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What Should Grunfeld Do?

The Washington Wizards' 7-30 record guarantees that they are destined to reach the lottery for the first time in five years and it presents President Ernie Grunfeld with an interesting predicament. Until -- or if -- Gilbert Arenas returns (and nobody knows for sure), it is difficult to assess the direction of the franchise because so much hinges on whether Arenas can be at least 90-95 percent of what he once was.


Should he add another piece to us? (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

But for the sake of argument, let's assume that he returns as Arenas Lite -- a consistent, competent contributor who can explode for 30 every now and then -- and not a post-surgery Penny Hardaway (who was, by the way, Arenas's favorite player growing up) or Grant Hill. What should Grunfeld do with the pick?

The last time Grunfeld had a lottery pick in 2004, he traded the draft rights to No. 4 pick (Devin Harris), and dumped the contracts of Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner, on Dallas in exchange for Antawn Jamison. Five years later, Harris is just now emerging as an all-star while Jamison has reached the all-star team twice and helped lead the franchise through its most successful four-year run since the Washington Bullets reached the 1979 NBA Finals. So that deal has obviously worked out well in the Wizards' favor.

But right now, the Wizards are returning the lottery at a time when there are few, if any, impact players available in the draft. Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, a hard-nosed 6-foot-10, sophomore forward, is the consensus favorite to go No. 1 in the NBA draft, and with the current five-game slide, the Wizards are in serious contention for his services. Spanish wunderkind Ricky Rubio's hand injury and a reported seven-figure contract buyout will possibly keep him from entering the draft until 2010.

The rest of the contenders to go high in draft are Arizona State's sharpshooting sophomore guard James Harden, Connecticut junior center Hasheem Thabeet, UCLA freshman guard Jrue Holiday and Arizona junior forward Jordan Hill. Georgetown freshman center Greg Monroe and Davidson junior guard Stephen Curry have moved up some draft boards.


Or start over with me? (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

When Grunfeld committed to Arenas and Jamison last summer, he had no plans of adding the huge, guaranteed salary of a high lottery pick in 2009. The draft pick offers opportunity, though, especially if the Wizards want to catch up with division rivals Orlando and Atlanta, who have surpassed them this season.

There is the potential to add a high draft choice to their nucleus, but if the Wizards don't land the top pick, or even a top three pick, Grunfeld will have to strongly consider repeating what he did in 2004 and package the draft pick with an undesirable contract or two and add some veteran help to a suddenly aging core. Next season, the Wizards could potentially have Arenas going on 28, a 29-year-old Butler, a 33-year-old Jamison and Brendan Haywood going on 30.

Looking at the top talents and the current makeup of the Wizards (again, with a healthy Arenas), you'd have to assume that a rebounder like Griffin is the best fit. But this isn't the NFL. So much depends on what happens in Secaucus on May 19 at the draft lottery (and on April 26 -- the early entry deadline for underclassmen).

And a lot more depends on Arenas. If he returns as a shadow of himself -- which is possible with practically two seasons lost to injury -- the Wizards know that they will have to start over with a $111 million contract weighing them down for years to come. If he doesn't return this season, Grunfeld will have to gamble on what he thinks Arenas will be and decide whether to blow up the whole thing or to keep pushing along with a team that hasn't won a playoff series since 2005. What would you do?


By Michael Lee  |  January 14, 2009; 8:17 AM ET
 
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Comments

What should Abe do?

He should talk to Pat Riley about taking the job here as coach. If he wants full control, make him the GM, as well. That's one option. We wouldn't be worrying about whether we are going to play defense anymore.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Would it make sense to get another young guy when the ones we have haven't even been developed properly? If we had a track record of preparing and grooming young players, yes. With the present staff, no. Blake Griffin might come here and sit on the bench for a couple years while his effort was questioned.

Would it make sense to trade away a young guy for a veteran since we have a limited window of opportunity? Even with AJ's 2 all star appearances, a lot of folks would rather (in hindsight) have a 25 year old Devin Harris who's improving exponentially. Didn't we learn our lesson with Dan Roundfield/Gus Williams/Moses Malone, etc. ?

What we need to do is find a coach who can win with what we have a anyone else we add is gravy. This team has talent. We just need to harness it and that's gonna require a good coaching staff. I guarantee that other teams would be playing JM, NY and AB a lot and getting solid production from them.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

With Jamison and Arenas signed to long-term deals, we're pretty much stuck with our current core. We could the pick for a proven vet and hope to make another playoff run, but with Arenas coming back from the knife and years off, Jamison showing a little decline, it seems that is unlikely with this cast. Better to draft young talent with the ability to help now, and to form a future core with some of our young talent, as Portland kids from the last four drafts are beginning to so. As for the draft, Hasheem Thabeet is not the answer if you're drafting top five. He has some intriguing physical gifts, but lacks elite feel and skills. You don't want a guy who may develop in a few years, but a skilled one who can step right up and erase a need for a decade. Ricky Rubio and Griffin play positions we desperately need and have those skills. James Harden and Stephen Curry have NBA All-Star caliber skills, but are what we do not need: more jump-shooting, undersized, non-rebounding perimeter players. Brandon Jennings is intriguing, but will not be ready to start for a couple years, by which point the core of Haywood, Arenas, Jamison & Butler will be past their prime. Greg Monroe would be an upgrade over Blatche, tougher, smarter, quicker with better shooting and passing touch. We could then trade Blatche and an expiring contract for another team's sixth/seventh wheel... maybe a Kirk Hinrich... and fill another need

Posted by: SammyT1 | January 14, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

im all for blowing it up now (ala Miami last year). The only players i would keep are Butler and McGee (and I guess crittenton). Everyone else should be made available especially including AJ. Why not? We're not going to do any worse + next season is all question marks anyway (will arenas be healthy, will bwood play like brenda or 2008 haywood, will jameson's knee's hold up...). With so many question marks, its not crazy to say they could have the same record next year too so what do we have to lose? Get young, get talent, and get ready for 2010

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | January 14, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Until they find out what Arenas - lite, medium or regular - has they're basically stuck. Of course, with that contract they gave him, they're limited no matter what Arenas 2.0 has in him.

If Arenas is close to 100%, the smart move is to package that first and get a interior player.

If he's a shell of his former self, there's not heckuva lot they can do. He's untradeable, your cap is maxxed out and getting an interior player with your first only marginally fixes the problems.

It all comes down to GA.

Posted by: SteveMG | January 14, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Whatever Grunfeld does, he'd better not trade any of the 5 youngsters; Crit, Young, McGuire, Blatche, and McGee. These guys will all be solid-great role players for years. In my opinion, guys like Juan Dixon, Darius Songaila, DeShawn Stevenson, or Etan Thomas have never or will never match the gifts these guys have. That's where the team will take the next step -- on the shoulders of these youngsters.

In the draft, pray that we can snatch up Blake Griffin (the next Amare in my opinion), add him to the core of youngsters, then pray that Arenas comes back as a 25 ppg player.

My dream is in 2 years to see the roster look like this:

-Arenas -- Crit
-Young --
-Butler -- McGuire
-Griffin -- Jamison
-McGee -- Blatche

with another draft pick or 2, as well as a few cheap FA's, providing depth at SG and Center.

Posted by: psps23 | January 14, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the last Insider post, it would be great to add David Lee from the Knicksto this team and get some inside toughness that is a little more talented than Songaila.

David Lee works hard every night and maybe the Knicks would like to pick up Etan and Juan just to have some guys to cut.

I am eternally perplexed with this team, though. Lots of talent and it seems good effort most nights, but every game there is a 6-7 minute stretch where they can't drop a shot and make 4 bad passes. It's like they are cursed.

Also, all of a sudden Young starts hitting and Caron has disappeared. Caron has one of my favorite games in the league, working hard and playing scrappy. Does anyone know if he is injured still or has he just given up on the season.

I am on the badwagon now...cut Jamison and Butler's minutes to about 28 a game, play the young guys and see about getting Lee in the lineup. Then add whoever you can in the offseason.

BTW - watched Griffin in two games this season and am not terribly impressed. If he is the best in this draft, it is weak indeed. Trade down and try out some good mid-major prospects like Maynor from VCU.

Posted by: Blurred | January 14, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

This ought to be a no-brainer. Why would Ernie want to bring yet another young, raw and mostly unprepared-to-contribute-right-way into this team? We already have too many young players that have to be babysat. Why add yet another one? So package the pick and trade some of these young players (Pech) for veteran help. Preferably for a veteran with expiring contract. At least then we can have a chance at one of the FAs of 2010.

Posted by: tundey | January 14, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Trade the lottery pick and a vet contract for a quality guard.

Commit to developing McGee, Blatche, Young, McGuire and Critter.

Get a quality coach who can work with the existing players and instill a commitment to defense.

Manage players' time to minimize injuries (e.g., no more than 35 minutes a game, no back-to-backs for aging or injury recovering players, no full-time play for players returning from long absences).

Posted by: Izman | January 14, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

For starters, this isn't a suddenly aging core, they age one year at a time, just as you and I. Perhaps the first thing the Wiz AND Redskins need to do is find competent medical help.
Second, I believe that someone wrote about a trainer that D Wade used last summer to get into shape. Either bring him to DC or send JM, AB, OP and whomever else they want to bulk up to this guy.
Arenas is a strange case like Iverson. IF he comes back healthy, he's not a distributor, he hasn't been a defender, and really needs to play beside a bigger guard who can stop their shooter. Yes, he is a crowd pleaser and puts people in the seats. They may be paying for a "dead horse" for 6 more years, and with the luxury tax...
The 2009 draft is weak and the 2009-10 coach already has several young players to work with, if such a coach can be found. Package the pick with some deadwood and away it goes. No more Kwames please.

Posted by: lrmc623 | January 14, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"Why would Ernie want to bring yet another young, raw and mostly unprepared-to-contribute-right-way into this team?"

So that he can develop him with the other young, raw, and mostly unprepared-to-contribute-right-away guys. That way, when those guys are ready to be serious contributors, you actually have a full team of guys that are built to be in their prime at one time, and not a mish-mash of conflicting talents that can't work together.

Posted by: psps23 | January 14, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

This is a no-brainer: Pick the best player available. Trading a high pick is always trading the chance at a dollar a couple of years down the road in exchange for 80 cents now. This team isn't a veteran $.80 piece away from a championship. The so-called "Big 3" have serious questions about them going forward -- age, ability and health.

If the Big 3 play well in the next years, then by using the pick you've got a young, impact player at a reasonably low contract helping the Big 3 make a serious playoff run. If the Big 3 are not so big, then this new lottery player can be the building block for the future. High lottery picks don't come around very often. To trade one to dump some salary would be a disaster.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 14, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

BLAKE GRIFFIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2nd choice monroe then Thabeet, 4th Rubio.

If those guys are off the board trade the pick.

Posted by: beas13 | January 14, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I like how everyone just says trade the pick for a veteran. Who? It’s no guarantee other teams would be willing to give up a vet that can have a real impact. We got Jamison that year cause Dallas was loaded. He was a 6th man on that team!!!

If the Wiz can get a guy like Griffin, Harden or Rubio they should keep them. Here is the real problem with the Wizards/Bullets all these years. Trading picks and young talent and they go elsewhere and become stars. We keep 2nd round picks and late 1st rounders and wonder why they don't develop.

Get the high pick and come back with a healthy team next year.

Posted by: ostokes | January 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"Trade the lottery pick and a vet contract for a quality guard. Commit to developing McGee, Blatche, Young, McGuire and Critter."

Not to pick on Izman, because others have made the same point, but this idea is silly. Why would you trade a top 5 pick so that you can build around 3 players picked in the 16-21 first round range and 2 second round players? No one in that group has star potential. A top five pick has a much better chance of being a top flight player.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 14, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

That lottery pick, plus the expiring contracts of Thomas & James will be very attractive. I think there will be some big changes in personnel in the next 13 months, up to the mid-February 2010 trade deadline. The aforementioned players & pick may be enticing enough for a team to take Songalia (4.6M/yr thru 2011) and/or Stevenson ($4M per year thru 2011), to take some of our heavy, but moveable contracts...

Trading the pick will almost certainly require moving some of this team's players, due to cap purposes, so the most logical choices are Thomas & James...

Posted by: -CN- | January 14, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I've always liked David Lee and he was on the trading block until recently but since his resurgence Donnie Walsh(Knick'sGM)has indicated that the Knicks may now have second thought's,Now; back to our daily drama"As The Wiz Turn" there is no way some of you who post here on a daily basis would sit still for a rebuilding of this current roster and I know i don't want that, look at Utah they have a mix of vet's and rookies and they win every year and make the playoff's but of course they keep their coach(what a concept!!)and their Gm isn't a backstabbing paranoid,insecure,goofball.I've already weighed in on Blake Griffin, i saw James Harden(Ariz.St) earlier this season "he can play" and has a NBA game but if we lucked up with him what about Gil? and how would we keep him(Harden)after his initial season's Arenas is untradeable with his contract so are we stuck in salary cap hell?

Posted by: dargregmag | January 14, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

This is an old refrain of mine but...No one in this upcoming draft is a big enough star to have prevented what happened to us this year from happening. If we had Greg Oden on our team this year, we'd still be close to last in our division.
Like a lot of other ppl have stated, we are tied to Gil and AJ. Caron has a decent contract so we could deal him if we wanted to but we probably won't. We don't need a star if Gil comes back healthy. We need complementary players who can play some defense. A Udonis Haslem type would be perfect. Lottery picks usually don't play the Haslem role. Typically you get into the lottery because you put up good offensive numbers. The question was WSED (what should Ernie do?).
This was in regard to player acquisition.

Surprisingly, the answer is ...nothing. At least nothing out of the ordinary.

Draft the best player available and keep him. Whoever it is won't be getting any minutes anyway. Once BTH comes back, I'm assuming that AB moves to the backup PF spot because JM is only used as a C. I don't think Blake Griffin can beat out AB.
Ricky Rubio certainly isn't as good as Gil. I doubt Thabeet could beat out BTH, either...at least initially.

The keys to this team are health and coaching. Specifically, Gil's health and the new coaches philosophy.

A good coach and a healthy team (as is) could win 50 games in this league. I'm convinced.

Adding a young piece bodes well for our future but I can't see a veteran (remember we aren't gonna go near that luxury tax so we're looking at a bargain basement vet) that can help us.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I agree with your assessment of how Griffin would fit with the team. A strong rebounder and defender would allow so much more freedom on the offensive end for our big three. But as you say, we gotta get those balls to fall right for us to even be in the situation to pick Griffin. So let the season play out and then we can have that discussion.

Posted by: Matte | January 14, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

There are some variations on the trade-the-pick option that could be explored such as swapping picks and one of our expiring contracts to get some solid veteran help now (i.e. Haslem) as o-mark is right when he talks above about the window of opportunity closing.

On the more fantastic side, we could swap picks with Philly, sending Jamison, Blatche and Etan/Songaila (choose one) to receive Elton Brand and a personal favorite of mine because he's a nasty rebounder, Reggie Evans.

Kool Aid and Solychnaya, the breakfast of champions.

Posted by: mugsybol | January 14, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Original_Mark,

I agree... just draft the best guy available. However, I believe Blake Griffin already has a lot more poise, polish and toughness than AB, and would be an immediate upgrade. As for Rubio vs. Gil, which Gil are we talking about? The one who was an unstoppable scorer, but subpar defender and passer four seasons ago, or the one with three knee surgeries who hasn't played in two years? Rubio will be a special player: he's mentally tough, quick, an elite passer, shoots well and even better when occasion demands. He's one of those rare players who sees into the future a split second before everyone else, leading to stolen passes, the ability to put the ball exactly where and when it needs to be and to make everyone else look good. At only 17 and still a beanpole, he gave the Redeem Team fits. Imagine what he will do in a couple years. Gil was an explosive scorer, and may still be a good one, but Rubio is a foundation a great team can be built around.

Posted by: SammyT1 | January 14, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

QUIT

Posted by: prescrunk | January 14, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Question: " Why would you trade a top 5 pick so that you can build around 3 players picked in the 16-21 first round range and 2 second round players?

The answer depends on what you think have and how they can develop. I see:

Arenas/Crit
Stuckey (or similar)/Young
Butler/McGuire
Jamison/Blatche (switches in 1/2 years)
Haywood/McGee (switches in two years)

McGee and Blatche have all-star potential in 2-3 years with commitment to development.

The above team works well together and can be put together with certainty. You never know what you are going to get with a rookie (think Kwame, etc.).

Posted by: Izman | January 14, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Plan A: 1) draft griffin 2) get the name of the blazers' doctor who declared miles unable to play again and have him look at etan 3) "promote" pecherov to management and make him the new g-wiz.

Plan B: (depending on pick) package draft pick, etan and young for mike miller

Posted by: PindarPushkin | January 14, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Izman, I would have no problem with the Wizards trading the pick for a very good young player like Stuckey. That makes sense. He is good enough to be the young star of the future (McGee and especially Blatche don't seem destined to play that role).

What I have a problem with is trading the pick for an older good player, like the Celtics trading the Jeff Green pick for Ray Allen. Sure, Allen helped the Celtics win the championship, but the Wizards aren't a Ray Allen away from anything. And after his legs fall off in 2 or 3 years, you'd be left with a bunch of young guys incapable of being that building block player, so it would be back to square one. In other words, picking the best player available is the safest route for the short and long term future of the franchise.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 14, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think Blake Griffin, Greg Monroe, or James Harden, provided they came out would be excellent fits to our team and could contribute right away. However, only if those three werent available would I like to see the Wizards trade away the pick for an INTERIOR PRESENSE. Possibly taking the pick and packaging it with Deshawn Stevenson and/or Darius Songaila, Etan Thomas for a proven inside player like Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman or Emeka Okafor. I luv to see this possible line-up for next year...

1. Gil
2. Nick Young
3. Butler
4. Jamison
5. Blake Griffin/McGee

Posted by: airnique23 | January 14, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

We'd have to be NUTS to get Reggie Evans on this team.

Yes, that's a joke.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

We should change our name back to Bullets and wear red, white, and blue. At least when we lost back then we had a respectable team name and colors. This Wizards stuff is terrible or is it Zephrys?

Posted by: JJstarr | January 14, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I guess we can scratch Rubio off the list based on what Mike Lee wrote. That weakens the draft even further. Of course someone always steps up late in the season and winds up being a good pro.

Here's my bottom line:

We have no idea what we need to do until we get a coach. If we hire a D'Antoni clone, we draft a certain type of player. If we get a Pat Riley type, we get a different type of player. We should be talking to coaches right now. I like what Thibodeau has done in Boston (and everywhere else he's been). On the other hand, I also like offensive minded guys.
Who we draft and what we do with the pick depends on the team philosophy (and health).

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

This is a no-brainer--go after Thabeet from UConn, trade up if you have to after the lottery balls have fallen. Granted, the perimeter defense is not there, and we don't have a post threat, but without a legitimate big man to at least challenge some shots, they will continue to surrender drive after drive in the 4th quarter.

Posted by: wizfan74 | January 14, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

MIKE; Forgot to answer the question:What should Grunfeld do? RESIGN!!!!

Posted by: dargregmag | January 14, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Griffin at Center is like having Song at center now, dumb move

Posted by: BurgwithaU | January 14, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"In the draft, pray that we can snatch up Blake Griffin (the next Amare in my opinion), add him to the core of youngsters, then pray that Arenas comes back as a 25 ppg player."

But there's a chance to get the real thing in '10. Griffin, from what I've seen of him so far, is pretty underwhelming. Trade the pick for a vet/vets in their last year of their contract(s), let that $$$ come off the books, and go all in (that phrase sounds familiar) for Stoudemire next summer. Encourage Tawn and Zero to restructure their deals, if need be.

Posted by: nittanybruin | January 14, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The knock on Stoudemire has been his defense. Sure he'll get us 21 and 9 (his career average which is incidentally higher than his season avg.) but we're getting that from Jamison.

Amare has the youth thing going for him but I don't know if getting him fixes our fundamental shortcomings.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I've never been particulary impressed by Etan Thomas, so I'd try to package him in a deal if they are going in that direction. Amazing how the years the Wiz are in the stinker, there is nothing really great about the potential for the draft, but as soon as the Wiz aren't in the lottery, LeBron and those guys are available.

I'd say try to give the young guys like McGee and Blatche and Young as much time in games this year as possible. What you may find is that by next season, those guys are ready to go to the next level and in a way it will be like have three new players on your team as a result.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 14, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Trade the lottery pick and a vet contract for a quality guard. Commit to developing McGee, Blatche, Young, McGuire and Critter."

Not to pick on Izman, because others have made the same point, but this idea is silly. Why would you trade a top 5 pick so that you can build around 3 players picked in the 16-21 first round range and 2 second round players? No one in that group has star potential. A top five pick has a much better chance of being a top flight player.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | January 14, 2009 10:15 AM


There is one thing that shocked me about what "disgruntledfan" said. Are you trying to say McGee doesnt have star potential or Nick Young doesnt have star potential. I think that is udderly ridiculous we have a solid core of young players and hopefully once we draft Blake Griffin he will be that inside presence that we need. He is a true rebounder and a banger. That is what we need.

Posted by: rcarter51 | January 14, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Wizfan74: Very good opinion. Thabeet is a no-brainer. If he is available, take him. If we get the # 1 pick, take him. Period. That combo of size and strength does not come around too often. He has got better every year @ Uconn, in a tough conference.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one worried about how Nick Young is going to mesh with a healthy Arenas? They both need the ball in their hands for long periods of time in order to get a rhythm. They're essentially the same player. At least, I think they are. I can barely remember what Arenas' game looks like.

And just to agree with the earlier post- if there was ever a good reason to bring back the red, white and blue (and hopefully the Bullets), this season is it. We all want to forget this nightmare. What better way to do it than with an updated look? That honestly might be the best strategy going into next season. Start anew. Things are so bad around here that I'm looking forward to new uniforms.

Posted by: bryc3 | January 14, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand Grandfield why he fired Eddie Jordan. Tapscott cannot help this team at all. Look the way he has coached the Wizards. It was like a kid talking during the time out. Grunfield should have fired himself that made a big mess on this team. I agree with other comments that Pat Riley or D'Antoni are good coach that the Wiz must bring either one in.

I am not sure with Arenas' health. For now, the players whom need to be traded are Etan Thomas and D McGuire. Blanche should not be a starter due to inconsistently play. Arenas also plays inconsistently, unlike Jamison and Butler. Trade Gil away and get a better veteran player who can provide consistent play.

Posted by: Jack_beckie | January 14, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe what I'm hearing about Blake Griffin. He is a bonafide post player that is exactly what we need he leads the ncaa in rebounding. "Another need" We have our center of the future with Javale McGee. I can't wait until he adds 20-25 pounds of muscle on that frame. Mcgee will be our interior presence. and Blake will be a more athletic Carlos Boozer. You never can have to much young talent. Later you can package young talent to receive a legitimate vet. If we like.

Posted by: rcarter51 | January 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I say take the pick and package it with whatever(namely Etan and Stevenson) and make a move on Chris Bosh. I think out of the free agents coming up, (Lebron, D. Wade, etc.) He might be the only one that will actually leave. But thats only if Good Ol' Abe is ready to go over the luxury tax. But wouldn't you if you could add Bosh to a team that already has Arenas, Butler, and Jamison?

Posted by: CBell29 | January 14, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

First,

I'd give my all to hire Mark Jackson as the coach right now so he has the rest of the season to build his staff, get his feet wet and have his virgin coaching style ready for next season.

Then I would draft Tyler Hansborough and play hime at the 4 along with AB.

BH and JM handles the 5.

AJ and DM at the 3.

CB at the 3 or 4 depending on merit or need.

GA, and NY at the 2.

JC and JD at the 1.

DStev as backup shooter at 2,3 or 4.

DSon, Etan, and MJ are outa here.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 14, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Pec is also outa here.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 14, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

if arenas looks like he can return to his old self, then i think you have to trade the pick (smartly) and try to win something now. Butler and Jamison aren't getting any younger, and the team has already shown they can win with the "big three". a smart trade makes them the "big four". Blatche has proven he can contribute. Young, well, maybe i guess. McGee is a worthwhile project. Get rid of the rest where possible.

If arenas can't make it back, then blow it up. this team has no chance without him.

and for those arguing that the future of this team is young, critenion, mcgee, mcquire, etc.... that seems way out there to me. how many projects - and all of these guys are projects - actually pan out? 1 in 5 maybe? i'd say never 5 of 5.

Posted by: stevie2 | January 14, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I would be fine with punting this pick until a later year when perhaps the picks are better. Trade this pick to a bad team for a future 1st and a productive veteran on a cheap contract.

We have young talented players at all positions that must be developed. And with the injuries, we don't know what the biggest need will be. Yes, we could certainly use a player like Griffin ... but due to the presence of Jamison, Griffin would not be given an opportunity to succeed.

Posted by: uptownjive | January 14, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Keep the pick and get the best player on the board (preferably a big man with physical, inside scoring ability). Trading the pick for a vet is iffy at best because, given the lack of immediate impact players available in this draft, it'll be tough to get an immediate impact vet in return for the pick. They could certainly get a good player, but the Wiz need more than another "good player" if they plan on moving forward.

And there is absolutely no chance the Pistons would trade Stuckey for any pick the Wiz end up with. They just traded their team leader and Finals MVP to make room for him in the lineup and he's flourished. Why would they turn around and get rid of him for a chance to draft a player who likely might not be as good?
nittanybruin :

(A) You can't just trade draft picks for "vet/vets in their last year of their contract(s)." Contract amounts have to match in trades, meaning that the Wiz would have to trade players with ongoing contracts in the same amount as any expiring contract they get back. And no one is going to trade expiring contracts for anyone on the Wizards roster. (B) There is no contract restructuring in the NBA.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are in a playoff race right now. Every game matters. Root hard for the Thunder, Wolves, Clippers and SacTown to win and for the Wiz to lose.
And hope that Ernie G comes to his senses and fires Tapscott at year's end and hires a real coach. Then and only then will who you draft matter. BTW I'd rather have Devin Harris than Jamison anyday.
EG should be fired next.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 14, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

why all the negativity? they only need to go 34-11 to reach .500 and possibly the 8th seed. then in the offseason, ernie will talk about not needing to change the roster. he'll say that they only need to stay healthy because back in 2006, they had the best record in the east 1/3 into the season. yay!

Posted by: d_skillz | January 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Wizards' 7-30 record guarantees that they are destined to reach the lottery"

I'm confused about this sentence. Do you mean the 7-30 record has already guaranteed their inclusion in the lottery? Or that the current record will likely lead them to the lottery?

Posted by: dtle | January 14, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

SKILLZ; Gimme some of what you're smokin bro that's some strong tree that'll get me through the day, 34-11 yeah baby that's what i'm talkin bout!!!!.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 14, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to say until they actually drop those balls into the machine.

I mean if the Wiz get shafted like they have in years past, then they should trade that thing away and dump a contract or two with it.

Otherwise, it's too soon to tell.

Personally, if they get the top pick then keep it. Otherwise trade it away and clear some needed cap space.

I like the young talent the Wiz have, I DO NOT like the coaches however. Maybe they can trade the pick to the Lakers for Phil Jackson. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 14, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with all the folks who say Gilbert's contract is untradeable. Who knows what goes through the heads of GM's!?! Iverson and Shaq both got traded twice. Besides the curios logic of GM's, there are also trade exceptions and those weird rules that sometimes pop up - Camby at $10 Mil got traded for nothing, who saw that coming?

The Warriors wanted Gil at $100 Mil, and Sacremento told him "We'll trade our whole team for you." That's just what was reported. There are dissapointments all over the NBA, frustrated bloggers, and owners who might like a seat-filling, self-promoting blogger that can score a bit. The next Isiah Thomas is waiting to find the next Steve Francis.

If Gil comes back dimenished and EG wants to get rid of him, someone out there will want to make a deal.

Knowing that Gil is tradeable, draft well. Griffen or Curry or whomever we think will turn into an all star. Young cheap talent is hard to find and it's much easier to re-sign someone if they get good and are already on the team.

Posted by: cballer | January 14, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Folks, people like d_skillz are JOKING when they say that the Wiz only need to go 34-11 to hit .500. Relax.

As for what the Wiz should do, I agree with the early poster who said we need to see what happens with Gil. If he's healthy, that changes our needs. If not, Rubio becomes a viable option.

I think they need to hold on to the pick and enter a rebuilding phase. Hire a teaching coach that knows how to mold young talent and let 'er rip. If you get the top pick, it has to be Griffin.

Posted by: keithward64 | January 14, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Note to Larry/Clin.Md. You know if you hire Mark Jackson their's going to be a learning curve, will the fan base be ok with that? not saying that's a bad thing,just a paitience thing i like the idea of hiring Jackson,no old baggage just a fresh face in coaching rank's, one caviat; fire Grunfeld!

Posted by: dargregmag | January 14, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is never going to be a consistent starter in the NBA. He lacks the work ethic and love of the game. It's his fourth year and the inconsistencies still show up everywhere in his game.

Trade BLATCHE after playing him heavy minutes this year to get his value up and let someone else develop his "potential".

Thats what they said about Kwame.

Posted by: burnsrb | January 14, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

No-brainer to pick an inside player with both scoring and rebounding ability. I've watched Blake Griffin and his improvement since his freshman year is impressive...he could be another Amare Stoudemire given his size (legit 6 10", 240 lbs.) and skills. He's a low post scorer who plays with a ton of intensity. If he's not available, then possibly Harden or Thabeet although I don't see as much upside for either player. Trading the pick for a veteran makes no sense given the age of the core players on this team unless we can unload some undesirable contracts (Thomas, Songaila, DSS) at the same time.

People need to realize that this season has been in the making for 2 years since Arenas first hurt his knee. Only a combination of career years from CB3, BTH, and DSS and good coaching salvaged last year and deluded the fans into thinking the return of Agent Zero would make us a true contender. His re-signing was delusional given that he showed he was still damaged goods at the end of last year, but Abe Pollin listened to his heart instead of his head & resigned him to a deal that will haunt the franchise for years to come.

EG needs to be fired after the season along with the horrible medical staff who have misdiagnosed /mistreated injuries to nearly every player on the roster. A new President/GM should be brought in to select a real coach like Jeff Van Gundy...change in the front office is needed before worrying about what to do with our pending lottery pick.

Posted by: wizfan89 | January 14, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Firing Grunfeld is not the right decision. People forget what is on his resumee as far as finding talent. Trading Kwame for Caron is all that needs to be said, as well as bring Gil to DC in '03.

I do agree that the medical staff needs to be fired though. Bring in the Suns medical staff for goodness sake!

Posted by: burnsrb | January 14, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I think Grunfield is a good GM. He's 50x better then what's been here the past 10 years.

Can't blame him for injuries. This offseason is going to be huge for the franchise though.

Posted by: ostokes | January 14, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Mark Jackson as coach. Quite frankly, I'm surprised he's not already coaching somewhere. Going back to when he was a player with the Pacers, I always thought he was a guy who'd end up as a coach. Something about the way he played and talked about the game really stood out.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Take Jodie Meeks I say.....

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | January 14, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Grunfeld has done a lot of things right and a few things wrong, just like Jordan. I don't think either one of them deserves firing based on their individual performance, but the clearly unhappy union between them made it almost inevitable that one of them had to go eventually. Now that Grunfeld is the last man standing, he deserves a shot to run the show his way across the board.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Mark Jackson? We might as well wait until Antonio Daniels retires. I could see him as a coach (seriously, I mean it).

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I say Jeff Van Gundy or Avery Johnson.

We need to get tough.

Posted by: ostokes | January 14, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how adamant Pollin was in keeping Arenas. It seems that Jamison had a very good relationship with Pollin, and I can see why; Jamison's been classy and fairly consistent during his time here.

Arenas, on the other hand, has been controversial and had two knee surgeries, PRIOR to signing his extension. It seems that it made sense for the the team to re-sign those two guys, but how much was Pollin involved in that say. Since he was signing the checks, one would think that he was on top of things. However, looks as if he's slowing down a bit at his age. With the third knee surgery, the Arenas signing now looks awful, so who can we put on the hook for that IF Arenas doesn't return to form?

Posted by: -CN- | January 14, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

There's no hook to put anyone on, CN. Arenas became the face of the franchise, a multiple all-star and a guy who wins games and fans pay to see. Unless there was some prior indication that the injury was highly probable to be career threatening (and there still is no such indication) then not signing him was most likely never considered. And almost any other team in the NBA would have done the same thing in similar circumstances.

There's always risk with any business deal. The issue is whether the potential benefit makes the risk worthwhile.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

i think trading a pick in the top three is just a bad move. who do we really think we're going to get via a trade? let's not forget that to get jamison, we traded the 4th pick, and two big contracts, one of which was stackhouse, who could still score a bunch.

if we get the first pick, and griffin enters the draft. we take him. plain and simple.

if we don't land that pick, and we really want to make a trade, we'll have to package the pick with butler or jamison and an expiring contract to go after a big time player.

we gotta remember, arenas isn't going anywhere. if he's as good as he was before, we're not trading him. if he's not what he once was, no one is taking on his contract until the last year.

someone earlier mentioned, bosh. i'd love to have him. but the only chance i see us getting him is if we trade the #1 pick in the draft, butler, and an expiring contract. toronto then would have bargnani, griffin, butler, and calderon and enough money under the cap to bring in a good 2. but even so, they'd only make that trade if they thought bosh was going to bolt. and we should only make that trade if we are sure he wouldn't bolt from us.

Posted by: segastyle | January 14, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Kal. There's no need to second guess the decision to resign Gil because it was the right one to make at the time assuming that he would return to full health.
Based on AJ's production, re signing him was also the right call.

All of this puts the medical staff on the hook,in my opinion. They should have been putting up warning signs if they thought he wasn't going to be ready to play. I'm sure Abe consulted them. That leaves us with two results...either the medical staff sux or Gil will return to full health.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Bottom Line: Arenas & AJ signings were horrible. The reason, 2010. It’s that simple. Bosh, LBJ, Dwade, Dirk, Tyson, Manu, Amare, Josh Howard, Yao, I could continue. The point is, this is going to be the best FA class in the history of the NBA. With all the focus on where LBJ will end up, there is a ton of other talent in 2010. But the Wiz decided to invest over 160 million in a gimpy, shoot-first PG, & an aging PF. Both of whom are perhaps the worst defenders in the NBA respectively. That is essentially investing your future in run & gun, selfish, basketball. While it could prove to be entertaining, and sell tickets, it will not win a championship. Clearly that is what this organization is more concerned with.

The smarter move would have been to offer Gil 6 years, 72 million- take it or leave it. Should have offered AJ 3 years, 25 million- take it or leave it. Why you ask? Because that is what they are both worth. Even those would have been generous deals. Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but Gilbert Arenas is not a max player, and never will be, not even close.

More than likely, Gil and AJ both would have walked, and that would have benefited the franchise BIG TIME for 2010. These next 2 years could have been prime time for NY, Dom, Javale, AB to develop. Sure, we wouldn’t win a lot of games, but it would pay off in the long run. It’s called building for the future. Could have got a couple good lottery picks in the 2 years until then, and then had the money to make a real move. EG has no balls. I like EG as a GM, but I think he was under a tremendous amount of pressure to resign these two players “at all costs”. I love Abe as a human being and philanthropist, but it is clear who made these decisions, it wasn’t Ernie.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

On a point unrelated to this thread but revisiting several earlier discussions:

"3. Who says you need to run to win nowadays? Seven of the 10 slowest-paced teams are on track to make the playoffs, while only three of the 10 fastest can make the same claim. Running may win fans -- no small feat in these times --but execution and defense still rule the standings."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/paul_forrester/01/12/nelson.notes/1.html

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

3. Who says you need to run to win nowadays? Seven of the 10 slowest-paced teams are on track to make the playoffs, while only three of the 10 fastest can make the same claim. Running may win fans -- no small feat in these times --but execution and defense still rule the standings."


See directly above

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention DJ Mbenga will be a FA in 2010. Throw him in the mix, with guys like Jared Jefferies and Chucky Atkins (both of whom are FA in 2010). Then the Wiz can start building on something.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

AVERY JAWNSON ???


Hey, gotta go after Rubio........this kid's basketball IQ & instincts are surreal. I've never seen a player like him in my life. He appears to be a combination of Steve Nash, Kevin Johnson & Jason Kidd all in one (and to think the Phoenix Suns had all 3 of these players on their roster at the same time ! )

Does anyone think his hand is going to keep him out untill next November ? Of course not ! Pay the mill or so that it takes to get him out of his contract and do-itch big !......it seems most of these Spanish players are turning out to be solid in the NBA anyway,which is more than you can say about the rest of Europe which seems to be just one big roll of the dice.

Peace to Wang Zhi Zhi........keep it greezy , I'm out.

Posted by: slipperyrichard | January 14, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

why the need to add that penny and grant were his two faves? that's gotta be a little too close to the bottom side of the belt. Trading the pick would be predicated on which pick and who in particular would be leaving and returning with it. In general I abhor the idea of trading away a chance to get someone anywhere in the top 10 because if you can scout you should be able to find someone to help the team immediately or down the line depending on what needs you have, we need a now guy i'd say. We should work hard to try and unload jamison, his number are exactly that numbers, he puts up stats but that doesn't show you the way he reliably gets beaten on d, he needs twenty and ten in order to be of any value because whoever he guards punishes he and the wiz alike. His rebounds are weird because he is a legitimately good rebounder, but doesn't have the physical presence that is usually associated with a rebounding edge,in my mind he and caron play the same position and caron is who you gotta chose to keep, jamison for an expiring contract would be amazing, he should be shopped hard. how about meeks from kentucky who dropped a school record 54 last night? his stock is gonna be rising heavily here soon.

Posted by: bford1kb | January 14, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I like Rubio too, but we need someone who can bang. Griffin and the kids from Arizona Jordan Hill are the only two guys I think can help them right away.

Posted by: ostokes | January 14, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Ernie needs to stay. He has drafted well with the only exception the year he went European. But we need a great teaching coach, preferably a defensive oriented coach. We need to dump James right now. He is killing the team. Watch how the worst point guard in the NBA looks to shoot on every play. He is the only guy on a three on one who you can always count on to take the shot and pass up the pass. Then leave it to Ernie to figure out the right move with the pick. If it is top 3, he will keep it and draft. If he can trade the pick for a solid inside player and package some bad contracts, he will explore that. The guy is smart. The problem is Abe. Abe has run this team as if you need 3 high paid players, two also-rans, and no bench. We have dumped great bench players for 25 years. Where would we be now with Steve Blake, Brendon Night, Ruffin, and Mason on the team? We wouldn't be worrying about how much Dixon hurts on defense and James on offense.
I agree that we should give Blache lots of PT now and then think about trading him for a first round pick. McGee has the heard and size to be a star. AB is a second round Kwame. He has all the tools but not the heart. If we play him a lot, he will be trade bait. Then we can build around Haywood, McGee, and our first round pick at center.

Posted by: smallwhiteforward | January 14, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

A direct quote from Ernie Grunfeld after the Arenas signing: "Gilbert is a phenomenal player and his value to the franchise goes beyond what he brings to the court. We're proud and excited that we were able to take care of our own free agents and open the 2008-09 season with a healthy core intact."

Draw whatever conclusion you want. But this quote points out 2 things
A) Gilbert fills seats, and is popular in the community, so we basically signed because of revenue, not what he brings to the court.
B) Gilbert insisted management knew about his knee situation before the signing. Well according to Mr. Grunfeld, the Wizards were going to start the 08-09 season with a health core intact.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

A direct quote from Gilbert Arenas after the Arenas signing: “I think with the players we have on this roster, we can compete with anyone in the NBA," Arenas said in a statement released by the team. "And I look forward to returning to the court next season on a mission to deliver a championship banner."

Well now, we all see how that has worked out. Evidently, Gil was looking forward to returning to the court. Is it just me, or have I not seen him on the court in a very long time?
Yet Gil insisted he and management were well aware he was going to miss this time before the signing. Now he is probably not going to play at all this season. Can you say “duped”? Interesting.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

During an appearance in Europe after his trip to China, Arenas said his knee was "about 95 percent" and that he didn't want "to touch a basketball until August" because he wanted to make sure he was healthy before returning to the court. –AP (right after the signing).
Again, any fan who believes anything this man says is a baboon. I feel for ya. Any fan who believes it was wise to sign this man to a 111 mill deal is a baboon.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree with what someone said earlier. I would love it if we could get our hands on David Lee. Very tough inside and you don't have to run a play for him. That would also allow us to move Jamison to the bench.

Posted by: mdaggie98 | January 14, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

cj658, I'd be interested to know how you define a max player. Based on the numbers alone from when he was healthy, Gil is definitely a max player. If you look at all of the highest paid players in the league, his numbers during his last couple of healthy years are right up there with theirs.
Take a look at the top 20 NBA salaries (according to Hoopshype.com)


1. Kevin Garnett Boston
$24,750,000
2. Stephon Marbury New York
$21,937,500
-. Allen Iverson Detroit
$21,937,500
4. Jason Kidd Dallas
$21,372,000
5. Jermaine O'Neal Toronto
$21,352,500
6. Kobe Bryant LA Lakers
$21,262,500
7. Tracy McGrady Houston
$21,126,874
8. Tim Duncan San Antonio
$20,598,703
9. Shaquille O'Neal Phoenix
$20,000,000
10. Steve Francis Portland / Memphis
$19,814,480
11. Dirk Nowitzki Dallas
$18,077,904
-. Paul Pierce Boston
$18,077,904
-. Shawn Marion Miami
$17,180,000
14. Ray Allen Boston
$17,388,430
15. Rashard Lewis Orlando
$17,238,000
16. Michael Redd Milwaukee
$15,780,000
17. Mike Bibby Atlanta
$15,225,000
18. Vince Carter New Jersey
$15,200,000
19. Andrei Kirilenko Utah
$15,080,312
19(t) Pau Gasol LA Lakers
$15,080,312
21. Yao Ming Houston
$15,070,550
21(t). Amare Stoudemire Phoenix
$15,070,550
23. Zach Randolph LA Clippers
$14,666,666
24. Lamar Odom LA Lakers
$14,559,000
25. Ben Wallace Cleveland
$14,500,000
25(t)Gilbert Arenas Washington
$14,500,000

"Twice in his career, Arenas has averaged over 28 points, while also chipping-in with six assists. Only a select few like Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant have posted those kinds of stats."

Do you really think that Gil isn't as good as or better than some of the guys on this list? Add the fact that he's one of the best clutch shooters in the game and I believe he's definitely worth it.

Gil's 14.5 million dollar salary for 08-09 ranks him at #25 in the league. Not bad for a guy who singlehandedly won a bunch of games for us.

Posted by: original_mark | January 14, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

And as far as them being "all-stars":

Being an allstar can be deceiving. Most fans look at a players numbers. If a player is on a team that likes to push the ball and play an up and down tempo their stats will land them in the top of several catgories. Teams that play within a structured system may not produce players with crazy numbers although they do create a better team. Plus Gilbert and AJ were playing for contracts and we all know what that means.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

OriginalMark: Numbers are overrated. Jerry Stackhouse led the league in scoring at one point. Does that “automatically” make him a max type of player? Again, Gil was in a run & gun system, playing for a soft coach who let him do whatever he wanted to do. I like Gil, he is a good player, but he will never bring this team a championship, as long as the team is built around him and his style of play.

Look at the Pistons this decade, they have not had ANY PLAYER even close to producing “Arenas-like” numbers. But, look at the success of the two teams respectively over the past 5 seasons. If Rip or Billups played Arenas’ type of game, they would have comparable stats. But they play in a system, and do not have the green light to do whatever the hell they want on the court, and oh yeah, they PLAY DEFENSE.

Any player can gun and get buckets and take over games on occasion. Hell, even Mike James did it in Toronto. My whole thing is, investing that much money into a player who only plays on one side of the court is nonsense. Then you invest 50 mill in a 32 PF who is an even worse defender.

Posted by: cj658 | January 14, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

If you get a top 5 pick, you use it to get a get a big man and (i am sorry to say this, he has been the most consistant player) TRADE JAMISON. I think if Greg Monroe or Blake Griffen come out you can start them RIGHT NOW at the 4 spot. Monroe is a great 4 that can see the court and can dominate the inside. Griffen is also a great 4 and is very quick. The worst (at the moment) the Wizards can get the 5 or 6 pick.

We all believe this season is a wash. Every team goes though this. They should have not fired Eddie Jordan. He was the best coach for the team in a long time. The Wizards should go after someone who has playoff experience.

Gil should sit until his knee is 100%. Then when he is ready, he should come back very very slowly. Play him 20 - 25 min a game and no back to back games until next season.

Since this Wizards season is over, let see what the young kids can do. Nick young is a great 2 guard. Domanic McGuire is a good rebounder and plays good D. LETS SEE PECH. We know he can ride the bench but let see his skills off the court. And we all love McGee. He can jump out of the building. START HIM!!! Don't over do it with Caron and Jamison this season. Let them be leaders off the court.

If you want to be a NBA Champion (which will not happen any time soon) you can't win with 3 star player. (you can win with 3 superstars). Each player must have a role and the still to this day they do not have roles for each player. That is why we might never see a championship here in Washington DC.

Posted by: Bigmon411 | January 14, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Songaila, Stevenson, Thomas, these are some of the worst players to come down the pike in a long long time. How do you offer Thomas, who can't shoot, can't rebound, can't do much of anything, the kind of money they did. That's all on Ernie G. Yes he made a steal for Caron. But that's about it.
Grunfeld has been living off 3 years ago for well 3 years. If only so and so hadn't gotten injured. Well people get injured. Every team has injuries but they make contingency plans. Not the Wiz.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 14, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

And just for the record, Jamison is a great guy, hard worker, lunch pail kinda guy. We get it. But he isn't a great player. He was a sixth player when we got him from Dallas and that's where he belongs--off the bench. He can't defend. Yes he scores 20 a night but he takes 50 shots to get them. He has a horrible shooting percentage and completely shuts down the offense by taking all their shots. Jamison never met a shot he didn't like. The ball never comes out once it touches his hands. And most of the time he misses. Look it up.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 14, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"We're proud and excited that we were able to take care of our own free agents and open the 2008-09 season with a healthy core intact."

All lies. Next thing after they signed Arenas with a bum knee was not re-sgin Roger Mason.

What does that tell you about EG?

Seriously.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 14, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

If we end up with the first pick I think Ernie will use it to broker a trade. Oklahoma City really needs Blake Griffin on the court and to promote the team off the court. They'll pay more then he's worth.

They hold 5 number ones in the next two years. I'd think Ernie could swap picks(they'll be in the top 5 unless the balls are really unkind) and pick up another pick, and even get them to take a bad contract in the deal, they've got tons of cap space.

Why trade down? Thabeet has an NBA body that doesn't come along every year, Jordan Hill might be better then Griffin, Hardin might be a more consistant NBA player, and Curry has NBA scorer written all over him.

Everybody says we don't need another undersized jumpshooter. Curry can flat out play, the kid put up 29 at Duke and battled his undermanned team back in the game while Coach K threw everything he had at him. The kid started out slow and just got better and better as the game went on.

He has NBA scorer written all over him, but he doesn't need to dominate the ball to get in rythem. And he's got a finisher's mentality, guy's that really want to take that shot when the clock is winding down are rare.

In an ideal world if the balls bounce the Wizards way. Swap picks with OK City. Take Thabeet, get another pick from OK City, use that pick and put together a package to get Curry. I'd give up Young and a pick for Curry in a heart beat. I really like Young, but like Arenas he needs to dominate the ball to score so I question their pairing in the backcourt. Curry doesn't and is a surprisingly good defender for a big time scorer.

This team would be long and strong up front with an explosive scoring backcourt. Arenas, Crittenton and Curry could make an explosive three guard rotation that could create different looks. We'd have the defensive shot blocking and rebounding to get the fastbreak started, and the guys to push the pace and finish at the rim or pop the jumper.

Blatche, Jamison and even a little McGee would man the 4. Haywood, Thabeet, and McGee at Center with Pecherov as a shooter off the bench. Butler, McGuire and a little Jamison or Blatche could man the 3. Arenas, Crittenton and Curry in the backcourt.

That would leave Young(you got to give up something to trade back up in the first round), Stevenson, James, Thomas, Songaila, and Dixon to fill out the bench or to be used in trades.

THat roster could contend with anyboby in the league if Agent Zero returns to being an All Star caliber player. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | January 14, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Curry's a great college player, but lots of great college players don't make great NBA players. Size matters in physical competition and Curry's lack of it will be a major blow against him. And the fact that he doesn't dominate the ball and has a finisher's mentality will hurt him in the pros more than help. The best small players in the league's history were lightning quick guys who did dominate the ball: Iverson, Isiah, Tiny Arhibald, Nash. They used their quickness with the ball to scramble defenses and get to the hole themselves and/or draw defenses to them and create for teammates. Guys Curry's size who play off the ball are pretty hard to find in the NBA at all these days, and even when they were more prevalent and successful it was as spot up shooters off the bench. You don't take a spot up shooter off the bench with a lottery pick, and you don't trade a young, potential 20 ppg SG with legit size plus a pick for one either.

The Wizards have more than enough guards who like to fire it up. Unless there's one in the draft who is leagues better than what they've got and has future HoFer written all over him, they have pretty much zero need for another.

on the other hand, they have nothing resembling a physical presence on offense up front. That's far and away their biggest need.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 14, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Fire Himself

Fire Ernie Grunfeld T-Shirt

Email mailing address

ErnieGone@Hotmail.com

Posted by: erniegone | January 14, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

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