Live From Secaucus, N.J.

So apparently the NBA runs a pretty tight ship and sequestered Michael from the time he knew the draft result until the time it went on the air. Here's his report:

-- Keith

A season filled with misfortune and injury was punctuated with more bad luck in the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday. Hoping for a potential franchise building block to add to a team that already boasts three all-stars, the Washington Wizards missed out on getting the No. 1 pick -- or any of the top three selections -- in the June draft.

Instead, the Wizards will have to settle for the fifth pick for the second time in five years. The Los Angeles Clippers, a franchise that has made an almost annual trek to Secaucus the past 25 years, earned the right to draft Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin.

After tying for the worst regular season in franchise history at 19-63, the Wizards appeared to be headed in a positive direction two days later when they won a tiebreaker against the Los Angeles Clippers, giving them the second-best chance of winning the lottery. The Wizards won the tiebreaker but lost the No. 1 pick.

The Wizards had 178 number combinations -- one more than the Clippers -- out of a possible 1,000 for the 14 lottery teams. But since the number combinations are in sequential order, the Wizards theoretically would've won the top pick had they lost the tiebreaker and finished with the third-best odds. As a consolation, the Wizards will get the 32nd pick in the second round, with the Clippers getting the 33rd.

The Clippers won with a number combination of 5,3,6,10. The Wizards had three of those numbers. The Clippers were so lucky that they actually had the first combination for the second overall pick, but that number was tossed aside and later awarded to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Oklahoma City Thunder got the third pick and Sacramento, which had the best odds of winning the lottery, will select fourth.

The Wizards are in the same position they were in the last time they were in the lottery, in 2004, when President Ernie Grunfeld packaged the fifth overall selection (Devin Harris) with Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner to get Antawn Jamison from Dallas. Jamison helped lead the Wizards to four consecutive trips to the playoffs.

New Coach Flip Saunders represented the Wizards at the lottery, with Grunfeld staying behind in Washington. An hour before the lottery, Saunders displayed his sleight of hand, doing magic tricks with his lucky coin, which had an angel on it. Asked if he had similar magic with ping-pong balls, Saunders quipped, "I do if they let me in that room."

Saunders wasn't allowed in the room, but he appears to be a lock at securing the fifth pick. The last time Saunders was in Secaucus, he represented the Minnesota Timberwolves, who slipped to No. 5 in 1995. They used that selection to draft Kevin Garnett. "It's a different situation," Saunders said before the draft. "Our talent pool was not where we wanted to be [in Minnesota]. We really wanted to get an influx of talent right away. At the time of the lottery, the four main guys were Joe Smith, [Antonio] McDyess, Rasheed Wallace and Stackhouse."

The Timberwolves wound up getting the best player of the bunch.

Saunders also said the Wizards are in a great situation because they are hopeful for the healthy return of Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood next season. "We're in a situation, where we get our guys healthy, we got a great nucleus. It's not like we need a young player to come in and carry the team," Saunders said.

The Clippers have won the No. 1 pick on two occasions, drafting Danny Manning in 1988 and Michael Olowokandi in 1998. Griffin, the national college player of the year, is the favorite to go No. 1 in what is considered a weak draft. Ricky Rubio, the promising point guard from Spain, is expected to go second. Other players considered top five selections are Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet, Arizona State shooting guard James Harden and Arizona forward Jordan Hill.

"I don't know if it's a one-person draft," Saunders said before the lottery. "Every year, there is somebody else involved. [People say] this is the player and all of a sudden, you get a Dwyane Wade who shows up to be an MVP of the NBA Finals. There is going to be a good player."

Or possibly good trade bait.

By Keith McMillan |  May 19, 2009; 9:05 PM ET
Previous: Wizards Will Pick 5th | Next: Your Snap Reactions to the No. 5 Pick

Comments

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the OVERhyped ESPN lottery is another reason why i HATE both the NBA and ESPN equally...

That the shxx teams can drop 3 places is criminal......

you pick once.....everything stays the same ..or 1 team moves yup to 1..and the rest move down 1 place.....

Posted by: unc1dmo | May 19, 2009 9:19 PM

Who really cares about a league full of lazy criminals?

Posted by: MKadyman | May 19, 2009 9:21 PM

thank god for the caps...UNLEASH THE FURY!!!

Posted by: deadskin | May 19, 2009 9:23 PM

Tyreke Evans will help the Wizards big time.

Posted by: anacostia85 | May 19, 2009 9:24 PM

"Also, it sucks because it sure looked like the Clippers were deliberately tanking games.

Posted by: Lisa_R | May 19, 2009 9:02 PM "

Maybe, maybe not, but there was someone else on this blog last week who gave mad props to EG for tanking the entire season by hiring ETap as the interim coach.

At least we can put these two BS points/conspiracy theories to rest.

a. Stern loves NY and will fix it for them to win.

b. Stern wants OK to win so that they can get hometown Blake and build up that franchise.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 9:24 PM

Tyreke Evans, please.

As you were.

Posted by: lingering_lead | May 19, 2009 9:25 PM

Fifth? Typical buzzards... er, Wizards luck.

Posted by: Grendel13 | May 19, 2009 9:26 PM

Watching the Clips win that was like watching a guilty man go free.

Is Blake's agent already negotiating with Euro teams (the Danny Ferry route)?

Posted by: MikeNelmsReturns | May 19, 2009 9:27 PM

This thing may actually be FIXED. Why not go without rolling the wheel, like the rest of sports?

Posted by: myhonestopinion | May 19, 2009 9:29 PM

The lottery is a joke. It should be one pick then evryone falls in order of where they finnished. Wizards luck.

Posted by: bryjen48 | May 19, 2009 9:29 PM

just because you don't know basketball lingering don't plague us with your stupidity as you were....... moron

Posted by: anacostia85 | May 19, 2009 9:31 PM

LMAO!

If only the Clippers of the East had the same lottery luck as the Clippers of the West.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 9:31 PM

A whole season of Tapsquatch for this?!? I'm so pissed that words can't even describe it.

Posted by: Fontana1 | May 19, 2009 9:31 PM

*Vomits with rage*. That's what Ernie gets for cobbling together that piece of junk team. I wouldn't wipe myself with the #5 from this draft. Can't wait for the Caps to get back!

Posted by: mstov | May 19, 2009 9:33 PM

Does this mean that Flip Saunders will be fired? What major sport has a lottery? I am beginning to believe that NBA wants to totally control the sport including the playoff teams. Go Caps

Posted by: Drkitchen | May 19, 2009 9:35 PM

A much more pressing concern than what pick they landed is the team's gawd-awful uniforms and name for that matter.

If we can't have the "Bullets" name back, can we at least get our colors back?! Seriously, the awful play aside, the Wizards jerseys are utterly repulsive.

Posted by: tomfoley1 | May 19, 2009 9:13 PM

I was listening to one of Tony and Mike video blogs once, and Wilbon was talking about how that when MJ was team president, he was trying to bring back the Bullets and colors. It would only make sense to do it now considering the amount of success that the Caps had when they went back to the red, white, and blue.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 19, 2009 9:17 PM

Theres actually been a lot of research and stat analysis done on how teams with RED in their uniforms are more successful. This shiet is no joke and I'm not surprised to hear MJ tried to get em changed back to r/w/b...I have no doubt he knew what a disadvantage the 'tards were at even before the opening tip based solely on their queer colors.

Theres some pretty interesting studies done, such as here:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,570918,00.html

Posted by: tomfoley1 | May 19, 2009 9:36 PM

Dear Naysayers, Bigots, and DCMan:

There is literally no difference between the 2nd pick (which the Wizards should have received) and the 5th pick (which we ended up with) in this draft.

But feel free to pile on like the true fans you are. Keep demonstrating how meaningful and fulfilling your own lives are, as you've nothing better to do on a Tuesday night than kick a downtrodden fan base.

Posted by: bryc3 | May 19, 2009 9:40 PM

Just how does this make sense? Not just for the Wizards but what about the Kings? This lottery thing is David Stern & ESPN's puppy... How does this benefit the league. This just Sucks.......

Posted by: zojoy1962 | May 19, 2009 9:42 PM

Package the pick with "The Poet", if possible, even if this brings a 2015 second rounder. Baring that, trade it to the Clippers for their next year's pick which should be no worse than 5th or 6th, with a better selection.

Posted by: lrmc623 | May 19, 2009 9:45 PM

"There is literally no difference between the 2nd pick (which the Wizards should have received) and the 5th pick (which we ended up with) in this draft.

But feel free to pile on like the true fans you are. Keep demonstrating how meaningful and fulfilling your own lives are, as you've nothing better to do on a Tuesday night than kick a downtrodden fan base.

Posted by: bryc3 | May 19, 2009 9:40 PM "

That first statement is where you're both stupid and wrong.

Go as EG whether having the 2nd pick vs. having the 5th pick has more trade value.

Les BouleS would have been lucky just to maintain their draft position, but no, they ended up 2 slots lower.

Now, go to your room and STFU.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 9:45 PM

You guys just don't get it. The Wizards are going to be bottom feeders for the next ten years unless they somehow get rid of Haywood, Arenas and Jamison.

You guys just don't get it...

No Blake Griffin means that we will have the 1st, 2nd or 3rd best odds at the #1 pick for the next 5-10 years. Unless we clean house.

Why am I saying WE? I'm a Bullets fan. I don't even watch professional basketball (unless Lebron or Jeff Green is on) as much as I used to BECAUSE the local team is complete garbage.

When Cleveland asked for Jamison, I could not believe we did not send him. Gilbert + 2 new knees = 100 mil? Jesus christ...

Posted by: dcaubie101 | May 19, 2009 9:47 PM

Package the pick with Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier for any other team's announcers. At least the games will be more interesting to watch on TV.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 19, 2009 9:48 PM

"Best fifth picks:
04 Devin Harris
03 Dwyane Wade
01 Jason Richardson
00 Mike Miller
98 Vince Carter
96 Ray Allen
95 Kevin Garnett
88 Mitch Richmond
87 Scottie Pippen
86 Brad Daugherty
84 Charles Barkley

OK, I say we draft Barkley or Pippen.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 19, 2009 9:30 PM "

Now, go list the worst #5 picks of all time and with Les BouleS luck, they'd probably end up picking from that list.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 9:50 PM

So either the WIZARDS get THABEET by default or they trade. I vote for THABEET, if he's there at five, or trade the pick for whatever we can get. There will be a great player develop from this draft for sure, but danged if I can figure out who it is other than GRIFFIN.

Posted by: glawrence007 | May 19, 2009 9:53 PM

Wizards draft Power Rankings:

(1) Blake Griffin
(2) Ricky Rubio
(3) Tyreke Evans
(4) Hasheem Thabeet
(5) James Harden

Take the best of who's available (and it won't be Griffin or Rubio, obviously)

Such a depressing evening. Blown.

Posted by: psps23 | May 19, 2009 9:56 PM

Trades the 5th overall for AS(Phoenix Suns)or work out some PF and PG and draft best man available !

Posted by: FrontRowHarraser | May 19, 2009 9:56 PM

Not the end of the world. It does suck, though.

Trade the 5th pick and one or two expiring contracts for Tayshaun Prince.

Gil, Caron, Prince, AJ, Haywood

Tayshaun can handle the ball extremely well at the SF spot so you really arent losing much ball handling by sending deshawn to the bench.

He is 6'9" and gives the wiz that long, premier defender they need.. He averaged 14 a night with Detroit and gives the wiz exactly what they need on D (although he seemed to look lost near the end of the year but i suspect that was just because the pistons were imploding)

This trade could definitely happen because the pistons are trying to rebuild. Maybe we could even snag Rasheed with the trade and make him a role player..(although I dont even know if id want that)

Prince is still relatively young to boot

Posted by: jeffco01 | May 19, 2009 9:59 PM

"You guys just don't get it. The Wizards are going to be bottom feeders for the next ten years unless they somehow get rid of Haywood, Arenas and Jamison.

You guys just don't get it...

No Blake Griffin means that we will have the 1st, 2nd or 3rd best odds at the #1 pick for the next 5-10 years. Unless we clean house.

Why am I saying WE? I'm a Bullets fan. I don't even watch professional basketball (unless Lebron or Jeff Green is on) as much as I used to BECAUSE the local team is complete garbage.

When Cleveland asked for Jamison, I could not believe we did not send him. Gilbert + 2 new knees = 100 mil? Jesus christ...

Posted by: dcaubie101 | May 19, 2009 9:47 PM "

I found it funny how both MeTawn and Caron were recently quoted as saying they'd prefer a vet for this team rather than a rookie draft pick.

Guess what dudes, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE VETS!!!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 9:59 PM

And to think we could have just played our young guys more and gotten them valuable game time experience and still gotten the same pick.

In the words of John Belushi...
Butt NOOOOOOOOOOO.. we had to wear our vets out and limit the learning possibilities of the youngs. Good going, Tap. Good riddance.

Posted by: original_mark | May 19, 2009 10:01 PM

"I was listening to one of Tony and Mike video blogs once, and Wilbon was talking about how that when MJ was team president, he was trying to bring back the Bullets and colors. It would only make sense to do it now considering the amount of success that the Caps had when they went back to the red, white, and blue.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 19, 2009 9:17 PM "

UNFORTUNATELY, it's not the uniforms for the Caps's success...it's the change in ownership.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 10:01 PM

"I was listening to one of Tony and Mike video blogs once, and Wilbon was talking about how that when MJ was team president, he was trying to bring back the Bullets and colors. It would only make sense to do it now considering the amount of success that the Caps had when they went back to the red, white, and blue.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 19, 2009 9:17 PM "

UNFORTUNATELY, it's not the uniforms for the Caps's success...it's the change in ownership.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 10:01 PM

Say What?!

Under previous ownership, the Caps went to the playoffs 14 years straight...14 years straight!!! And their one and only Stanley Cup Finals!

Under new ownership, they have gone to the playoffs just 2wice in 10 years...but they gotta a lot of Hope, but a long way to go to match what the previous ownership did.

Posted by: tomfoley1 | May 19, 2009 10:10 PM

Honestly I feel we are a better team (Playoff Team) when healthy. With that being said a top 5 pick will land us value. We must trust that we have good management to create the most value for the pick.

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | May 19, 2009 10:15 PM

Boggles the mind. This is the most pathetic team in the history of sports. Of course Abe will do his usual nutty optimist routine tomorrow. Just wonder how long into next season before theyll be decimated with injuries. Oh well, get ready for another trip to the lottery next season and more heartache.

Posted by: HightaxesMOCO | May 19, 2009 10:16 PM

I laughed oiut loud when I read this.

Wiz lose _again_. Baltimore shall have its revenge!

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 19, 2009 10:17 PM

The NBA Lottery is the BIGGEST FIXED SCREW-JOB there is. They won't draw the balls in public because that way they can fix it as usual. Anyone who wastes a Dollar going to David Stern's Fixed league is crazy. At least with the WWE they admit the outcome is predetermined.

Screw you David Stern

Posted by: scottbour | May 19, 2009 10:17 PM

I felt like this was the year the Wiz/Bullets would get their due. Thanks to the lottery, I'm done with the NBA. Tired of teams going from first to worst back to first thanks to luck in the lottery, while the Wiz just try to make the playoffs that entire time. I know...they got he first pick once. But what a crappy year to have it!

Posted by: wavery315 | May 19, 2009 10:19 PM

I am sorry But this "whoa is me" attitude about the Wizards not being able to get a franchise player with the no.5 pick is bunk. Sure they may not get Blake the God but look at draft and there are franchise players drafted way past the 1st thee picks in a draft. If someone says the talent is weak in this draft, fine but the Wizards can get a player who can make a difference. JUst make the smart pick. No Kwame Browns!

Posted by: michael34 | May 19, 2009 10:21 PM

"Say What?!

Under previous ownership, the Caps went to the playoffs 14 years straight...14 years straight!!! And their one and only Stanley Cup Finals!

Under new ownership, they have gone to the playoffs just 2wice in 10 years...but they gotta a lot of Hope, but a long way to go to match what the previous ownership did.

Posted by: tomfoley1 | May 19, 2009 10:10 PM "

Maybe 14 years straight until they went off the cliff and Abe decided to sell.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 19, 2009 10:24 PM

There's no crying in Basketball.

Posted by: VBFan | May 20, 2009 12:06 AM

Maybe this is what we need to make Abe sell the team!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 20, 2009 12:08 AM

lol...what the hell our some of you smoking.

"You guys just don't get it. The Wizards are going to be bottom feeders for the next ten years unless they somehow get rid of Haywood, Arenas and Jamison.

You guys just don't get it.."


What? The Wizards will be back in the playoffs again next year. What is with the doom and gloom?

Not to mention all the conspiracy theorist. Hilarious...

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 20, 2009 12:10 AM

STOP CRYING- TAKE TYREKE EVANS AT THE POINT- HIS GAME IS NASTY- HE JUST NEEDS TO DEVELOP A JUMPER

Posted by: One9 | May 19, 2009 9:12 PM
ESPN predicts Harden. I like Evans too. I guess he has the most upside and value for that pick, him derozan or cuz from zona

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 20, 2009 12:24 AM

examples of why the draft is NOT rigged:

2007 - Boston not landing in the top 2 and missing out on Oden and Durant
2006 - Toronto getting the #1 pick despite much larger markets finishing worse than them (New York, Atlanta, Portland, Golden State)
2004 - Chicago finishing with the second worse record and missing out on Dwight Howard and Emeka Okafor
2003 - New York and Chicago not landing in the top 3 of one of the deepest drafts ever (Lebron, Carmelo, Bosh, Wade)
2002 - Chicago and New York missing out on Yao Ming
2001 - Chicago not finishing in the top 3 despite having the worst overall record

they can't do anything besides the lottery or else teams have too much incentive to just mail it in at the end if they aren't good.

Posted by: akdeac31 | May 20, 2009 12:46 AM

Since we are all left to hope the Wiz make a great trade with their pick, I will focus my attention to the second round. I will throw out the same name I did months ago: Danny Green.

He could quickly develop into a solid role player that can play tough defense and hit some open spot-up threes. A Shane Battier type.

Ughh... I'm complimenting a UNC player and a Duke player in the same post. I think I'm gonna be sick.

Posted by: SportzWiz | May 20, 2009 1:05 AM

Of course the NBA lottery is fixed! And Abe Pollin is complicit with it--POLLIN DOESN'T WANT A NUMBER ONE PICK BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WANT TO PAY THAT NO. 1 PICK SALARY. I believe the NBA allows owners to determine where they'd like to draft and they use this ping pong ball crap as a smoke screen. Pollin, being the most frugal of all NBA owners, surely sends the message privately to NBA draft officials to make sure the Wizards draft as low as possible. The league certainly adjusts the draft picks behind closed doors according to individual team ownership wants and needs where possible. And the easiest move most likely is downward, right Abe? No team could randomly have this kind of bad luck with the lottery. I suspect the one year MJ had his hand in Wizard ownership--in 2001--remarkably they got the No. 1 pick! I believe Jordan really wanted it--and with the Wizards having surrendered the pick so many times in previous lotteries, the league of course granted the wish. Maybe I'm too cynical but I believe this deception--play to the public like you're dying for the top pick but behind the NBA curtains, the real game of rigging the draft goes on. If I'm wrong, why don't they put the entire process on television? The time wasted tonight could've been much more interesting if they just showed the complete process on live television.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | May 20, 2009 1:12 AM

Sons of Scotland...They may take Blake Griffin, but they'll never take McGee!

Posted by: emmet1 | May 20, 2009 2:03 AM

Seriously how bad does it suck to be a DC sports fan.

Posted by: rskinz34 | May 20, 2009 2:20 AM

I think we should take a look at Harden. He reminds me of Gil the way he uses his body and he can really shoot it. Playing next to the real thing they might be really dynamic, Gil making things a lot easier on him at the 2.

Posted by: AWizinLA | May 20, 2009 3:04 AM


"James Harden is well known nationally as the best small forward in the game. His style of play is reminiscent of a hybrid of Scottie Pippen and Gilbert Arenas. Why do I say that?

Pippen had Harden both could stroke the three and run the point. Whereas Pippen had Michael Jordan for a good portion of his career, James Harden is doing it without the best player of all time. That is why I see some Arenas in him. Now, I know Arenas went to Arizona, but please forgive the comparison."

Sounds good to me, although I might say more like Pierce and Arenas because of his pacing and ability to draw fouls. If we aren't getting fair value in a trade I think we still have real options in this draft. Ernie just needs to take a real look at these players before we say hey we are out of this draft.

Posted by: AWizinLA | May 20, 2009 3:20 AM

""James Harden is well known nationally as the best small forward in the game. His style of play is reminiscent of a hybrid of Scottie Pippen and Gilbert Arenas. Why do I say that?"

Why do you say that, indeed. Harden, at 6'5", isn't really a SF at all. He's a lot smaller than Pippen and quite a bit slower than Arenas. He's a decent defender and a skilled player who seems interested in making those around him more successful.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 5:48 AM

psps: "Wizards draft Power Rankings:
(1) Blake Griffin
(2) Ricky Rubio
(3) Tyreke Evans
(4) Hasheem Thabeet
(5) James Harden"

Hmmm... Evans seems a little overrated.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 5:52 AM

Seems to me the question in any trade scenario is: who would want any of the folks at the five pick?

Given the perception of this as a weak crop, it's hard to imagine a team lusting after Harden or Hill to the point where they'd give up something of real value. Evans is a possible exception.

Say a team wants to institute one of those drive-motion offenses that NJ, Chicago, and Boston have made popular. That requires a PG with three skills: the first step to penetrate; the ability to go to the basket against big men; and the skill to find the open jump-shooter.

In this draft, that's Evans. I don't think a scout would mistake him for Derrick Rose, but he has the same sort of frame and a similar skill set. Most importantly, he demonstrated his proficiency last season at Memphis, essentially turning that team around to make them a title contender.

So maybe a team would fall in love with Evans in a way they wouldn't with the others. And be willing to give up a decent vet who met the Wiz' immediate needs in exchange for the 5 pick and an expiring.

It's a long shot. And if Evans goes at 4, off the table.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 6:46 AM

Ok, now it's time to stop crying in our beverage of choice and offer EG some guidance on what to do with the #5 and #33 picks when Draft Day comes around.

The consensus seems to be that James Harden will be the "best available player" at the #5 slot.

Let's assume that Harden looks good in workouts, something like a young Mitch Richmond or a heftier Rip Hamilton. If we draft and keep him, do we (a) assume that DeShawn can hold down the starting 2 slot until Harden is ready and then (b) package Nick Young and Etan Thomas (and even Blatche, if necessary) in a deal with, say, OKC, for Nick Collison or with LAC for Chris Kamen, or try to get Marvin Williams, who is apparently available, from Atlanta?

Or do we decide to stay with Nick Young, and deal the rights to Harden (or the #5 pick itself) with Blatche and Thomas for a power forward of the Kaman, Williams, Collison caliber?

Assuming we do a deal that clears basically clears two roster spots as the above would, then what do we do with #33. The Chad Ford top 30 draft board suggests that Tyler Hansbrough (Larry in Clinton's guy) could well be available at #33. Do we take Tyler on the assumption that he is a gritty and well schooled competitor?

Since we don't get the comfort of a no-brainer in this draft, what moves would a "brainer" make instead?

Posted by: khrabb | May 20, 2009 8:05 AM

"go list the worst #5 picks of all time and with Les BouleS luck, they'd probably end up picking from that list."

Funny you should mention that. You have to go back a little to find a complee bust: the Russian Tskitishvilirlioskwitzkowski or whatever his name was, in '02. There was Jon Bender in '99, but that was injury. Isaiah Rider in '93, although he had his moments.

All the rest were at least solid NBA players. Like LaPhonso Ellis in '92, who played 11 seasons. Jon Koncak in '85. JR Reid in '89 -- nothing to write home about, or sneeze, either.

Good omen? Who can tell? I don't particularly believe in curses, either.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 8:18 AM

Obviously the pick itself isn't a hot commodity, which means that the Wiz would have to package it with something someone would really want. And since none of their contracted players are exactly high-value stocks, that means expiring contracts. The problem there is still that the best deals for expiring contracts probably won't come until around the trade deadline. The best bet is to draft someone who they think may have a chance of developing into a productive role player while, at the same time, working the phones during the early part of the season, looking for a deal.

Of course, the lower pick also means lesser player value in return, which lessens the likelihood that the player they get back will be anything more than solid role-filler. There won't be any multiple all-stars changing hands in any deal they come up with, so forget about Bosh and Stoudemire.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 11:16 AM

My guesses are:
(1) neither Griffin nor Rubio will make anybody a serious contender over the next three years;
(2) the true impact player in this draft will have shown up by March, and probably will have been selected late in the first round;
(3) EG will make one important trade before opening day that no one here has predicted;
(4) Gil and everyone else will come back in shape;
(5) Flip Saunders will be a better offensive coach than anyone has so far predicted;
(6) McGee and McGuire will both play well in the regular season (see #7).
(7) The center position will be the subject everyone is complaining about next May, when the Wizards will have bowed out against Orlando in the East finals.

Posted by: dabing | May 20, 2009 11:43 AM

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