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Thinking Big

So we've seen a few games with Brendan Haywood back in the middle. The Wiz would take his 18 and 12 from Saturday night when he's 100%.

We've seen the U.-Conn. Huskies and likely lottery pick Hasheem Thabeet eliminated from the Final Four.

In fact, the real hardwood hardheads among us were probably flipping back and forth on Saturday night, from the Heat's win to Michigan State's win and back.

Anyway, the sentiment for the Wizards drafting Thabeet seems small; not sure if it's shrinking or if it was never that big to begin with.

Prospects of trading the big/going over the luxury tax threshold aside, did anybody see anything from Thabeet in the tournament that made you want him in a Wizards jersey? Did anybody see quite the opposite?

Do the prospects of Brendan Haywood and JaVale McGee as starter/backup at the five, or perhaps a 1-2 bunch on the floor together at times, excite anyone?

How do you feel about the Wizards big man prospects next season? Who else factors in?

By Keith McMillan  |  April 5, 2009; 1:32 PM ET
 | Tags: Hasheem Thabeet, Haywood, McGee  
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Comments

no we already have javale coming on. we either should take Blake griffin,Rick Rubio. I say Rubio because who knowns with gilbert.

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | April 5, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Obviously if the balls bounce the right way we pick Blake Griffin - he's too good a prospect to pass up, regardless of need. Then there's Rubio, if he comes out I doubt anybody would be upset at ending up with him. At 3 the clear option is Thabeet. But after that, then what? Jordan Hill and James Harden do not excite me. We don't need Demar DeRozan. Cole Aldrich would be a nice dependable center but not an improvement over the Haywood of last season/these last few games. Assuming we end up in the top 7 or 8 (not guaranteed with this franchises luck) I think we probably have to roll the dice with Brandon Jennings. Failing that, maybe we reach for Eric Maynor or a BJ Mullens?

Posted by: JesseRitz | April 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

After watching Thabeet in the tournament... I would much prefer Blake Griffin. I don't see Thabeet as much of an improvement over what we currently have.

Posted by: dante232 | April 5, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I dont want Thabeet, he reminds me a little of Roy Hibbert. Although Thabeet has a little more fire in him it seems. Griffin is the ideal choice here, hes got too much frame and game to pass up, he is mean. As far as drafting another center, i whole heartedly disagree. Unless there is a world beater a la Tim Duncan or Shaq available we dont need another 7 foot body. Haywood made good progress last year offensively and defensively when he is on the court he ranks in top ten of centers in the NBA in defensive impact. The fact is that Haywood has developed into a double double machine, especially now that he can hit his free throws. McGee is most likely the future. We now have a good amount of big men on the team. Jamison, Haywood, Blatche, Songilia, Mcgee, all can clean the glass. McGee was a steal for the Zards. Once he gets some more muscle on his frame and develops his offensive game with more goto post moves, his athleticism should allow him to develop into a fine NBA center. I like Rubio from what ive heard, we could use another dynamic player on this team along with gilbert (or not if Gilbert gets hurt again than its great insurance policy). If we dont get Rubio then we continue to let Crittenton develop, he has nice size and speed, he just needs to develop offensively--especially his jump shot. If not, another combo guard or swingman is the choice, someone like James Harden. My point here is its either Rubio or Griffin, two players whose talents clearly put them at the top of the draft class. Other than that i say no Thabeet (Its gonna be hard enough for him to get on the court which is important considering how raw his offense and his frame still are, imo hes a less athletic version of what the team already has in McGee, with less upside) If the team is going to go big it doesnt need another project like Thabeet, it needs a big body who can play right away, such as Griffin, or you dont go big at all if you cant find that.

Posted by: dpollit1 | April 5, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

TRADE the pick, perhaps for a 2010 pick. The only two non-guaranteed roster spots belong to Juan and Dom, and assuming that Thomas and James exercise their options, there won't be enough money left under the cap to sign a high first round pick.
Perhaps some team would take one or the other WITH THE PICK and give the Wiz a second. Otherwise, who could be packaged with one, other than Butler, who might be taken.

Posted by: lrmc623 | April 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

yes, good point 623, the Zards could and should unless rubio or griffin falls in their lap should prob trade the pick along with some player, hopefuly thomas

Posted by: dpollit1 | April 5, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

If we get 2nd pick, I would draft Rubio, and move Arenas to SG, and put Blatche at a starting PF b/c its time for him to ply a major role now and uses Antawn as sixth man. SO i would put Young ahead of stevenson in SG.

Lineup: Rubio, arenas, butler, blatche, haywood

core bench: james,young,mcguire,jamision,mcgee

if we get #1, then draft griffin, and try to trade blatche b/c they ply the same position and we'll hv a logjam at pf/c positions

lineup: arenas,butler,jamison,griffin,haywood
bench: james,young,mcguire,blatche,mcgee

Posted by: forbid | April 5, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can also trade pick along with one of our potential plyers or one of the big threes (jamison or butler) for the all-star plyers at PF position such as Bosh, Stoudamire since there is a good possibility they be moved this summer. So i prefer givin tradin jamison to them + 1st round pick +young or mcgee for Bosh or stoudamire

lineup:arenas,stevenson,butler,bosh/stoudamire/haywood

Posted by: forbid | April 5, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

If we don't get the #1 pick (for Griffin), then trade the pick with a veteran or two and get a good solid combo guard like a Stuckey who can play D. (Young seems to be rounding into a pretty back-up guard now that his D is improving).

Haywood and McGee (with Blatche as a back-up to the 4 and 5) is sufficient, assuming we get a coach who can coach young players.

After upgrading the 2, the biggest issues next year are 1) Gil's knee, and 2) developing Young, Blatche and McGee.

Taps ought to go to Timbuktu. What a waste.

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

If we get Blake G. no discussion.

If not.
Then What????
Rubio is intriguing. Very young but big upside for a long time if he works out.
I was not too impressed with anyone in the final 4 other than Blake G.
I think with BH & Jmac.we have a nice set of bigs.
If no Blake G. or Rubio then if a trade can be worked to improve the team I'm for it.

Keep up the good work Mr. Lee.

"Mr. Lee" isn't that a golden oldie??

Guess the group that sang it and win a free post.


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

A lot depends on where the Wiz's pick falls.

There's no guarantee that they finish with the #1 or #2 overall pick. The odds are that they end up with a pick that is 5th or higher overall in the lottery -- there's an distant chance they could fall as far as 6th if the finish 3rd overall when the season is over.

The Wizards are in good shape with the pieces they already have. It'll be interesting to see how they use whatever pick the end up getting. The second round pick too could have some value for the Wiz -- especially for a GM like EG who knows how to find talent late in a draft.

As far as your point goes "forbid," I'm not sure why you're leaving Crit out of the mix.

On the offensive end of the court Mike James may be a better shooting guard than Crit, but he's definitely not a better point guard.

James is at best a spot starter next year and a role player. He's a guy who they might use in a line-up when they want a veteran SG with 3 point range.

If Rubio ends up with Washington; the first year he and Crit are going to be battling for minutes to see who is Gil's primary back-up.

If it's James and Crit -- Crit will probably get the minutes at point guard because he's a better fit on offense and defense (e.g. on offense he can push the tempo on the floor; he can penetrate off the dribble and get perimeter shooters open looks; on defense end he has the speed and quickness to match-up with some of the faster point-guards in the league).

James's skills are better suited to SG.

It's hard so see his offensive skills being better than Gil, or Nick Young though. Defensively, it's hard to see him matching-up better than a healthy DS2. I'm sure a coach can find a role for him other than the bench, but I don't see him as part of the regular rotation unless there are more injuries.

Posted by: JPRS | April 5, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The only picks worth keeping are #1 and #2... anything else is an asset to be leveraged. Let some other GM who wants to roll the dice on Thabeet give us a reasonable front court player plus their first round pick for our likely #3 pick, plus Blatche and one of our expiring contracts. Or package our draft pick, two of our young ones and an expiring contract for a serious veteran player.

We are very close to being a serious "contendah" and EG's moves this summer are the most important ones of his career, which is something of which he seems well aware.

And then there is picking the right coach....

Posted by: khrabb | April 5, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Unless the Wizards get lucky and score the top pick, I would consider either packaging the pick in a trade, or taking Rubio and leaving him in Europe to finish his contract there. The only guy in the draft who would immediately make them better is Griffin. I don't see how Thabeet is going to be that great of an NBA center, considering that he didn't even dominate in college.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | April 5, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

...all the sudden the Wiz' biggest need is a long range shooter. We should probably not expect anything more from GA next season beyond the type of season D.Wade had last year for Miami. So GA remains at the point next year and Critter will be his backup. BH is the 5 with AB/JMcGee his backup. Very solid. AJ will start at the 4 and DSong/AB will be his backup. CB at the 3 with DMac as his backup. So who will start at the shooting guard spot? If NY works very very hard in the offseason, NY may be ready...if not they need a major upgrade. The rest of the guards on the team are only back-ups at best. So IMHO, if the Wiz cannot get Griffin or Rubio in the draft, they should take the best 2 guard available with the third, fourth, fifth, sixth or even seventh pick...and hope he turns out much better than Jarvis did.

Posted by: oddjob2 | April 5, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Also meant to mention, I just got back from the Caps game...man those guys know how to bring it on the offensive end! Fast, furious and brutal when need be--even when Ovechkin is a bit off, which he was for today's game. I can't wait to see the Caps in the playoffs! If they make it to the eastern finals, the battle with Boston should be epic.

Posted by: oddjob2 | April 5, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

No Thabeet. Haywood and MacGee will do just fine.

However, if we get Blake, the coaching choice next year will be critical.

The coach next year with this roster must know how to use and develop players.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 5, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Oddjob you have a point about the wizards needing a shooter. I think some of that could be alleviated just from playing Critton at the 1 and Arenas at the 2 next year for 15-20 minutes a game.

Posted by: dante232 | April 5, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

You would think that Blake Griffin would be the no brainer pick if Les BouleS win the lottery, but it's not that simple.

What's the point of drafting Blake Griffin if MeTawn is locked in for 4 more years at the 4? I doubt if a rook will come in and get the Kevin Durant minutes right away.

Also, what's the point of drafting Blake Griffin if you also signed AB to a long term deal and his best slot is the 4?

Based on the situation/predicament that Les BouleS are in, I think they will trade the pick.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 5, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Blake Griffin if we get number one pick.
If Number two then I like Rubio if he's available.

Lower than that I say trade for a difference maker. Not another project.

A sharpshooting 2 or 3 who plays D. That will open up things in and out.

Someone like Rip H. Not Hughes or Jefferies ---- please!

If we don't get anything I think we can be OK if Critt, AB,NY,DM & JVM progress over the summer.
Maybe the Curse is over and we get #1.

Posted by: VBFan | April 5, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

dante232, agreed that Arenas is a solid perimeter shooter.

It's worth remembering too that DS2 shot almost 40 percent from 3-point range in 06-2007 and '07-2008.

Butler and Jamison's numbers should go up too simply by having a PG who can penetrate and give perimeter shooters a clean look at the basket. We haven't had that this year.

Don't know if the Abe will accept the move, but if the Wizards are able to unload a couple expiring salaries this off-season, Rasheed Wallace is going to be on the free agent market this off-season. If we get Flip Saunders, Wallace could be a solid veteran to bring into the mix next year -- very versatile player on both sides of the court.

He probably has another couple productive years left if used correctly and if signed for the right price.

He also has NBA championship experience.

Posted by: JPRS | April 5, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JPRS | April 5, 2009 9:07 PM
I like it.

Posted by: VBFan | April 5, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

If we don't get the #1 pick, then we should package some expiring contracts and Pechrov and get a starting two gaurd. Etan (expiring), Mike James (expiring), Pech (youth) and a high lottery pick could get us quite a bit from the teams in the James-Wade-Bosh Sweepstakes. The same way we got Jamison, and the same way Boston went to the title by getting Ray Allen (for a KG type we'd have to ship off our young guys - The only other KG out there is Amare and I don't know if I'm ready to give up our youth for Amare's medical past). I digress: Think about it: We could go after Michael Redd, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Larry Hughes or Jamal Crawford. I'm not sure who we should pick up, as all have pluses and minuses. But, I do think that should be our move. We keep our kiddie core intact. We keep Deshawn(who would trade for someone with bad back not named Larry Johnson) and Songolia for our veteran role players. And pick our Eddie House and PJ Brown types with the mid level exception to fill out the rest of our veteran core. Winning the title takes more than a nice roster, but having the right pieces would surely help. What did we shoot from 3 pt range this year? Wouldn't having Michael Redd in the corner be a nightmare cover for a team worrying about Gil and Caron pentrating?

Posted by: dyoung1 | April 5, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

DC_MAN88,

My sentiments exactly. Getting Blake will add some major decisions. A lesser player like Tyler Hansbrough, not with a top pick though, will ease the hard decision that will have to be made with Blake.

We can't pass up Blake if we get the top pick, but a major decision will have to made regarding our #4 and 3 players. You almost would have to trade Blatche and keep Jamison. But, is that a good deal since Blatche is so much younger.

I don't know the answer, but I damn sure hope the next Coach does.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 5, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

You folks who think the Wizards are in good shape are nuts, doesn't anybody around this town want to win a championship? Think long-term, past the next three years, because the team is stuck with Arenas for that period. The only player who can be moved is Butler and the Wizards aren't likely to have the money under the cap to resign him. Only Blake Griffin could help turn this team around next year, and then what do you do with Jamison, the best player on the team this year? No, the Wizards aren't in good shape with everybody healthy, they keep making bad personel decisions (Mason, Jr, OMG), getting rid of hard working guys and keeping the slackers, I say look to blow it up again in three years, so a future point guard or power forward would be fine. Oh, and everybody is right for Thabeet, he lost it with me when he didn't get up and demand to keep playing with a "sore tailbone."

Posted by: milfordone | April 5, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@JPRS,

I can understand Flip Saunders, but I would rather have a young retread or none at all. If we go retread, my vote is for Avery Johnson... experience my vote is for Tom Thibodeau.

But, if we want to go with a fresh new coach, my vote is for Mark Jackson.

I am extremely high on Mark Jackson. In fact Thibodeau and Mark together might be the way to go with Tom as head coach and Mark as first assistant or vice versa.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 5, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The answer to your question, 88 is that AJ is beat at the 6, not the 4. He should be coming off the bench.

I think the only one here who still wants Thabeet is probably cj658. We all have seen what he has to offer ad it's less than what we already have. BTH and JM /AB are good enough if we can't get Griffin.

Rubio has bust written all over him.... Luke Ridnour II. Just cuz he looks like Pistol Pete doesn't mean he plays like him.

Posted by: original_mark | April 5, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

That is, better at the 6.

Posted by: original_mark | April 5, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Milfordone,

Your point is good only if it is certain that the Wizards cannot win a Championship within 3-years.

I say nothing is certain and with the right coach and the right moves this offseason anything can happen.

When the Houston Rockets won there two champioships, nobody predicted it a year out, and for that matter when the Lakers jettisoned Shack to the Heat, nobody predicted there Championship a year out either.

My point is when the dust settles, no one knows what the next season might bring.

The last championship Team is a Prime Example of my point. Nobody thought a year out that the Celtics would end up with the Big Three and win the Championship.

And here you are predicting that the Wizards will not win it in three years.

If you that good you better find yourself a Bookie.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 5, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

On this Team, Jamison is not a six. In fact, on most Teams in the NBA right now, he is not a six.

Any player that scores and rebounds like him with todays Teams is a starter.

Who on this Team is Jamison sitting for?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 5, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Thabeet sure didnt look good at all yesterday during a crucial game.

Posted by: washwiz | April 5, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

What do you do with Thomas, "Can't See My Face", Dixon, James and O.P?

Posted by: Doobie_Sparks | April 5, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Ricky Rubio

Smartest Basketball Player I've seen in years and he is only what, 18-19 yrs. old ?

His style reminds me of a combination of Manu Ginobili and John Stockton.

I'd be shocked if he is not a star in this league.

Posted by: dspinx | April 5, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

milfordone,

It depends on whether the Big Three plus Haywood stay healthy. That's true of any team though -- Cleveland is playing for the lottery this year if LeBron had gone down; Orlando isn't much better without Dwight Howard.

I think Arenas has the potential to emerge from his multiple knee surgeries as a more complete player. He doesn't need to be THE scorer anymore; he doesn't need to take 25 shots a night in order for the Wizards to win; he just needs to be the guy who facilitates scoring on the offensive end. This team is much deeper than the last one that he played a full season with two years ago.

On the other side of the equation, look at the Eastern Conference. How many of the current beast of the east are on the upswing? Orlando is solid, Cleveland, who knows after 2010, Atlanta is good and Miami is good, but not great. New York could try to buy its way into a championship in 2010, but it will still probably take them a year to work out the kinks. The rest of the teams in the East have good parts, but don’t have dynasty written on them. In the West you have former powerhouses like Phoenix, Dallas, and San Antonio getting old fast. The Lakers are solid. Half the battle though is just getting into the championship round.

The Wizards have made their wager with the Core Four -- Haywood, Arenas, Butler, and Jamison. They have some depth which will allow them to throw different looks at teams.

There is going to be a window of opportunity for good veteran team to make a run like Detroit did a few years ago. After that, a team like OKC could emerge as a dominant player, or a team like the Knicks, or someone else. The best thing that the Wizards can do right now is play the cards that they have and make a move or two in the off-season to improve the hand that they currently have. You can’t put a price either on the chemistry that quality players develop after playing together for a few years.

Posted by: JPRS | April 5, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Why do people keep saying the wizards wont be able to afford to sign their draft pick? You are allowed to sign your first round draft pick according to the rookie scale, regardless of cap situation

http://www.nba.com/blazers/news/Salary_Cap_101-147720-41.html

Posted by: T-ROB | April 5, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

this is what should happen
first pick the next coach i would prefer Avery Johnson been to nba championchip series

if get number 1 we def draft Blake at that spot and i think with 2nd runder we draft a shooter lawson if still there, stnaley robinson or whoever avaible

starters=arenas,bulter,jamison,griffin,haywood
benchjames,robinson,mcquire,blatche,mcgee
young,crittenon,stevenson,songilia,thomas

i feel give this thing one more shot they wherent togther this year injures are why they sucked

people say you got to trade bulter or jamison i say why should we jamison 38 double doubles bulter is staight up bsller
nba is a team game yea they didnt have the wins but they had a young team around jamison and bulter
this season is more reason then ever to keep jamison and bulter they have a chip on their shoulder no thinks team good aka charles "DUI" barkley
they want whip the bad taste of losign out of there mouth

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | April 5, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

JPRS, CJDWOLFPACK,

Both, great points.

Opportunity and having something to prove can be great motivators.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 5, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Not too impressed w/the prospect of Thabeet as a Wizard. I LIKE prospects of Haywood and McGee as starter/backup at the five, or perhaps a 1-2 on the floor together at times.

Regarding the Wizards' draft plans, I took some -- but not all -- of forbid's scenarios but kinda reworked them:

If we get #1, then draft Griffin, and try to trade Blatche b/c they ply the same position and we'll hv a logjam at pf/c positions

lineup: Arenas,Butler,Jamison,Griffin,Haywood
bench: Crittendon,Young,McGuire,Songaila,McGee

If we get 2nd pick, I would draft Rubio, and move Arenas to SG...

lineup: Rubio,Arenas,Butler,Jamison,Haywood

bench:
Crittendon,Young,McGuire,Blatche,McGee

ONLY in this scenario: Time for Blatche to go, if we can package him in a trade.

EXPENDABLE: Stevenson, Pecherov, Thomas, James, Dixon. ON THE BUBBLE: Blatche, Jamison, Songaila

Posted by: ntlekt | April 5, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Wizards will trade whatever pick they end up with in a package to dump Etan and/or Mike James. I have been saying this for months. Very few on here seem to comprehend that Etan will not be on this roster next year. And since no team is going to take him off our hands for nothing, it's either giving up our pick or giving up Young or Blatche. More likely than not, it will be the pick offered in the package.

Posted by: brianxp | April 5, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Jamison...Bubble? Naww, I don't think soo.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 5, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather have a surplus of good big men, than not enough. Particularly if one is a defensive presence, which the Wizards have lacked for years. They need somebody, ANYBODY with a defensive presence in the paint.

Posted by: justice98 | April 5, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Attention World - The Wizards can't trade Etan Thomas because nobody wants him. The Wizards will have to throw in a 1st or 2nd round pick just to unload Etan and his ridiculous contract.

Posted by: nativedc | April 5, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

After this years' performance, I think THABEET stays in school. GRIFFIN declares. Why stay? His worth will never be higher than #1.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 6, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

WOW!! WOW!!! WOW!!!

Jason Kidd just passes Majic Johnson on the NBA assist total with 10,100 something assist to get to 3rd place.

Guess who is #2 behind Dave Stockton with 10,334 assist in the NBA?

Mark Jackson, yeah thats right, Mark Jackson. How in the world could the Knicks trade him for Defense. Just proves what people really know about what winning.

Mark Jackson is my coach anyday. I hope Abe Polin and Ernie Grunfield really consider Mark Jackson as there next coach.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 6, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Like Gil said, doesn't matter, they're just JV right? Anyone after Griffin or Rubio is not worth talking about much.

If the zards are healthy next year they don't need anybody anyway. The only thing missing from the starting 5 is a more defensive minded and clutch guard (like they've lost more then once - think Larry Hughes or Roger Mason Jr.) As much as I like DeShawn and his story he's inconsistent. And James was just filler this year, he should be gone next year.

Posted by: boblas | April 6, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Keep these
gil- pg crittenden pg
butler sg young sg
jamison sf mcguire sf
blatche pf songalia pf
haywood c magee c
with this group you can go
crit
gil
caron
magee
haywood

The rest can go.
If you get Griffin great, if not trade down for 2 picks with dallas or someone.
tyreke evans could fall to dallas spot.
maybe m washington and c singleton could be got on 2nd.
If mcguire or blatche don't pan out this year move on with a couple FA's in 2010.
Go young now.
Avery Johnson might not be bad for this group


Posted by: joeortega4 | April 6, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

"Ricky Rubio

Smartest Basketball Player I've seen in years and he is only what, 18-19 yrs. old ?

His style reminds me of a combination of Manu Ginobili and John Stockton.

I'd be shocked if he is not a star in this league.

Posted by: dspinx | April 5, 2009 10:52 PM "

EG won't touch RR.

He's already had his fill with JCN, and RR is going to cost a lot more to buy out his current contract.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 6, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Another ignorant comment from DC_Man88, as if Ernie Grunfeld is prejudiced against European players and will never experiment with non-Americans after "having his fill" with Navarro.

Seriously, DC MAN you are the biggest idiot on this blog day in and day out.

Posted by: brianxp | April 6, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I didn't watch that much of the tournament really, but I saw Saturday's game. Thabeet's failure to come up big against Michigan State, a team that seems custom made for him to go to town against was telling.

"Attention World - The Wizards can't trade Etan Thomas because nobody wants him. The Wizards will have to throw in a 1st or 2nd round pick just to unload Etan and his ridiculous contract."

Thomas's ridiculous contract expires at the end of next season. In the weeks leading up to the trading deadline, teams will be ringing Grunfeld's phone off the hook trying to make a deal for him. (Granted, most of those teams will only be offering crap in return but still, it only takes one good offer.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 6, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

"Mark Jackson, yeah thats right, Mark Jackson. How in the world could the Knicks trade him for Defense. "

One more time for the people in the cheap seats:

Knicks with Mark Jackson (a great player who I loved with the Pacers) and no defense never got out of the first round.

Knicks without Mark Jackson and with one of the best defenses in NBA history got to multiple conference finals and two NBA finals.

"Just proves what people really know about what winning."

Some people, yes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 6, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

"Knicks without Mark Jackson and with one of the best defenses in NBA history got to multiple conference finals and two NBA finals."

Yeah, but had the defensive Guru Pat Riley kept him, the Knicks might have actually gotten the Ring.

They were actually one shot or one assist away. Surely, one of the best guards in the game would have been more of an asset than the one they kept who played no defense either. JOHN STARKS!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 6, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

And the buzz at the time when the trade was made was that the Knicks did not need both JOHN STARKS AND MARK JACKSON.

So they chose to trade Mark Jackson and keep John Starks. The decision was not made because of defense.

Pat Riley kept the wrong guard. Had he kept Mark Jackson who was clearly better than John Starks all the way around, he might have actually won a championship in New York.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 6, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

You see it wasn't because they got rid of Mark that the Knicks went further in the playoffs. It was precisely because Pat Rileys superior coaching made the Team Better.

That being said, with a player of Marks talents had he kept him, the Knicks might have actually been even better.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 6, 2009 2:15 AM | Report abuse

If the Wizards dont get the #1 pick and select Blake Griffin, they need to trade that pick & a player for a good low post PF.

Posted by: kstew44621 | April 6, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

The pieces are already in place if Gilbert and Haywood are healthy. The pick is obvious, if Griffin is there you must take him. The second choice has to be the one available player who can develop into a superstar and that is Tyreke Evans. This kid is still growing and already has a man's body and a huge game. Most importantly he has that fire in his eyes that all the great ones have. The will to win is what separates players at this level and this kid has it by the boatload.

Posted by: wellscats | April 6, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

t-rob,
I am not sure in every case, but I believe that what people really mean when they say "we won't have the cap room" is "we'll be over the luxury tax limit". You can always go over the cap to re-sign your own players, and sign rookies. However, the luxury tax is a 'hard cap'. Pollin has said that he would be willing to pay the luxury tax to win, but I think the owners get pressure from other owners to stay away from the tax. They don't want to see costs continue to spiral

Posted by: drjohnson1984 | April 6, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

"His style reminds me of a combination of Manu Ginobili and John Stockton.I'd be shocked if he is not a star in this league.
Posted by: dspinx"

I'm finding it harder to find a comparison for Rubio. Only seen him two or three times, of course, which doesn't help.

Ginobili won't be it -- completely different sort of player. He's more like Steve Nash than Stockton. He doesn't have a real good outside shot, which is bad, but he's a smart, hard-working defender, which is good. He brings the ball up very fast and puts a lot of pressure on the defense with his passing.

You know who he reminds me most of? Chris Paul. If he develops his offense the way Paul did, he could be a major force.

Could be a hit, could fizzle. I'm wondering if the European system doesn't do a better job of developing its young talents than our colleges do.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 6, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

If you want a PG, it shouuld be Ty Lawson. He is ready now.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 6, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

joeortega4:

Tambien amigo.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 6, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I would love to have Thabeet on the Wiz. Can you imagine a starting front line in 3-4 years or Thabeet at 5, McGee at 4, and Blatche at 3? WOW

I think McGee is better suited at 4 than anyway. This team needs defense, not more scoring. If we are at 2-4 and Thabeet is there we would be foolish to not take him.

Why would you want Rubio when we have Critt developing into a potential starter at point?

Posted by: DMoney28 | April 6, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

After watching most of the Final Four this weekend, I think Samson151 is right to question how young talent is developed in the NCAA. The European system of bringing youngsters into the team's system at the age af 14 and playing them in their junior leagues with top-flight coaching until they're ready develops better fundamentals. When those fundamentals are joined to exceptional physical skills, special talent develops. Rubio has been playing against men for around three years now, something most of this draft class can not say. I'm a Rubio fan but don't know if the Wizards are a great fit for him. As I've posted here before, he'll be in the top 5 in the league in assists and steals for many years but scoring will never be his thing. If you're looking for a comparison, maybe the young Jason Kidd who struggled with his shot is closer than Chris Paul although Kidd was and is much more muscular than Rubio will ever be.

Posted by: mugsybol | April 6, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Blake Griffin is clearly the #1 choice. After him, Rubio appears to be the clear #2 choice. After these two, #3 depends on a host of Tier 3 guys. My preference would be a big man like Greg Monroe or Ed Davis.

Posted by: Dellis2 | April 6, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

If not Griffin, it's gotta be Rubio. The "but we already have Crit" argument doen't work - Crit is nothing more than a competent backup. That would be like saying we shouldn't draft Griffin because we already have Songalia

Rubio has game-changing talent. The Arenas Rubio combo plus a bunch of tremendous athletes will be at least as entertaining as the D'Antoni Suns.

I can't imagine any NBA GM will pass on Rubio for those other projects after we've seen how Atlanta messed up by taking Marvin Williams over Paul.

Posted by: cballer | April 6, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"Yeah, but had the defensive Guru Pat Riley kept him, the Knicks might have actually gotten the Ring."

We've already had this argument, and you lost then too.

Would the Knicks had been better if they had Riley's defense AND Jackson's play making? Of course they would. But we both know that wasn't what you were originally saying. You said the Knicks traded Jackson's playmaking for defense:

"Mark Jackson, yeah thats right, Mark Jackson. How in the world could the Knicks trade him for Defense."

...implying an either or dynamic between the two, in which Jackson's offensive facilitation was more important that the defense they built in his absence. History and the evidence says that is dead wrong. With Jackson's playmaking goosing the offense they never got out of the first round. With a less potent offense and a powerful defense, they got to the Finals twice. Championship contending teams build around defense first. Teams that build around offense first and make defense a lesser priority rarely even compete for titles, let alone win them.

That simple, really.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 6, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Considering Critt is only 21, I dont see how you can label him as simply a competent backup. That's what he is right now, but its not his ceiling. Especially since he's getting his first real PT right now. I think he could develop into a sure fire PG in this league and put us in a position to move Gil to the 2 and take advantage of Critt's pass first mentality.

The Rubio idea makes no sense. This team has been lacking a nasty enforcer on the front line, thats what they need to go out and get. Not another guard for god's sake. Obviously everyone wants Griffin, but dont discredit what Thabeet could bring to this team.

How many 7'3" 20 year olds come along every year?

Posted by: DMoney28 | April 6, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I also think that Lawson is a better pick than Rubio

Posted by: DMoney28 | April 6, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

1. Griffin- obvious choice, rebound, score, and defense. He is the down low presense we have been missing for 10 years. Chance of getting him is not good.

2. Rubio- Incredible PG that has a lot of potential that would allow Arenas to move to 2 guard. Only thing that scares me is the buyout clause, it will be the biggest in history.

3. Trade the pick w/ Etan Thomas to go lower in the draft to 8-12 and draft either Lawson or Greg Monroe. Lawson is a fast PG that has potential to be a stud, he makes Carolina. Monroe is young, 6-11, can shoot, score and defend. These are both downgrades from the top 2 choices, but they fill holes we have and allow us to unload Thomas's contract!

With these moves, it allows us to trade either Nick Young or Blatche, depending on who we get.

Potential Lineup w/ getting a big man

Starters-Arenas, Butler, Jamison, Griffin/Monroe, Haywood.

Bench- Crit, Stevenson, Mcguire, Mcgee, Young, Songalia

Potentail lineup w/ getting a PG

Starter- Rubio/Lawson, Arenas, Butler, Jamison, Haywood.

Bench- Crit, Stevenson, Mcguire, Mcgee, Blatche, Songalia.

Posted by: Justwantasuprebowl | April 6, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Trade Etan to go lower in the draft? How does that make any sense? At this point, Etan's expiring contract is an asset. If we get rid of Etan we better get something nice in return, like a solid role player.

Posted by: amalg | April 6, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Fire Ernie,rehire EJ stop the madness find a real GM if we don't get the top pick or even the second i'm on the Ty Lawson band wagon what do we really know about Rickey Ricardo er,Rubio but seriously Lawson is going to be an excellent pro guard quick,smart, good decesion maker and better than average shooter package Critt with the serial skirt chaser and see if we can get a lower pick in the first round a rebounder with a huge upside.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 6, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Where is an update about Nick Young's injury? If he is out for this year (or even for a game) I don't particularly care. But if this is the kind of knee injury that could have an impact on next year, I'd love to know...

Posted by: psdfx | April 6, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Griffin is the only one worth considering since he’s the only one close to being a buy-off-the-shelf ready-to-go NBA product. While the others have potential, the Wiz have, sadly, shown no ability to take raw young talent, knock off all the rough edges and turn these kids into NBA professionals. It’s not just Young, Blatche etc. but goes back to even the Rasheed’s and CWebb’s who were dealt as if they were hopeless headcases. Bear in mind, the same dismally job poor old ETapps did as coach this year he will be bringing to Wiz “player development” next year. So they should just trade the pick for someone that another team has already taught how to play in the NBA.


I’m convinced if we drafted Stuckey instead of Young last year, we’d all be wondering why we drafted a shoot-first playground player like Stuckey instead of a team-oriented proven scorer like Young. Seems like the Wiz is a team where these kids get their childish behavior out of their system, before being dealt to a real team who then turn them into NBA professionals: Hamilton, Wallace(s), the list goes on. Why did it take the Wiz 5 years to figure out that Haywood doesn’t know how to shoot a free throw and thus should probably be taught the skill? Given that Haywood is a North Carolina product, what chance does a high-school kid like Blatche or one-year wonder like McGee have here without that college grounding? If you draft these kids and then can’t teach them the skills that you (presumably) know they don’t have when you drafted them, what does that say about the organization?

Posted by: ArchieTambo | April 6, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Archie,
Very astute.
If we can get some serious "player development" this off seasonI think that a healthy Wizzie team can go deep in the playoffs.

You're right about letting players with big upsides go too early.

Posted by: VBFan | April 6, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Granted most of us have only seen Rubio in the Olympics, but the dude really looked like he not only belonged there, but was making amazing reads against the Dream Team II and he played super fast and under control. It's certainly a risk to take a European teenager, but how can you pass up the next Billups or Chris Paul?

Crit merely looks OK. He's big, competent and learning how to not screw up. I'll be happy with him as a backup if we can't get a potential superstar.

I'm having a hard time seeing how Thabeet is going to be a hard line NBA enforcer. He's go a long way to go before folks can start saying he'll develop into the next Dikembe. I guess it's all a big crap shoot.

Posted by: cballer | April 6, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Remember that Etan + Mike James have expiring contracts for next year, meaning that you could package them for a seriously decent mid-year trade for a real SG, without losing anything off the team. ET + MJ + 2010 First Rounder could net you a legit SG off a team looking to grab a FA in the summer of 2010 and a young building block.

As for the Wiz next season, I think AJ fills a sixth man of the year role, with a starting lineup of GA-DS (people forget he was a good fit when both he and the wiz were healthy), CB at the 3, AB/(Hopefully Blake Grif) at the 4, with Haywood at the 5. AJ would be the first off the bench to get either Caron or Blake/Blatche, depending on who was the hot hand. That would leave Blatche/McGuire to backup Haywood (depending on whether Blake takes Andray's minutes at 4) and Dom McGuire to get garbage minutes at the 3.

At guard, I don't see mike James seeing the floor next year unless we are injured again. Gil/Crit at the 1, DS/Young at the 2. If we get Rubio, I could see Rubio/Gil as a pairing, and Crit/Young as a pairing, maybe looking to keep DS deep on the bench as depth guy.

Posted by: thecack | April 6, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Blake Griffin is exactly what Wizards need, a good, "true PF."

Knowing a PF in Griffin's caliber is hard to get, I will try to get 3 pt shooter(s), if we cannoe get Griffin. No need for center or PF-pretenders, we have those on this team already.

Posted by: sagaliba | April 6, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

All you Etan haters.
Yes, he isn't a dominator BUT he ain't that bad. You have to remember way back when he was healthy. He was a high energy guy in the paint offensively and defensively for a few minutes a quarter. Not always big production in points or boards but I think his energy inspired the other 4 to raise theirs. If we get rid of him I won't be weeping but in all likely hood he'll be here and I don't think it will be all that bad.

Posted by: VBFan | April 6, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the Wiz have paid too much to the likes of Jamison who is a 3.5 but not a 4 and Caron who is a 2.5 but not a 2 or 3. The Wiz have more tweeners than any other team in the league. So whoever you draft DO NOT REACH. Your eyes will tell you who they are. The Wiz are not great at player development so you have to trust what you see.

Posted by: jtrob_1 | April 6, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama:

Wow, ka-lo, can't roll with that assessment of THOMAS man. As an individual who's had his chest cracked twice, I say he's done in this league. I still admire him for trying, but no way man, no way. These playa's are just too big and the play too physical for him to stand up to that type of abuse on a creased sternum. The pain must have been fierce everytime someone like SHAQ pounded on those wires.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 6, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The Tourney to me sealed Griffin as the number one pick. He's clearly not as big as his listed height, but he's got a combo size, strength, and cat like quickness that can't be taught.

His range will need improving to become a truely great pro, and he's a project defensively. He's never really been expected to do more then play it instincively. He wasn't in a great system like Hansbrough in NC.

Thabeet's probably #2 if he comes out. The guy's a legit 7'3" and has good feet for a guy that big. In Washington he wouldn't start in year one. But the sense behind picking him would revolve around Haywood's contract status.

After next year Brendan's going to want a payday. Are the Wizard's going to be in position to offer him a big raise? Will they want to?

Thabeet could learn a year behind Haywood. Brendan's return underscores what this team badly lacks. A defensive space filler in the lane that other teams need to fear when driving to the hoop. Brendan is a compentant NBA starter. Decent defender, limited offensively, not even an average rebounder.

But if the Wiz could draft Griffin, give him his pay day. With Griffin at the 4 and Jamison rotating between the 3 & the 4. Haywood would be a competent center to man the middle.

Haywood's return to the lineup is like night and day since the Wiz don't have another player on the roster that does what he does.

McGee is an exciting young player. But I see more of a power forward then a center. He's a weak side shot blocker, not a guy that fills the lane. When teams go small he could play center and guard smaller guys in space once he's taught how to do it.

Thabeet has the ability to do everything Haywood does except in a couple of years he'll be better at it. A lot better. His strengths are this team's greatest weaknesses.

Griffin is the #1 with no doubt. Thabeet would be who I think the Wiz should take if they draft 2nd. I've not seen enough of Rubio to have a real good opinion. GM

Posted by: flohrtv | April 6, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Unless the Wiz win the lottery and can pick Griffin, I say they have to at least TRY to trade the pick away for immediate help.

If they end up with the #2 pick or somehow (fear of his buyout) Rubio is available to them at a lower pick, I am confident with them taking him. If Griffin and Rubio are both gone they HAVE TO trade the pick. Anyone else in this draft would be a waste of a top 5 pick.

Previously, I said TWill would be a name to watch for in the second round, but he has moved-up to most likely be a first round pick. My new name to watch for when the Wiz pick early in the second is Danny Green from UNC. His combination of good defense, good attitude/maturity, and spot-up shooting would fit nicely. Maybe Antawn gives Ernie a call on draft night.

Posted by: SportzWiz | April 6, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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