Whom Should the Wizards Draft?

Michael Lee wrote an article about Blake Griffin for tomorrow's newspaper, but it's on our Web site right now. We've asked before whom the Wizards should draft if they keep their first round draft pick, but it's time to revisit that topic again. What do you think?

By Alexa Steele |  March 11, 2009; 11:59 AM ET
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DeJuan Blair. Nuff said

Posted by: fitzroysq | March 11, 2009 12:09 PM

How many skinny 7 footers does one team need?

Posted by: lameotron | March 11, 2009 12:10 PM

Ever heard of the rain dance when people are looking for some precipitation?

Well, that has nothing on the "Blake Griffin" dance many, many of the Wizards faithful have been doing .

Dance people. Dance.

Posted by: CrabHands | March 11, 2009 12:15 PM

How many skinny 7 footers does one team need?
Posted by: lameotron | March 11, 2009 12:10 PM

Sorry that comment was meant to reflect votes for Hasheem Thabeet

Posted by: lameotron | March 11, 2009 12:21 PM

DeJuan Blair definitely should be considered as a possible pick if the Wizards don't get to draft Blake Griffin...Ricky Rubio would also be nice but if the supposed "Gilbert Arenas" is able to play next season, Rubio would have to compete with Crittenton and Nick Young for playing time, and depending on who our coach is next year, Rubio may face difficulty in the Eastern Conference...he will be a great player in the league, but needs to be on the west coast run n gun system...Blake Griffin if we have #1, Dejuan Blair if he is not there by our pick.

Posted by: jijacobs | March 11, 2009 12:21 PM

Blair's a heckuva player, but he's listed at 6 7" (which means he's probably closer to 6' 5"). The Wizards don't really need anymore undersized "big" men.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 12:32 PM

The Wizards should draft a new owner like Ted Leonsis.

Posted by: iamdawalrus | March 11, 2009 12:34 PM

DeJuan Blair is a great college player that will struggle in the NBA due to his lack of height. He apparently has very long arms but that is not going to compensate for his lack of height.

The only player going to make an immediate impact for a playoff type team is Blake Griffin

Posted by: Chad32 | March 11, 2009 12:41 PM


There is no chance that the Wizards are going to get the number 1 pick in the draft. The number 1 pick is going to go to Oklahoma City so they can draft the hometown boy Griffin and bring more interest to club in the new city. The NBA draft just seems to workout that way. Just like Lebron to Cleveland. The Wiz will end up at #5 just like always.

Posted by: twashlack1 | March 11, 2009 12:50 PM

Ricky Rubio is out. Not even considerable. Arenas, Crit, Young, Stevenson, solidifies our guard play.

What the Wizards need is a big, mean, tough, versatile, power forward.

This addition will shore up our big man rotations and place them in their proper roles. BH, JM, at 5, and AB, AJ, at 4, and CB, AJ at 3.

The tough guy subs at the 4. This always gives us height, speed, and toughness at the 543. And depending on situations you could have any combination on the floor at the same time.

The heavy lifting in the paint is now done by committee and this makes the job much easier on offense and defense. The difference between this year and the next would be leaps and bounds in play of the paint.

DSON, ETON, and either PECH or MJ goes to the inactive list if we cannot get rid them.

No guards please, just a big, mean, tough, versatile, power forward.

Blake I'll take, even Tyler Hansbrough.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2009 12:57 PM

Hansborough, no way. Never draft a big white guy. The best future a big white player has is in Utah or Boston.

Posted by: agrazian | March 11, 2009 1:08 PM

Take Rubio, even if he has to stay in Europe for another year. The Wizards will be a better team when they move Arenas to SG, and Rubio has the potential to be a superstar in the NBA.

Posted by: djnnnou | March 11, 2009 1:12 PM

"There is no chance that the Wizards are going to get the number 1 pick in the draft. The number 1 pick is going to go to Oklahoma City so they can draft the hometown boy Griffin and bring more interest to club in the new city. The NBA draft just seems to workout that way. Just like Lebron to Cleveland. The Wiz will end up at #5 just like always."

You're right that we almost never get that #1 pick..except for that one forgettable "Kwame Brown" year...uggh...
No matter where we pick, the curse is on until we get a new ownership like Leonsis!

Posted by: dayface | March 11, 2009 1:22 PM

Rubio?

I admit, I've never seen him play. But a Superstar? Come on, A Superstar!!! Am I missing something?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2009 1:22 PM

"Ricky Rubio is out. Not even considerable. Arenas, Crit, Young, Stevenson, solidifies our guard play."

Arenas, yeah he's pretty good. But Crit, Young & DSteve proved this year that the only thing they can solidify is a trip to the lottery.

I'm not sold on Rubio yet, but if someone more knowledgeable than me projects him to have a chance to be a game-changing superstar we should take him - or whomever the best projected guard is. The fact that we already have some short guys shouldn't prevent us from rolling the dice on the one thing that matters most in the NBA: game-changing talent.

Posted by: cballer | March 11, 2009 1:27 PM

"Whom Should the Wizards Draft?"

I'm more interested in the grammatically correct questions
"Who should the Wizards draft?"

Really, whom edits here?

Posted by: cbm91 | March 11, 2009 1:37 PM

What is the point of this poll? The draft position is all that matters and there is no chance that anyone other than Griffin goes #1. As for after Griffin, it seems to me Rubio, Harden or Monroe are the options. The current guard situation is far from settled with Arenas being the only sure thing and that comes with a big IF. Hopefully, DS was too hurt to play effectively but he was awful, NY may be a bust (and I am not saying that too early...basketball IQ is not something you necessarily learn) and Crittenton is still a backup. Harden and Rubio add size and scoring to the backcourt and make the team that much harder to defend.

Monroe might be good enough to learn for a year or two in a crowded frontcourt with Haywood, McGee, Blatche and Songaila and captain Twan.

It seems that the Wizards are likely to end up with one of these players and I pray its not Thabeet.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 11, 2009 1:39 PM

If Griffin's not available, they better get DeJuan Blair. An Enforcer type forward, then the Wizards can trade Jamison.

Posted by: clifton3 | March 11, 2009 1:40 PM

Griffin-No one else should even be discussed. The Wiz have no one to demand a double team in the post. Basketball is so easy when you have a dominat post player that commands a double team and surround him with shooters. It's a true and tried formula. See Akeem in the mid 90's, Duncan and the Spurs, Dwight Howard and this years Magic. Griffen is that kind of player. He's a legit 6'10" and is skilled. Heck, I saaw one game where they had him brign the ball up on the press. His body is already NBA ready and he's athleticism reminds scouts of Amare Stoudemire but way better of a rebounder. Period.

Posted by: ptp23 | March 11, 2009 1:41 PM

you guys are under the impression we are going to use our pick.

- we are not getting the #1 pick, the stars are not lined up
- we are not getting Rubio, we already have 478 guys for that position

we are going to simply use the spot as trade bait and get a veteran in here to shore up the young bucks

http://www.wizardsextreme.com/

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | March 11, 2009 1:42 PM

This is a no brainer. The Wiz need to draft Blake Griffin.

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 1:45 PM

If not Griffin, then trade down... Nick Young and Etan Thomase for the right rotation player and a mid-first round pick. Let some one else get burned by Thabeet.

Posted by: khrabb | March 11, 2009 1:45 PM

Best player available. Griffin, Rubio, Harden, Hill, Teague, Thabeet, in roughly that order. Keep stockpiling talent.

The post that we already have solid guard play made me laugh.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | March 11, 2009 1:48 PM

Sike. Once again, when healthy, this team has no trouble scoring. None what-so-ever. Top 5 in the league in scoring offense. Defense needs improvement, big-time. So you draft the back to back NCAA Defensive POY from the best conference in America, whom just happens to be 7’3. It’s fairly simple. Let me break down the equation:


Reason Wizards have made the playoffs 4 years straight= GREAT OFFENSE

Reason Wizards have been eliminated in the first round 3 years straight= POOR DEFENSE

What’s the solution? Keep the scoring happy nucleus intact, and pick up a defensive cornerstone.

HASHEEM THABEET

http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/usd/images/080321usd_uconn220.jpg

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 1:51 PM

If Monroe declares and the Wiz miss out on Griffin, he'd be my number 2. Big, skilled, athletic, and perhaps most importantly, plays with some attitude.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 1:52 PM

For the people here that don't know much about Rubio, I think he is the best PG prospect to come out in the past 8-9 years (aside from Chris Paul). His Basketball IQ is off the wall (think Pete Maravich) and someone on here was referencing Nick Young in that you can't teach Basketball IQ...well there is your answer. People have been yapping about we haven't has a true PG since Arenas arrived. Problem solved.

Posted by: slipperyrichard | March 11, 2009 1:53 PM

Checked out RUBIO on Draft Express.

I would not rate his NBA expectations even close to Tyler Hansbrough. Like Hansbrough is not considered a top five pick, he definitely isn't either and also not superstar material EITHER!

HELL, TY LAWSON is a much better player than Rubio can ever dream of being. No one is saying Lawson is superstar capable, but in my book he is a much better prospect than Rubio, even at 5'11".

And guess what, TY LAWSON is a local product from CLINTON MD.

With all due respect, even though International ball has come some, it ain't USA college ball and certainly not equal to the best rated conference this year in the country, the ACC.

Crit has proven so far that he will become a point to be reckoned with and we do not need Rick Rubio atall. J. CRIT is also an ACC product.

Part of the Wizard mistakes of the past is giving up on promising young prospects. Keep Crit at the point.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2009 1:53 PM

Rubio>Lawson /end of line.

Posted by: usiel3 | March 11, 2009 2:03 PM

” If Monroe declares and the Wiz miss out on Griffin, he'd be my number 2. Big, skilled, athletic, and perhaps most importantly, plays with some attitude.”


A prime example of someone disagreeing just to disagree. Nobody with a working brain in their skull would make this assessment ant attempt (futilely) to be considered serious. Greg Monroe? Greg Monroe? What is the infatuation with this kid? Seriously? LOL! He has shown me nothing. The highlight of his season was scoring 16 points on Thabeet, and beating Uconn. What a game! That’s what everyone just “loves” to bring up, right? What has Greg Monroe and Georgetown done since that win? They went down the sh!tter faster than A-Rod can say “steroid”. Thabeet on the other hand has been busy leading his team to a #1 seed, winning the Big East POY award, and another NCAA POY award. Sigh.

Again, keep up the good work, with posts like that, I am sure you will get a gold star from Ivan or something.

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 2:10 PM

Trade the pick as fast as Ernie can get a good deal for it. Enough with these project players. Trade the pick and get a veteran that can help us *right now*.

Posted by: tundey | March 11, 2009 2:13 PM

Larry,
I'm gonna hold you to that "LAWSON is a much better player than Rubio can ever dream of being" comment....and you do the same for me. I don't see this one working out in your favor, not even close.

I don't get excited by too many prospects, but this kid is everything a PG should be. All the intangibles. Only concerns I would have is his Spanish contract and his wrist.

Posted by: slipperyrichard | March 11, 2009 2:15 PM

If you get on of the first two picks...... DO NOT TRADE THE PICK!!!!!

If you get Griffen, trade Jamison (even though i love his game but you can soild 2 guard for him)

Starting 5
Haywood
Griffin
Butler
Young (or the vet 2 guard if you trade Jamison)
Areans

If you get Rubio
Haywood
Jamison
Butler
Gil
Rubio

You will have young and talented player coming off you bench
Mcgee
Young
McGuire
Crighton

and vets off your bench
Songilia
DeShawn
James

Posted by: Bigmon411 | March 11, 2009 2:18 PM

"The post that we already have solid guard play made me laugh"

Between Arenas and Crit, they do at the point (assuming Arenas is healthy). The problem is SG. Stevenson 's status for next season is unknown (and even if he's healthy, he's not more than serviceable) and Young is totally one dimensional, and that one dimension isn't even reliable. if they could find a legit sized (6' 6" +/-) SG with hops and the ability to slash and finish as well as shoot, then he'd be the second choice after Griffin. Just not sure there's anyone at SG in this draft who would pay dividends on a top 5 pick.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 2:24 PM

SlipperyRichard,

You're on. Hope RUBIO declares for the draft. He hasn't yet.

And I just hear that LAWSON may be out of the ACC tournament due to a soar toe.

Hubert Davis (a former Tarheel) just said that, "when LAWSON is on his game the Tarheels are unbeatable. The three games they lost he was not".

Assuming he will be ready for the NCAA's, I fully expect Carolina to win it all and my Bracket will indicate as such.

This will be primetime for not only LAWSON, but also HANSBROUGH.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 11, 2009 2:31 PM

Stephon Curry. We gotta run run run.

Posted by: Matte | March 11, 2009 2:51 PM

Once again when the Wizards have a chance at the number 1 pick there isn't a can't miss player.
Blake Griffin has everything except he is only 6'8 and he will face players 6'10 or more nearly every night.
Thabeet is a shot blocker, but not much more at this moment. He isn't a great rebounder and strong forwards give him problems. (See Dejuan Blair)
DeJuan Blair is the whole package, but he is only 6'6. Either he will be Charles Barkley or he will be a bust.

Posted by: JAMNEW | March 11, 2009 2:56 PM

"Blake Griffin has everything except he is only 6'8 and he will face players 6'10 or more nearly every night. "

6' 8" is good PF size in the NBA, as long as he has the strength, hops, and footwork, which he does. Boozer and Brand (two guys that Griffin gets compared to) are both in the same size range and they have no trouble with guys who have a couple of inches on them.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 3:04 PM

"The only player going to make an immediate impact for a playoff type team is Blake Griffin."

Yup, the ONLY choice for the Wiz IMHO.

As far as Kalo's examples, both Boozer and Brand have crazy long arms which is why they can play with the larger guys.

Griffin is a beast. If they can't get him they may as well trade the pick with some players and clear out cap space for all of those FA's the following year.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 11, 2009 3:20 PM

"As far as Kalo's examples, both Boozer and Brand have crazy long arms which is why they can play with the larger guys."

Brand does, Boozer not so much. And the reason why they succeed in playing bigger guys isn't the length of their arms, it's their strength (particularly brand) and athleticism around the basket (particularly Boozer). Griffin has both.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 3:24 PM

I'm not sure if I like the question? Who do you want the wizards to draft? Is the choice really up to them?? No, Its up to a bunch of ping pong balls.. We won't know if they have a chance at any of these guys till the Lottery.

If anyone chooses someone other than Griffin as their 1st choice they need to have their head examined, or they are probably a graduate of UConn or another school.

Griffin is by far the best talent in this years draft, he might be the best talent in years. He can do it all, I hope the Wizards get the #1 pick.

With Griffin, a healthy Gilbert, Haywood and throw in our role players Butler and Jamison we'd get home court in the playoffs next year.

Posted by: avbanig | March 11, 2009 3:48 PM

“Brand does, Boozer not so much. And the reason why they succeed in playing bigger guys isn't the length of their arms, it's their strength (particularly brand) and athleticism around the basket (particularly Boozer). Griffin has both”

Well, well, well, Stephen A Smith strikes again. Curious, how do you know Boozer doesn’t have long arms? How do you know Griffin has both strength and athleticism around the basket? Have you even watched any Big 12 games this year? Doubt it. I can tell by the way most of you talk, that you simply go to NBAdraft.net or other websites and believe everything you read from guys like Chad Ford. Comparing Griffin to Boozer or Brand, one would think you would have had to watch him play all year long. It’s pathetic, actually. I willing to bet 955 of the fans on here salivating over Blake Griffin have not seen an ENTIRE Oklahoma game more than 3 times all year. Again, quite sad. The highlights on SportsCenter don’t count. The sh!t you people read on NBAdraft.net and ESPN are just other writers opinions, but writers are NEVER wrong.

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 3:53 PM

Will be VERY INTERESTING to see how far Griffin goes in the NCAA tourney, and how well he fares against teams from the ACC or Big East. We shall see. Should be an exciting March.

And I find it hard to believe that someone above actually put JEFF TEAGUE ahead of Thabeet. Are you kidding? Most overrated guard in America. He’ll be lucky to be an early second round pick. Geesh, the Anti-Thabeet bandwagon is starting to get rather absurd. I can understand people putting Griffin ahead of him, and to extent Jordan Hill. But Greg Monroe, Jeff Teague?

I understand certain people just love to disagree for the hell of it, but let’s try to stay rational.

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 3:58 PM

955=95%

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 3:59 PM

Blake Griffin looks like a future star at the NBA level. Thabeet hasn't reminded me of Ralph Sampson, Ewing, O'Neal, Duncan, Olajawon or Mourning. As college centers, all of these players dominated games. Thabeet reminds me of Haywood or Eric Dampier. They were effective centers at the college level, but never dominating big men. I have watched Thabeet be outplayed consistantly by Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe and DaJuan Blair.

Posted by: bozomoeman | March 11, 2009 4:03 PM

As far as you guys talking about taking Blair, he shouldn't even be in the scenario. the wizards won't have worse than the 6th pick and I don't think Blair will go that high.

He definelty won't go #1. I think he will be a good NBA player, but the NBA doesn't draft very many good players anymore, they draft guys that look good in their shorts and that can jump out of the gym. When is the last time they took the best college player in the nation with the #1 pick. Heck I don't even know, its probably been a decade, they do it based on potential.

Posted by: avbanig | March 11, 2009 4:08 PM

Someone tagged Thabeet as a "poor man's Sam Dalembert" a couple days ago. Seems about right to me.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 4:16 PM

There are two players who are great college players that will be average at best in the NBA -- Stephen Curry and Hansbrough. Curry is grossly undersized and has had some horrible games when teams have matched bigger, more athletic players on him. As for Hansbrough -- think Mark Madsen. He is not a great rebounder or athletic. Hansbrough will be lucky to get drafted in the late first round.

Posted by: Chad32 | March 11, 2009 4:18 PM

Take the best player available.
The Wizzies will have the balls let's just hope they get one of their balls out early.
Will they be able/want to pay a high draftee?????
I hope so.

It could be the end of the CURSE.

Posted by: VBFan | March 11, 2009 4:19 PM

if we have the opportunity to draft Griffin, it would be hard to turn down. the only problem i see is that this team is already too young. another rookie may not be the best option. we could trade a high draft pick and some combo of players for a legitimate big man who can rebound and play D - but i'm not so sure we have the cap space.

i see it like this: the wizards have 3 years or so to build this team into a championship contender with the arenas, butler, jamison at the core. that is, if gilbert comes back 95% of what he once was, plays better defense, and plays better tea ball. 3 years from now our young guys will have either matured or been released.

Posted by: jesc126 | March 11, 2009 4:19 PM

Someone once tagged Dajuan Wagner the next Allen Iverson.
Someone once tagged Gilbert Arenas a SG in a PG’s body, and said he was crazy to enter the draft.


Despite what people may “tag” Thabeet with, it’s irrelevant. Just one man’s opinion. Opinions are just like noses.

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 4:23 PM

I say the Wiz draft Cal O’Ramma. A 5’4, 125lb point guard from San Francisco, CA. O’Ramma currently resides in NW Washington DC.

A hometown kid, O’Ramma has the uncanny ability to put it in the hole. He also excels at backing down larger men in the post. Don’t let his stature fool you, he doesn’t let it get in the way. Teammates and analysts alike, have commented on how nice his stroke is.

O’Ramma has often been compared to former NBA great Tim Hardaway, but for reasons unknown, he denounces the comparisons. When asked about the comparison, O’Ramma simply replied, “I do not want to be associated with that man”.

Despite the ill feelings, any young player being compared to Hardaway should have a bright future.

Posted by: cj658 | March 11, 2009 4:36 PM

Griffin is the best of a rather weak draft class.

I was getting kind of comfortable with possibly having him, a banger who forces other teams to be tough. DeShawn and him will probably have some fun giving us the poor man's McFilthy & McNasty.

That's when I read that he had not one, but TWO knee injuries in his freshman year. With the sorriest medical staff in the league, I wouldn't want a player here who so much as needs a band-aid.

Also, it's one thing to take elbows and clotheslines twice a week between Thanksgiving and April Fool's Day. But go to three times a week from mid-October to the end of June? That's what you get dedicated "enforcers" for; from the lower half of the round at best.

Posted by: mabkhar | March 11, 2009 4:55 PM

Eric Maynor...get us a true PG.

Posted by: bergerma13 | March 11, 2009 4:57 PM

Love Gil, but considering him a true PG is laughable...name the last time we had a dude with a 10 assist game. obviously you can, thats an overstatment of our inability to move the ball around, but you get my drift.

Posted by: bergerma13 | March 11, 2009 5:00 PM

No Blair and ABSOLUTELY no Thabeet. If the Wiz get a top 5 pick and cannot get Griffin neither one of those guys is worth a top 5 pick. The best player for Pitt is actually the Sam Young guy. Blair, for what he is, you should be able to find a second rounder with that type talent. blair is no more than 6'6" really. And for how good he is at Pitt, in the NBA he will be playing with real 6-8 and 6-9 guys just as strong and long. He will be an average NBA guy, not top 5 worthy. compare him to Kevin Love. Maybe 10 and 10 night in and out, but is that a number 5 pick?

Posted by: oknow1 | March 11, 2009 5:06 PM

How is "Trade Draft Pick" not an option in the poll? I cannot see the Wizards keeping whatever pick they land.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 11, 2009 5:06 PM

"Whom Should the Wizards Draft?"

I'm more interested in the grammatically correct questions
"Who should the Wizards draft?"

Really, whom edits here?

Posted by: cbm91 | March 11, 2009 1:37 P

Whom the hell cares?

Posted by: ged0386 | March 11, 2009 5:20 PM

If they cant get Griff trade the pick for multi picks or players. The wizzards need to learn the pick and roll the way the hornets use it. Let GA and McGee run it the way CP3 and Chandler get it done. Just look how Chandler's game has flourished playing with Paul and running that one play.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 11, 2009 5:29 PM

We dont do well with number 1 picks. Kwame Brown and Pervis ellison. We would have come out just the same drafting Kwame Brown the city councilman. I think he would have given us more production off the bench than the Kwame we did draft.

Posted by: ged0386 | March 11, 2009 5:33 PM

------------------------------------------

Eric Maynor...get us a true PG.

Posted by: bergerma13 | March 11, 2009 4:57 PM

-------------------------------------------

I saw him live for the first time in person & he is quite impressive as a Tony Parker -esque player.

Top 5 talent - no.
But if we get don;t get Griffin, Maynor looks awesome in the mid lotto - teen draft position

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 11, 2009 5:46 PM


"Whom Should the Wizards Draft?"

I'm more interested in the grammatically correct questions
"Who should the Wizards draft?"

Really, whom edits here?

Posted by: cbm91 | March 11, 2009 1:37 P

Whom the hell cares?

Posted by: ged0386 | March 11, 2009 5:20 PM

Smarter ppl than u obviously.

Posted by: Rocc00 | March 11, 2009 5:52 PM

"DeJuan Blair definitely should be considered as a possible pick if the Wizards don't get to draft Blake Griffin."

Udonis Haslem, that's who he reminds me of. Short and stout with long arms.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2009 5:52 PM

chad32: "The only player going to make an immediate impact for a playoff type team is Blake Griffin."

Possibly true. But what if you don't have a playoff-type team? Which I suspect we don't.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2009 5:54 PM

A few words about Ricky Rubio from someone who lives in Spain and has seen him play numerous times.

He's very good but no superstar. He won't average more than 14 points a game in the NBA, although his assists and steals will eventually be in the top 5 in the league.

Jump shot needs a lot of work. Very skinny but hard to tell if he'll fill out because he's still so young. If not, he'll get backed down by the bigger guards all day long. Freaky long arms

His contract runs through 2011 with a buyout clause of 6 million euros. This is not a completely impossible issue if he decides to leave early, as Barcelona gave JCN generous terms to buy himself out to come to the NBA. When it became evident that his year in Memphis wasn't going to land him a fat contract in the NBA, JCN returned to Barcelona with a very nice contract with which he can make his payments. A lot of teams in Europe, including Rubio's, are struggling right now, and some injection of cash would help a lot.

The Wizards need a high-energy, ill-tempered enforcer to put some hurt on the other teams and score down low. Draft him, trade down for him, or swap the pick for him, whatever. Without him the team is too soft to advance past the first round of the playoffs.

Posted by: mugsybol | March 11, 2009 6:37 PM

If the Wiz are healthy, they should be a playoff team, although likely a lower rung playoff team. They managed to get into the top 6 the past 4 years with basically a (semi-)healthy big 3, Haywood, and not much else. If the big 3 and Haywood are healthy and Stevenson's back bounces back, they should be as good or better than they were in previous years factoring in the development of Crittenton and McGuire and a healthy Songaila playing mostly 4 instead of 5. Even McGee, Young, and Blatche, for all their faults, should look better in smaller supporting roles. If they get Griffin, all the better.

Contenders? Nope. But unless things go badly wrong again (always a possibility) they should get into the postseason, if only barely.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 6:44 PM

I'm wondering if the Wiz aren't more than one player away from a playoff team.

Granting all 3 of the main vets come back healthy -- that's an Oklahoma-sized grant right there -- and the team gets Griffin, Thabeet, Jordan Hill, or James Harden in the draft, I'm thinking there are still problems.

Problem the first: the young guys haven't developeed all that much. Whether that's Tapscott's fault or not, they really haven't shown a great deal of improvement -- with the possible exception of McGuire.

Problem the second: the rest of the East is stronger than it was two years ago. Both at the top and in the middle.

Problem the third: none of those rooks look like instant game-changers. Griffin's the closest. The others could need more of a learning curve than some past draftees.

Well, let's hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 11, 2009 7:11 PM

Abe Pollin is getting old... if he ever wants to see the Wizards make another playoff run... he better let them go into the luxury tax a little bit, so they can add another piece to this team... If they have #1 or #2... You gotta go Griffin or Thabeet... Griffin is a true power forward who can score from anywhere & he is an agressive rebounder... Thabeet gives you a defensive inside presence that only players like Camby & a few others can give you in the NBA... also he is 7'3 & has a thick lower body, no doubt he will fill out nicely with strength & conditioning...

If we can't get either of them, we may want to package the pick in a trade... Only other intriguing pick is Stephon Curry... The kid is very competitive & won't be chuckling & smiling all the time like Nick Young... You can tell he enjoys ripping the heart out of his opponents... He would make a good 6th man for immediate scoring off the bench, which the Wizards desperately lack...

Posted by: tony325 | March 11, 2009 7:28 PM

Samson151,

I don't really disagree with anything you said. I just think that even with those things being true, a healthy core (including Haywood) and good (not great or game-changing, just good and hopefully consistent) contribution from three of the youngsters (and I think we can probably count on at least that much from McGuire and Crittenton who, unlike the other Wiz kinds, have demonstrated an actual work ethic) they should be able to squeak into the postseason. Granted, they likely won't be there long enough to finish a cup of coffee, but they should be able to get in.

Also, a coach who knows what he's doing would certainly help.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 11, 2009 7:41 PM

Who is correct.

Posted by: fitzroysq | March 11, 2009 7:47 PM

James Harden. Upgrades the shooting guard position, removes offensive distribution pressure from Arenas, projects well.

Posted by: B_A_ | March 11, 2009 7:57 PM

I, too, have seen Rubio play in Spain, and I think he will be a star for 14-15 years. He's skinny still, but cunning, quick, knows where players will be a second before they do. This makes him a great pickpocket, and the kind of passer that turns good players into great ones. While he can be backed down, he is TOUGH and MEAN and goes all out and will wear guys down, especially NBA point guards who tend towards the lackadaisical during the regular season. He held his own against the Redeem Team... as a high school junior. His court awareness ranks just below Nash and Kidd - but better than they were when they were his age - and he's already a better shooter than Kidd. He plays fast, free, is a great improviser and, considering how boring the Wiz have become, would certainly be welcome from a fan's point of view. I would still take Griffin #1, but he would be a helluva consolation prize at #2. Thabeet will have a long career in the NBA, but his freakish size, as great as it is, is no substitute for freakish talent, which Rubio has in spades. One does not draft purely for physical tools in the top five picks (see Kwame Brown). Besides, we already have a decent project big. As for Blair, I like him... he reminds me a bit of Barkley without the freakish skill set, or Larry Johnson without the hops. He'd certainly solidify the frontcourt, undersized as he is.

Posted by: SammyT1 | March 11, 2009 8:02 PM

Rubio would also give us a pure point guard, which would allow us to move Arenas over to SG, where we are thin... improving two positions simultaneously.

Posted by: SammyT1 | March 11, 2009 8:03 PM

Sammy:

I agree with you about Rubio's toughness and his ability to make those around him much better. His shot is like Kidd's when he first came into the league, not very good. But Kidd improved over the years and there's every reason to expect that Rubio can and will do the same if not better. Still, I don't think he'll ever put up as many points as Nash.

Do the Wiz need Rubio? One of the reasons to wish Gilbert back this year is to get closer to answering that question. Right now I say find faith in the Miami doctor and use the pick to somehow, someway get some scoring toughness down low.

Posted by: mugsybol | March 11, 2009 8:28 PM

Blake Griffin is our only option.....If he's not available why not draft Ricky Rubio and let him sit out a year. Dejaun Blair is a pretty good college player but he reminds me of Etan Thomas or is it just me?

Posted by: washwizkids | March 11, 2009 8:40 PM

Blake Griffin would be the perfect addition to the Wizards. It would make us that much better on defense and would be the long-term replacement for Antawn. Either him or Brandon Jennings or Rubio because a back-up pg would be good for Gilbert. We need a back-up guard who can come in and keep the pace fast. Rajon Rondo is good because he speeds the game up and has a good eye for the open man. That is one thing the Wizards could use coming off the bench.
Griffin would put us over the top into Finals contention. He matches up against Dwight Howard better than anyone we have on our roster and Superman is a force we will have to deal with for the next 10 years.
After that the draft is unfortunately weak in every position.

Posted by: eternale5150 | March 11, 2009 9:43 PM

For those Rubio haters/ignoramuses: watch him play. The boy is about 6'5" and was point guard on the silver medal team at the Olympics. The guy has incredible playmaking ability but I do agree it will depend on the system. The Wizards could work because he would come in off the bench and keep the game speedy. He would be a terrific back-up to Gilbert in that he would run the offense efficiently when Agent Zero is on the bench. His game needs work on the defensive end, specifically with his footwork but that can be developed. He is not slow and with that long frame he could be a good perimeter defender in the NBA.

Posted by: eternale5150 | March 11, 2009 9:51 PM

Its griffin or bust. If ya can't land him, nobody else is that worthy of a top 5 pick (the wiz need to lose out if they want to bump up). I'd rather see them trade away that pick and possibly a player that can compliment Arenas and butler with a dominant inside presence.

Posted by: doh1 | March 11, 2009 10:56 PM

We need a point guard....look at every good team in the NBA that is doing well...(excluding the Lakers and the Cavs for obvious reasons) they all have good-to-great point guards: Utah- D.Williams, Charlotte-CP3, Denver-C.Billups, Boston-R.Rondo, Pheonix-S.nash,and the list goes on and on...we need to let the big men we have develop and have a chance...lets not forget before Haywood got hurt he was progessing, and we have McGee.

Lets not trade for some old vet and actually "build" a team. With all that said I would still take Griffin #1, BUT seeing the chances of that we need to take the best PG available, and hopefully thats Rubio. Move Arenas to the 2 and we would be set...

Posted by: MikeJr906 | March 11, 2009 11:37 PM

My feeling is that if we don't get Griffin we are going to package whatever pick with say NY and ET (contract relief) for some reliable veteran player. That would clear some cap space, add veteran, etc...

Griffin, however, is exactly the kind of player only a handful of NBA teams have on their roster. A true power player with athleticism and skill. Many in here have acted like these "types" of players grow on trees and the Wiz should have gone out and just obtained such a player through magic or something. Well, if the ping pong balls align, the Wiz can obtain such a player finally.

This pick combined with relative health would make us very dangerous as soon as next season. Not contender dangerous, but second round dangerous and a team that nobody would want to try to eliminate.

Posted by: rphilli721 | March 12, 2009 12:43 AM

The Wizards should draft Twitter if it declares,that's all I hear about
these days

Posted by: jeremydvid | March 12, 2009 1:30 AM

In case anyone cares: "whom" is used when you have a direct object (receiving the action of being drafted). The article title is correct.

Posted by: wh67 | March 12, 2009 4:33 PM

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