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Roundtable: What Do the Wizards Do If They Pick 2nd?

Yesterday we took a look at what the Wizards should do if they're lucky enough to get the No. 1 pick. If settling on Blake Griffin is a layup, the decision should they get the No. 2 pick is at least a contested jumper from the elbow.

We've turned to a panel of Wizards bloggers to join our own Michael Lee for their insights on what the Wizards should do. Let's pass the rock to TruthAboutIt.net for the Wizards' predicament should the co-second-worst team in the league actually end up with the second pick.


Two-two-Rubio. (Getty Images)

TruthAboutIt.net's take:

Ricky Rubio makes the second pick a gray area. Blake Griffin at number one is evident (although some speculate he could slip). Third or below and team president Ernie Grunfeld is wearing out buttons on his phone looking for takers. But a chance at Rubio is something the Wizards must heavily deliberate before drafting or trading.

Ignoring Rubio could be like taking a pass on Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, or Steve Nash; all are in the "team-changing" category. The '90s baby certainly has skeptics, but as Michael Lee reminded us, the proof of the kid being the truth is in the pudding of many observers. Think what you want about Coach K (I know I do), but when he says someone has "it," buy shares in that stock. La Pistola represents a shot at that elite point guard franchises crave. It's better the Wizards not live a life of regret in missing out on Ricky.

But before selecting Rubio, the Wizards' point guard situation after Gilbert Arenas should be considered. Rubio, similarly to Javaris Crittenton, is potentially capable of playing alongside Arenas. Teams with title aspirations need dependable ballhandlers. Crittenton, entering the highly scrutinized third season "they" say is the true measure of a player, has shown potential. His ceiling remains that of a solid backup, but he's worth keeping. Kevin Broom of the Secret Weapon aptly compares Crittenton to Alvin Williams. Mike James is who we thought he was, as Dennis Green would say. He's on the downside of his career, and like Brooks from "Shawshank Redemption," no one is going to kick up much fuss if an old, defensively inefficient gunner like him isn't around anymore.

If the Wizards pick 2nd, they should: Draft Ricky Rubio.

The Wizards' Possible Reasoning: Rubio's presence affords Grunfeld the flexibility to move James sooner than later, along with easing fan concerns that Supernanny will be getting run in Flip Saunders' system. Grunfeld could dangle a summertime combination of the expiring contracts of James and Etan Thomas, along with Nick Young and/or Andray Blatche, for dependable help in another area, such as the post player Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood desire. Or Big Ern could play his cards close to his vest and patiently wait until the February 2010 trade deadline, trying to leverage more value from an underachieving team craving expiring contracts, while also having the ability to adjust for playoff push needs. That's if you want either James or Thomas hanging around with lame-duck status. It might be better to send them packing sooner rather than later.

If Abe Pollin is truly ready to "dig deeply into his own pocket," great expectations might construe his words to mean taking on more contracts in order to get serious help, and not just setting aside a chunk of change for a draft pick. Could Grunfeld have permission to get retro with '06-07 season slogan and "Go All In?" Say Chris Bosh rejects a contract extension and Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has an appropriate level of infatuation with Rubio. A package of Thomas, James, Blatche, and 2nd overall pick is possibly enticing (with some fillers to make it agreeable on all counts). But the trade would also be contingent on signing Bosh to a significant extension, likely leaving the Wizards unable to re-sign Haywood after next season, and teetering in luxury tax territory for years to come (not to mention immediate questions surrounding Antawn Jamison's role).

Such freewheeling spending is probably not what Pollin had in mind. Look for Grunfeld to creatively work the count and not necessarily swing for the fences. Draft Rubio and hope his international cult-like following puts marketing dollars in the bank. Any concerns from the likes of Haywood, Jamison and Arenas about the team getting younger will be quelled once Ricky is dropping the dimes in their hands.

Michael Lee's take: The Wizards will have a difficult time passing on a tempting talent like Ricky Rubio, the 18-year-old point guard who has been playing professionally in the top Spanish league for four seasons and turned heads for silver medalist Spain at the Beijing Olympics. But while Blake Griffin is a safe pick at No. 1, Rubio would be a No. 2 selection made with the future in mind.

Rubio has a physical likeness to Pete Maravich, a flashy game, and is extremely confident. But he won't be able to come in right away and have a first-year impact similar to Derrick Rose or Chris Paul or Deron Williams -- or even Jamaal Tinsley (who had a pretty good rookie season).

Tony Parker has done wonders for the perception of European point guards and Rubio's countryman, Jose Calderon, has established himself as a solid contributor in this league. But both had difficult adjustments while getting familiar and comfortable with the NBA game. Even two-time MVP Steve Nash, the greatest international point guard in league history, needed two seasons -- and a trade to Dallas -- before he became a regular starter (and that was after playing four years at an American college).

Rubio doesn't have a reliable jump shot, but he is a great playmaker with the potential to be among the league's elite point guards -- but that will take some time. Questions also remain about Rubio's foot speed and ability to keep up with point guards in this league. But he has large, quick hands and was named Defensive Player of Year in the Spanish League.

The primary concern for Washington is how well Rubio would play with Gilbert Arenas. With Rubio's height and willingness to play set up man, I think it could work. But I spoke to a league executive who was doubtful. Arenas can score, but he has proven that he needs the ball to be effective. Arenas played well off the ball when Larry Hughes was in Washington, but that was mostly because he trusted Hughes, as a friend, a scorer and a distributor. It's hard to imagine Arenas quickly developing that sort of chemistry with Rubio.

With the Wizards in win-now mode, Rubio presents Ernie Grunfeld with a difficult decision. Does he take the potential of Rubio, who could emerge as a star in this league -- both in the box office and on the court? Or does he use Rubio to acquire the piece that can immediately take the Wizards to the next level? I think Rubio's talent and potential is too much to overlook. He can be a big-time star in this league.


Coming Wednesday: Wizards Extreme's take on the No. 3 pick.

By Keith McMillan  |  May 12, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
 | Tags: Ricky Rubio, draft, draft lottery, draft pick, roundtable  
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Next: Pre-Draft Workout Today

Comments

1st

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the conclusion made by both Michael and Truth, but don't think it is as difficult a decision as they portray (though they could be spelling out the pros and cons for the purposes of analysis and discussion). I especially liked the point that, "Any concerns from the likes of Haywood, Jamison and Arenas about the team getting younger will be quelled once Ricky is dropping the dimes in their hands."

One point not mentioned by either is Rubio's excellent leadership abilities. This team could use that, especially the team's younger group.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | May 12, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

i like critter as the backup point. I'd like to see what offers the wiz would get if they had the 2. If someone wanted to move up from like 5-8, and would offer their pick and a player for ours and a player i think it should be considered but i would really like to see the wiz draft in the top 5, b/c i think the value below top 5 is not very high.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

how do yall feel about grevis in the second round. i think the wiz can trade down from two or draft thabeet with the pick and still get a very solid backup point in grevis in the second. He has comparable skills to rubio (IMO) from what i've seen of the two . GV is 6'6-6'7 has great handle, a great feel for the game and is a playmaker. He also has been tested against some of the best guards in the country and held his own( lawson,teague,paulus(lol))

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"One point not mentioned by either is Rubio's excellent leadership abilities. This team could use that, especially the team's younger group."

A 19 year old isn't going to be a leader on a team with three highly paid all-star caliber vets.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Trade the pick and ATJ for Al Jefferson and McCants!!

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | May 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

this is definetly a hard choice because for one: the situation with Gilbert Arenas is an unknown...And ricky rubio would be a delight as a point guard in the league. I think if the wizards though can acquire a bona-fide power foward: stoudamire,bosh,boozer maybe even a lee...i think the wizards should trade that pick along with two players(james and thomas) and a "youngster" (blatche) if there are no teams that bite on that trade, we sit on rubio until the time comes for better opportunities. But given the fact that Bosh might want out and Boozer might get traded, or D'antoni wanting a point guard like nash to run his system, i see a trade to any of those teams inevitable..

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | May 12, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike!
This is a great feature. Kudos to you for giving some prominent Wiz bloggers a stage at Wiz Insider. As Steinz alluded to last week, all this will do is drive more traffic to Wiz insider.

Keep linking to these guys, ESPECIALLY Kevin Broom at the Secret Weapon. He's a stats geek and a fine writer -- he really put advanced statistical analysis in terms that everyday schmos like me can understand.

Keep up the great work, Mike!

Posted by: TheFunBunch | May 12, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

lilhollywood10:

I like "The CRITTER." And so does GRUNFELD. As long as he's GM, JaVARIS is gonna' be in the mix. Unless someone wants him so badly that they trade a franchise center for him, or next year's #1 pick.

Posted by: glawrence007 | May 12, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Rubio could be the ultimate insurance policy if Gilbert ends-up being the most expensive bench-warmer in NBA history.

I would love to see Ricky running the break with an athletic second unit, that would be fun to watch.

Rubio
McGee
Blatche
McGuire
Young

Posted by: closg | May 12, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The draft is a BIG CRAPSHOOT.
You can't pass on Rubio if he's available at #2.
If he doesn't work out he wouldn't be the first #2 to go down in flames.
He has the potential to be a game changer for years to come.
No brainer, if you don't get Blake then toss the dice & take Ricky. I can't wait to see what happens Lotto day & then Draft day.

Posted by: VBFan | May 12, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Come on Maryland Homer Grevis really........

Posted by: wdevers | May 12, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12FOZsjWxwk
Have to get Ricky Rubio....he plays defense on the perimeter, shoots, and has crazy handles. Better than Deshawn "I can't feel my face" Stevenson right now.

Posted by: patio100 | May 12, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

i really don't mess with the terps like that, i just thought of grevis as an alternative to rubio at a later pick.I'd reall rather see the wiz draft a pf or combo small fwd/sg

Who do you think would be a good point guard to take if the wiz don't use the 1st rd pick on a pg?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

They shouldn't be taking a PG in the first round because PG is the least of their needs. As a matter of fact, it's not really a need at all.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

"There's no way Philly is trading Iguodala for anything the Wiz have to offer. He's on the verge of top-tier stardom." - kal

I agree. But teams have made stupid decisions before. Still, it was just hopeful thinking on my part. Though losing Miller, and Brand getting older, could put Philly back on the downward slope. They're going to have an interesting offseason.

I say keep Rubio, unless we can use the pick to bring in someone the level and age of Bosh at the 4 or Igoudala at the 2. Don't package the pick for 'veteran help.' It's worth a heck of a lot more than that.

If we do keep the pick, do not draft for need. That rarely works out in the NBA. Draft the best player available. Even if it's a 'redundant' position, you can always trade away someone. Or, with a creative coach, which I think we have, you can find ways to use both.

Posted by: segastyle | May 12, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

patio thx for the link i might have to recant the comparable skills comment from earlier. i don't think i've ever seen a behind the back pass that comes out across your body. that's ridiculous.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

We really need a banger/ a enforcer... I mean, teams have no respect for us under the basket. Haywood and Javon are a good 1,2 punch, but, we really need to upgrade the power forward spot.....what we need there is a rebounder and tough defender.....
So either Blake or trade the pick for Bosh, give them our picks(1 or/and 2), Nick Young, Ethan thomas, James, Blatche or AJ(why did they re-sign him and stevenson anyway)


P.S just cut Stevenson

Posted by: xrendellx | May 12, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"They shouldn't be taking a PG in the first round because PG is the least of their needs. As a matter of fact, it's not really a need at all." - kal

The Wizards don't need a guard who can beat his man of the dribble, get to the hole, finish, distribute, play good defense?

Posted by: segastyle | May 12, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Bullets suck!

Posted by: jwing14 | May 12, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I always believed that a package of Etan, Mike, Blatche and the pick would net us Chris Bosh. But the kicker is fitting him into the lineup. Do you move AJ to the bench or move Caron to the 2 to make it work? Either way its a luxury i'm sure Flip would love. But my question to anyone on the panel is, where does DeShawn fit in? That's if he still does.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 12, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Get Chris Bosh NOW...whatever it takes get him & get rid of the number 1 or 2 pick & get whoever u want off the books. Rubio not Blake G. can do the things Bosh can do NOW. If Abe is a man of his word & he wants to win NOW, he do what it takes to get a legit all-star. GET CHRIS BOSH PERIOD !!!!!!

Posted by: cevans1019 | May 12, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"The Wizards don't need a guard who can beat his man of the dribble, get to the hole, finish, distribute, play good defense?"

Not if he's a PG who's not going to get any real PT because he's playing behind their best, most highly paid star. They need all of those elements, but they need them in a SG not a PG. Because (aside from defense) they've already got a PG who can do all of those things.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"GV is 6'6-6'7 has great handle, a great feel for the game and is a playmaker."

I'm thinking he's 6'5" and versatile. An energy bench player for some team that wants to run. Not a great feel for the game, though -- only adequate.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 12, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and if they're going to get another guard, it'd be nice if they got one who can also hit a jumpshot, something Rubio can't do.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

cuz chris bosh has been such a great winner during his career????

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

i think he was listed as 6'6 this season, i know that's what they (game announcers)were saying whilst he fried unc for the triple dip.

I think he has a more than adequate feel for the game, if feel can be quantified any other way than good or bad. He has played on a team that probably doesn't suti his talents as a playmaker (he'd probably have twice as many assists if tucker or bowie could finish, or he had a legit 4 or 5 on the team). He's done very well considering the personnel around him. At the next level the players get better and i think he would be able to adjust into more of a pure point guard in the L.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

PG is the "least of the Wizards needs," huh?

Caron Butler led the Wizards with 4.3 assists and 3.1 turnovers a game.

He ran the Wizards offense and was the main distributor this season. Once the ball made it across half-court, he was became the team's de facto point guard.

Yes, Arenas should provide some stability if he stays healthy (three surgeries later).

And yes, Crittenton could develop into a solid back up in his 3rd season.

But those are both two big IFs.

Just as we need some Jamison-insurance in the front court. The Wizards also need some Arenas-insurance in the back-court.

Maybe that insurance comes in the form of a veteran acquisition, but based on the way that the Wizards distributed the ball this season I'm not sold on the idea that PG is the "least of the Wizards needs".

I'd say that small forward is the least of the Wizards needs by a long-shot.

Shooting guard and power forward are probably a close second on the "least of" needs list (in a pinch the Wizards have some tweeners who can fill in at both positions).

In the draft you go with the best player available. Maybe they move the pick if they fall out of the 1 slot -- and if there's a good offer for Rubio. Still, if the Wizards land #2 overall and have trouble moving the pick for the right price; odds are they'll select Rubio.

Posted by: JPRS | May 12, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see Ricky Rubio - him and Arenas would be better than Barnum & Bailey

Posted by: nativedc | May 12, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Caron Butler led the Wizards with 4.3 assists and 3.1 turnovers a game.

"He ran the Wizards offense and was the main distributor this season. Once the ball made it across half-court, he was became the team's de facto point guard.

All of which is meaningless if Arenas plays, which is clearly the agenda under which the team is operating. If the big 3 and Haywood are healthy they believe (however delusionally) that they can compete for a title, which means that drafting what is essentially an emergency PG with the #2 pick is not in their plans. If Arenas can't play, then it's all bets off, but odds are they won't really know that until after the draft anyway.

So, yeah, from the perspective of the team management, who will be the ones making the pick PG is the easily least of the team's needs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Moreover, if Arenas can't play, then the urgency to get a vet who can contribute immediately actually in his absence increases not decreases (from the perspective of the team management), making Rubio even more unlikely.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Until Arenas is able to play a complete season, I am not sure you can count on him being our PG. I also don't buy him as our solution as our PG. He can score, but plays lazy defense. He could up his energy on defense, but that would likely detract from him as a scorer. We should pick the best player available. If needs change, you can always trade high value.

Posted by: BT23 | May 12, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

If Arenas can't play, it's time for management to blow up the team. I don't know if Grunfeld is thinking that, but I don't see this team going anywhere without Arenas at least at 90% of his prior effectiveness.

If he's still hurt(ing), they have to trade Butler and/or Jamison while they have value and rebuild. Even if he's not right now, giving up a potential star at #2 would mean gambling that Arenas can stay healthy and be reliable playing point guard for the entire season. I don't think they can pass on Rubio.

Posted by: manifested | May 12, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"At the next level the players get better and i think he would be able to adjust into more of a pure point guard in the L.
Posted by: lilhollywood10"

He does seem better suited to the pros than college. That scattershot style of his fits in with a game based on matchups. He's no PG, however; what they call a 'combo' is more like it. Good passer, good outside shooter, good slasher, improved defender with fast hands.

What he's not: a consistent shooter, a quick defender, a disciplined ballhandler.

If the NBA doesn't work, there's a good career overseas.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 12, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

bt23: "I also don't buy him as our solution as our PG. He can score, but plays lazy defense. He could up his energy on defense, but that would likely detract from him as a scorer."

I think the point people are making is that if Arenas can't play this coming season, we're goners. The whole strategy is blown, and we're back to square zero. Not patching with another PG.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 12, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Jamison is 33. Haywood is 30. Butler is 28. Arenas is 27.

Given the contracts, this team is in win-now mode and taking Rubio, 18, at the #2 slot would not be a smart move for this organization unless the squad was going to be restructured.

This always seems to happen to the Wizards when they get close to the top of the draft - a shallow draft class with no sure-fire talent on the block.

In 2001 there were no sure fire players in the top 5.

While Griffin may be a solid pro and 20 points per game scorer, he does not have the upside of a franchise maker.

Posted by: leopard09 | May 12, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

He's no PG, however; what they call a 'combo' is more like it. Good passer, good outside shooter, good slasher, improved defender with fast hands.

What he's not: a consistent shooter, a quick defender, a disciplined ballhandler.

If the NBA doesn't work, there's a good career overseas.


Posted by: Samson151 | May 12, 2009 3:19 PM

I think the increased talent level around him will allow him to move back to his natuaral spot and a playmaking pg. remember, he played high school w/ kevin durant. I doubt GV was doing anything but setting KD up in Stu V's system at Montrose. He came to md and had to do more than he was used to doing. that's why the shot isn't consistent. He's not a shooter, he's a playmaker, much like gil except i think GV would rather not take the 3 as much.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

'scuse me JACK the 3 as much.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I hate to be the one to tell you people this but the Wiz are not built to win. Name the last team to win a championship with a score first point gaurd. Too late to trade Gil. Jamison's contract is too big a his age to trade besides him being the most consistant player on the team. Butler shouldn't be considered as trade bait. Unless the young boys come thru, and by the way they played this year don't count on it, we are back to being the Bullets!

Posted by: bacontown13 | May 12, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Antawn and the #2 overall pick to Toronto for C. Bosh? No way. I think it's easier to find a beat-up power forward (Bosh has bad knees) than it is to get a natural point guard (which I belive Rubio is). I say keep the pick and have a player who truly believes in setting the table for his team mates.

Posted by: Firuz1 | May 12, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

So, yeah, from the perspective of the team management, who will be the ones making the pick PG is the easily least of the team's needs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 2:47 PM

In fairness, unless you are part of the team management, the perspective that you're voicing is yours, not the teams'.

My own opinion, is that the least of the Wizards' needs at the present time is at small forward.

Most teams seem to draft the best player available in the early lottery -- not solely based on need. Maybe they move the pick if there's a compelling offer, maybe they don't.

Even if you don't move the pick on draft day -- and even if you don't intend to keep a player -- you want to maximize your options in the future, not limit them. That means you go with the most talented player.

If the Wizards land the 2nd overall and are unable to trade the pick, I would wager that they're drafting Rubio. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows. But that's the bottom line.

Posted by: JPRS | May 12, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I think vasquez will stick in the nba, similar to juan, or maybe more like laron profit. Either way he should earn checks for an average nba career length, 5 years. I imagine he'd be a good fit on the right team, a squad with a big guard who can play point, but defend the two if need be; miami seems right. I also think his game is better suited for the nba if he can keep his head while going through a rough patch.

Posted by: bford1kb | May 12, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"In fairness, unless you are part of the team management, the perspective that you're voicing is yours, not the teams'."

In fairness, you're wrong. The comments coming from those in and around the team--players, management, coach, owner--both directly (at Saunders' intro presser) and indirectly (in printed interviews with players, Grunfeld, and Saunders) make it quite clear what their agenda is. Add in the very clear and unmistakable implications of the team's roster makeup and financial obligations to three veteran players who management has shown no inclination to move and there's not a lot of room for interpretation. Anyone who fails to grasp that simply hasn't been paying attention or is willfully ignoring the obvious.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

there's always a curveball with the wiz. i don't ever recall them drafting well especially not this high.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

or rather drafting well and developing players

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see some scouting reports on Rubio and the other top prospects (other than Griffin) in order to guage whether they have any trade value around the league. If there is no sizz, sizz, sizzling going on, this discussion is academic.

The Wiz already have 6 underdeveloped youngsters. They don't need someone Taps would call a knucklehead (Griffin excluded).

Posted by: Izman | May 12, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

A couple of random thoughts about potentially drafting Rubio.

1. Javaris Crittenton should not come into the decision making of whether we draft Rubio or not. Critt as of now is a fringe NBA player.

He suffers from the terrible combo of not having a jumper and displaying a severe lack of PG acumen. That usually means certain failure for most guards in the NBA. Unless he improves greatly at one or the other he'll be out of the NBA soon regardless of how talented he is or how hard he works. Right now to call him a solid backup PG would be a serious stretch.

2. I don't grasp the argument that adding a true PG should be the least of the Wizards worries. Outside of replacing Jamison with a true PF that can defend, the Wizards biggest concern is finding a backcourt partner with Gil. Gil is first and foremost a combo guard. A guy with PG level skills but a scorer's mentality.

The benefit of having a combo guard is that he's versatile enough to slide over to the SG position. In fact based on his physical stature, I think Gil is better suited to guarding taller SGs than chasing around lighting quick PGs on defense.

3. Another point to consider is that for years, the Wizards have ranked towards the bottom of the league in assists. Even when Gil was healthy, this team was overly reliant on taking and making contested jumpers. Gil was the only guy capable of creating off the dribble & getting easy shots for himself and others (at least since Hughes left). Rubio could fill that void and has the ability to get easier shots for everyone.

4. Regarding Gil's willingness to play off the ball. As Michael Lee said, Gil showed he was very capable at doing this with Hughes. I suspect once Gil sees Rubio in action up close, he'll be quite comfortable letting Rubio run the show. Gil is a smart guy, once he sees Rubio's masterful skillset and off the charts on-court IQ he'll be right on board. Gil wants to win, lets stop assuming he's such a diva that he's only willing to do things his way.

5. Rubio's leadership qualities should not be overlooked. Even though he's just 18, he's become a leader for his ACB league team which is filled with grown men. Some guys are born leaders. Griffin is one and so is Rubio. He leads out on the court, directing traffic, putting his teammates in position and placing the ball in their hands where they can best succeed.

It won't come right away, but frankly guys like Jamison & Butler should be a bit more humbled by this recent awful season to understand that they need help. Rubio isn't Nick Young, Andray Blatche or Javale McGee, he'll earn the vets respect quickly.

6. While we hate discussing it. Gil's future is still cloudy. We all hope he's over this injury plagued stretch with his knee, but in the worst case scenario, we'd have his replacement in Rubio. Gil's health shouldn't be a huge consideration on draft day but its an added bonus that we'd have a top level security blanket if Gil's injury problems resurface.

Posted by: Dat2U | May 12, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"In fairness, unless you are part of the team management, the perspective that you're voicing is yours, not the teams'."

In fairness, you're wrong. The comments coming from those in and around the team--players, management, coach, owner--both directly (at Saunders' intro presser) and indirectly (in printed interviews with players, Grunfeld, and Saunders) make it quite clear what their agenda is. Add in the very clear and unmistakable implications of the team's roster makeup and financial obligations to three veteran players who management has shown no inclination to move and there's not a lot of room for interpretation. Anyone who fails to grasp that simply hasn't been paying attention or is willfully ignoring the obvious.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 4:17 PM

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

Where does the team say it isn't drafting Rubio? Please provide citations.

Where does anyone from the Wizards management say that "point guard is the least of our concerns"?

Maybe EG's scouting trip to see Rubio was just a ruse, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility that his trip was what it seemed to be.

Once again -- you are voicing your own opinion, and your own interpretation of the teams' needs and stated intentions.

Unless you are part of the team management, you do not speak for the team.

Posted by: JPRS | May 12, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"Not if he's a PG who's not going to get any real PT because he's playing behind their best, most highly paid star. They need all of those elements, but they need them in a SG not a PG. Because (aside from defense) they've already got a PG who can do all of those things.

...

Oh, and if they're going to get another guard, it'd be nice if they got one who can also hit a jumpshot, something Rubio can't do." - kal


I agree, a jumpshot would be nice. But I don't understand your hangup on his label of PG. PG or SG, if he brings all the things I mentioned, skill-wise, does his label matter that much?

Would he be better at PG than at SG? Probably. Would he eventually be better at SG than anyone we have right now at SG? Probably. Would Arenas be better at SG than anyone we have right now? Definitely.

I see no reason why they couldn't both be on the court together. Especially since one is more of a scorer and the other is more of a distributer.

Posted by: segastyle | May 12, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Conventional wisdom is that Griffin goes #1 and Rubio #2. Do a little reading and research and you realize the Kings don't have a conventional GM. Blake could quite possibly be around for the second pick if Jordan teams up with Petrie in Sacramento.

Jordan built around a point guard here, and he had Kidd in NJ. I wager he'd lean toward having a world class point to develop in Sacramento. Petrie has liked bigs that can move away from the hoop, handle the ball and do damage facing up. That M.O. doesn't apply to Griffin, Thabeet, or Hill. Speculation is that Petrie could pull the surprise pick.

There's a certain amount of, "what is the PR value of this pick?" to the Kings that will apply. Who do the Maloofs thing will be the bigger STAR. Not best player, but STAR. The safe pick, and smart basketball pick,is Griffin. Rubio could be a cultural phenom. in a state with a huge Spanish speaking population, and turn out to be the better player to boot.

If the Wiz get the chance to pick Rubio at the 2nd pick I'd think Grunfeld's first reaction will be to listen to deals. But, I think the asking price for Rubio will be high.

Arenas has proven that he can operate off the ball in the past when playing with Hughes or Daniels. In that role he has to be paired with a point that is a good defender. Scouting reports praise Rubio's defensive ability, so the pairing isn't a pipe dream.

I'd tend to think the price will get high enough to sway Grunfeld's head, and the Wiz would get a package for Rubio. But the buzz about this guy just continues to grow. I don't see Grunfeld trading him unless he gets a very attractive package.

You don't give away the big chips in a poker game. You hold them until you need them. Grunfeld will get his price, or hold the big chip for a later deal.

The last team to win a title with a point gaurd with a similar skill set to Arenas would be the Pistons. And they went to the Conference finals for three years after that. Now Mr. "Big Shot" Billups is heading to the Conference finals again with the Nuggets.

I seemed to notice that his nickname isn't "Mr. dribble the ball up the court and set up my teammates" Billups...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 12, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"Once again -- you are voicing your own opinion, and your own interpretation of the teams' needs and stated intentions."

No, I'm stating what I think they're most likely to do based on what they themselves have quite clearly said are their goal going into next season, which is competing for a championship. (And if, as you yourself admit, thy have openly stated their intentions, why would I need to interpret them? They've said, flat out what their intentions are, no interpretation required.)

Not only have I never claimed to be doing otherwise, I've repeatedly said, in exactly those words, that's what I'm doing. So I find your obvious confusion on the matter rather odd.

"Where does the team say it isn't drafting Rubio? Please provide citations.

Where does anyone from the Wizards management say that "point guard is the least of our concerns"?

Now you're pumping the straw man.

I've never said that anyone from management said any of those things. What I have said, clearly and more than once, is that based on what they are clearly on record as saying is their stated goal that drafting a rookie PG would make no sense as it would fail to help them advance their own stated agenda something that, so far, you've failed to come close to countering.

"Would he be better at PG than at SG? Probably. Would he eventually be better at SG than anyone we have right now at SG? Probably. Would Arenas be better at SG than anyone we have right now? Definitely."

Which would be great if either Arenas or Rubio were a SG, but neither of them is.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

yall are killin it right now! great posts

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 12, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"The last team to win a title with a point gaurd with a similar skill set to Arenas would be the Pistons. And they went to the Conference finals for three years after that. Now Mr. "Big Shot" Billups is heading to the Conference finals again with the Nuggets."

"I seemed to notice that his nickname isn't "Mr. dribble the ball up the court and set up my teammates" Billups..."

Clearly you're opinion is based more on his nickname than watching him play, because if you had watched him play during his years in Detroit (and currently with the Nuggets) you'd see that he's nothing like Arenas.

Arenas is a shoot-first, shoot from the hip guard who always comes out firing. Billups couldn't be more different. He's capable of having big scoring games, but he generally comes out looking to get his teammates involved early, only looking for his shot after he's made sure everyone else has gotten rolling. he has a great feel for the game and can be impactful either with his scoring or his playmaking. Arenas is a guy who needs to score big points for his team to win.

The reason they call him Mr. Big Shot is for his pronounced tendency to hit big shots late in games with the outcome on the line, not because he fires it up at every opportunity.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

It'll be interesting to see what happens if they get the second pick and do draft Rubio. I think it would be a tacit admission that they want to hedge their bets on Arenas being fully healthy.

If Zero isn't ready to go at the beginning of the season, I think you'll see a fire sale, with Antawn and Caron as the main prizes, with the Wiz rebuilding around Rubio, McGee, McGuire, Young, etc.

Posted by: keithward64 | May 12, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Arenas has become a great pass-first guard who can also shoot and create his own shot. Depends on team priorities and coaching. Back off a little. With Grunfeld and Saunders, this will work out, whether it's Blake, Ricky, or a package derived from trading the pick. The Wiz have some savvy guys in front and a core, plus a top-5 pick. And some young guys other people want. A much better situation than anything in recent years. Allow yourselves some optimism.

Posted by: joe2chase | May 12, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards don't need to bring anyone else in on potential. Fully half their roster at this point is guys we're waiting to see blossom. They need to acquire someone that can have an impact in November '09. The only person in this draft that seems capable of that at this point is Griffin. So if they get anything other than #1, they need to work out a trade to get a vet who can help them win right now.

Posted by: Tempy_McJobhunt | May 12, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you flohrtv.

As far as your post goes kal, if we want to talk about logical fallacies, look up the "The Fallacy of Shifting Ground".

And no, I did not say anywhere that the Wizards intentions are clear.

This is why I am able to keep an open mind along the following lines: Was EG's scouting trip to Spain a ruse, or is he genuinely interested in drafting Rubio as a part of the team?

I do not know the answer to this question.

I suspect only EG and some people in the Wizards front office know the answer for certain.

I doubt that any Wizards players could even answer this question at this stage.

Like most teams, the Wizards have not shown their hand, which is one of the reasons that we are able to debate these draft questions.

At this stage, the only thing that is clear is that the Wizards are likely to draft Blake Griffin if he's available when their selection comes up.

Beyond that, there are mostly open questions.

Posted by: JPRS | May 12, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I think the decision is alot easier than we are making it out to be.

With the #1 pick, we draft Griffin, and groom him to be Jamison's eventual replacement.

With the #2 pick, we draft Rubio and groom him to be Arenas' backcourt mate as he gains experience with our second unit this season and logs a few minutes on the floor with Gilbert as well (provided his physical tools pan out to be NBA caliber).
OR
If EG can find a suitable offer for the pick, bring in players who can help the team win in some capacity right now.

With pick #3-5 we trade for veteran talent who as I stated earlier, can help the team win right now.

PS: We must get rid of Etan, and Mike James with the potential trade. Im not necessarily sold on trading Blatche and Young though. I feel like Blatche is on the cusp of consistently displaying his potential, given he is willing to put in the work to achieve it. If he shows us that he isn't willing to do that this season then God help him cause it's obvious that we can't!

Posted by: DCSportsFan89 | May 12, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Also, the earlier post about Crittenton being a fringe NBA player at this stage is absolutely correct. Unfortunately he does not have a high ceiling as far as development is concerned, why not have Rubio in case Crit does not pan out, or even better he does find his niche on the team, as well as Rubio developing into a world class guard as expected. But of course this is just wishful thinking. But the point is, it can hurt to have Rubio on the team seeing as our other current ballhandlers (James, Stevenson, Dixon[at times]) all should be on their way out the door

Posted by: DCSportsFan89 | May 12, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Great discussion today. Far above the usual sophomoric "Is not," "Is too" silliness.

What I can't grasp is the persistence with which everyone involved in these discussions accepts the default belief that Haywood is, and should be, an integral part of the team's plan. All conversation seems to be about finding a complimentary PF for him.

Get a grip. Haywood is a stiff.

The Wiz are not going to win a best-of-seven series against a legitimate playoff team with him doing his thoroughly convincing matador impression in the lane.

Package whatever you have to package, but get a legitimate center. What was the Lakers' undoing last year? The huge gap in the middle after Bynum got hurt.

If (despite having two superb PFs) having no real center can derail a serious contender led by one of the best players and arguably the most successful coach in the game's history, how can the Wiz and their fans act like their obvious roster deficiency doesn't matter enough even to be part of the discussion?

Posted by: salescoach | May 12, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the comment that picking Rubio #2 is the only logical choice.

Simply put, some 19-year olds are readier to play in the NBA than others (LeBron James comes to mind) and Ricky Rubio in all likelihood is one of them. This young man has been playing in the Spanish League and on the Spanish National Team since he was 16. If he is not NBA-ready now, he will be by mid-season (which also is when the odds that a top-flight front court player from a lottery bound team will be available for the expiring contracts of James and Thomas, which by then will oblige the acquring team to pay only around $3,000,000 for more than twice that value in future salaries. Moreover, by then we will know a lot more about the upside of our other young players, should one of them need to be included in a potential deal).

I also have no doubts that Rubio and Arenas can play in the same backcourt. Their games can in fact be quite complementary in most scenarios. Rubio is a penetrate and dish guard, which will relieve Arenas of the pressure of being our only guard on the floor who can accelerate to the basket... and take the attendant physical pounding. Rubio's set shot will come around soon enough, as well. Rose, Paul, Brooks and Rondo are changing the nature of guard play in the NBA in their early 20s and Rubio matches their skill sets.

I also continue to believe that if our choice falls below #2 we should and will be prepared to deal the choice either before or immediately after our turn to draft comes up.

The Wizards really have some exciting options immediately ahead and it will be fascinating to see how this all works out.

Posted by: khrabb | May 12, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Rubio will be a bust, relative to being a top5 pick. It's just insane the stuff say about this kid who everyone admit cant shoot and has questionable physical skills. Someone in this thread mentioned him as a 19yr old and Lebron. Come on.

The spanish league is nice, but Louis Scola was MVP there 2 years ago. He's a solid player, but no one is confusing him with a franchise type player you look for at #2.

This Rubio is stuff is a great study in the power of unadulterated hype. Look at his numbers, watch him play...the substance isnt there. No way he is worth the #2 pick in the draft. If he develops, it will take years.

Youtube phenom

Posted by: divi3 | May 12, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

manifest: "If Arenas can't play, it's time for management to blow up the team."

I suspect if Arenas can't play, they'll be tempted to blow up the team, starting with Ernie Grunfeld.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 12, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Our biggest need certainly IS Point Guard.

Even if Gil is reasonably healthy, do we want him playing 40 min a game again because we suck without him? james, crit, and AD(08/09 version) proved that a subpar PG = lottery.

I like Rubio, but we'd be better off getting a vet PG to backup Gil who is at least as good as AD was before he got suddenly old. If there is a chance that Rubio can be that guy, fine take him. Otherwise, we really need a PG that can play a little with Gil, but also competently run an offense while giving Gil a rest. That's a 20 min/game guy.

Posted by: cballer | May 12, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Make no mistake, GRUNFELD is doing the picking not SAUNDERS. I'd be surprised if he even has a sayso in the selection process. If GRIFFIN's not available, I think ERNIE G will try to get some defensive #5 either through the draft or trade of the pick and players. It's obvious ETAN is not coming back, not that he was all that to begin with.

Posted by: glawrence007 | May 12, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I keep telling you JaVARIS CRITTENTON is THE future PG in EG's mind at this point. That trade with DANIELS was all about him. GRUNFELD may take a PG, but only as the best available player.

Posted by: glawrence007 | May 12, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Stick with sales coach. It was obvious the WIZARDS were going nowhere without a healthy THOMAS and HAYWOOD. ETAN's return will resolve NOTHING. HAYWOOD is all the WIZ have where it counts. Which is why I repeat. This draft and its ramifications will be around the #5 slot.

Posted by: glawrence007 | May 12, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

cballer. No #5 caused the fall to the lottery. Sorry.

Posted by: glawrence007 | May 12, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget Gil had 20 assists and 1 turnover in his 2 games this season. With all the rust of missing 70 games, he was still INSTANTLY seeing the game better than anyone else on the roster.

Gil is our pg and our franchise player. Period. We have no use for Rubio, and he cant help us this year anyway. Further, the idea his leadership skills are an asset we cant pas up....what? He's a teenager who probably isnt fluent in english and he is going to lead 3 nba all-star vets??

Where do these notions come from?

If Gil is healthy we can win 45-50 games this upcoming season, but will be defensively deficient like we always are. That's why we need some strength and grit at 4, and why we can hope win the lotto and get Griffin.

Otherwise, get and arm and a leg from some team foolish enough to think Rubio is their savior.

Posted by: divi3 | May 12, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

For the Second Pick in the Draft.

What is golden and a sure fire way to build this team for now and the future is you craft a deal with a team thats wants Rubio and you do a sign and trade along with James and Thomas for there first round pick and one player.

If the expiring contracts are as golden as have be proported on this blog, then that is a doable trade.

That allows the Wizards to use there two picks in the draft and opens a slot for the player from the traded Team.

Remember Everyone, The Wizards have only one free slot (Juan Dixon). That means we do not have a slot to sign our second round pick.

Use the second pick on Rubio for a Team that wants him and will accept two expiring golden contracts for their 1st rounder in return and a player.

The key is we really don't need a great player from. We just want to swap 1st round picks, have them take two slots from us for one of theres, and voila, we get to sign two players from the draft that makes this Team stronger in the long run, without sacrefising our immediate goals.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 12, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Everyone is focusing on someone to come in here and make the Team better.

The focus should be on getting rid of dead contracts and replace them with draft picks of EG's and Flip Saunders choosing.

LarryInClintonMd.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 12, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards don't need a guard who can beat his man of the dribble, get to the hole, finish, distribute, play good defense?

Posted by: segastyle | May 12, 2009 1:49 PM

No, the Wizards don't need a guard like that, because Javaris Crittendon and Gilbert Arenas will be able to fill those shoes better than most guards in the League.

Those of you that do not realize yet that JC and GA are ready to to display some of the best guard play in the League better go buy some popcorn and sit back and watch. Cause you waste your time trying to still figure who is gonna do that for the Wizards, you gonna miss the show.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 12, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

They shouldn't be taking a PG in the first round because PG is the least of their needs. As a matter of fact, it's not really a need at all.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 12, 2009 1:38 PM

And in case you folks did not know, Kalo_rama is a tough one to bring around to your point of view and I betcha' he drinks his coffee black and he loves to bust my chops when he thinks I'm out in left field, but check this out.

I have no illusion of giving a man his props when due, Read My Words, He Is Absolutely Correct.

We do not need Rubio here. However, I can definitly see using him as bait to get somebody we really do need.

Iffin' Ya' Don't Kno' Ya' Beddar' Ask Somebode.'

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 12, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget Gil had 20 assists and 1 turnover in his 2 games this season. With all the rust of missing 70 games, he was still INSTANTLY seeing the game better than anyone else on the roster.

Gil is our pg and our franchise player. Period. We have no use for Rubio, and he cant help us this year anyway. Further, the idea his leadership skills are an asset we cant pas up....what? He's a teenager who probably isnt fluent in english and he is going to lead 3 nba all-star vets??

Where do these notions come from?

If Gil is healthy we can win 45-50 games this upcoming season, but will be defensively deficient like we always are. That's why we need some strength and grit at 4, and why we can hope win the lotto and get Griffin.

Otherwise, get and arm and a leg from some team foolish enough to think Rubio is their savior.

Posted by: divi3 | May 12, 2009 11:06 PM

DIVI3,

I could not say it any better. That would be correct.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 12, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Name the last team to win a championship with a score first point gaurd.

---------

the spurs?

Posted by: crs-one | May 13, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

"And yes, Crittenton could develop into a solid back up in his 3rd season."

JPRS,

It really continues to amaze why so many bloggers think JC at his best is just a back up.

There are numerous 1,2 and 3 year players in this league that are starters or major contributors on their Team. The only reason that they are is because they are talented and their coaches gave them the chance to play, develop and prove themselves.

I have no doubt at all that with Flip Saunders as coach next year that Javaris Crittendon and Javal McGee will be major contributors on this Team and at times will start on this Team.

What is it 'rounds here to always think that rookies and 1, 2, and 3 year players got to ride the bench?

What is it 'rounds here to think that the only way to get to a championship is to get rid of our best players and pick up somebody else's players than ain't never won nothing either?

What is it JPRS? Just why do you think that at best Crittendon is jus' a backup?

What basketball proof do you have that he is just a backup?

Come on man, you got to be joking.

LarryInClintonMD.

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

"And no, I did not say anywhere that the Wizards intentions are clear."

Yes, you did.

"you are voicing your own opinion, and your own interpretation of the teams' needs and stated intentions."

Posted by: JPRS | May 12, 2009 4:43 PM

So unless you now wish to try and claim that their stated intentions were somehow unclear (which, y'know, would defeat the entire point of stating them) we can move on.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 13, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

"I suspect if Arenas can't play, they'll be tempted to blow up the team, starting with Ernie Grunfeld."

I think that if Arenas can't play then Grunfeld will be even more determined to leverage expendable assets (picks, expiring contracts, young players) to get in someone who will have an impact right away, because he knows that if he doesn't he may be out of a job. And I think Pollin will go along because he knows he may not be around long enough to see the a rebuilding effort pay off.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 13, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Kalo & Samson151

Drop me an e-mail at mcmillank@washpost.com if you would.

As for everyone else, heck of a discussion today. Pick No. 3 should be up midday tomorrow.

Posted by: Keith McMillan | May 13, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Rubio is the clear choice.

We need youth. I know we have a lot of it, but none of it is proven. D-Mac has made great strides, he's tough, an overachiever, etc., but his ceiling is DECENT NBA STARTER. Mcghee has the most promise, but at this point, remains just that. Young has been a disappointment. He is still infatuated with highlights, an indifferent defensive presence and after two years in the NBA, lacking the maturity he should now have. Crittendon hustles, but lacks the effortless talent and strategic intangibles to be a starting floor leader. Blatche may become a solid role player yet... or laze his way out of the NBA. Stevenson is over, Songalia, older and that's about it for our future: One kid with promise, one decent starter, and three marginal, role player/back-up types. As for our 'Big 3', Jamison has already started his decline, Gil may never be the same player, and Butler, though still effective, is past NBA middle age and showing it with nagging injuries. We need a future. This team is not one player away from a championship, wasn't three years ago, either, when it peaked, its starters younger and healthy. Trading our pick for an aged vet will only hasten our decline. Teams do not get the chance to draft top two - or five - whatever happens very often. When you do, you better swing for the fences and hope you get the type of star a future championship can be built around. After Griffin, Rubio, is our best swing. Those of you who haven't seen him and question his NBA potential should watch the Olympic finals, in which he had (at age 17, a high school Junior) a brilliant half against the best the NBA has to offer.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 13, 2009 2:33 AM | Report abuse

How is it that Rubio doesn't have a reliable jump shot, but he is a great playmaker with the potential to be among the league's elite point guards while Crittenden (who is bigger, probably faster and also a very good passer) is the next Alvin Williams.

Looking like Pistol Pete doesn't make you Pistol Pete. The correct move is to draft Rubio, assess his skills in summer league while also perusing offers for him. Then trade him to one of these teams that has a mancrush on him for a bundle of picks or a vet big who is young and can play defense and rebound.

Posted by: original_mark | May 13, 2009 7:17 AM | Report abuse

We're still talking about needing a pg who can play good defense? PG's don't kill us. Big men do.
Gil is not and has not been the problem. The problem is that our forwards play no defense. CB and AJ are turnstiles and our center (BTH) is an average rebounder.
I agree with Kal. PG is NOT our biggest need. A big who rebounds and plays D is. If he can score and get the other team in some foul trouble, even better. Blake or bust.

Posted by: original_mark | May 13, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

original_mark:

NOW you're talkin'.

Posted by: glawrence007 | May 13, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

O-Mark, I watched Blake play about 30 of his college games this year. He's the best player available in my mind at this point. But, don't get yourself all hyped up about him being a good defender, because at this point he's not.

He's got all the tools and seems to be very coachable from everything I've seen. But he sure isn't a lock down defender, but on the Wizards he won't be asked to expend nearly the effort on offense that he did in college.

Defensively, Thabeet is still the one player in this draft that has the potential to be game changing defensive stud. In some ways I still see him as the better fit with the Wizards, not the better player, just the one that improves the team the most where it needs improvement.

Center is still the sore spot on this team. And the Wiz need another true center worse then they need help at any other position. I've read here we should trade for one. Name one that's available.

But, if the Wiz draw the 1st or second pick they almost have to pick either Griffin or Rubio. Even if Rubio is flipped in a trade later.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 13, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

#2 Pick Rubio...TRADE HIM to the suns...along with Etan Thomas and Mike James. Rubio would fit in that system and we need a post player ummmmm AMARE comes to mind. How many solid 4's are in the east? The wiz could potentially have one of the more talented and deeper front courts in the league...Haywood, McGee, Jamison, Amare, Blatche. In the post season, the BIG'S sun the show. Couple the front court with a back court of Gilbert, Nick, Caron, Deshawn (healthy), Crittenden. We don't need a roster overhaul, we need to clear cap space and get bigger and stronger at the 4. Our bigs will be better than Orlandos bigs, Better than Bostons Bigs. Rasheed Wallace won't be in Detroit next near so we'll be better than their bigs. Cleveland may slow us but not stop us.

Posted by: Gooddad | May 13, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

"I hate to be the one to tell you people this but the Wiz are not built to win. Name the last team to win a championship with a score first point gaurd."

Well, this might be stretching it a bit, but Kobe actually plays the point quite a bit, and did so when the Lakers won their rings. It's a bit like what Phil Jackson did with Michael Jordan -- the second guard was primarily a shooter.

I'd consider Tony Parker a score-first point guard. You wouldn't?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 13, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

divi: "Let's not forget Gil had 20 assists and 1 turnover in his 2 games this season. With all the rust of missing 70 games, he was still INSTANTLY seeing the game better than anyone else on the roster."

I was really impressed by that, and by how much better the team was with him on the court, even when his shot didn't fall. Still, that's probably overoptimistic on my part. Two games late in a lost season is better than nothing, but it's not much of a predictor for this coming year.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 13, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

"The correct move is to draft Rubio, assess his skills in summer league while also perusing offers for him. Then trade him to one of these teams that has a mancrush on him for a bundle of picks or a vet big who is young and can play defense and rebound.Posted by: original_mark"

The problem with that is Rubio's value will likely never be higher than on draft day. It's like an auction. Once you've let the goods sit out in the light where everybody can get a good, long look, their value tends to decrease.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 13, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz are not going to win a best-of-seven series against a legitimate playoff team with him doing his thoroughly convincing matador impression in the lane.

Package whatever you have to package, but get a legitimate center. What was the Lakers' undoing last year? The huge gap in the middle after Bynum got hurt.

If (despite having two superb PFs) having no real center can derail a serious contender led by one of the best players and arguably the most successful coach in the game's history, how can the Wiz and their fans act like their obvious roster deficiency doesn't matter enough even to be part of the discussion?

Posted by: salescoach | May 12, 2009 6:45 PM

Salescoach,

That would be so not true. The obvious reason is within words as posted.

The reason is you are comparing Haywood to a forward. In case you do not realize it, Haywoood is a legetimate NBA center who knows intellectually how to play the game.

If the Lakers would have had him at Center last year in the absence of Bynum, he would have faired better than anyone they threw in.

Haywood's play at the Center adds to Team effectiveness. You are making the same mistake all Haywood bashers make by looking at the numbers.

And lastly, the matador comment is totally not true, especially when you are backing up weak defensive play from several of your teammates.

And what Team pray tell is going to give up a center better than Haywood? None. Why? Other GM's that have centers better than Haywood would not be foolish enough to part with them.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 13, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

'Those of you who haven't seen him and question his NBA potential should watch the Olympic finals, in which he had (at age 17, a high school Junior) a brilliant half against the best the NBA has to offer.'

SammyT1- did you see Rubio play in Bejing? I am beginning to think no one really did, and it's just become accepted belief he was "brilliant." Here is the truth:

In 2 games against Team USA he played a total of 47 minutes and had ONE BUCKET. ONE. To go with 6 assists and a 20%fg.

I guarantee you Steve Blake as a sr at MD would have played just as well or better, and no one would want him at #2.

For the Olympics, Rubio averaged 5/4/3 and 16% beyond the arc. Pedestrian at best, I just dont see the substance. And I certainly cant get behind drafting the one euro ever who cant shoot!

Instead of buying into hype about Rubio, look at Gil's brief appearances this season. Clearly he is taking it upon himself to facilitate, and when the rust comes off his jumper he will be deadly!

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

"I hate to be the one to tell you people this but the Wiz are not built to win. Name the last team to win a championship with a score first point gaurd."

That statement might hold some water but there is clear fallacy in it. I know as of right now Gilbert is penciled in at the point, but, Gilbert is dynamite shooting guard.

Is why I believe that as the season progresses and it could be sooner rather than later, that Gilbert will move to the 'two' and JC will run the point and don't be surprised if Ty Lawson might not end up here in anticipation of that move.

Especially, if we draft and trade Rubio for a lower 1st rounder.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 13, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Larry- how about Tyreke Evans as a potential 2guard? I think Gil is going to stay at 1, but who knows

Posted by: divi3 | May 13, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Divi3, no knock against Evans at all, a solid prospect, but it would be like crowding the elevator. Stevenson, Young, and some say Butler, and even if Gil stays at the 1, he still I think is going to be the primary shooter.

But, I thought for sure Tyreke was more a point also. Even if he is a 2, doesn't he control the ball also?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 13, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

One other thing about Rubio. If we get the 2nd pick and Blake is gone, I would not sign Rubio unless I had my trade gaurantee first.

Rubio in my opinion is not a 2nd pick for this Team to keep. If we draft Rubio to keep, that would really be dumb.

Can you imagine the underpinning problems if he turned out not to be as good as portrayed.

That is a gamble I am not willing to take.

He is far from a can't miss prospect.

There is no evidence out there that I have seen that he is, and if there are Teams that believe he is, I have two expiring contracts you can have for him for your 1st round pick and a player.

Thank You Very Much,

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 13, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I've always thought that the Wiz with a healthy Arenas really aren't hurting that much in the backcourt.

Though I don't see Gil becoming a fulltime 2, I do see the likelyhood of Gil sliding between the one and the two, and along with Young and Crittenton forming a solid three guard rotation. If Stevenson returns to health, he can be the 4th guard and is an decent defender and spot up shooter when he has a guy like Arenas to get him open.

The light started to go on for Young down the stretch. Funny that happened about the time he started scrimaging with Gil quite a bit.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 13, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Our main goal is to win in the coming two years,a minimum to be in the eastern confrence final.We can not make adjustments ,trades with "ifs". We need to work expecting atleast 80% pre injury Arenas to play 82 games(35-40) minutes.our focus should be to fulfil the weakness.We are the not a good defenssive team, we do not have a complete SG that can play at both ends, we do not have that perfect man in PF position.If we win the 2 pick we need to draft the right player,no need to pass him, no need to trade him for higher picks.we need to explor the trade market until the mid season trade date.our plan is unique, just like the 2007-2008 boston, we need to do things only to win.There are multiple packages that change our defense with out affecting our offense.
Bosh is a complete player he can take us to the next level, boozer is old and not a defenssive player but if we get him with out trading jamison it is fine.I do not think the sun's power forward is a good defenssive player, he is not better than jamison in rebounding, lee is also not a good defender but he is an excellent rebounder and would be the 4th obtion in offense.we need players like posey for defense & 3 point shooting. if we draft blake and keep him, work on trade to get posey, we will win 50 games

Posted by: gtefferra | May 13, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Probably going to get a lot of flak for this one. I'm ready.

I personally would take Ricky Rubio even with the #1 pick!!! For one thing, The Wiz have plenty of bigs. Any true Wiz fan can see that we are in DESPERATE need of a legitimate point guard -- one who specializes in getting our main offensive players the ball in their sweet spots. The point guard is the engine that drives the team. Let's compare last year's draft and Rose/Beasley to this year's potential draft of Griffin/Rubio.

Look at what Rose did for Chicago in this, his rookie season. While Beasley certainly is going to be a great NBA player, and he obviously helped make Miami a better team, if you compare the effect they had on their respective teams, in my opinion, it is a no-brainer. Derrick took a 50-loss team from the year before, got them to the playoffs, and then gave the C's all they could handle and then some in the first round this year. (Although Miami had a greater turnaround, we can attribute the greater portion of that turnaround to the return of a healthy D-Wade.) Then look at what Chris Paul and Deron Williams do for their respective teams (and yes, I would put Rubio in the same category as they were when they were rookies) and you get my gist.

It is clear to me, given the way this team is currently structured, that a Ricky Rubio could elevate this team to at least a perennial playoff contender for years to come. I personally place more value on a great point guard than on any other position on the court, and if you have a chance to draft a great one, how can you let him get away?

Who would you rather have, Michael Beasley or Derrick Rose? As far as I'm concerned, that's the choice we have this year with Griffin and Rubio. I will guarantee that if Rubio is available when we pick and we don't draft him, we will regret it for years to come.

Remember, you heard it here first!

(My apologies if this was already addressed in prior posts. Didn't get a chance to read all of them yet.)

Posted by: bpybay | May 13, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"SammyT1- did you see Rubio play in Bejing? I am beginning to think no one really did, and it's just become accepted belief he was "brilliant." Here is the truth: In 2 games against Team USA he played a total of 47 minutes and had ONE BUCKET. ONE. To go with 6 assists and a 20%fg."

Actually, in the first game he had eight points (1-4 from the field, 5-6 from the line), three assists and four steals in 18 minutes.

In the second, he had six points (1-3 from field, 4-4 from the line), six rebounds, three assists and three steals in 28 minutes.

His shot needs work, no doubt, but he gets to the line, makes his free throws, was a terror in steals, rebounded well for a point guard against an elite NBA team, got his entire team involved by looking to pass before shooting and had more than a few transcendent moments that had Kidd and Paul scratching their heads. All at the age of 17. For those of you who question his athleticism, Chris Paul had this to say about him:

http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/fibaEven/olymMen/p/newsid/28714/arti.html

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 15, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

See:

http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/fibaEven/olymMen/p/newsid/28714/arti.html

Against Team USA he averaged 23 minutes, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game, not bad for a 17 year old against the best players in the NBA. His effort did not just show up in the box score, either. His marshaled his team confidently, was a constant presence and pest on the ball, ran the break as well as anyone at the Olympics and looked effortless in a high stakes game. The gold medal game can be downloaded on several sites if you look for it.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 15, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

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