Draft Rumors: Round 1

The NBA draft is in 34 days, and between now and then, there will be a trade rumor or some draft speculation on an almost hourly basis. So, I would caution people from getting overly panicky about every item that is written. You will drive yourself insane.

But it didn't take long for rumors to begin to swirl about Ricky Rubio and how his agent, Dan Fegan, may push to get him to a bigger market than Memphis or Oklahoma City, which hold the second and third pick, respectively.

Draftexpress.com's Jonathan Givony wrote this very interesting passage in his blog:

From what people around the league are saying, Rubio's camp may already be sending out feelers indicating that he's not interested in the least bit in playing in Memphis.
"Rubio doesn't want to go to Memphis, and he especially does not want to pay money out of his own pocket with that huge buyout for the honor of doing so. Fegan [Rubio's agent] wants him in L.A., and if he can't have him there, he wants him in Sacramento. Definitely not Oklahoma City."
Unlike Griffin or Hasheem Thabeet, who don't really have any choice where they will play next season if a team decides to play hardball, Rubio has a reasonably attractive alternative option at his disposal--returning to Spain.
"He'll pull out if he doesn't like what he's hearing," the NBA source tells us. "Or he can stay in and force the Grizzlies to call his bluff--would they really take him knowing that he may never come over? That's one way to get him to fall to three."
Fegan is already highly experienced in these matters, having unsuccessfully attempted to navigate fellow client Yi Jianlian toward the team of his choice in the 2007 draft, only to see Milwaukee foil his plans and pick him anyway. This time, though, he has a lot more leverage, as Rubio would likely have no problem staying in Badalona for another year or two or more if push came to shove. His buyout after all, is yet to be resolved, which in this case may actually be an advantage.

ESPN's Chad Ford took it a step further by stating this:

Two league sources said the Wizards and Thunder already had discussions about a swap of the No. 3 pick for the No. 5 pick and the Wizards' 2008 first-rounder, JaVale McGee. The Wizards want Rubio but would settle for Thabeet if he's the one who falls.
...from what I can gather, there's also a really good chance that Washington will trade this pick if it can't move up to No. 2 or No. 3 to get Ricky Rubio. The Wizards will aim for a splash in the playoffs next season, and if they could package the pick and get a veteran who could help them make a run, I think they would go for it.

But Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee wrote:

[Fegan] is trying to position the Spanish point guard in Los Angeles (1) or Sacramento (4). This could get very interesting. While there have been numerous examples of players discouraging teams from drafting them or forcing trades (Kobe Bryant, John Elway, Kiki Vandeweghe and Eli Manning, among others), Rubio has unusual leverage because he has to buy out the final two years of his contract with DKV Joventut before he can play in the league. The NBA team wanting to draft him can only contribute $500,000 toward the buyout, which means the youngster has to produce an amount estimated at $7-$10 millon, depending on the exchange rate.

What do I make of all of this? Not much right now. People talk about a lot right now. Names get dropped. Until something is close to getting done, there is no need to get all twisted up over it. But it is interesting fodder, I suppose.

Let me just say that while we may wind up with the NBA/Nike/Vitamin Water-endorsed LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant NBA Finals, it is wonderful that we don't have to sit back and wait for that to be entertained. Orlando and Denver are going to make it tough for Cleveland and Los Angeles, and I just want to second everything Mike Wilbon said in his column today. I still see LeBron and Kobe squaring off in the greatest superstar matchup since Michael and Magic in 1991, but the next week or so in these conference finals is worth checking out.


By Michael Lee |  May 22, 2009; 10:49 AM ET
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Comments

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Don not give up Javale. Give them Blatche or whomever else. That kid will be an all-star some day!!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | May 22, 2009 11:19 AM

getting rid of Javale is a clear mistake. Ernie would be a fool to do so. If Rubio doesnt want to be here then fine, pass on him, get your pick and trade it like a crappy pokemon card

Also for those who are still delusional, Thabeet is another 7ft project. At the very least we have a 7 footer who has a year under him and now an off season to work out. It would not make sense to start that process over with Thabeet. nuff said, go wiz

http://www.wizardsextreme.com

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | May 22, 2009 11:20 AM

I would not mind getting Rubio though would rather not give up Javale. How about another future 1st and NY or Blache.

Rubio would be some nice insurance if Gil's knee never shapes up.

Posted by: usiel3 | May 22, 2009 11:36 AM

I'd be willing to give up McGee if it means Rubio, but not Thabeet. Good to see the front office is going to be aggressive.

Posted by: Tank2 | May 22, 2009 11:45 AM

Thanks for the helpful post, Michael.

I'm really torn on the proposed trade. I'd hate to see Jevale turn into a star elsewhere, but of course I'd be equally unhappy to see Jevale bust here while Rubio blows up for another team. I think I'll tentatively say I like it as a draft day trade for Rubio, don't like it as a trade without knowing who will be available, and don't like it as a trade for Thabeet.

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | May 22, 2009 11:53 AM

I happened to be overseas flipping through the channels last Saturday and started watching a Spanish league game with Rubio in it...he played about 10 unimpressive minutes (I kept waiting for this sensational defensive pressence or awe inspiring court savey to appear--but saw none of it.) And then while defending at the top of the key he got his own legs tangled trying to defend a simple cross-over dribble and went down crying while his man blew by him. Sounds like a severe groin injury. It was just a very small sampling but I was certainly not too impressed by his athletic ability either. http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Baseline/entry/view/24283/draft_prospect_rubio_hurt_in_spanish_playoffs

Rubio would be nice to have, if the Wiz plan to transition GA over to the 2 spot in the next year or two. But I would not mortgage the JMcGee asset...unless of coarse GA's knee is much worse than we have all been lead to believe.

Posted by: oddjob1 | May 22, 2009 11:53 AM

GETTING RID OF JAVALE will be the doom of the wizards franchise because that boy is going to be an all-star.

so it would be better if we really want rubio to trade anyone else(except the core) along with the pick for him[rubio]

i still think rubio would be perfect trade bait for a bona-fide big man, so we will see. and besides oklahoma would be robbing us getting the alley oop sensation javale mcghee and the #5 pick, for rubio.

and even if we keep rubio, a backcourt of arenas and rubio wouldnt be so bad at all. infact it would be great,

all we will need after that is a backup pf and a good shooter i think we will be okay

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | May 22, 2009 11:55 AM

Ugh, vitamin-water.

Tastes like watered down fruit juices/drinks and really, from my experience, doesn't provide much benefit.

Water will do.

Posted by: SteveMG | May 22, 2009 12:18 PM

I would like to see the Wiz take Greivis Vasquez in the 2nd round. He will be a better pro than college player and he was a good college player. I like his size and attitude.

Posted by: chopin224 | May 22, 2009 12:20 PM

Mike is right, the speculation is going to drive me crazy!

Posted by: wisdom80 | May 22, 2009 12:26 PM

The Wizards had better not make this trade. European league point guard... no thanks. Chris Paul has the league drinking the Jonestown kool-aid. point guands don't help you on defense. New Orleans lost by 58(fidee ate) with the great Chris Paul. Point Guards might be as over-rated as Left Tackles. Crittendon is fine as a back-up... he just needs to keep working in the mid-range game. If they want to make a trade, get Josh Smith from the Hawks. I want to see the Wiz play like Denver!

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | May 22, 2009 12:28 PM

Just follow the Capitals now. Let's GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: iamdawalrus | May 22, 2009 12:35 PM

my two cents:
part with the pick and and make a trade for a veteran post player.

Posted by: magnetic54 | May 22, 2009 12:35 PM

I think Rubio is vastly overrated and I've watched him every chance I could get.

Thabeet is not worth a to p3 pick because he has 'bust' written all over him. He could surprise but gambling in the top 3 isnt worth it.

Giving up JM would be a mistake. I think even giving up AB would be a mistake. They say never trade big for small. I agree unless its a landslide.

We need to stay put and take Hill, Harden or DeRozan. Personally, Harden had some off nights that scare me a bit. You can't teach desire. Hill is a good rebounder because he wanted the ball. That type of aggression on te boards is needed here.

Posted by: original_mark | May 22, 2009 12:38 PM

Don't trade McGee. The last 2 times the Wiz/Bullets traded young big men (Chris Weber & Rasheed Wallace) they got nowhere near equal value in return (Mitch Richmond & Rod Stickland).

Posted by: Stevie-J | May 22, 2009 12:41 PM

From different draft speculations, i see that Thabeet may drop to #5. To me that is a no-brainer to take a 7'3" center with a tremendous upside. Why Trade??

Posted by: martyodo | May 22, 2009 12:42 PM

"i see that Thabeet may drop to #5. To me that is a no-brainer to take a 7'3" center with a tremendous upside. Why Trade??posted by: martyodo"

He'd be hard to pass up at 5. Unless you really don't like the guy for some reason.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 12:47 PM

Even rotoworld is reporting the Javale story from BSPN Insider.

Posted by: jeremydvid | May 22, 2009 12:54 PM

It's bizarre to me that everyone is so enthralled with the Kobe-LeBron possible dual. Who cares. Kobe's 'superstar' status didn't keep him from getting tooled by Pierce while his team got crushed in last year's finals. And James just put up killer numbers in a loss the other night. You can have your superstars -- give me a real team any day. I'll play to win.

Posted by: RIP-21 | May 22, 2009 12:57 PM

Rubio is definitely not our guy. Not with a nearly $10mill buyout that he'll be on the hook for.

We're looking at a return of Juan Carlos Navarro, who didn't want to play in DC and took about six months of Memphis before throwing in the towel.

Fegan wants Rubio in a market that has established and affluent Hispanic/Spanish speaking populations (South and Central California fit the bill). That will make local endorsements and sponsorships that much easier to come by. I'd be willing to bet that Fegan has all but begged every border state franchise and the Miami Heat to trade for him.

The rookie salary scale limits him to no more than $3.5million per year. Without broad regional appeal and the extra marketing dollars coming in, Rubio won't make enough in salary to pay off his old club. Wait another year and he risks being lost in a deep draft and less leverage (the words "I'll just go back to Spain" can work this year, but not both this year and the next).

Posted by: mabkhar | May 22, 2009 12:58 PM

Chad Fords say:
Two league sources said the Wizards and Thunder already had discussions about a swap of the No. 3 pick for the No. 5 pick and the Wizards' 2008 first-rounder, JaVale McGee. The Wizards want Rubio but would settle for Thabeet if he's the one who falls.

I have no problems if the Wizards really think Rubio is going to be a great player. Make sure you get him if thats who you want. But don't send a promising prospect like McGee away just to settle for Thabeet. That doesn't make sense.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | May 22, 2009 1:00 PM

A couple of things to remember. Ernie Never leaks trades to ESPN or anybody. And Ernie is never going to make an early trade, he's going to let this thing playout.

This rumor is either coming out of OK City or from Rubio's camp. I'd quess it's from Rubio's people.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 22, 2009 1:01 PM

Oh, and there is the possibility taking Rubio and parking him in Europe till his current deal runs out.

I don't see the Wiz reversing on their position that they need help now. Someone else can take Rubio on the Toni Kukoc program.

Posted by: mabkhar | May 22, 2009 1:01 PM

I meant Chad Ford says...

Posted by: thecomedian1 | May 22, 2009 1:02 PM

"He'd be hard to pass up at 5. Unless you really don't like the guy for some reason. "

I don't think he'd be that hard to pass up, based on cost/benefits. He's big but even his supporters admit he's basically limited to one side of the floor. And there are legit questions about how well what he does at that end will translate. All that being said, logical analysis tends to go out the window when it comes to picking highly touted big men in the lottery.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 22, 2009 1:08 PM

So, does packaging the #1 pick with, say, Etan Thomas' expiring contract (is it Expiring yet??) get us Amare Stoudamire?

They were willing to let him go for $15 and a bag of magic beans before the trading deadline.

Posted by: malharden | May 22, 2009 1:09 PM

There are really only 2 things that would seriously p*ss me off come draft day.

(1) A trade up in order to land Thabeet.

(2) A trade down simply to rid this team of Etan Thomas or Mike James (with no other value added in return).

I'm really interested in the Rubio deal, but it would be gut-wrenching to throw Javale as a part of it. I'd rather give up Blatche, Young, and our pick (with a possible future pick in as well). It's difficult to imagine McGee, at the least, not being able to play a role with this team, no matter how little he technically improves (provided he doesn't get hurt and at least works to bulk up a bit).

But for God's sake, do NOT make this trade with the idea of having Thabeet as a fallback option.

Posted by: psps23 | May 22, 2009 1:23 PM

This from Chad Ford in February:

"Even more problematic for the Suns is the current perception of Stoudemire around the league. A year ago, teams would have been willing to give up young All-Stars for the 26-year-old, super-athletic big man. Now? With Stoudemire playing indifferently, and with concerns about his impending free agency in the summer of 2010, a number of GMs are asking, "Is he worth the trouble?"

"The Suns know it. I've been told that they know they won't be able to get equal talent in return. At this point, they're content with cap relief and a young player who could eventually blossom down the road."


I am sold. Etan and #5 pick for Amare Stoudamire. Ernie, don't make me come down there.

I was the guy on the message board that kept insisting you should call and try to get rid of Pesh and a draft pick for Marcus Camby last year. Wouldn't we be better off if you listened? :-) Need an assistant, make me an offer.

Posted by: malharden | May 22, 2009 1:30 PM

As far as trading the pick, plus a key reserve...unless you can get an immediate impact player that will allow you to compete with Boston, Orlando, and Cleveland than it's best to keep the pick and improve your depth. I would go with either Hill or Harden, which I believe are backup upgrades at their respective positions (Power Forward) and (Shooting Guard) over what the Wiz currently have (Blatche/Young). You could also trade down and get one of the many fine Point Guards coming out this year, in exchange for a player or a pick to be named later. Their high second round pick could also nab some talent. Tyler Hansbrough may slip into the second round. Although he probably won't be an all-star, he's an experienced college player who may be more NBA-ready than many of the underclassmen (who have potential) but aren't ready to contribute right away. I like the idea of getting Vasquez from Maryland, but he'll probably stay in college if he's not a high second-rounder.

Posted by: WantUnbiasedNews | May 22, 2009 1:30 PM

If we deal Mcgee. The Wiz will loose me as a fan.

Posted by: Fontana1 | May 22, 2009 1:34 PM

The Wizards need to trade the pick, an exp contract MJ, and either AB or NY for a player that can help them now and a later 1st round pick and maybe get a Lawson?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 22, 2009 1:35 PM

If we trade McGee my days as a Wizard fan will be over. It was hard enough watching CWebb and Rasheed go, I cant go through that again

Posted by: DMoney28 | May 22, 2009 1:36 PM

If we draft Tyler Hansborough I am moving to Boston.

Posted by: malharden | May 22, 2009 1:39 PM

Trading away the 5th pick and a guy who can't defend a single post move for a franchise changing point guard seems like a no brainer to me. I understand the love for Javale, but he's being overhyped by a mile here. Quite simply, his defense is awful. He's got potential, but who doesn't? The Wizards have loads of guys with the "p" word... The Wizards already have a center, they don't have a point guard. Gilbert Arenas is a shooting guard, point blank. Trading for Rubio is a no brainer.

Posted by: wizfan305 | May 22, 2009 1:40 PM

everyone is so enamored with mcgee. Why? Because he can run and jump? Don't get me wrong, he's amazingly athletic, but I saw almost no improvement from the beginning of the year to the end. Being athletic only get's you so far, and he's got about as much apptitute for the game as Kwame. There is a reason why so many teams passed on him despite his easily quantifiable and obvious athleticism.

if Ernie believes that Rubio is a can't miss point guard, i say you make this trade because McGee is, and always will be, simply an occasional highlight.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 22, 2009 1:47 PM

"Trading away the 5th pick and a guy who can't defend a single post move for a franchise changing point guard seems like a no brainer to me."

And if Rubio had surefire "franchise changing" potential, that would be a valid point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 22, 2009 1:48 PM

"There is a reason why so many teams passed on him despite his easily quantifiable and obvious athleticism."

There's also a reason his name is popping up first in the trade discussions during a draft where the proposed target (Rubio) is nearly consensus head and shoulders above everyone not named Griffin.

Posted by: psps23 | May 22, 2009 1:58 PM

...but he doesnt.

Posted by: original_mark | May 22, 2009 2:00 PM

"He's got potential, but who doesn't?"

That's like saying 'Lebron James can jump, but who can't?'

Posted by: psps23 | May 22, 2009 2:01 PM

Let me say this one last time and I won't be back. I hope Ty Lawson is drafted low and goes to a good team. He does not need the headache of being in a town that netver, let me say it again never recognizes home grown talent. I see him driving by Rubio like he is standing still. Rubio has been in Spain playing against inferior talent like, what's the big fellow in LA name with the curly hair. You know he plays with Kobe (that's the only way you know of him)! That's right I don't care how many Olympics they when the talent outside of the US is inferior. And it does not matter how many NBA scouts go overseas and trys to get me to buy in on them I say, "Show me one that has lead any team to the promise land"! NotaOne! Ty Lawson is the best point guard. The gizards could trade Gill for all I care.

Posted by: mccannd3 | May 22, 2009 2:05 PM

That is, Rubio does not (at least in my opinion) have franchise changing potential. How many european pg's have come over and lit up the league? I can think of one. Tony Parker but he's got a gear that Rubio does NOT have. His speed makes him special.

Like someone else stated, JCN was supposed to be 'the guy' but he came here and underachieved. At least we've seen Jm against NBA competition and we know what his upside could be based on what he's done (with virtually no help in terms of skill development from this coaching staff). Imagine how could he could be if he actually had a big man work with him.

Posted by: original_mark | May 22, 2009 2:06 PM

"Let me say this one last time and I won't be back. "

Promises, promises.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 22, 2009 2:07 PM

If all it takes to move up is including Javale that would be amazing. Because that kid has reached his ceiling already. I coached against the kid in AAU ball when he was 15. He is the same exact player he was then, an athlete that can do nothing but dunk the ball. He doesn't comprehend how to establish post position and he just isn't that good.

Posted by: ThePat | May 22, 2009 2:21 PM

Of the young players the Wizards have, Javale is the one who I think has the most upside, particularly because he plays a position where Washington's depth is thin. I wouldn't package him to land Rubio, who frankly hasn't impressed me yet. The only way I see truth in the rumor would be if Washington already had plans to package Rubio and send him elsewhere for a low-post veteran who would make huge news. (Somebody like Chris Bosh)

As far as Rubio's destinations of choice, Sacramento seems odd to me. I would think he'd want to be in LA or Miami, but I think it's moot because I suspect his draft status will play out much like Jianlian's or JCN's.

Posted by: gophercrow | May 22, 2009 2:22 PM

@ Everyone

There is a reason Javale went to Nevada and not a big time program. The college coaches on the recruiting scene recognized that he was never getting any better in the years they watched him. A soft guy, who can't post up and can't defend(unless coming from the weak side to block a shot) is not someone that holds much promise.

Posted by: ThePat | May 22, 2009 2:31 PM

Eric Maynor can tear a hole into Rubio's game. This kid took over games when it mattered most and has proven to be more durable than Ty Lawson, who would also be a good pick. Don't fall for the RR hype.

Posted by: liveride | May 22, 2009 2:34 PM

I would not make the trade to move up 2 spots including McGee for anybody in the draft. Rubio is just as unproven as JaVale. Thabeet is even more unproven. All 3 have high potential. Not enough difference in potential to do a 2 for 1 trade. If you wanted to do a 1 for 1 and junk I'd consider it, but not Javale + #5 to move up to 3. Hell Naw!

I don't think McGee will ever be a true center. He is not a post up or post defender. He is a shot-blocker. He reminds me of a shorter Ralph Sampson running the wing.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 22, 2009 2:36 PM

zards: "everyone is so enamored with mcgee. Why? Because he can run and jump?"

You forgot the 7' aspect. Run, jump, and 7' -- the potential for seller remorse is high. It's not like trading Roy Hibbert, a more advanced player but missing those run/jump abilities. You don't watch Huge Roy and think, man, I can't wait to see this guy against Dwight Howard."

But you're right, McGee hasn't improved much. Doesn't mean a lot with a young big man, however. Those guys get extra patience, and sometimes pay it back in spades.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 2:39 PM

@liveride

did you watch the Olympics? or have you ever seen him play in Europe?

Maynor will be a good backup PG in the NBA, and Lawson will have to slow his style of play down to be successful. He was dominant in the NCAA bc he was so much quicker than everyone and thats when he's at his best. He will be quicker than a decent amount in the NBA but not to the extent of college. Has to learn to play a controlled style.

Ricky Rubio is similar to Jason Kidd. So its not believing the hype its believing what I see.

Posted by: ThePat | May 22, 2009 2:40 PM

"Show me one that has lead any team to the promise land"! NotaOne! Ty Lawson is the best point guard. The gizards could trade Gill for all I care.


Posted by: mccannd3 | May 22, 2009 2:05 PM


Tony Parker

Posted by: the_shocker1 | May 22, 2009 2:43 PM

@ ThePat

Just because you don't have the strength to play physically, doesn't mean you are soft. Hell, you could call Kareem soft then for that matter. The question is do you have any fight in you.

I also think that he is a great big kid. A great big spoiled kid who grew up with the silver spoon in his mouth. Does that mean he is soft or a punk, no. Just never tested. If I can dunk on you. Im gonna dunk on you. He probably always was like that. In AAU and all. Now is his time to learn to play. We'll see.

Also, what did Shaq have to say about McGee after playing against him?

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 22, 2009 2:44 PM

zardsfan: "There is a reason why so many teams passed on him despite his easily quantifiable and obvious athleticism"

Nah, they just whiffed. They had no idea how athletic he was. The Wiz were surprised, too. With all the scouting these kids get, it's amazing how they can still miss on some guy at a second-tier program.

My idea is that what he needs most is an off-season weight and skills program. Not more court time getting pushed around by plodders like Marc Gasol.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 2:44 PM

I'm hardly "enamored" with McGee. But I am equally un-enamored with Rubio (or Thabeet). I don't see the value-added of trading one young raw multi-year project of a player for another one, esp. one that plays a position that is (again for the folks in the cheap seats) not a primary need on this team.

If the plan is to add more players who won't ripen for another few years , they're better off using the pick to draft and keep a developmental player at a position of need and having both that player and McGee to develop.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 22, 2009 2:45 PM

Okay, now people are saying that b/c Rubio plays professionally in spain, against "inferior" opponents, he will not be a good pro, and the likes of Eric Maynor and Ty Lawson will make him look silly. Excuse me, but did Eric Maynor play against supreme opponents in the CAA, or is the ACC so intense that Ty Lawson faced the equivalent of NBA rosters. Please. Your arguments are stupid. Rubio is 19 years old. I have no idea if he can play or not, but the fact that he was the starting point guard on the Spain national team means more than anything mccandd3 or liveride can write on this blog

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 22, 2009 2:45 PM

Agree Rubio is the real deal. People keep slamming Euros but nobody is slamming Hedo right now. Hedo holds that tea, together even when superman is in foul trouble.

Rubio is said to have his court sense and then some. People are talking about JaVale's upside like Rubio's isn't twice as high. It IS. A better question is whether Rubio can defend the "2", which is what he would have to do with him and Gilbert in the lineup together. Wizards offense is just fine, but would Rubio and Gilbert playing together make the defense EVEN WORSE, if that is possible.

Posted by: malharden | May 22, 2009 2:48 PM

@G-Man

I wasn't referring to soft physically, anyone can be tough there if they want to. He is soft mentally, as in not capable of picking aspects of the game up. Watch him for another year and then you will be wishing they used him to move up in the draft.

Posted by: ThePat | May 22, 2009 2:48 PM

Samson151,
I believe that every team new exactly how athletic McGee was. What, he was hiding it in the WAC? And during pre-draft workouts he didn't put his best asset on display. C'mon, you must think either I or McGee are stupid. No, the problem with McGee was that he was averaging 12 points a game in a lousy conference against 6'8" opponents. So GMs, who in the end may have wiffed, gambled that all that atheticism wasn't going to amount to a good NBA player.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 22, 2009 2:51 PM

@Zaradsfan

All that athleticism isnt going to amount to a good NBA player. You probably think Juan Dixon is good to. He wasn't going to be in the league last year until the Wizards signed him. The Wizards have people in their scouting department who are clueless.

McGee-not any good
McGuire-not any good
Pecherov-not any good
Young-potential
Blatche-AWFUL

There is a reason this team sucked so bad with Gilbert and Haywood hurt. There is not much talent there.

Posted by: ThePat | May 22, 2009 2:56 PM

I don't believe this for a second if Rubio has any kind of buyout.

Polin won't pay it, plain and simple.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 22, 2009 2:57 PM

ThePat

I agree he is soft mentally. I think he is a big kid mentally. Just like a lot of the wizard puppies. I just think in the past, the wizards gave up on the puppies too quickly. Remember Rasheed, Webber, Big Ben.

The other thing with Rubio, and I think he got a lot of game, but he is also a big azz prima dona. At 19, he thinks he is God's gift. And I felt that way before hearing whispers that he doesn't want to play in Memphis or Oklahoma City. Kobe wasn't THAT bad. That boy think he a movie-star. So in other words, he got some growing up to do too. Because the brothas aint gonna have that.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 22, 2009 2:57 PM

kalorama: "All that being said, logical analysis tends to go out the window when it comes to picking highly touted big men in the lottery."

Yep, it's like an auction. All it takes is one bidder with his wallet in his hand.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 3:02 PM

@ Gman

Sometimes arrogance is a good thing, all the brothas have it so im sure they are used to it.

If we want to face the facts: Gilbert will never be the player he once was after all the knee surgeries. Jamison significantly lost more than a step last year. Yes I know he had a good season, but someone had to score and rebound for this team. He can't defend anymore and was never good at that to begin with.

Abe Pollin(one of the worst owners in the league right now)made a huge mistake giving those 2 the contracts that he did last summer. The Wizards are basically stuck in neutral for the next few years as a borderline playoff team unless they make two significant moves.

One of those would be trading up for Rubio and the second would be to find someone to take Gilbert or Jamison off our hands. That is the blatantly honest look at things and anyone who thinks otherwise probably thinks Jason Campbell is a good QB.

Posted by: ThePat | May 22, 2009 3:06 PM

"The other thing with Rubio, and I think he got a lot of game, but he is also a big azz prima dona. At 19, he thinks he is God's gift. And I felt that way before hearing whispers that he doesn't want to play in Memphis or Oklahoma City. Kobe wasn't THAT bad. That boy think he a movie-star. So in other words, he got some growing up to do too. Because the brothas aint gonna have that. Posted by: G-Man11"

I have a little more sympathy for his position. Worst thing that can happen for your earning potential: get stuck in a backwater franchise with no chance at a title. Just contemplating it, you can see your career flash before your eyes.

I'm sure Kevin Durant has some nightmares about just that possibility.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 3:06 PM

zardfan: "C'mon, you must think either I or McGee are stupid."

Well, I certainly don't think McGee... no, I can't bring myself to do it. It's just too obvious.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 3:09 PM

"I don't believe this for a second if Rubio has any kind of buyout.

"Polin won't pay it, plain and simple.

It's not a question of "won't." He can't pay it. NBA rules don't allow it. NBA teams can't contribute more than $500K towards the buyout of a player's overseas contract.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 22, 2009 3:13 PM

"It's not a question of "won't." He can't pay it."

Ok, lets try it this way.

Even if he could pay it he wouldn't because he's too cheap.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 22, 2009 3:27 PM

"Even if he could pay it he wouldn't because he's too cheap."

Ah. I see. You weren't actually attempting to make any kind of logical, fact-based statement. You were simply seizing on the slimmest opportunity to hurl pointless, off-target, utterly speculative and indefensible invective at a dying old man. Got it. My bad.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 22, 2009 3:30 PM

thePat,
Please read my posts again. I agree with you.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 22, 2009 3:53 PM

Ray,
no team can pay more than 500K (i think) to buy out an international contract. That means Rubio has got to pay the difference himself. I believe I read that he's coming out this year as opposed to next year b/c his buyout escalates next year.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 22, 2009 3:59 PM

Somehow I can't see the Wizards trading Javale to get the higher pick, unless they think having this higher pick would better get them the vet(s) they need to put them over the top and go deep in the playoffs.

The Wizards probably have a 2-3 year window with this team to make a serious run, but I think they still need a good veteran big man and a three point shooter off the bench.

Posted by: cannontl | May 22, 2009 4:00 PM

Oh, sorry Samson151, i stand corrected. NBA GMs must not have known how athletic McGee was becuase you have inside access to their pre-draft analyses of each player. I wish I could be as astute as you.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 22, 2009 4:05 PM

I still say we trade the pick, Jamison, and maybe Etan for the 14th pick and Stoudemire. Nobody else in the draft is gonna help us this year. Rubio is another Jason (White Chocolate) Williams. He will look good at first, but once teams figure him out, he'll be a journeyman. I'd take Henderson or DeRozan over him. And Thabeet looks like a skinnier Michael Olowakandi. Soft and pathetic. McGee will be a much better pro than him all around.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 22, 2009 4:16 PM

zardozfan: "Oh, sorry Samson151, i stand corrected. NBA GMs must not have known how athletic McGee was becuase you have inside access to their pre-draft analyses of each player."

You found me out. However my special supersecret insider's report is available to the public at $50 per copy, cash only. It includes a personalized Vedic horoscope which is slightly more accurate.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 4:24 PM

Do NOT give up McGee! Think of it this way...if McGee were in the 09 draft class, he would be a top 5 pick, easily.

You don't trade the 4th AND 5th picks for the 3rd pick...way too much.

Posted by: stevek_ffx | May 22, 2009 4:43 PM

All you Rasheed lovers do realize that he played in Portland and was at least half the reason they became known as Jail Blazers. I doubt many Blazer fans miss him. But if it's a good idea to keep a guy for 10 years, waiting for him to mature, then the Wizards might as well keep Blatche. They've already invested significant time in him already. Trade McGee. He's years away from becoming a decent player. And with the salute, the video, and the complaining about playing time, it's obvious that he with be a headache for years to come.

Posted by: djnnnou | May 22, 2009 4:47 PM

I have seen Rubio play about 5 times and believe him to be an exceptional talent. His outside shot needs work, but that is true of almost any 19-year-old player in this draft. He drives well, has a canny, if not explosive first step, gets fouled frequently and can hit his free throws. He always looks, and often finds the easy opportunity, whether a quick pass inside - which he excels at - or a layup, which he executes well against man-to-man D's. It is no exaggeration to say that he runs the break like Pistol Pete... invariably the ball ends up in the right hands with defenders wondering what happened. While he lacks Lawson's or Mills' (I like Mills as a prospect, too) speed, he has Kidd-like court awareness, which elevates the whole team. He is still skinny, which may be an issue over an 82-game season, but should also fill out and has a decent frame. His superior court awareness allows to him to fill the passing lanes, take the shortest path to the position he needs to be in and grab rebounds, all of which help him compensate for his still youthful 19-year-old frame. His option to return to Spain is definitely a worry, especially now that he is already using it as a threat. Would he be happy in predominately Anglo-Saxon & African-American DC? I don't know. Javale and a first is a steep price, especially as Javale is the best young prospect we have. Losing both for nothing if Rubio leaves would set this team back years. Rubio is a special talent, but Derozan and Evans could be stars and, with Mcghee, would significantly upgrade our biggest deficit: NBA-quality athleticism.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 22, 2009 4:53 PM

Where is all this potential that Rubio has coming from? I have seen him play, he doesn't look like any kind of stud. He is small, thin and a kid. We do this every year with some European kid. No one sees him play, they only watch highlights and listen to Chad Ford (Mr "Id take Darko over Carmelo" or Mr "by listening to me Dumars cost Detroit a dynasty") tell us all how great these bums are. The washout rate for the European "studs" should keep us all in check. We simply do not need a PG either. To give us Javale for a back up or an insurance policy for Arenas would be flat out stupid.

Posted by: russcarreiro@yahoo.com | May 22, 2009 5:03 PM

$7-10 million buy-out?

Funny how that part never came up in the Rubio discussions before. if any NBA team drafts this guy, who is a project, they are d-mn fools. Thank goodness Abe is cheap.

I say this makes Rubio non-draftable.

Posted by: oknow1 | May 22, 2009 5:17 PM

ThePat

for next season, since Haywood, Arenas, Jamison, Butler, DeShawn, Songaila are probably not going somewhere, we don't need Rubio.

For the future,what will Rubio add in the future if you trade him for your best prospect (McGee) + the fifth pick, to a this team or in the future? Rubio, Blatche, Nick Young, McGuire, and Critt. Wow. look at the future. I would rather take out Rubio from that group and add JaVale and our 5th pick.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 22, 2009 5:17 PM

Rubio wants to be in a city where his marketing value is maximized because he has to pay the buy out. LA would be a boon for him, as would NY.

Memphis or OK City aren't going to allow him to create the regional marketing dollars that his camp is looking for to make the jump to the NBA. He does have a little leverage, since he has the option of pulling out this year.

This rumor didn't come out of the Phone Booth, that's not Grunfeld's style. So it's probably coming out of Rubio's camp or from OK City. I can't see Rubio ended up in either city. If one of them draft him, it will be to trade.

Rumors floating have Memphis and OK City both willing to move back a few spots. Some think Memphis might be targeting Hill and they'd like to move back and pick up some compenstation in the process. Knowing Memphis, cash will be part of the deal.

OK City is rumored to want to move back too. Seems they both might be trying to avoid the chance of having to skip over a highly ranked player who might not want to play there. There is some thought that they might really like Harden.

I sure can't see Rubio lasting past the Kings. There was chatter in the local papers out there that Petrie would have been willing to trade down if he got the #1 pick and take Rubio instead of Griffin.

I'm sure Ernie is going to watch this all develop and bide his time. The #5 pick could be the catbird's seat...

Some of the same folks that are dissing Thabeet are the same crew that was ready to run "Brenda" Haywood out of town a couple of years ago. Some of you guys should take a listen to John Thompson. The fella played behind Russell for the Celtics.

At Georgetown he developed a line of NBA centers that started with Patrick Ewing and Motumbo. The man knows a little bit about post play in the NCAA and how skills translate to the NBA.

Like Larry said, Big John sure ain't using no bust word when he's talkin Thabeet. Coach Big John knows centers, John says,"Get Thabeet"!
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 22, 2009 5:29 PM

The question I have then is, does Thabeet or Rubio really help us that much this year or next when we are supposedly trying to make a serious run?

Posted by: cannontl | May 22, 2009 5:38 PM

The answer to that question would be to take a look at this past season. The Wizards played the entire year with Songaila and Blatche at center.

Thomas doesn't seem to be able to stay healthy, so that really leaves the team 1 deep at center. Do you think this team as constructed can get past Cleveland or Orlando with just Haywood at center?

Center seems to be the biggest weakness on this club. Eddie Jordan tended to lean toward "small ball". Maybe he was trying to coverup a weakness, maybe he just liked playing Ruffin down the stretch.

McGee is more of a high energy bench guy that can play some 4 and 5. I just don't see it in the cards for him to be a true center. I really think with a strong post guy he'd make an excellent 4 that could backup the 5 down the road.

He reminds me of Rasheed as a rookie, that's not a bad thing. He'll just be closer to 30 then 20 when his skills translate into playing a lot of center.

But does anyone think he's ready to go head to head with Big Z or Superman? He just is not a physical post defender. He doesn't have the tools to fill the lane and eat space.

Thabeet would give the Wizards a back up for Haywood. He would allow others on the team to return to their natural positions where they can play productive minutes.

And he should be ready to be an NBA starter in a couple of years. Flip used to play Garnett some at small forward when he coached the Timberwolves. Flip will play big, and throw guys at you in waves.

My quess is Flip's more interested in Thabeet then Rubio.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 22, 2009 6:23 PM

The question I have then is, does Thabeet or Rubio really help us that much this year or next when we are supposedly trying to make a serious run?

Posted by: cannontl | May 22, 2009 5:38 PM

With Gil's knee, Deshawn's back, and a new coach, the Wizards aren't going to know what they need until they've played a few months next season. Their best move for now will be to stockpile talent for a later trade. Buying Etan out this summer wouldn't hurt either.

Posted by: djnnnou | May 22, 2009 6:32 PM

"And Thabeet looks like a skinnier Michael Olowakandi. Soft and pathetic. McGee will be a much better pro than him all around.Posted by: CJHutch7673"

To me, they're completely different players. McGee runs the court; Thabeet sets up low. McGee will probably develop a nice offensive game (especially like his release on the jump shot), while Thabeet will most likely remain a defensive specialist. Thabeet's a defensive anchor; McGee may always have trouble with bulky centers.

Really, IMO the only thing they have in common is shot-blocking.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 6:37 PM

"At Georgetown he developed a line of NBA centers that started with Patrick Ewing and Motumbo. The man knows a little bit about post play in the NCAA and how skills translate to the NBA... John sure ain't using no bust word when he's talkin Thabeet. Coach Big John knows centers, John says,"Get Thabeet" posted by flohrtv

This is the 'argument to authority' -- we're supposed to agree based on the expertise attributed to John Thompson. And he certainly does have the chops in terms of developing big men.

Except not in the NBA.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2009 6:42 PM

What is the freak out over the McGee rumor? Yeah, he is athletic, but comparisons to Wallace and even Weber, both of whom went to big time programs and were far more polished players, are ridiculous. Could he develop into something special to very good? Sure. Will he? That is far from certain. I did not like the fact that I saw ZERO improvement from him for the beginning to end of season particularly with simple things like defensive assignments. His basketball IQ did not impress me whatsoever. He plays a very scattered kind of game.

As far as Rubio is concerned. I believe too many people see him as a near can't miss to knock him and say he can't play in the NBA. His basketball IQ is supposed to be through the roof. Plus, his is tall very young if not a little skinny. I'm sure he'll fill out over time.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 22, 2009 7:20 PM

Ewing, Motumbo, and Mourning all used to go back to G-town every summer for years. They all have always talked about the role Coach Thompson had in their careers.

How many Allstar Games, All NBA defensive teams, Defensive player of the year awards do those three guys share? I think John Thompson has a clue what an NBA center looks like.

I'd trust his judgement on Thabeet...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 22, 2009 10:25 PM

anyone tell me if like this
day of draft Wizards trade 5th overall, Etan Thomas, McGEE or Blatche to the Suns
for Amare Stoudamire

then draft with 2nd round danny green from UNC give team more athletism and shooting

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 22, 2009 10:30 PM

Agreed that it will be a while before JM develops real center skills. In the meantime, he could be an amazing cog in a full court pressing second unit.

Instead of trying to find an intimidating enforcer, we should try using the full court press with our second unit. We're a finesse team- we're never going to be tough. But if we harass opponents baseline to baseline, we can at least stop being "soft" and become "scrappy".

Posted by: yop32 | May 22, 2009 10:48 PM

I would make this trade......IF it was for the Clips pick at #1!

Posted by: skinned1 | May 22, 2009 11:00 PM

Also, what did Shaq have to say about McGee after playing against him?

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 22, 2009 2:44 PM

Good point. Do we listen to Shaq, or someone who coached against mcgee when he was 15?

I have a feeling that we may not want a piece of rubio if he's all about the hype and not about the game. Not saying that's definitely the case, but if it is, i'm not keen on him.

As for basically trading mcgee for thabeet, you have two tall shotblockers who are raw and undeveloped. Do you take the guy who's only been playing basketball for 6-7 years or someone who's mother was a star? it's not a huge chasm, but it does give mcgee an edge.

Posted by: crs-one | May 22, 2009 11:31 PM

GM makes some good arguments on taking Thabeet in the draft, but I still think if EG can somehow parlay the 5th pick (and perhaps other assets) into getting the right veteran players here, he will go in that direction.

Posted by: cannontl | May 23, 2009 6:43 AM

"As for basically trading mcgee for thabeet, you have two tall shotblockers who are raw and undeveloped. Do you take the guy who's only been playing basketball for 6-7 years or someone who's mother was a star? it's not a huge chasm, but it does give mcgee an edge.

Posted by: crs-one | May 22, 2009 11:31 PM "

Thabeet has 3 inches on JaTravel, but JaTravel has both defensive ability and offensive "desire." I think JaTravel is the better prospect long term, especially given his bloodlines.

Can anyone find a stat on wingspan, and whether the 3" is a wash given all the hype that JaTravel gets for his long wingspan? Thabeet seems to have shorter arms, and less hops/quickness.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2009 9:11 AM

"anyone tell me if like this
day of draft Wizards trade 5th overall, Etan Thomas, McGEE or Blatche to the Suns
for Amare Stoudamire

then draft with 2nd round danny green from UNC give team more athletism and shooting

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 22, 2009 10:30 PM "

I was calling for an Amare trade since the end of two seasons ago. Send MeTawn, DS, and OPech to PHO for him.

Unfortunately, someone said here that besides Amare being a good shotblocker, he's not an overall good defender.

I'd still take him, but nobody knows if he wants to come here or will stay here since he won't get the ball much. Gilby ain't Steve Nash.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2009 9:22 AM

cannon1, I'd agree with the idea of trading for veteran, if the Wiz could find a center that would be available.

The names of power forwards keep getting brought up on this site. Bosh and Stoudamire don't solve the problem of being one man deep at center. We've seen the results of playing Blatche and Songaila out of position at center.

B&S can't play effective center either.
So bringing them in increases the logjam at forward and would force another deal.
And neither frankly, are any better rebounders or defenders then Jamison.

Stoudamire is frankly effective only in the high tempo system that D'Antonio wants to run in NY. That's where he's headed, trading for him would be a one year rental.

When the Wizards scratched their way into the playoffs without Arenas, people were talking about Jamison and Butler's improved defense. This year they were a pair of defensive bums. The difference?
No defensive minded lane filling center behind them.

Bring in another power forward, or a point guard, no matter how all world he is, and this team is an injury to Haywood away from another disaster.

It's kind of like buying a new tricked out sound system for your car, with your last dollar, when you're driving around on 4 bald tires and no spare. One of those tires goes, you're not going to get to cruise around and listen to that smooth sound.

With a healthy Gil the backcourt problems solve themselves, if Gil doesn't get healthy, this franchise has problems that can't be solved with one pick.

Might be a need a guy that has three ball range, those are findable via trade. James could even not be a bad option as a bench shooter. And a healthy Stevenson could fill that role as well.

I'd still trust Big John's judgement on his ability to play at the pro level, and make a move to take Thabeet.

Build from the inside out.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 23, 2009 10:12 AM

"But does anyone think he's ready to go head to head with Big Z or Superman? He just is not a physical post defender. "

Neither is Thabeet. As has already been shown, when he gets involved in a physical matchup against a strong, aggressive big, he tends to come out on the short end, even when the opposing "big" is only 6' 7". He's a weak side shotblocker not a great interior one on one post defender. In that respect, he's no different than McGee.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 23, 2009 1:06 PM

Good stuff

Posted by: dingersoll1 | May 24, 2009 5:41 PM

Here's what the Wizards should do with their 1st round pick:

1st option. Find a way to move up to draft Thabeet from UConn. UConn is an NBA all-star factory (Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Caron Butler, Emeka Okafor, etc.)
2nd option. Find a way to move down to draft Dejuan Blair, 6'9 PF from Pitt. He looks like a Barkley prototype which is exactly what the Wizards need and he played in the toughest conference in the NCAA last year and held his own, leading Pitt to a high national ranking. In the process, they can unload one of their hefty contracts (Thomas, Pecherov, Blatche) and possibly pick up a back-up center for Haywood. Adding Blair and a backup center in exchange for the #5 and one of their expendable players will help them a lot going into next season.

Posted by: yoseltzer | May 24, 2009 7:49 PM

at this point i believe we should take demar rozan. i would rather package the pick and pick up a veteran who could contribute now but i doubt anybody will want to trade into the 5th pick.

demar rozan and javale McGee will be the key to the future of the skins. so when our big 3 start to transition out, we will have players already developed and ready to contribute at a very high level. Rozan reminds me a lot like JR Smith, the maturity level of a 5 year old but the althetic ability of a 21 year old. the dude is a physical speciman and can be that 3 point threat we need, he can also be able to drive and penetrate. He aint special. but he deff could turn into something. at this point in the draft you have to evaluate potential because what people can give you now is just not enough at the 5 spot

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