from Blatche, useful minutes from ET and possibly some help from a PF chosen at 47.

Hmmmmmmmm. Obviously we will know more in 6 days!

Posted by: khrabb | June 20, 2008 10:45 AM

I mean, "to sign Navarro."

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 10:45 AM

Re: Bulls trade with Larry Hughes, the basics could be (these guys contracts all expire after the '09-'10 season):
Hughes (about $12.5/yr) for Etan & AD (about $13M/yr)

The salaries work out, there may be some other fillers thrown in there. However, I don't know if I would do that trade, considering Hughes has missed significant time. We do get rid of Etan, but we'd lose our only 'true PG' on the roster. I think Duhon's a free agent, so he wouldn't be a key piece in the trade unless a sign & trade was involved.

Posted by: CN | June 20, 2008 11:09 AM

The fact is that Grunfeld didn't have the money so sign Navaroo."

Which only reinforces my point that he wasn't going to sign with the Wizards, doesn't it?

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 11:17 AM

It looks like a lot of folks are bent on whipping a dead horse, I can't believe how heated some of the arguments have become. Navarro is gone, he chose to earn 10 times more in Spain than he could earn in the NBA, in a city he knows and fans that appreciate him with the team that has supported him for ten years. Whether the Wizards pick was good, whether the trade to Memphis was good is a nice thing to discuss for a while but overall not very important, an inconsequential point in the totality of what the NBA draft is today when judging the performance of GMs like Michael Jordan and Ernie Grunfeld. I don't think the GMs of the other teams are excoriated as much as we criticize Wiz management for what results from 2nd round draft picks. 2/3 or more of these 2002 second round picks are gone no longer active, either never even played a single game or gone after the first or second years. Let's look at the list to get some perspective.

29 Steve Logan (PG) Golden State Warriors
30 Roger Mason, Jr. (SG) Chicago Bulls
31 Robert Archibald (PF) Memphis Grizzlies
32 Vincent Yarbrough (SF) Denver Nuggets
33 Dan Gadzuric (C) Milwaukee Bucks (from Houston)
34 Carlos Boozer (PF) Cleveland Cavaliers
35 Miloš Vujanić (PG) New York Knicks
36 David Andersen (C) Atlanta Hawks
37 Tito Maddox (PG) Houston Rockets (from Miami)
38 Rod Grizzard (SG) Washington Wizards (from Phoenix via Denver)
39 Juan Carlos Navarro (PG) Washington Wizards
40 Mario Kasun (C) Los Angeles Clippers
41 Ronald Murray (SG) Milwaukee Bucks
42 Jason Jennings (C) Portland Trail Blazers (from Toronto via Chicago)
43 Lonny Baxter (PF) Chicago Bulls (from Indiana)
44 Sam Clancy (PF) Philadelphia 76ers
45 Matt Barnes (SF) Memphis Grizzlies (from Orlando)
46 Jamal Sampson (C) Utah Jazz (traded to Orlando)
47 Chris Owens (PF) Milwaukee Bucks (from New Orleans, traded to Memphis)
48 Peter Fehse (PF) Seattle SuperSonics
49 Darius Songaila (PF) Boston Celtics
50 Federico Kammerichs (SF) Portland Trail Blazers
51 Marcus Taylor (PG) Minnesota Timberwolves
52 Rasual Butler (SF) Miami Heat (from Detroit via Toronto and Houston)
53 Tamar Slay (SG) New Jersey Nets
54 Mladen Å ekularac (SG) Dallas Mavericks
55 Luis Scola (PF) San Antonio Spurs (from L.A. Lakers)
56 Randy Holcomb (PF) San Antonio Spurs (traded to Philadelphia)
57 Corsley Edwards (PF) Sacramento Kings

Posted by: rgz | June 20, 2008 11:19 AM

As much as Larry Hughes would like to come back to D.C. to play with Agent Zero, his contract makes it nearly impossible ($14M/year)....Duhon is nothing more than a solid backup PG in this league. Daniels is more valuable to the Wiz as a backup to Arenas and has little trade value at his age and with 2 years left on his contract.

If the Wiz hold onto their No. 1 pick, I only see them going with a bigman like Arthur or Hibbert given the uncertainty they will re-sign Jamison. A young PG with quickness and defensive ability can be made in the 2nd round although not of the calibre of Mario Chalmers.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 20, 2008 11:25 AM

Duhon wouldn't come here to be the third string PG. Re-acquiring Larry Hughes makes no sense. He's injury-prone, ridiculously expensive, and his production has declined steadily over the last few years.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 11:41 AM

"Duhon wouldn't come here to be the third string PG"

Kalorama sure knows everybody in the NBA. Hey, do you know the Bulls be picking at the draft?

Posted by: ram | June 20, 2008 11:51 AM

The Wizards haven't contended because they haven't been able to stay healthy. If you think the Wizards should re-think their team because of health concerns, that's fine - I can't really refute that other than to say I don't think they'll be "cursed" forever. But I think it's unfair to judge the current makeup as inadequate because we haven't seen the whole team together and healthy since the '06-'07 all-star break...which is coincidentally when we were 1st in the East. We're still a player or two away IMO, but there's no need to remake the makeup of the team.

Posted by: psps23 | June 19, 2008 9:37 PM

The Wizards being first in the east is a mirage. First of all - its the east. If we had made it to the finals we'd be blown out like Phi, NJ or Cle. Second, the eastern teams that have wont titles - Det, Mia, Bos - all played defense. And our point differential even when winning games has never been good. Needing to get healthy does not change the need for more defensive minded players. In particular role players - if gil and antawn are gonna be liabilities (mostly antawn) then the 2-4 of the next guys in the game gotta think defensively. Blatch, Haywood, Young, Opec and McGuire are either average or not ready to fill that need.

Posted by: Truthsayer | June 20, 2008 11:51 AM

"That's 21 to 7. Not really convincing to me, even taking into account the fact that I'm comparing 2 positions to 1."

You're also comparing apples to oranges. I didn't say 20/10 big men were easier to come by than "Game Changing PGs." I said they were easier to come by than scoring guards which is what Arenas is.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 11:52 AM

"Hey, do you know the Bulls be picking at the draft?"

Yes, I do know the Bulls be picking in the draft. They be picking in the draft every year.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 11:54 AM

"Boozer, J O'Neal, Gasol, Jamison, Garnett, Jefferson, Amare, Dirk, Chandler, Bynum, Yao, DHoward, Brand, Bosh, Duncan, West, Rasheed, Shaq(maybe)"

And the odds of any of those guys being traded for Arenas are nil.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 12:03 PM

ooops :-)

Who?

Posted by: ram | June 20, 2008 12:05 PM

The Wizards being first in the east is a mirage. First of all - its the east. If we had made it to the finals we'd be blown out like Phi, NJ or Cle. Second, the eastern teams that have wont titles - Det, Mia, Bos - all played defense. And our point differential even when winning games has never been good. Needing to get healthy does not change the need for more defensive minded players. In particular role players - if gil and antawn are gonna be liabilities (mostly antawn) then the 2-4 of the next guys in the game gotta think defensively. Blatch, Haywood, Young, Opec and McGuire are either average or not ready to fill that need.

Posted by: Truthsayer | June 20, 2008 11:51 AM

Like I said, the Wiz are still a player or two away. They could definitely use some better shutdown defenders and/or paint-protectors when necessary. But they don't need to re-make the team.

And I'm sick of the "it's the east" argument. The East has won 3 of the last 6 titles, with 3 different teams from the East claiming the trophy. And this year's title winners were taken to 7 games by the 8 seed and 4 seed, but stomped on the west champion Lakers in the final. Seems to me that the East is just fine.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 12:11 PM

Eventhough the pick for Navarro is protected - can't the Wiz ask for the Grizzlies pick from LA in the Gasol trade?

Posted by: Jon | June 20, 2008 12:18 PM

Can We Just Draft Roy Hibbert And George Hill and move on

Posted by: DOMO | June 20, 2008 12:19 PM

"That's 21 to 7. Not really convincing to me, even taking into account the fact that I'm comparing 2 positions to 1."

You're also comparing apples to oranges. I didn't say 20/10 big men were easier to come by than "Game Changing PGs." I said they were easier to come by than scoring guards which is what Arenas is.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 11:52 AM

Gilbert Arenas is also a game-changing PG. Just because Chris Paul is a pass-first PG doesn't mean I would only label him as pass-first and not game-changing.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 12:25 PM

Guards who create offense for their less talented teammates are considerably more game-changing than guards who score a lot of points. (See McGrady, Tracy or Francis, Steve), as are 20/10 big men.

Arenas is a helluva player, but he is no way more valuable than a big man who can go into the post and produce 20/10, of which there were only 4 last season (5 if you give some leeway and count Duncan's 19 and 11). And that's even including Jamison, who isn't actually a post player.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 12:52 PM

"Boozer, J O'Neal, Gasol, Jamison, Garnett, Jefferson, Amare, Dirk, Chandler, Bynum, Yao, DHoward, Brand, Bosh, Duncan, West, Rasheed, Shaq(maybe)"

And the odds of any of those guys being traded for Arenas are nil.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 12:03 PM

Well Gasol was traded for about a penny on the dollar, and Arenas had for all intents and purposes an expiring contract this past year, so I wouldn't have said "nil" to that.

As of now, your statement is probably true, but you never know what could happen.

And anyway, I'm not trying to advocate an Arenas trade. Just was merely pointing out the rare big-man misconception.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 12:53 PM

"Eventhough the pick for Navarro is protected - can't the Wiz ask for the Grizzlies pick from LA in the Gasol trade?"

They can ask but the Grizzlies don't have to give it to them (and they'd be pretty foolish to do so, really).

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 12:53 PM

This is really interesting:
http://scoutingthenba.com/

Of note for the Wizards, it's interesting how highly they rate CDR, Hibbert and Chalmers. I'd be happy with any of the 3, and think the Wizards could really use an outstanding defender like Chalmers.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 12:56 PM

I'd be happy with any of the 3, and think the Wizards could really use an outstanding defender like Chalmers.

I agree but you'll need the approval of Kalorama first.

Posted by: ram | June 20, 2008 1:09 PM

"Just was merely pointing out the rare big-man misconception."

It's not a misconception. It can be made to seem that way when you don't distinguish the difference between "dominant/game-changing" and "puts up big numbers." Because the two are not necessarily equivalent.

The majority of players on your list are nowhere near "dominant," many have never averaged 20/10, and several aren't actually low post players.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 1:34 PM

"Gilbert Arenas is also a game-changing PG. Just because Chris Paul is a pass-first PG doesn't mean I would only label him as pass-first and not game-changing.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 12:25 PM "

If not for CP3, I don't think the Hornets, Chandler, or even David West would have had the seasons that they had.

People keep talking about how Gilby had the Wiz on the top of the East at the all star break 2 seasons ago. Unfortunately, it's not how you start, but how you finish. And the finish? From 1st place to 7th, with 1 game from being tied for 8th.

2-8 last 10 games

7-13 last 20 games

10-20 last 30 games

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/schedule?team=was&year=2007

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 2:00 PM

I agree that the team doesn't need to blow it up til we see how we finish healthy. I also believe that as long as Caron and AJ play guys that are consistently bigger, they'll wear down and get hurt. It's a catch-22. Our problem isn't so much who we have as much as what position they play. CB needs to play the 2 because he's too small for the 3. (if possible. I know it's a big if. I also know that it won't happen because he's an all star at the 3). CB at the 3 is all offense, great effort on D but still below average. AJ needs to come off the bench because he's a 3 sized guy playing the 4. No defense, all offense. We don't know yet what Gil will do with the new defensive system of Ayers. TBD. Haywood is decent at the 5. Blatche needs to play the 4 because he's got length.
If we're looking to shore up on D, some lineup changes have to be made. We also need that defensive spark off the bench like Posey and PJ Brown gave the Celts. I think McGuire might be able to do it. At this point, either play Pech or cut him. We need a big who has EJ's confidence.

Posted by: mark | June 20, 2008 2:27 PM

""20/10" 4's or 5's (or close enough to it):

Boozer, J O'Neal, Gasol, Jamison, Garnett, Jefferson, Amare, Dirk, Chandler, Bynum, Yao, DHoward, Brand, Bosh, Duncan, West, Rasheed, Shaq(maybe)

Young Big Men who have a great chance at getting there:"


Funny thing is there were only 4 20/10 F/C in the league last year. So ur 21/7 comparison is complete garbage. Half the guys you listed werent even close.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 2:44 PM

Not sure why everyone thinks that the JCN pick is a lock to be a second rounder. You are saying that Memphis is not going to make the playoffs over the next 5 season?

Keep in mind, if that is the case, memphis will have 5 lottery picks (from not making the playoffs) and 7 late first round / early second picks (their 5 plus the lakers 2) Thats a lot of players and a lot of possibilities.

Gives us a reason to cheer for Rudy Gay all over again!

Posted by: ATLwizFan | June 20, 2008 2:49 PM

yeah anon is correct the only 20/10 F's/C's in the league last year were jefferson, jamison, Dwight Howard and Boozer. Guys like Jermaine Oneal, Bynum, Chandler, Rasheed, and Shaq arent even close.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 2:50 PM

I think PG & a physical PF/C is the equally top need. I put Hibbert behind Chalmers because I think Chalmers will be a better pro than Hibbert at their respective positions...

Posted by: CN | June 19, 2008 10:47 PM


So the way it works for the Wizards is, if a Tier 4 player slips to #18, they should draft him, regardless of need...

But otherwise rate the players in Tier 5 based on position/need?

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 2:51 PM

Hibbert is the last thing this team needs. The 2 most needed positions are the 1 and 4. we also need a backup 3 b/c Dmac isnt going to cut it. I know you guys have high hopes for him but he has no hope.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 2:53 PM

This is great. I've blogged about how fantastic Ernie Grunfeld's
moves have been thus far with the Wizards. I still felt like the JCN situation was the one situation he could have dealt with better....but this proves that he nailed that one too.

Bravo, Ernie.

Also, the needs/tier draft system is pretty cool. Good insight.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork.com | June 20, 2008 4:49 AM

Well, of course, there's also the Etan Thomas contract....

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 2:54 PM

This is great. I've blogged about how fantastic Ernie Grunfeld's
moves have been thus far with the Wizards. I still felt like the JCN situation was the one situation he could have dealt with better....but this proves that he nailed that one too.

Bravo, Ernie.

Also, the needs/tier draft system is pretty cool. Good insight.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork.com | June 20, 2008 4:49 AM

Well, of course, there's also the Etan Thomas contract....

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 2:54 PM

This is great. I've blogged about how fantastic Ernie Grunfeld's
moves have been thus far with the Wizards. I still felt like the JCN situation was the one situation he could have dealt with better....but this proves that he nailed that one too.

Bravo, Ernie.

Also, the needs/tier draft system is pretty cool. Good insight.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork.com | June 20, 2008 4:49 AM

Well, of course, there's also the Etan Thomas contract....

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 2:54 PM

"He was not going to sign with the Wizards. Period."
Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 10:10 AM

Who is your source for this, Kalorama? Do you know JCN's agent?
The fact is that Grunfeld didn't have the money so sign Navaroo.

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 10:44 AM

Do we really have to rehash all this... ???

Where were you last year anon, when I continually posted the timeline about JCN, and he and his agent's manipulation trying to get a deal with either Miami or Memphis???

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 3:02 PM

JCN NEVER WANTED TO PLAY FOR WASHINGTON!!! And would have gone back to Europe had Ernie not been able to make a trade happen.

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 3:03 PM

Etan was back in the day. Pre-EG arriving.

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 20, 2008 3:09 PM

This is really interesting:
http://scoutingthenba.com/

Of note for the Wizards, it's interesting how highly they rate CDR, Hibbert and Chalmers. I'd be happy with any of the 3, and think the Wizards could really use an outstanding defender like Chalmers.

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 12:56 PM


If you look at need, though, Chalmers or Hibbert would be a better pick for the Wizards than CDR. The Wiz don't need another scoring guard.

I really like Chalmers, and think he could become a very good NBA PG... and I think he could become the backup in 2-3 years, once AD's contract is done.

On the other hand, Hibbert can step in right away and contribute. Not too many others in this draft (other than the top 3 or 4), will be able to do that - ESPECIALLY none of the Centers. Hibbert is the most NBA ready, right now. His "upside" is supposedly not as high as some others... but I think he'll be a solid Pro - and has a low "bust" potential. A safe pick at #18

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 3:09 PM

Hibbert's best skill is his passing. Other teams won't get much out of his vison and passing skills. We will. Playing in our system, Hibbert could be as effective as another player that is ranked much higher.

I love the Princeton- it lets us get more production out of guys like Hibbert, GA, and AJ than any other system would.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 3:17 PM

rgz,

Thanks for posting the 2002 2nd round. I don't know why people get worked up for a 2nd round pick. Very few make it to stardom, Boozer, Redd, & Arenas are exceptions not the norm. Look at that list and let me know who (taken after JCN) would you rather have? The Wiz took a shot, it may work out in their favor. Worst case, is they get another 2nd pick & cash in 2013.


Posted by: Allen | June 20, 2008 3:18 PM

""20/10" 4's or 5's (or close enough to it):

Boozer, J O'Neal, Gasol, Jamison, Garnett, Jefferson, Amare, Dirk, Chandler, Bynum, Yao, DHoward, Brand, Bosh, Duncan, West, Rasheed, Shaq(maybe)

Young Big Men who have a great chance at getting there:"


Funny thing is there were only 4 20/10 F/C in the league last year. So ur 21/7 comparison is complete garbage. Half the guys you listed werent even close.

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 2:44 PM

Well if you want to get technical, a healthy Arenas averaged 29ppg/6apg and 28/6 during his '05-'06 and '06-'07 seasons. You want to know how many other guards in the league averaged that last year? Zero. Not one. So Arenas is in even more select company than the "20/10" mandate you put on your big-man.

So I guess the comparison is actually 4/1 rather than 21/7. Oh well.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 3:27 PM

Etan was back in the day. Pre-EG arriving.

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 20, 2008 3:09 PM

Of course I was talking about Ernie matching the Milwaukee offer sheet to Etan Thomas for six-year $36 million - it also included a "poison pill" trade clause...

That happened in July 2004, and Ernie Grunfeld WAS the GM of the Wizards at that time!!!

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 3:31 PM

Hibbert's best skill is his passing. Other teams won't get much out of his vison and passing skills. We will. Playing in our system, Hibbert could be as effective as another player that is ranked much higher.

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 3:17 PM


It says something about Hibbert that Utah's Jerry Sloan is reportedly very high on him... and Hibbert will not slip past Utah in the 1st round.

Cleveland, another team that knows the advantages of having a VERY BIG Center that can pass the ball, not turn it over, and get easy baskets inside - they are reportedly interested in Hibbert as well. I guess they figure that Ilgauskas can't last forever... and the backup Centers they have (Varejao and Ben Wallace) are not cutting it. Verejao is supposedly on the trading block.

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 3:35 PM

The Wiz took a shot, it may work out in their favor. Worst case, is they get another 2nd pick & cash in 2013.

Posted by: Allen | June 20, 2008 3:18 PM

Yeah, how many times does a team get a "do over" for their 2nd round pick?

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 3:36 PM

Hibbert's best skill is his passing. Other teams won't get much out of his vison and passing skills. We will. Playing in our system, Hibbert could be as effective as another player that is ranked much higher.

I love the Princeton- it lets us get more production out of guys like Hibbert, GA, and AJ than any other system would.

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 3:17 PM

Personally, I hope that the Wizards don't draft Hibbert (dispite the fact that I am a Hoya fan). But the mention of his passing ability points out why I have never been too concerned about Gil not being a pure point. PGs are not usually the leading assist men at Princeton.

Posted by: SportzWiz | June 20, 2008 3:41 PM

It's not a misconception. It can be made to seem that way when you don't distinguish the difference between "dominant/game-changing" and "puts up big numbers." Because the two are not necessarily equivalent.

The majority of players on your list are nowhere near "dominant," many have never averaged 20/10, and several aren't actually low post players.

Posted by: kalorama | June 20, 2008 1:34 PM

The entire point of this argument came because you insinuated that Al Jefferson was a better trade option than Gilbert Arenas (at least that's what I took out of your statement).

To even compare the two - especially when the trade happened, as in Arenas was not viewed as a perennial injury case - is ludicrous. Al Jefferson has been on nothing but losing teams during his short career. And not just losing teams, but god-awful losing teams. If he was so special and rare, him and Pierce would've been enough to hold the Celtics up, and they wouldn't have had to pull a tank-job to try and win the Oden/Durant sweepstakes. His numbers are inflated because he's literally the only option the Wolves had. Regardless of how many players reached 20/10 last year, every one of the players I mentioned are either just as good or significantly better than Al Jefferson (with the exception of Shaq). Plain and simple, the same can not be said of Arenas. Paul, Williams, and Nash are better, Baron Davis and Billups are on a level playing field, and Kidd, Parker are not as good.

Arenas is a much rarer talent at PG than Jefferson is down low. That's why all the calls for Arenas' head are idiotic, unless you can get equal value in return.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 4:01 PM

Arenas and Baron Davis are more similar than psps23 mentions in his post:

1) Both have had a history of knee injuries (although Davis appears back to 100% the last 2 years).
2) Both can dominate on the offensive end off the dribble or by hitting the 3.
3) Neither is a strong defensive player.
4) Both have shown disrespect for their coaches in the last year.
5) Each can opt out of their contract this year (Arenas already has).
6) It appears that both might need a change of scenery at this point.

If EG could do a sign and trade of Arenas for Baron Davis plus their young bigman Bierins who is a restricted FA, it would be a great trade for us. Even up, it would come down to whether Gilby returned to his pre-injury form but I think Davis is a safer bet.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 20, 2008 4:57 PM

Why does Arenas need a change of scenery? That one is news to me. A guy gets injured and "needs a change of scenery"?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 5:04 PM

1. Baron Davis earned more last year and will earn more next year
2. he is two years older
3. Biedrins for who? Since it would be the Wizards to add a sweetener, not the other way around, do we want to give away one of the young bigs? or one of the draft picks?
4. Baron Davis won't fill phone booth seats like Gilbert Arenas does and Abe Pollin knows it

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2008 5:31 PM

"1. Baron Davis earned more last year and will earn more next year
2. he is two years older
3. Biedrins for who? Since it would be the Wizards to add a sweetener, not the other way around, do we want to give away one of the young bigs? or one of the draft picks?
4. Baron Davis won't fill phone booth seats like Gilbert Arenas does and Abe Pollin knows it

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 5:31 PM "

None of these reasons have any effect on his ability to take the Wiz to the next level. BD is a leader and energize the VC crowd, not take them on an up and down circus/carnival ride.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 6:59 PM

"Why does Arenas need a change of scenery? That one is news to me. A guy gets injured and "needs a change of scenery"?

Posted by: | June 20, 2008 5:04 PM "

He needs a change of scenery because his act has become tired.

* Coming out party
* Complaining about having to play defense
* Saying he wants no part of being a leader
* Saying he doesn't want to influence personnel decisions but doing it anyway for his boy DS
* Ignoring the doctors and trainers and doing his own thing which resulted in him getting hurt again
* Insubordination by not telling EJ that he was going to play and then showed up anyway
* Saying he wanted to kill himself
* Getting the Wiz to help him avoid getting subpoenaed
* Crying that the team is not better without him
* Team proving otherwise
* etc.

There's no one in DC Sports who's had as much drama that Gilby has had with the short time he's been here.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 7:04 PM

"Arenas is a much rarer talent at PG than Jefferson is down low. That's why all the calls for Arenas' head are idiotic, unless you can get equal value in return.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 4:01 PM "

Dominant big men are a hard to come by. Shoot first guards are a dime a dozen.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 7:10 PM

"Well if you want to get technical, a healthy Arenas averaged 29ppg/6apg and 28/6 during his '05-'06 and '06-'07 seasons. You want to know how many other guards in the league averaged that last year? Zero. Not one. So Arenas is in even more select company than the "20/10" mandate you put on your big-man.

So I guess the comparison is actually 4/1 rather than 21/7. Oh well.

Posted by: psps23 | June 20, 2008 3:27 PM "

Why are people so enamored with high scoring shoot first point guards who have had little playoff success, has had 2 knee surgeries, and wants max money?

Get over the scoring averages. What counts for your max player is leadership, and ability to carry your team deep into the playoffs.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 7:13 PM

"It says something about Hibbert that Utah's Jerry Sloan is reportedly very high on him... and Hibbert will not slip past Utah in the 1st round.

Cleveland, another team that knows the advantages of having a VERY BIG Center that can pass the ball, not turn it over, and get easy baskets inside - they are reportedly interested in Hibbert as well. I guess they figure that Ilgauskas can't last forever... and the backup Centers they have (Varejao and Ben Wallace) are not cutting it. Verejao is supposedly on the trading block.

Posted by: Rook | June 20, 2008 3:35 P

Is this the same Jerry Sloan that drafted DS out of high school? Yes it is.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 7:15 PM

"To even compare the two - especially when the trade happened, as in Arenas was not viewed as a perennial injury case - is ludicrous. Al Jefferson has been on nothing but losing teams during his short career. And not just losing teams, but god-awful losing teams."

So? Jefferson's been in the NBA 4 years. How many winning teams was Arenas on in his first 4 years? How about Elton Brand? The fact that a high draft pick started his career on a bad team says absolutely nothing about his talent or potential. All it says is that the bad teams get the best picks.

"Regardless of how many players reached 20/10 last year, every one of the players I mentioned are either just as good or significantly better than Al Jefferson"

"Better" is a wildly subjective word, and it's not one I used. I never said anything about "better." I said more valuable.

"Arenas is a much rarer talent at PG than Jefferson is down low. That's why all the calls for Arenas' head are idiotic, unless you can get equal value in return."

The operative word being "down low." The reason Jefferson is more valuable than Arenas and so many of the guys on your list (including Rasheed Wallace, who is easily a more talented player) is that he's a true low post big man, which is and remains a tough thing to get hold of in the NBA today. He can and does create the majority of his offense in the low post (as opposed to Wallace or Bosh, who get a lot of their points off jumpshots or Chandler, who is totally dependent on Paul to set him up for his offense, which even then is negligible). Teams with low post offensive big men tend to go further in the playoffs (when the team is good enough to get there) than teams that depend on jumpshooters. Which is why legit low post big men are harder to come by and more valuable than volume jumpshooting guards.

There's a reason why "never trade big for small" is such a well-known cliche in the NBA.

Posted by: kalorama | June 21, 2008 12:59 AM

Get over the scoring averages. What counts for your max player is leadership, and ability to carry your team deep into the playoffs.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2008 7:13 PM

Because Al Jefferson has such a great track record of playoff success. Gil looks like a God compared Jefferson in that respect. And in case you were wondering, yes, I WAS comparing Jefferson to Arenas in that respect.

Posted by: psps23 | June 21, 2008 3:35 AM

The operative word being "down low." The reason Jefferson is more valuable than Arenas and so many of the guys on your list (including Rasheed Wallace, who is easily a more talented player) is that he's a true low post big man, which is and remains a tough thing to get hold of in the NBA today. He can and does create the majority of his offense in the low post (as opposed to Wallace or Bosh, who get a lot of their points off jumpshots or Chandler, who is totally dependent on Paul to set him up for his offense, which even then is negligible). Teams with low post offensive big men tend to go further in the playoffs (when the team is good enough to get there) than teams that depend on jumpshooters. Which is why legit low post big men are harder to come by and more valuable than volume jumpshooting guards.

There's a reason why "never trade big for small" is such a well-known cliche in the NBA.

Posted by: kalorama | June 21, 2008 12:59 AM

(1) "Teams with low post offensive big men tend to go further in the playoffs"

-If you wanna go with low-post offensive big-men, then it happened to be 2 vs. 2 in the final 4, with Garnett/Rasheed ("jumpshooting big-men) vs. Duncan/Gasol (post big-men). The jumpshooters won in this case.

(2) "The fact that a high draft pick started his career on a bad team says absolutely nothing about his talent or potential"

-Except that most other high draft picks are expected to lift their team out of mediocrity - which is why they're picked so high. And Arenas was not a high draft pick but a 2nd rounder, which are rarely expected to make the roster, let alone start in all-star games. But that's alright, because even as a 2nd rounder he managed to lift our team out of the lottery when our #1 overall pick Kwame Brown couldn't. And by the way, Jefferson couldn't lift either of his teams up from mediocrity.

(3) ""Better" is a wildly subjective word, and it's not one I used. I never said anything about "better." I said more valuable."

I don't care about the technicalities of your words. I care about the message being sent across. You're fooling yourself if you think Al Jefferson is more valuable than Gilbert Arenas. Arenas is a once-in-a-generation PG. Jefferson is a very good but hardly unique 4/5. There's a reason Arenas is about to be paid close-to-max money. And it doesn't have to do with him being less valuable than Jefferson.

(4) "There's a reason why "never trade big for small" is such a well-known cliche in the NBA."

That may be true when dealing with equal talent. But Arenas vs. Jefferson is not equal talent. I would not trade Arenas for Jefferson the same way I would not trade C. Paul for Amare. Some positions are just rarer.

Posted by: psps23 | June 21, 2008 4:34 AM

There are some people who believe Gilbert Arena is (a) the real deal (b) a genuine crowd pleaer and (c) will come back.

Count me among them.

There are some people who believe Roy Hibbert is (a) a potentially solid NBA center, (b) a well coached,smart young man, (c) a good fit with the Wizards offense, (d) a true complement to BTH and (e) a Washington kind of guy.

Count me among them.

We have the beginnings of a very representative team here. Four straight playoff appearances are not a fluke and they are way, way preferable to what happened here during the lean years from the late 80s on through the (Michael) Jordan debacle. The glass is NOT half empty by any stretch...

Posted by: khrabb | June 21, 2008 10:50 AM

an, oh yes, even if the pay is equal, the choice of living and working in Barcelona as opposed to Memphis is an absolute no brainer, whatever your citizenship....

Posted by: khrabb | June 21, 2008 10:53 AM

did EG draft JCN?? If so, then why all the praise in his direction.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2008 4:49 PM

"did EG draft JCN?? If so, then why all the praise in his direction.

Posted by: | June 21, 2008 4:49 PM "

When the Wiz get eliminated 3 years in a row early....cities that aren't used to winning have to resort to cheering for any piece of good news they can find.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 23, 2008 10:43 PM

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