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Ru-Ru-Rubio


Why not pick me? (AFP/Getty Images)


Just say the word, oh, Ru-ru-rubio. Forgive me. Just about every time I hear the name Ricky Rubio, I can't help but hearing the horns from that 1980s Phil Collins song, "Sussudio" -- for no other reason except it happens to rhyme. That song was so silly and so catchy that it couldn't help but be a hit (Am I dating myself here?).

As for Ru-ru-rubio, the kid has the name and the game that will surely make him a star in the NBA. The Spanish teenage point guard prodigy has an incredible YouTube following and Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff came up with the perfect three-word description for him last summer in Beijing: Maravich meets Menudo.

Earlier this month, Rubio announced that he will enter the June NBA draft, which probably won't knock Blake Griffin off of his perch as the likely No. 1 pick. But the 18-year-old is arguably the second-best prospect out there -- first, depending on whom you ask -- and creates an interesting situation for the Washington Wizards if they wind up with the No. 2 pick.

I've heard about Rubio for almost three years. After reading about his 51-point, 24-rebound, 12-assist, seven-steal game in the FIBA Under-16 European title game, I actually considered going to Spain for a series on international basketball. But at the time, he was just 15 and his family shielded him from the media.

I finally got the chance to cover Rubio during the Beijing Olympics and came away impressed with his poise, playmaking ability and fearlessness. The physical likeness to "Pistol" Pete Maravich was undeniable, but so were the creative passes and the controlled cockiness that Maravich possessed. And, while Rubio was 17 at the time, the veterans on the silver medallist Spanish team -- Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Jorge Garbajosa and Jose Calderon, among others -- really seemed to respond and react to his leadership on the floor. He wasn't overwhelmed by the big stage, and I don't see him being too spooked out by the NBA. As Team USA and Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski told me, "He's got it."

The Wizards are set at point guard with Gilbert Arenas, but who says Rubio and Arenas cannot share the floor together? Rubio is about 6-feet-3 and could serve as a setup man for Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler. I also know Ernie Grunfeld likes the kid and was in Europe last month to scout Rubio and Brandon Jennings.

But even if Washington secures his rights and decides it doesn't need him -- which might turn out to be a huge mistake -- the Wizards can easily move Rubio with several teams in demand for a special talent who can sell tickets.


Tastes like chicken. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

I don't think Rubio will make an immediate Derrick Rose-type impact as a rookie, but once he gains some weight and develops a consistent jumper, he could be truly special. He has a great feel for the game, provides flash and flare, and could be a marketers' dream. He also has long arms, big hands and won't back down from a physical confrontation. Foot speed? Present on the fast break; mostly present on defense (he was named Spanish League Defensive Player of the Year this season). Most NBA scouts love his potential.

"Any team that's going to be great is going to need a great one or a great five. You take Rubio at one or two and you're done," an NBA Eastern Conference international scout said. "One thing you can say right now, coming into the league, he can guard and he can defend and he's going to cause havoc. Offensively, he's got handle. Can he get better? Yes, he can. He's strong. Can he get stronger? Yes, he can. All his game is going to go is to another level."

There were doubts about Rubio entering the draft this summer after he suffered a wrist injury that cost him the first two months of his season. He returned to average 9.9 points and 6 assists for his Spanish club DKV Joventut. In his last game against Kalisa Gran Canaria, he almost had a triple-double with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists.

Rubio is signed with DKV Joventut though 2011 and has an expensive buyout clause (some reports have it at $7.8 million, although it could still be negotiated down). But remember, NBA teams only have to pay about $500,000 of the buyout, which means that Rubio would essentially play for free next season, with possibly all of his NBA rookie earnings going back to his former club. He has until June 15 to reach a deal or withdraw from the draft.

But leaving now actually works out in his favor, one Eastern Conference general manager told me, because it allows Rubio to start his money-earning clock a year earlier so that he can start making big (potential max) money in his next deal sooner than later.

You know what's ironic about all of this? The last time the Wizards finished with a 19-63 record in 2000-01, they had the opportunity to draft this promising 20-year-old Spaniard with the No. 1 overall pick. Michael Jordan went with Kwame Brown and this season, Pau Gasol made his second all-star appearance and has a great chance of making second-or-third team all-NBA -- and win an NBA championship. Brown? What else needs to be said?

The Wizards certainly need some veteran help and some salary cap relief, but Rubio's presense does add a little more intrigue to the draft. And for the NBA team that gets him, feel free to make a Rubio track with the Collins instrumental playing in the background. I won't sue.


By Michael Lee  |  April 29, 2009; 12:33 PM ET
 
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Next: Welcome to Round Two, 'Melo

Comments

No-brainer, Rubio is a keeper, especially since Gilbert is un-proven post-surgery. By the time Gilbert is 30 with his knees wrapped in ice every night, Rubio will be just 21. Amazing!

Posted by: closg | April 29, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards need Blake Grif in the worse way. If they land him, they immediately jump to 4th best team in the EC (baring the health of the big 3). However, if they don't land #1 pick I'm down with Ru-Ru-Rubio!

Posted by: jansjay | April 29, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Griffin one, Rubio two. both are no brainer picks. if we get one of the top two picks we damn well better keep it.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | April 29, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I was sure Ru-Ru-Rubio was a reference to the movie "Hook" and the scamp character Rufioooo. No more Phil Collins references on WaPo blogs, please.

Posted by: offbeatdude | April 29, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

If this guy is as good as advertised, it would be a monumental mistake passing him up for "veteran" help (unless it's someone of the caliber of Bosh or a healthy Stoudemire), regardless of the situation with the Wizards.

That is, if he's as good as advertised...

Posted by: psps23 | April 29, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

rubio! rubio! Ruuuu beeeee.... OOOHHHH!!!

Posted by: WizSkinsFan | April 29, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Rubio is very talented and has a ton of upside, but if he is probably not a great fit for the Wiz. If they can't get BGriff, I think that Rubio will be drafted only as trade bait.

I bet the Knicks (where he would fit perfectly) would probably be willing to pull one of those Chris Webber type trades (the ones made by Orlando-to-Golden State and Golden State-to-Washington, not the idiotic one the Wiz made) that could land the Wizards multiple first round picks every other year for a chunk of the next decade plus help improve the current roster with a player or two.

Posted by: SportzWiz | April 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

It's a no-brainer. If the Wiz wind up with the No. 2 pick, it's Rubio all the way. God doesn't make too many point guards, so when you have an opportunity to get one you grab him! Further, I'm still not sold that Arenas didn't suffer some kind of setback in his last comeback. It was more than a little curious to me that he was supposed to play a handfull of games then suddenly he was "day-to-day" and wound up palying only two games. I say draft Rubio and don't look back.

Posted by: Firuz1 | April 29, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

agreed with many of you, if we can land him then its a no brainer. We can eat salaries for 1 year until we can unload our dead weight in James, Etan and Blatche.

Imagine Rubio, Gil, Caron, Antawn and Brendan on the floor at the same time, GAME OVER!

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | April 29, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'd trade DeBrick for a compression sleeve and a pack of tube socks to make room for Double R.
I agree that Rubio and Arenas can play together. Keep in mind when the Wiz had Hughes, Gil often ended up guarding the 2 while Larry checked the point. The same situation could apply here.

There really are only 2 players in this draft that could have an immediate impact on the Wiz next season: Griffin & Rubio. If Ernie is lucky enough to land either player don't be dumb - keep them!

Posted by: elfreako | April 29, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

yall have to be kidding. Euroleague superstars almost never pan out. (Darko, Navarro, Pech, AK-47 is soft, Okur basically sucks, Pau pretty-much-a-b!tch Gasol, etc.) The only two I can think of who aren't complete b!tches are Dirk, Rony Seikley and Marc Gasol.

Posted by: prescrunk | April 29, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"I bet the Knicks (where he would fit perfectly) would probably be willing to pull one of those Chris Webber type trades (the ones made by Orlando-to-Golden State and Golden State-to-Washington, not the idiotic one the Wiz made) that could land the Wizards multiple first round picks every other year for a chunk of the next decade plus help improve the current roster with a player or two."


What about something like this: Wiz package Rubio's rights, at say #2, and another player - maybe Can't-Feel-My-Face - to, say, the Knicks (at #8, 10 wherever), for the rights to Steph Curry and Jared Jeffries (bringing back some needed size and D) *and* their #1 in '10. They probably couldn't afford to pay that year's #1 anyway, since they're getting LeBron (and I'll believe that when I see it). I'd bet the NYK would totally be on board with that.

Can you imagine a Curry/Arenas backcourt? Probably ain't happening, but that would be a treat.

Posted by: nittanybruin | April 29, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Always amazes me how many people fall for the bs hype-mahcine that has Rubio as the cant miss pick. COME ON.

Read the scouting reports, every one of them says his jumper isnt that good, he is too thin, and his athleticism is questionable.

BUT BOY DOES HE HAVE INTANGIBLES

this kid is a youtube sensation who could very easily be an nba BUST. Please Wiz, do not pick him.

Posted by: divi3 | April 29, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Question:

If the Wiz draft Rubio, do you let him play in Spain for a year before bringing him over? Wouldn't that help with the luxury tax Abe wants to avoid. I don't think he would make immediate impact next year anyway.

Posted by: G-Man11 | April 29, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Just to be historically accurate, no one was talking about Pau Gasol in 2001. He was a surprise out of nowhere when they drafted him. The entire lead-in to that draft was Brown/Chandler/Curry or else Battier/Richardson. There was no proven player that made an obvious #1 choice. As horrible a GM as MJ was, he did not really miss Gasol, because no one was talking about Gasol. The whole thing that year was that Battier was the most proven player but he seemed like much more of a role player, and not appropriate for the #1 pick. So, then it was just a toss-up on the 7-foot high schoolers and MJ chose wrong. I'd be the first in line to rag on MJ as GM, and I agree with everyone that Kwame Brown is a joke, but I don't think the Brown/Gasol situation was remotely like this year's Griffin/Rubio situation. Even if MJ gets the #2 with Charlotte this year, he knows about Rubio and would choose him. Except MJ's so bad at this, I could also see him chosing Hansborough.

Posted by: Urnesto | April 29, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

If the Wiz don't get the #1 pick, it'll be trade time. If Arenas is healthy they don't need a PG and if he isn't they're screwed regardless. It's pretty obvious that looking towards the future is not on the Wizards agenda, which means Rubio doesn't have much of a place in D.C.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Rubio might be a good option for the Wiz if Griffin is not available when they draft. The Wiz could pick Rubio, let him play in Spain, gain experience and more or less stand pat for next season.
They'll have Butler, Arenas, Jamison and Heywood, healthy, the team they've hoped to put on the floor for the past few years, if Arenas' knee holds up. They'll also have the advantage of seasoned younger players, McGuire, Blatche, Young even McGee and the established role players like Songalia and Stevenson. We'll finally find out if EG has built a contender or not and whether the team needs to be blown up.
If the Wiz as configured fail to get deep into the playoffs they'll have Rubio as an option for trading or moving into point guard as they start to wheel and deal next year. Cap space will also become available when ET's contract is done, opening up more options.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

That would be a good strategy midlevex, if the Wiz could afford to burn a year evaluating things to see where they stand. I seriously doubt they think they can. The clock is ticking on the Big 3. They need to hit the ground running from Day 1 of next season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Rubio can play. He was the best PG on Gold medal calibur Spanish team at age 17. I'd separate the Spanish players from the rest of the European failures. Spain has REAL players. Noted as a capable defender and playmaker. Very good ballhandler. A guy like this would fit on any team in the league. Should the Wiz have the opportunity to draft him I think they'd consider themselves lucky. He's also been playing pro ball for a couple years. Chris Paul wasn't a very good shooter or defender coming into the league. D.Rose the same. This kid is the #1 or 2 best prospect available this year.

Posted by: unkonchus | April 29, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I think Rubio's got more upside than Blake Griffin, still would probly have to take Griffin at 1 tho...Dear lord did somebody comment that they wanted to bring back jared jeffries?! good lord, don't you remember how awful he was?

Posted by: anthonyschall | April 29, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

urnesto: "Just to be historically accurate, no one was talking about Pau Gasol in 2001. He was a surprise out of nowhere when they drafted him. The entire lead-in to that draft was Brown/Chandler/Curry or else Battier/Richardson. There was no proven player that made an obvious #1 choice. As horrible a GM as MJ was, he did not really miss Gasol, because no one was talking about Gasol. The whole thing that year was that Battier was the most proven player but he seemed like much more of a role player, and not appropriate for the #1 pick."

Beg to differ, Urn. We must have been reading different media. Gasol was very much in the mix for the top pick, although never the favorite. Those three high schoolers looked unbeatable then -- ironic, eh? Michael made a big boo-boo, but in his defense, the rest of 'em weren't that all-fired smart, either.

What got Kwame the top spot was that Superman physique of his. Apparently no one bothered to measure his hands, which are the size of folded pocket kerchiefs. The media was talking about Curry as Baby Shaq, and Tyson Chandler was Mister LA, everybody's West Coast darling. The real steal that season were Battier and Joe Johnson.

A terrible draft.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 29, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

European League players are NOT soft...

Is Luis Scola soft? Is Marcin Gortat soft? Is Andres Nocioni soft?

Ricky Rubio can play some and if we pick him up at #2, I would say get used to rOO rOO rOO-BEE-OH, because he won't be dealt away.

Posted by: khrabb | April 29, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I think Rubio would be a great fit, once he becomes a better outside shooter. Put him at the point and play Arenas at shooting guard.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | April 29, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

IF the Wiz land the #1 or #2 pick KEEP IT !
We could def. use Griffin at #1 and you'd be a fool to pass on Rufio at #2. Someone earlier refrenced he is too skinny, but if you look at his frame you know that he can easily fill out without sacrificing too much. Besides aren't most 19-20yr. old skinny coming in ? With the exception of Chris Paul, this kid Rufio is the best PG prospect to come out in 10 years.
That's word to Barno's momma.

Keep my name out your mouth.

Posted by: slipperyrichard | April 29, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Don't know that I'd call Battier a steal, samson. In a stronger draft, he wouldn't have gone as high as #6. He's a nice player and a solid pro, but he's really an "intangibles" guy, not the kind of player most teams would spend a #6 pick on.

But, to touch on a conversation we had a while back, the 2001 draft is a perfect example of why a draft's quality has to be judged in total, not just by how the top picks fared. Yes, there were a stunning slew of busts taken in the top 10, but overall the 2001 draft yielded some quality talent, including about 5 or 6 all-stars who were taken outside the top 10. It wasn't that the draft talent was bad; it was the talent evaluation that stunk.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Gasol was drafted #3 proves that at least one GM ranked Gasol higher than the trio of Brown/Chandler/Curry.

As for MJ as GM, not just Kwame, he also drafted Morrison as #3, ahead of Brendon Roy. That was even more a blunder than Kwame, because no one has thought Morrison as top 3! In fact, when MJ called Bullets "the team of the future," people should have known the inability of MJ in judging the talents.

Posted by: sagaliba | April 29, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Putting the last two Insiders together, the Wiz have a decision tree in the off-season, starting with:

1) can Arenas play to 90%+ of past form?

If no, then break up the team and go with youth. Rubio would fit with this scenario. But don't expect to be a contender for 3-4 years.

If yes, the biggest priority becomes getting a quality 2. Rubio doesn't cut it for a "win now" team in this scenario.

2) Do they get the first pick - Griffen?

If yes, keep him. There will be rotation issues, but it would be a nice problem to have. Blatche or Songalia become tradeable, with Blatche presumably having more value. Maybe package some combination of Blatche, James and Steveson for a 2.

If no (and Arenas' knee is 90%+), then trade the pick and some combo of Stevenson, James, and Etan for a quality 2 guard.

3) Flip needs to determine if he can turn Young and Blatche into valuable contributors off of the bench next year. If not, more trades are in order.

4) Flip should hire Bruce Bowen as a defensive coach.

Posted by: Izman | April 29, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Ernie has commented privately to season ticket-holders that this is a "one-person draft"(Griffin) and that if they do not get the first pick, he will be trading the pick. Plus, despite the Wizards' public assurances that they will do "anything" to get better, Abe will still not go over the luxury tax. So Ricky Rubio will not be a Wizard next year.

Posted by: center3 | April 29, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Leaving aside the question of Gil's history as a point guard, and any discussion of Crittenton's likely improvement, why wouldn't Washington want two point guards, one of them a proven shooter?

Posted by: dabing | April 29, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

They already have two PGs in Arenas and Crittenton, one primarily a scorer one more of a distributor. Given the overall areas of need on their roster, another PG (esp. a 19-year old rookie) isn't going to advance their "win now" agenda.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

center3: Why would Grunfeld, a man known to play it very close to the vest, reveal his draft strategy to ticket-holders? It;s ridiculous, and I find it impossible to believe, just like I find it impossible to believe that you somehow know what Abe's REALLY willing to spend.

Posted by: IrenePollin | April 29, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Agreed that the Wiz can't afford to burn a year evaluating things to see where they stand and that the clock is ticking on the Big 3. However they don't really have a choice, having painted themselves into a corner with big contracts (assuming they're still not willing to pay the luxury tax for exceeding cap).
I suspect they'll have to go with what they have; not much room for maneuvering. In which case drafting Rubio and stashing him in Spain for the next season might work well if they can't get Griffin.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with dabing, and I am kind of baffled that people think the Wizards need to win now. I don;t think they're there yet, and I don't think good teams ever sacrifice the future to win now. The Celtics got lucky and were able to take a shortcut to being a legit team, but their run could already be ending, and they're doomed in terms of long term prospects. If Rubio is the best player available and EG cant get what he wants in a trade, then the Wizards need to take him and use him off the bench. Maybe (maybe) Crit has some potential, but Rubio's a major upgrade and, at nearly a decade younger than Gilbert, a guy who will be hitting his peak when Gilbert will be nearing retirement. I don't know enough to say draft the guy, but I don't think it would be a mistake just based on the current roster.

Posted by: IrenePollin | April 29, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

They do have a choice. They have about $15 mill in expiring contracts sitting on their bench, attached to players whom they almost certainly have no intention of re-signing at season's end. If they can't get a player who can help them right away (and Rubio can't) then they can package the pick with a player and/or expiring contract to get someone who can help them right away.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are in "win now" mode and I don't see Rubio being next year's Derrick Rose. He has no jump shoot, needs to gain some weight/strength, and get use to the NBA game. He's the type of player who could be great in 3-4 years, but isn't going to have much impact next year. If you read between the lines, EG is only going to keep the pick if its the No. 1 for Blake Griffin. Otherwise, the pick becomes trade bait to move along with the bad contracts of Etan and/or James for a vet who could come in right away and play.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 29, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I think Rubio can help right away. He plays 15 minutes off the bench as Arenas's backup and is an immediate upgrade from Javaris Crittendon (who I love, but come on). If Arenas gets hurt again the season is over anyways and the minutes for Rubio's development as "the future" are there.

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | April 29, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

With this team as constituted, the window of opportunity may be closing; though in the future, Jamison, the oldest of the big three, could eventually revert back to sixth man while retaining a core of Butler and Arenas to build around.
That said the Wiz's immediate need seems to be a solid low post presence. Not any projects but someone who can fit in and produce. That kind of player is hard to find and generally costs money.
I'm assuming a significant chunk of the 15 million in expiring contracts belongs to ET, he also has a two million trade kicker. In order to improve themselves they pretty much have to move ET to get cap space or am I missing some facet of obscure NBA contractual law. Is that likely to happen?

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

[i]European League players are NOT soft...
Is Luis Scola soft? Is Marcin Gortat soft? Is Andres Nocioni soft?

Posted by: khrabb | April 29, 2009 3:24 PM[/i]

ur jk right? seriously tho, screw all these weak-a$$-stepped-on Euro/all-around players. we need two more corn-fed Yankee bruisers, a la Antonio McNice or Birdman. unfortunately, with Juan Dixon being our only expiring contract, and that old-ass man's reluctance to pay the cost (wisely), Ernie has tied our hands and we are bound for another half-decade of one-and-dones. At least we'll be better than the rofl Knicks I guess.

Posted by: prescrunk | April 29, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

European League players are NOT soft...
Is Luis Scola soft? Is Marcin Gortat soft? Is Andres Nocioni soft?

Posted by: khrabb | April 29, 2009 3:24 PM

ur jk right? seriously tho, screw all these weak-a$$-stepped-on Euro/all-around players. we need two more corn-fed Yankee bruisers, a la Antonio McNice or Birdman. unfortunately, with Juan Dixon being our only expiring contract, and that old-ass man's reluctance to pay the cost (wisely), Ernie has tied our hands and we are bound for another half-decade of one-and-dones. At least we'll be better than the rofl Knicks I guess.

Posted by: prescrunk | April 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing obscure about it. They don't have to move Thomas for cap space (and couldn't if they wanted to). They can, however, package him (or James and/or Pech) with the pick and/or a young player in exchange for a vet from a team that's (A) looking to cut payroll moving forward (possibly in anticipation of getting in on the big FA bazaar next offseason) or (B) has an impending FA that they don't think they can re-sign and are looking to get a pre-emptive return against the possibility of him leaving.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

What's this win now business? Win what? The championship? A playoff series? If the wiz are going to win the title with this group, it'll be within 2-3 years, not next year. In that scenario, Rubio would definitely help them down the road. If EG wants to win it this coming season, he'd have to pull of some major trades to bring talent here.

And why would Rubio agree to being stashed for a year?

Posted by: amalg | April 29, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

MIKE----Is Gil healthy??? What's your opinion?

I think if Rubio falls to us it makes sense to take him.

If gil is healthy then we have a good bargaining chip and/or a nice plan B.

RR would fit in with Abe's need for someone to bring something new to the VC.

Posted by: VBFan | April 29, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

No GM with active brain cells (i.e., everyone but Kevin McHale) would pass on the chance to select Rubio at #2.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | April 29, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Isn't packaging him (ET) with the pick essentially moving him for cap space to sign the vet they get in exchange?
Yes, they might pick up some extra value in the scenarios you mention due to the expiring contract and the impending 2010 FA bazaar but it seems unlikely they'd get a key piece to a championship puzzle. Of course stranger things have happened, the KB-CB trade for instance.
Unless they find a very sweet deal, your scenario is also an argument for keeping the Wiz as is, hoping they optimize their potential next season and if not, they will have the extra cap space when the FA bazaar opens.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

And why would Rubio agree to being stashed for a year? -amalg

If an NBA team drafts him but for whatever reason does not buy out his Spanish contract, Rubio would play in Spain next year, unless he buys his contract out himself. That's the way I understand it; the NBA team would still have the rights to sign or trade him when his contract is up in Spain. They could draft him and trade the rights as well.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't packaging him (ET) with the pick essentially moving him for cap space to sign the vet they get in exchange? "

No, because they wouldn't be signing anyone. They'd be trading Thomas' expiring contract for a vet who already has a longer-term guaranteed contract, thus providing the other team with cap relief.

"Yes, they might pick up some extra value in the scenarios you mention due to the expiring contract and the impending 2010 FA bazaar but it seems unlikely they'd get a key piece to a championship puzzle."

I agree, but what you or I think doesn't matter. The team management and players clearly believe that if they can stay healthy and add the right piece they can be in the mix for contention; they've said as much publicly. So their agenda going into the offseason is clear, and picking a 19 year old rookie who plays the same position as their best, most expensive player doesn't do anything to further that agenda.

"Unless they find a very sweet deal, your scenario is also an argument for keeping the Wiz as is, hoping they optimize their potential next season and if not, they will have the extra cap space when the FA bazaar opens."

Wrong. The Wiz are so far over the cap that even if they keep Thomas, James, and Pech and let the contracts expire, they still wouldn't have enough free cap space to be serious players in next year's big name FA market. When you factor in raises for guys already under contract, the likelihood of a lower salary cap, the issue of whether to re-sign Haywood, McGuire and Young, they probably wouldn't have much more than the MLE to spend. Leveraging their expiring contracts and this year's pick (if it's not #1) in a trade are really the only significant assets they have towards immediate improvement.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

By the way Kal, in my humble opinion, the NBA has moved into a rather arcane world of contract law with caps and various exceptions; I think those scenarios you outlined are obscure, in a word. At least for the uninitiated.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Assuming Griffin and Rubio are the Wiz's top 2 choices, who do we take if we get the third, fourth, or fifth pick?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | April 29, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Draft him and trade him right away.

If hes a point guard and Coach K likes him, you know what that means.

Terms like "hustle" and "headstrong" and "thinker" a la greg paulus, bobby hurley, wojo, etc.

Basically, not panning out into stars. We need someone to protect the paint and board for us. Its so obvious.

Trade this pick for Kendrick Perkins or Tony Allen or someone.

Deja a alguien mas que elija al q paso de moda!

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | April 29, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but there's nothing "obscure" about the logic behind the idea of a team trading a player with an expiring contract for one with a longer-term deal and vice versa. It happens multiple times every year and is pretty widely reported on and talked about. At least one deal such as that ends up resulting in a big turnaround for a team almost every season (the Iverson/Billups deal is the most recent example) And really, that's the only "scenario" I was talking about.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Assuming Griffin and Rubio are the Wiz's top 2 choices, who do we take if we get the third, fourth, or fifth pick?"

Pray.

Seriously though, the Wiz can still use the pick in the trade if it's lower than #2, although the return on the deal may not be as great. They're probablyy going to have to package the pick with an expiring contract regardless and, more likely than not, the cap space will have just as much (if not more) value to their trade partner as the pick (depending on what team they're dealing with).

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Wrong. The Wiz are so far over the cap that even if they keep Thomas, James, and Pech and let the contracts expire, they still wouldn't have enough free cap space to be serious players in next year's big name FA market.
-Kalorama

This logic would probably apply to many teams with established players that might be looking at Thomas.
For the Wiz it would still loosen up a little cap space and if the Wiz's upcoming season with the big three and company doesn't work out, they'll have that space and the possibility of trading some large contracts but valuable, Butler or Jamison, (I assume the size of Arenas' contract obviates a trade otherwise he could also be on the block) which might be a way of quickly blowing up and putting together a competitive team.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Kal, there is nothing obscure about the logic, just the damned details.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"This logic would probably apply to many teams with established players that might be looking at Thomas. "

But it wouldn't apply to teams that are trading for Thomas for the sole purpose of getting under the luxury tax, as opposed to freeing up FA spending money, which is why I specifically referenced both types of teams in my initial post. Point is, the expiring contracts give them lost of options that they won't have this time next year if they don't make a move.

"For the Wiz it would still loosen up a little cap space and if the Wiz's upcoming season with the big three and company doesn't work out, they'll have that space and the possibility of trading some large contracts but valuable, Butler or Jamison, (I assume the size of Arenas' contract obviates a trade otherwise he could also be on the block) which might be a way of quickly blowing up and putting together a competitive team."

Even if that were true (and I don't believe it is) it's not really relevant to the Wiz's situation because, again, they've made it quite clear what their goal is and standing pat and waiting isn't on the agenda. I'm not talking about what I think they should do (I thought they should have blown it up last summer) I'm talking about what they're most likely to do based on their circumstances.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 29, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"It wasn't that the draft talent was bad; it was the talent evaluation that stunk.Posted by: kalo_rama | "

Actually, that's true. Of course I include that in my eval of a weak vs strong class -- if nobody who's getting paid to know manages to figure out how good you are, maybe you weren't that good.

Looking at the first round, you see some good players, especially Tony Parker. Gerald Wallace turned out pretty good (25), as has Richard Jefferon (13). Sam Dalembert (26) and our own Brendan Haywood (20) are serviceable big men.

And in the second round, one Gilbert Arenas (32). Boy, was he underrated.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 29, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting dizzy.

With the past contracts to Jamison and Arenas I think it's clear that the Wiz's agenda became a waiting game, because of the injuries; waiting for this core plus Butler and Haywood to get healthy. In other words standing pat around a core of players, (the others are mainly role players and young prospects).
If they can make a move with Thomas or James to supplement the roster with a role player or do better and get a stud, they should definitely do it. But I don't believe, given the circumstances of their contractual obligations and the roster that EG built, (we can only assume, he thought they would be a viable contender), that it is imperative to move Thomas.
I hope they can put together a deal but if they can't I can see them following my option, Thomas might even contribute as a low post presence at power forward on occasion.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Rubio is going to be a huge bust. He is all HYPE, has done nothing. Oh, he looked 'great' in a 50pt loss to team USA!!

The only reason Wiz should take him is to send him to another team, because EVERYBODY is falling for this crap like they always do with players who didnt go the ncaa route.

Yi Jinalin got drafted 5th for some youtube highlights and posting up a chair.

The real reason teams drool over the Rubio is the potential marketing scenarios if he panned out.

Tyreke Evans will EASILY be a better nba player.

Ernie, Ernie, dont fall for this nonsense.

Posted by: divi3 | April 29, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Did you even watch the Olympics?

Posted by: djnnnou | April 29, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I like Thabeet as the third pick if we cant trade it but after him there is nothing this year.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | April 29, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I was sure Ru-Ru-Rubio was a reference to the movie "Hook" and the scamp character Rufioooo

------

Ah i wanted to say it first.

I would love to be able to have that be a chant at home games.

Posted by: crs-one | April 29, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Drafting Rubio is like drafting Sanchez to replace Campbell.

Sanchez is not better than the 3rd string Q'Back that we have from Hawaii.

And Rubio is not better than Gilbert and Gilbert is really a two, and JC will be a beast in this leaque. Ty Lawson is better than Rubio.

Rubio would be an excuse to blow up the Team.

It ain't happening. Happy Trails Rubio.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 29, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

So now because of a feature on RR, suddenly he's the man. There weren't threeo f you saying pick RUBIO first with the #1. Get off - GRIFFIN, THABEET, LAWSON, RUBIO, TRADE FIVE.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 29, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

HI

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 29, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

You know there are smart Teams out there just drooling over the fact that everybody keep saying, this is a bad draft class.

This draft class is only as bad as Teams drafting the right fit for there Teams.

I think Carolina has four players coming out this year. They are all blue chip prospects, no pun intended. With the right Teams, players like them will make this draft class shine.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 29, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

If Rubio is the goods he'll be better than Griffin who won't ever be anything other than a transition dunker and undersized rebounder. He'll only measure 6'8 without shoes and he has no ball skills that he can call on ie ball handiling creating his own shot or mid range jumper.

Rubio could be Cp3 with the ability to push the ball those sort of players are franchise altering. The Wizards have enough young bigs but not 1 true pure pg capable of setting up our athletic young bigs for easy baskets.

I'd have to be completely sold on Rubio if I were the Wizards from a scouting perspective but if I am I draft him 1st overall.

Cp3, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, they change teams around. undersized tweeners like Beasely and Griffin don't.

Posted by: jrwalkerivory | April 29, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

The grass is always greener on the other side.

Drafting Rubio is a grass is greeener on the other side complex.

Drafting Blake is not a grass is greener on the other side complex.

We need a Big Mean Tough Guy. We donot need a point guard. We got three. Arenas and Crit, we gonna keep, James, we gonna get rid of.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 29, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Chicago toe to toe with Boston.

Philadephia toe to toe with Orlando.

Miami getting punked by Atlanta.

New Orleans getting punked by Denver.

San Antonio getting whipped by Dallas.

Lakers toy with the Jazz.

Cleveland embarrases Pistons.

Rockets without TM handling Trailblazers.

Wizards win the East next year. Wow!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 30, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

I think Rubio at #2 is a no-brainer. He's probably the most skilled player at his age to come into the NBA since LeBron. His b-ball IQ is off the charts and Lord knows this team needs some smarter players. He's a born leader by all accounts. His presence allows Arenas to slide over to SG (and IMO he's better at guarding 2s than quicker 1s) and be the scorer he's comfortable being.

We struggle to get assists, we struggle to get easy shots. Rubio will help in that case. Even though he's 18, Rubio plays in arguably the strongest professional basketball league outside the NBA which includes a number of former NBA players. He's played with and against grown men since he was 15. The ACB league is far superior to anything we see in the NCAA. I dispute the notion that Rubio couldn't come in an contribute immediately.

Also anyone saying we don't need this kid b/c we have Crittenton on the roster doesn't have a clue. Critt is hot garbage. He's got good size and can handle the rock but his decision making is extremely suspect and his jumper is absolutely brutal. Critt seems like a nice kid but frankly his presence should not factor into future roster decisions.

Posted by: Dat2U | April 30, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

"if nobody who's getting paid to know manages to figure out how good you are, maybe you weren't that good."

See, the problem with using that theory as a measuring stick is that it assumes the people being paid to know always (or even usually) know what they're talking about. But the 2001 draft really refutes that, because many of the people they figured weren't that good (Wallace, Arenas, Parker, Okur, Watson, even guys like Jefferson and Murphy, taken at the bottom of the lottery) turned out to be very good, while many of the guys they figured out were supposed to be good (Kwame, Curry, Griffin, Diop, White, Brown) turned out to be massive busts.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

"With the past contracts to Jamison and Arenas I think it's clear that the Wiz's agenda became a waiting game, because of the injuries; waiting for this core plus Butler and Haywood to get healthy."

And if everyone is healthy going into next season, that waiting game is over and they'll be expecting immediate results. Which means drafting a guy who may not pay real dividends for 3 years does nothing to help them fulfill their agenda.

"But I don't believe, given the circumstances of their contractual obligations and the roster that EG built, (we can only assume, he thought they would be a viable contender), that it is imperative to move Thomas."
The circumstances of their contractual obligations is exactly what makes it imperative. They need more help to meet their goals than Thomas has ever proven himself capable of giving them.

"I hope they can put together a deal but if they can't I can see them following my option, Thomas might even contribute as a low post presence at power forward on occasion."

If they have any hope of pursuing their goal of contending, they'll need a hell of a lot more than an "occasional" presence in the post.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Listen up Stupids! If we get the chance to add Rubio to our team we have to do it! He is going to come in right away and be an outstanding backup PG and within a year or 2 or will be an all star. You just don't see prospects like Rubio who are also all Defense players.

Draft Rubio if we get the #2 pick, trade deadweight and god awful etan and james to Detroit for Rip so they can trim salary to go after Lebron/Wade/Bosh..

Wiz Lineup
Arenas/Rubio/Critter
Rip/Young/Stevenson
Butler/McGuire
Jamison/Blatche
Haywood/McGee

That is a sick starting lineup with a bench that could really produce with Rubio leading the show.

Posted by: Berghead | April 30, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Listen up Stupids! If we get the chance to add Rubio to our team we have to do it! He is going to come in right away and be an outstanding backup PG and within a year or 2 or will be an all star. You just don't see prospects like Rubio who are also all Defense players.

Draft Rubio if we get the #2 pick, trade deadweight and god awful etan and james to Detroit for Rip so they can trim salary to go after Lebron/Wade/Bosh..

Wiz Lineup
Arenas/Rubio/Critter
Rip/Young/Stevenson
Butler/McGuire
Jamison/Blatche
Haywood/McGee

That is a sick starting lineup with a bench that could really produce with Rubio leading the show.

Posted by: Berghead | April 30, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Been watching this Chicago-Boston series. I haven't seen either team that much this year, but it looks to me, based on that limited sample, like neither team can consistently stop the other's PG.

They're driving the lane, if not at will, then with great effectiveness. Both PGs go to the basket extremely well, and both are adept at finding the open jump shooter (usually Allen or Gordon, but not always). I get the feeling that if Garnett were a factor this series might be over now, but he isn't, so as the CEOs like to say, it is what it is.

Everybody knew how good Rose would be, but Rondo, even at the end of his third season, surprises me at least. He was always a terrific penetrator, but now he seems to have learned to take advantage of his jump shot. He seems to work very hard on defense despite his height disadvantage. One of those spider-armed defenders who's always got a hand out just where you want to pass it.

If the Celts get to go another round, he could turn out to be the early star of the playoffs. Except for Denver, of course.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2009 6:17 AM | Report abuse

I love the knee-jerk discrimination against Europeans... it's like saying Fiat can't save Chrysler in 2009 because the cars they marketed here in the 1960s had bad service.

Rubio can play. Now. His upside is well into Tony Parker territory.

The only American below Griffin who can contribute now, IMO, is Stephen Curry. I would pick him at #5 in a heartbeat.

On the deal-making side, if the Wizards are inclined to take a BIG Luxury Tax hit, they could pry Chris Bosh loose from Toronto, Amare Stoudemire from the Suns or even David Lee from the Knicks and get very scary, very fast.

Bottom line, the NBA is in a transitional period now. It's a good time for a team like the Wizards to make a reach for the brass ring. However, they will have to do it with a deep, flexible team rather than a star act like LeBron and the Cavs. It could happen here.

Posted by: khrabb | April 30, 2009 6:25 AM | Report abuse

It seems like Ernie currently has more assets than he has ever had with the Wiz to make some deals...so I have faith he will get it done this summer. And by "it" I mean move/package some of the deadwood salaries (ET, MJ or Pech), along with some of the young underachievers (AB or NY), and one or both of the Wiz high draft picks in 1st and/or 2nd round for 1 or 2 veteran high quality bench players. Thats most likely what we are looking at for next year...

Posted by: oddjob1 | April 30, 2009 7:09 AM | Report abuse

khrabb: "I love the knee-jerk discrimination against Europeans... it's like saying Fiat can't save Chrysler in 2009 because the cars they marketed here in the 1960s had bad service.Rubio can play. Now. His upside is well into Tony Parker territory.The only American below Griffin who can contribute now, IMO, is Stephen Curry. I would pick him at #5 in a heartbeat. "

The European game's different, you'd have to admit that. European teams can play very effectively against US clubs in tournaments, using international rules. But that's not the same thing as individual players coming into the NBA and having an impact.

Same would go for Asian and South American players. The Africans usually play college ball here first.

Seems to me that with few exceptions, European stars (even established players) have a fairly extended adjustment to NBA ball. Take Rudy Fernandez. He's 24 and been playing professionally for years, has won numerous MVP awards, and was generally regarded as one of the five or six best players in Europe. So he comes to the NBA and sets the record for rookie 3 pointers -- off the bench. He's just now, at the end of a season, getting starts.

Rubio, by comparison, is 18. He's had the advantage of playing with and against mature men, but not the NBA's matchup style of basketball.

Be naive to expect a kid like that to have a profound impact in terms of improved record on a club that wasn't that good to begin with.

So if the Wiz had him, what could we anticipate? Some spectacular passes. Flashes of great promise. A long and productive NBA career, after he learns this other game.

Haven't seen him that much, but from that small exposure, I think James Harden would have a bigger impact. Not so much upside, but Harden's a very skilled, intelligent player on both ends, who can do something the Wiz need -- hit an open 3 pointer.

You know, that thing we were hoping Stevenson would be able to do.

Jordan Hill is very talented. Thabeet's a big, big question mark, but really, he'd be more of a game-changer the first year than Ricky, I suspect.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh, by the way -- Stephen Curry can also hit that open 3 pointer. But he's going to struggle on the defensive end.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, I guess Fernandez is 25 now.

They grow up so fast...

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

As I posted here recently, the buzz about Rubio is increasing by the day. I haven't been able to really see enough of the guy to form a real solid opinion.

But the comparisons to "Pistol Pete" do seem to be spot on. Having grown up watching the Pistol in college and the pros I've always been left with a mixed feeling about him.

Like Allen Iverson, Pete was a supremely talented individual that could dominate a basketball game. But the Pistol sure played on some terrible teams. Like a lot of guys that spend most of their careers on bad teams, you are left to wonder, were they part of the problem? Or was it a lack of a supporting cast that left them down?

Rubio would seem to be one part in a winning team. In a few years time I could see him having as big of an impact at point as the frenchman,Parker. H'mmm, he doesn't fit into all of those Euro sterotypes either.

Eventually Rubio could live up to all of the hype surrounding him now. but like any point guard he'll need supporting cast. No matter how great the point guard he'll need someone to pass to, or he'll have to, God forbid, shoot first...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | April 30, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Rubio is 100% HYPE. It is amazing that people who have never seen him play go so nuts about him. How many people do you hear say "He was awesome in Bejing!" Really? You sure about that?

Stats: 5pts/4rebs/3assists per game. 16% from beyond the arc. And this comes while playing teams like Angola.

"He really showed his skills against Team USA!"

Seriously? He played a total of 48 minutes in two losses and made all of one fg. ONE! 6 assists. Good for him, but stop talking like he accomplished something that makes him worthy of the #2 pick. He hasnt.

The kid may have upside, but you dont draft someone top5 on the ASSUMPTION they will add 20 pounds without losing quickness AND develop a solid jumpshot.

Rubio is all hype, don't do it ernie.

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Samson: "Rondo, even at the end of his third season, surprises me at least."

Rondo was drafted 21st. But the coaches had confidence in him, even with a dismal 1st year (his PER was 13).

The coaches play him every game and he has averaged 23, 30 and 33 minutes a game over his first three years. And two of those years, the Celts were contending for a title.

With confidence and consistent minutes from the coaches, his PER improved from 13 to 16 to 19.

He's obviously a solid performer after three years of development.

What do the Wiz have to show for development over the last two or three years of their 15-20 picks? This isn't rocket science.

Posted by: Izman | April 30, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

divi3, That's why I've been saying for weeks that if the Wiz draw the 2nd pick it will be ripe for a trade.

If they could deal the pick in a package to a team that's drooling over his talents the timing might be right. NY would seem to be one possible trade partner. Rubio, James and Etan for NY's pick plus, Lee in a sign and trade, and I wouldn't mind seeing Jeffries come back into mix as well.

Jeffries would offer alot of options to a good coach like Suanders. He didn't fit the Princeton system, and he's a duck out of water in the uptempo system NY wants to run. But when he was here his length and quickness were useful against LeBron.

I'm not really a member of the bring back Hughes fan club. But I could see Lee being a fit here with Suanders' style and the Wizards current roster.

NY would get a hyped star to run their uptempo game, and lots of cap room in 2010.

And there would still be some nice options on the board with the NY pick to go with the Wiz's young core.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | April 30, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

flohrtv, agree 110%. I'm all for getting Rubio's rights for purposes of trading him or the pick that would aquire him. There will be at least a dozen teams that will overpay for the kid, and I would love to see us aquire some toughness as we have all the finesse we could want.

We need a 6'8"-6"10" bruiser who wants to stay within 6 feet of the rim. I guess that could be Blake Griffin...

Cant say I am sold on Jefferies coming back though, he left on a sour note to be sure. And no way to Larry Hughes!

Posted by: divi3 | April 30, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

If an NBA team drafts him but for whatever reason does not buy out his Spanish contract, Rubio would play in Spain next year, unless he buys his contract out himself. That's the way I understand it; the NBA team would still have the rights to sign or trade him when his contract is up in Spain. They could draft him and trade the rights as well.

Posted by: midlevex | April 29, 2009 5:37 PM

Except that NBA teams can only contribute 500k to the buy out, so Rubio would pay something (probably a lot more than 500k) to buy the contract out. If he's declaring now because, as Mike Lee wrote,
"it allows Rubio to start his money-earning clock a year earlier so that he can start making big (potential max) money in his next deal sooner than later." Then drafting him with the intention of stashing him for a year might backfire big time. He might not agree to be stashed.

Anyway, I'm still not sure what people mean when they say the Wizards have to produce this year. Produce what? A championship? Conference Finals?

If healthy, they're good enough to get out of the first round regardless of who they draft.

Posted by: amalg | April 30, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Rondo was drafted 21st. But the coaches had confidence in him, even with a dismal 1st year (his PER was 13).The coaches play him every game and he has averaged 23, 30 and 33 minutes a game over his first three years. And two of those years, the Celts were contending for a title.With confidence and consistent minutes from the coaches, his PER improved from 13 to 16 to 19. He's obviously a solid performer after three years of development.What do the Wiz have to show for development over the last two or three years of their 15-20 picks? This isn't rocket science."

No, it isn't. But you make it seem simpler than it really is. In three ways:
First, by directly attributing his improvement to getting a lot of playing time, and the confidence of his coach. Neither factor hurts, but maybe Rondo was just a better player to start with, and it took him several years to learn the NBA game.
Second, you're drawing a straight line from improved PER to improved performance. I don't have that same confidence in PER. Whether you think that makes me an idiot, I maintain that's not good science.
Third, Rondo has an advantage in that he's used in an offense that very closely fits his talents. A comparison would be Devin Harris in NJ. Harris, a very good player for the Mavs, has become an offensive star in Jersey's scheme. Rondo may to some extent be a product of his system.

My point being that good, logical analysis requires some consideration of complexity. And simplistic analysis of complex situations doesn't result in good decisions.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 30, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Rubio may be all hype, but didn't the people who played against him on TeamUSA give him their stamp of approval? He has a God-given talent and his #1 talent is his basketball instinct as a point guard. Does that make him a top 2 pick? It depends on who is in the draft. Do you trade the pick? Depends on what you can get for it. But you can say that for the #1 pick B.Griffin as well. Until offers are on the table, all this debate is fiction.

Posted by: G-Man11 | April 30, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

New York knicks would love to draft rubio, but we should only trade him to them only for...david lee and quentin richardson (a sharp shooter) and they have to eat etans contract (which will clear cap space for them) and take one of our bummy youngins.."andray blatche"..that way sine Lees contract isnt massive the wizards would clear cap space and have a little bit of lead way.. or the wiz can bring back larry..larry can run the one if gilbert is still hurt.

starting 5? w/out the #1 overall

5- Haywood
4- Lee
3- Mcguire
2- Butler
1- Arenas/hughes

6th man- Jamison
7th- Young
8th- songalia

nice change of pace for the wiz

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | April 30, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I also been saying that if we do not get the 1st pick, we use our pick if Rubio's available for a sign and trade along with ETan and James to a Team that believes he is so hot.

However, my scenario I'm told is not possible, because the only thing I want in return is their lower 1st round pick.

I'm told I have to accept also a player from the sign and trade team. But, if Rubio is such a can't miss product, why wouldn't a Team bite on that deal?

Is it by rule I have to accept a player?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 30, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Even if Rubio turns out to be the bastard love child of Steve Nash and Oscar Robertson, drafting him for any purpose other than trading him makes little sense for the Wiz, unless the plan is to blow the whole thing up and start rebuilding, and that is clearly not the plan.

For better or worse the Wiz are married to Arenas at PG for the next 5 years at a hefty price. Given that simple unalterable fact, drafting a young developmental player who plays the same position as Arenas wouldn't seem to be a smart organizational move.

And for those who maintain that the Wiz could play Rubio and Arenas together with Arenas playing off the ball, a simple question: Have you ever actually seen Gilbert Arenas play? If so: What, exactly, about his game suggests that he'd thrive in a role where the ball wasn't in his hands?

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

And another thing...I don't see why so many of us are resolved to the fact that we need to trade for established NBA players, Bosh, Lee, Hughes, etc.

I think our own established players are good enough.

I believe we add to them by drafting. We have two picks that we should use to better our Team for now and in the future.

To trade for other established NBA'ers might make us better now, but not for the future.

Blake Griffin, or the Rubio sign and trade, that allows us to use both our picks, and frees up a vacant slot for us.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Rubio won't be fully developed in his first year, so there's no harm in having him develop in a back-up role with 20+ minutes a night his first year (if he even plays in the NBA next year).

In 5 years, the final year of Arenas's contract, Rubio is 23. The main challenge -- in the worst case -- is that the Wizards are locked into a pricey contract that they can't move.

If a guy like a guy like Rubio did develop into the second-coming of Robertson-Nash -- I don't care what the other options are -- you're going to do everything possible to lock him in at age 23.

Bottom line is the Wizards are going to draft the best player available with whatever pick they get.

If they do draft Rubio, I doubt they'll move the selection at any price just to get under the cap.

It's a question of what the other options are on the table -- something that we don't know right now. These are all hypothetical -- however, it's not that hard to envision a scenario where the Wizards select Rubio and hold onto him for at least a year. The odds are less than 50-50 that they even get the 2nd overall pick -- so that's something to consider here as well.

Posted by: JPRS | April 30, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"If they do draft Rubio, I doubt they'll move the selection at any price just to get under the cap. "

No one is suggesting moving him just to get under the cap. The idea (the likelihood) is that they'll move him (in conjunction with one of their expiring contracts) in order to get a player who can help them right away.

Pollin, Grunfeld, Saunders, Butler, Jamison, and Arenas have all made it quite clear what they'll be going after next season when 9presumably, hopefully) everyone is healthy. That plan really doesn't leave much consideration for a multiple year development plan for a teenaged backup player.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Kalo_rama, That is adding sanity why Rubio here stinks.

Gilbert needs the ball whether he is point or the two.

Thats why he and Larry excelled because they both controlled the ball equally.

Is why I say that Crit and Gil together will eventually be explosive. I believe that they both can control the point duties together, and it gives the advantages of Gilbert not having to carry the heavy load of the point while maximizing his effectiveness.

It seems stupid to have two points on the floor at the same time, but Gilbert is allowed to slide from point to the two, depending on the flow of the game. It would be lethal and it saves wear and tear on Gilbert throughout the game.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 30, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"New York knicks would love to draft rubio, but we should only trade him to them only for...david lee and quentin richardson (a sharp shooter) and they have to eat etans contract (which will clear cap space for them) and take one of our bummy youngins.."andray blatche"..that way sine Lees contract isnt massive the wizards would clear cap space and have a little bit of lead way.. or the wiz can bring back larry..larry can run the one if gilbert is still hurt.

starting 5? w/out the #1 overall

5- Haywood
4- Lee
3- Mcguire
2- Butler
1- Arenas/hughes

6th man- Jamison
7th- Young
8th- songalia

nice change of pace for the wiz"

JASPERHNEYAOLCOM,

Yeah, that would be a nice change of pace...but that lineup sucks. It is not better that what we have.

Subtraction must be your best subject.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 30, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Pollin, Grunfeld, Saunders, Butler, Jamison, and Arenas have all made it quite clear what they'll be going after next season when 9presumably, hopefully) everyone is healthy. That plan really doesn't leave much consideration for a multiple year development plan for a teenaged backup player.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2009 12:21 PM

This is one of those things where it still depends. Would they take the best offer for Rubio and an expiring contract(s), or would they hold onto Rubio and try to move expiring contract(s) and someone else (e.g. Blatche)?

Best offer suggests a strong inclination to make the deal whether or not its optimal. There are times when a team might be inclined to make a deal, but, for a variety of reasons, might hold out in the expectation of a better return on investment at a later time.

The kind of patience that an organization has with a developmental player depends on where they see the player's growth curve.

In the case of Devin Harris, the Wizards made their move. In the case of Rubio, maybe the equation plays out the same way. Maybe it doesn't. It all depends on what EG's estimation of Rubio's skills are relative to other considerations. Maybe an optimal move is on the table between now and late June. Maybe the organization waits until December to see what's on the table. Maybe the organization makes the decision that a certain prospect is worth holding onto for one season plus.

Presuming to know in advance what the answer is, is presuming to know what the likely hypotheticals are. Assuming that the Wizards even select Rubio there's a huge range of options that full under -- "High quality veteran that Team B will deal to the Wizards in exchange for Rubio and expiring contract(s)". I don't know what the most likely options are in that scenario. Maybe you do. Any thoughts what that deal might involve? Want to go on the record on this one?

Yes, the Wizards organization has made it clear that it intends to upgrade its current roster either through trade or the draft in the off-season. That narrows down the possible options a little, but not by much.

Posted by: JPRS | April 30, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"This is one of those things where it still depends. Would they take the best offer for Rubio and an expiring contract(s), or would they hold onto Rubio and try to move expiring contract(s) and someone else (e.g. Blatche)?"

I don't see how that depends on anything. There's no question that Rubio will be more highly coveted by other teams than Blatche, which means that the Wiz have got a better chance on getting a high return on trading Rubio. Furthermore, for all of his faults and shortcomings, Blatche fills a more significant need (size) on the team than Rubio would, esp. if they don't get Griffin. Now, if they get the #1 pick and draft Griffin, then Blatche becomes immediately expendable.

"Presuming to know in advance what the answer is, is presuming to know what the likely hypotheticals are."

There's nothing hypothetical about it. All of the principals have said, flat out with no equivocation, that their goal is to go into next season healthy and in pursuit of a title. That being the case, adding more young developmental players (when they're still in the process of trying to coach up the half dozen or so they already have) makes no sense. They need and want help, production, and results sooner not later.

"Yes, the Wizards organization has made it clear that it intends to upgrade its current roster either through trade or the draft in the off-season."

Half right. The Wizards organization has made it clear that it intends to upgrade its current roster either through trade or the draft in the off-season with the specific, targeted goal of becoming title contenders in the short-term (while their 3 highly priced vets are still viable). That agenda reasonably precludes drafting another player they'll need to wait several years on, esp. given that they haven't shown a lot of patience for the young players they already have and are already waiting on.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

As much as I love the Wizards they are not anywhere close to a championship team. If you have a shot at Blake, Rubio take it and don't look back and build for the future. Unfortunately there isn't a GREAT player like the 2003 draft to build around but who knows Ricky might be the real deal down the line

Posted by: svafai2000 | April 30, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee,

Could you clear up this trade scenario for me:

If the Wizards were to offer Rubio, along with James and Thomas as a sign and trade for a lower 1st round pick, would we have to take a player back by NBA rule?

If I could get a Team to do this sign and trade deal it would allow the Wizards to use a lower 1st round pick, use their 2nd round pick, and it clears another roster spot.

Technically, all we have done is swap our 1st round picks for a player that they want, but, that they want see (Rubio) at their lower pick and for swapping you take two of my expiring golden contracts, as has been referred too.

They come off the other Teams roster at the end of the season, but, It clears two spots for me besides my first pick now.

The other Team gets Rubio, whom they want and they get expiring Golden contracts. I, the Wizards, now get to draft my 1 and 2 spot this year for my Team and also have a third roster spot to work with.

In reality it is an even trade if the other team has only 12 players under contract. Whether is puts either Team over the lux' tax is irrelavent. Correct.

Is this scenario not possible by NBA rule?

I have not gotten a clear cut answer from any Blogger.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 30, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

rubio may be nice...but i'd rather have john wall next year...he is going to be the truth, derrick rose style...i'm calling it now...he is a great point guard

Posted by: jasonma1 | April 30, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Is this scenario not possible by NBA rule?

I have not gotten a clear cut answer from any Blogger."

@LarryInClintonMD

The answer is that your proposed trade would be allowed if and only if the team that the Wizards were making the trade with was so far under the "salary cap" (not the luxury tax limit) that they could fit all that money in without exceeding the "salary cap."

But, with both caps expect to decrease next season, very few teams will even be under the "luxury tax" limit, much less the actual "salary cap."

Posted by: SportzWiz | April 30, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Thx SportzWiz. Now that clears it for me. I a little slow sometimes and don't mind admitting it. The salary cap rules.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 30, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,

Unless a deal has been finalized it remains hypothetical.

Nothing is precluded when talking about "hypotheticals". Some hypotheticals may be more likely than others, but at this stage the front office has made a fairly general statement that leaves a lot of wiggle room.

Hypothetically: Could the Wizards draft a and keep a prospect whose name isn't Blake Griffin?

Yes, obviously they could.

Are they likely to? Maybe not -- especially if they don't land #1 overall -- but at this stage no deal has been put to paper; no preliminary discussions involving players and other teams are taking place. We are dealing exclusively with hypotheticals at this stage.

Posted by: JPRS | April 30, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

i understand that if rubio is drafted gilberts agent will be seeking a trade

Posted by: crl22191 | April 30, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

man...
-all this rubio chatter and only ONE mention of tyreke evans?

SMH

if rubio was a dominant penetrator, i'd say he MIGHT be able to come in and play right away- but that's not his game (thats tony parker's game...)

i'm with divi3- if you don't get blake, you've got to at least consider trading down; and the young extraordinarily talented PG in this draft is young mr. evans

-unless the idea of a 6'5 basketball version of michael vick (athleticism, not animalism) with handles and court vision doesn't appeal to you

Posted by: audiohysteria | April 30, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Can we agree on this? Crit is NOT a keeper.

Posted by: closg | April 30, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"Unless a deal has been finalized it remains hypothetical."

I wasn't talking about a deal. I was talking about the underlying agenda informing the decision making process that will result in a deal. There's nothing hypothetical about what this team's goal is going into next season. Pretty much everyone associated with the team has stated it publicly. And knowing what that agenda is, drafting Rubio and keeping him wouldn't make much sense since it would fail to further that agenda and, in some respects, actively undermine it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 30, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Semantics kalo_rama.

1. Yes, it is hypothetical. Until a deal is done it is purely speculative.

2. Yes, the GM has stated his intention is to build through the draft or through a trade. I'm sure the GM also reserves the right to say "no" if there isn't a deal on the table that makes sense. As I stated earlier -- maybe he makes a pick and sits on it until later in the season. Maybe he sits all year on the pick and sees what the options are. At this stage every thing is hypothetical. I don't know about DC, but in Virginia, only written contracts are enforceable. An oral commitment isn't worth squat. It's like an aspirational goal. It's probably sincere, but it's not binding. Would it make sense to send a quality player to a division rival for nothing? No, of course not. So we're presupposing that some deal is on the table that makes sense.

Once again, if you want to put something down, let's hear it. Who do you think the Wizards will deal in exchange for a pick like Rubio (and the Wiz's expiring contracts)? Larry in Clinton, MD actually has one possibility with David Lee and Richardson. Not a great move, but Lee is plausible (Richardson probably not because of cap implications). I don't think it's going to happen, but that's at least within some plausible range IF the Wiz fall #3 or lower and decide to make a deal.

Posted by: JPRS | May 1, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

"Yes, it is hypothetical. Until a deal is done it is purely speculative."

And if I were talking about a specific deal, you'd have a point. But if you actually read my posts you'd see that I've never been been talking about specific deals, I've been talking about the direction that the Wiz management plans to take the team in and there's nothing hypothetical or speculative about that because they said what their agenda is, flat out. And fulfilling that agenda is not aided by the acquisition of Rubio.

"Yes, the GM has stated his intention is to build through the draft or through a trade."

Y'know, just because you keep on writing only half the truth doesn't mean people will forget the other half exists. He didn't just state "his intention is to build through the draft or through a trade." He stated his intention to do so with a specific goal in mind, namely competing for a title this upcoming season, and achieving that goal is not immediately aided by drafting and keeping Rubio.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 1, 2009 1:37 AM | Report abuse

"Would it make sense to send a quality player to a division rival for nothing? No, of course not. "

Great way to refute an argument no one has made. Who said anything about sending anyone anywhere for nothing? Not me. So really, what point did that serve or make? None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 1, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

"An oral commitment isn't worth squat. It's like an aspirational goal. It's probably sincere, but it's not binding."

Yeah, because after ever the owner, coach, Gm, and star players have all publicly come out and stated their intended goal for the upcoming season, I'm there's a real good chance that the day after the draft they'll all wake up and decide that they're really not that interested in going after a title and decide to blow the whole thing off for a couple more years.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 1, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,

Once again -- semantics. A statement of intention is not the same as a finalized deal.

Is there a situation where the Wizards simply sit on a selection like Rubio? Yes, it's absolutely possible.

In every negotiation, a team reserves the right to walk away. Sometimes the best move is making no move. You presuppose that there is going to be an offer on the table that necessarily improves the team and makes sense. Sometimes there isn't.

Maybe the calculation is that the best option is simply to re-evaluate the options at a later time (it could be during the season, or sometime after). There is no rule that states that the Wizards are obligated to move the pick at the time of the draft -- or to retain the pick for the next two seasons. They could make the move during the season. They could make the move at some other time. They could make no move at all.

In less than a month we should have some clarity about what the most likely options are.

If the Wizards land the #1 overall -- this whole discussion is probably moot. The Wizards might still make a move, but it's unlikely that it would involve Griffin (the likely #1). If the Wizards don't get the #1 overall, they're likely to have a much more complicated range of options.

Until then, we're both just speculating.

I'm not saying that a trade won't happen -- or that it wouldn't make sense to deal Rubio if the right offer is on the table. I am saying that there are no guarantees. It is conceivable that the right offer won't be on the table in June -- and that the Wizards draft and retain Rubio. This is obvious.

Posted by: JPRS | May 1, 2009 3:20 AM | Report abuse

i hear Victor Page is available

Posted by: prescrunk | May 1, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

jasonma1 said: "rubio may be nice...but i'd rather have john wall next year...he is going to be the truth, derrick rose style...i'm calling it now...he is a great point guard"
-----------------
That may be true about Wall's freaky potential. But HIGHLY doubtful the Wizards will be in any position to draft him next year.

Posted by: Bellman | May 1, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The Suns have been using Leondro Barbosa off the bench now for YEARS.

If...IF Gil comes back 100% and is the Steve Nash type PG he says he wants to be, great - then Rubio can come off the bench just as Leandro has in Phoenix.

If not, then we can build for the future.

It's a win-win.

Posted by: stevek_ffx | May 2, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

#1 pick - No brainer, BLAKE GRIFFIN. He's a beast!! Exactly what the Wizards need.
If that happened, I'd love to see a trade with the Pistons involving Rip Hamilton coming back to DC, and maybe Blatche and Stevenson going to Detroit.
If we get the #2 overall pick, I'd love to see us make a trade with Phoenix whereas we get Amare Stoudamire. Possibly Stevenson, Etan, James, and #2 for Stoudamire and Phoenix two 2nd rd picks (#48, #57) this year. We wouldn't have any 1st rd pick to worry about signing this year. What we'd have is three 2nd rd picks to evaluate, whereas Ernie does his best work judging 2nd rd talent anyway. :)

Posted by: tsvqt | May 3, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I thought the Kwame draft was about either drafting Kwame or trading the pick to the Bulls for Brand.

Posted by: larryn703 | May 4, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

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