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Snap Reactions From Columnists

Post columnists Sally Jenkins, Thomas Boswell and Mike Wise e-mailed their opinions shortly after the announcement that the Wizards got the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA draft:

Sally Jenkins
Agggghhhhhhhh. My first thought is one long strangulated sound of I-knew-it frustration. It just figured they'd have the same stinking luck in the Bingo game as they did all season. Look, it wasn't a great year to win the lottery -- Blake Griffin isn't LeBron, Garnett, or Shaq, he's a very nice baby man with big hands and quick feet and not enough range yet. Still, it would have provided some relief from this Edgar Allen Poe-scripted miasma all of Washington sports seems to be in lately, this House of Usher thing.

Okay, the feeling has passed, and rational thought has returned. Maybe this isn't so awful. Griffin wasn't going to be the player who could make the whole franchise swerve. Ernie Grunfeld knows what to do with a five pick -- he has a knack of turning picks like that into Antawn Jamison. Maybe he can do something similar. They should deal. Get a veteran.

Thomas Boswell
That's classic Wizard's buzzard luck. I might have been tempted to be glib about it many years ago. Now I just feel bad for them. As you get a little older, you realize that lost chances -- even if they are only lottery chances -- are not funny. Odds are that the Wiz, and Abe, probably aren't going to get a shot at a player as highly regarded as Blake Griffin or Ricky Rubio in the draft for quite a while. And at No. 5 overall, they'll need brilliance or true luck to get a great player or make a remarkable trade. Truly, too bad.

The Caps stumbled into Alex Ovechkin when their lottery odds in '04 were not even in the top five in the NHL. The Nats will luck into Stephen Strasburg next month because injuries in '08 knocked them down from a bad team to the very worst team -- the only way they'd get him. Now, the Wiz suffer the insult of the worst possible lottery result added to all the injuries that sent them to a 19-win season. Everybody here in the Nationals Park press box, even writers from Pittsburgh, shook their head when they heard and said, "You've got to be kidding." But it's no joke.

Mike Wise
This is what happens when you leave your season to chance. If the Wizards can learn anything by securing the worst-possible pick they could have in Tuesday's draft lottery, it's this: putting any stock into David Stern's roulette wheel does nothing but bring headaches to this franchise. No. 5? Is that James Harden, Jordan Hill or, more than likely, the pick that gets shipped elsewhere to bring in an experienced big man before the window of opportunity closes on the Arenas-Butler-Jamison era? I don't know. I do know Blake Griffin is not coming to Washington until the L.A. Clippers' annual visit. And Ricky Rubio isn't coming either. And no matter how you slice it, that's a sad day for an NBA team who's had a season's worth of sad days lately.

By Alexa Steele  |  May 20, 2009; 9:48 AM ET
 
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Next: The Options At No. 5

Comments

Agreed. It's disappointing, but not that unlikely given that we had a less than 50/50 chance of getting Griffin or Rubio to begin with.

I do not understand why everyone has the Wiz taking Harden when DeRozan is available. DeRozan dominated the end of last season, and he has Kobe-like size and athleticism. To me, DeRozan is a no-brainer at 5. I'd take him at 3, given that Monroe and Davis chose to stick around the college game.

Posted by: Dellis2 | May 20, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"I do not understand why everyone has the Wiz taking Harden when DeRozan is available. DeRozan dominated the end of last season, and he has Kobe-like size and athleticism. To me, DeRozan is a no-brainer at 5. I'd take him at 3, given that Monroe and Davis chose to stick around the college game.Posted by: Dellis2"

He's an interesting guy. All the athleticism you could want, plus a reliably mid-range jump-shot. Not all that common these days. However he doesn't seem to have a 3 point shot at all. What's he hitting, one a game? That's not a plus for a SG.

He's raw. Sort of the opposite of Harden in that respect. Big upside, definitely. But isn't that what they always say about incredibly athletic players who need to develop skills?

If the Wiz are looking for immediate contribution, they probably won't find it here. Maybe some other squad would be interested, however.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Which young gun would you be willing to part with in a packaged deal for a veteran?

Obviously Etan and MJ are going to be pushed and then one more player....

We need either a 2 (NY),4 (Blatche), or 5 (Haywood,Etan)

Posted by: BurgwithaU | May 20, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Oh and stevenson also, he may be gone

Posted by: BurgwithaU | May 20, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

(Posted yesterday at noon--Sorry Tried to warn ya.)

Peeps, this is the Wizards. Don't forget that. First pick? Forgetaboutit!!
If it wasn't for bad luck they would have none at all. Not only won't they get the top pick, they probably wont end up with the 2nd or 3rd either.
But not to worry, Arenas plays less than 20 games next year before going down for good.
Onward and upward.
Posted by: dovelevine | May 19, 2009 12:45 PM

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Damn! Now that post above was positively negative. Jeeze lets not hope Gilbert goes down again next year for good. Gil will be fine and so will the Wiz next year. I said it hear first folks. Hopefully they will deal Stevenson,James and Etan. Maybe someone will take them and you could throw in Nick Young along with the pick to give the trade a little sparkle.

Posted by: ivyleague | May 20, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree with folks who say it makes the most sense to try to make a deal with this pick. Yes, another D.Wade may be lurking out that at #6, but we're more likely to find Calbert Cheney.

Bottom line, lets try to package the #5, a young gun and expiring for a good quality SG like a Rip Hamilton (OK, perhaps this is on the high side, but you get my meaning). Lets work with the 4-5 year window in front of us instead of continuing to stockpile fair to middling young talent that we don't seem to be interested in developing.

Posted by: ndickover | May 20, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Trade the pick. They Wizards have $14 mil in expiring contracts and a lottery pick. They can should be able to turn that into something.

Posted by: Tempy_McJobhunt | May 20, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the Wiz should consider signing Ty Lawson. They need a force, not simply a contributor. He has great instincts on what to do with the ball (low turnover ratio) and he'd be great either off the bench or with Gil on the floor (or if he's injured). Maybe the Wiz can find a PF trading Young, Stevenson, Thomas, and James.

Posted by: richs91 | May 20, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Why do the basketball gods hate us? I just read on espn that Blake wanted to go to OKC or DC. Ugh.

All this talk about trading down or trading out, what about trading up? Wiz only have one roster spot open anyways, why not try to trade the 5th and 32nd picks for the 2nd pick. Griz have that pick but don't need another young pg, they've got conley and just traded away critt and lowry. There biggest need is at pf. There young at every other position (besides conley they have mayo at sg, gay at sf and gasol at c). 2 is too high to take Jordan Hill, the 2nd rated pf, and he'll still be there at 5 (kings just drafted a pf last year). Griz can move down, gain a pick and still get their man. If we can't get griffen why not go after rubio if he's there for the taking.

Posted by: detox04 | May 20, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I think Detroit would make Kwame available for the draft pick.
Welcome home, Mr. Brown!

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | May 20, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

BTW Anyone see in the Lakers game last night that after Melo made a three (around the 61 point mark) they called it a 2. But the announcers said they were gonna review it. Then they showed it on TV and it was definitely a 3. But the never changed it. And it came down to 1 point. Because if they had counted it, the Nuggets would have only been down by 2 not by 3 at the end. Why wasn't that point added back on. It wasn't even close. It was definitely a 3?? Knew when it happened it was going to be a deciding factor.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"THE WIZARDS ARE SUCH IDIOTS!!!!!! THESE MORONS DON'T EVEN REALIZE THEY SHOULD BE TRYING TO LOSE SO THEY'LL GET THE NUMBER 1 PICK AND TAKE BLAKE GRIFFIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -TYPICAL WIZARDS INSIDER COMMENT, 2009

This was the most common type of comment on the Wizards Insider blog for the better part of the six month season. And no matter how many times it was pointed out to these buffoons that the NBA lottery was created just for those kinds of shenanigans, and that finishing with the NBA's worst record still gave them a 75% chance of NOT getting the first pick, these buffoons kept coming with these comments, displaying total disregard for basic probability.

In some ways, I am almost happy that we didn't get the first pick. Maybe in some distant season many light years from now, these same fools who commented endlessly about how "stupid" Ed Tapscott, Ernie Grunfeld, and the rest of the Wizards brass were for not throwing games, maybe they will think twice about making such asinine comments next time.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 20, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Take Stephen Curry and let Stevenson, the Poet and James go in a veteran big trade or two. Isn't the Matrix available this off season?

Curry is bound to be star w/his Bball IQ and those passing skills. The issue that's created is a glut w/Young, Dixon and Curry all fighting for minutes. Also... they can NOT let Dixon go. He's a star in this town, a solid defender and a great 6/7th man. In my 'take Curry' scenario Young becomes a starter for when Stevenson would normally play (when one of the big three are hurt).

Posted by: sgoodfel1 | May 20, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards once won the lottery and drafted future hall of famer Kwame Brown, so winning the 1st pick isn't always a great thing. I'm not sold on this Ricky Rubio kid. The comparisons w/ Pistol Pete have to do mostly w/ the floppy hair. The team that picks him might ultimately feel the same way as the Pistons did when they drafted another future hall of famer, Darko Milicic

Posted by: randysbailin | May 20, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Barno1, totally agree with you. I made the same comment like three blog posts back and had been saying all year not to tank. Now that I think of it I totally blame this on Dixon. If he hadn't given the last home game away against Toronto by repeatedly throwing the ball away at the end, we would have had the third worse spot and the clippers number combinations and the 1st pick.

Posted by: detox04 | May 20, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

What does anyone think of Tyreke Evans, the guard from Memphis? I saw him for the first time in the NCAA tournament, and he looked like he could score at will, and that his speed and athletecism would translate well at the NBA level. Is he too raw for a 5 pick? I think the writing is on the wall for Gilbert Arenas. Too many injuries and missed games.

Posted by: salbright | May 20, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Detox04, great point. I love ya Juan but you cost us Blake Griffin.

Posted by: Barno1 | May 20, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

detox04 ,

You do realize that's not how it works, right?

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Take Stephen Curry and let Stevenson, the Poet and James go in a veteran big trade or two. Isn't the Matrix available this off season? Also... they can NOT let Dixon go. He's a star in this town, a solid defender and a great 6/7th man.
Posted by: sgoodfel1 | May 20, 2009 11:01 AM

you're either an idiot or you're joking. not only is deshawn the best defenders in the division, but Juan Dixon is A TERRIBLE defender! 6/7th man?? he didnt even dress this season!

Posted by: prescrunk | May 20, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

This is why the NBA is so stupid. Who in their right might would come up with a lottery pick, other than a lame TV type person. I mean, how can a team tied with the worst record make a pick any higher than 2nd??

Posted by: Ireland2 | May 20, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Assuming the Wizards front office is committed to a starting lineup that includes:

C Haywood
PF Jamison
SF Butler
PG Arenas

SG seems like the spot where the team would most like to improve via the draft or a trade. Since they've got a decent bench SG in Nick Young who has yet to prove if he's worthy to become a starter, I don't know that they'd look to draft another at that position. I think I'd like Harden better than Curry just because Curry still seems like another Juan Dixon to me. Great college player, great heart, love their character... small for an NBA SG, and PG is not their natural position. (Curry played a lot of minutes at point in college, but he's a better spot-up shooter without the ball. He wouldn't get minutes at point in Washington behind Arenas and Crit.)

My guess is Washington will trade the #5 pick in a package with expiring contracts and possibly one of their younger players to land a quality upgrade at SG. Michael Redd or Rip Hamilton would both sound good to me, if they could land a player at that level.

I'd like to see Washington add a front court player who could intimidate in the closing minutes on the defensive end and grab rebounds throughout the game, but I don't think they'll put Jamison on the bench to make that happen. If they think of McGuire and Stephenson (if they keep him) as defensive players off the bench, that could help but Haywood appears to be the only guy they've got who really wants to bang down low... maybe Songaila is who they'll look to for more short term help inside. I like him as a bench player.

Posted by: gophercrow | May 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The chances of getting Griffin were always small. 2-10 there's a lot of players with similar pedigrees but wildly different opinions on where they'll go.

One board has Evans as the third best player in the country, others have him not going in the top 15. Garnett was a 5 pick coming out, back then there were questions about him. Kobe went, I beleive at, #10. So this is where Grunfeld, Suanders, and the scouts, all need to get on the same page and find the guy that Suanders beleives in.

One of the problems with Wizards player development since Grunfeld has been here is that Ernie and Eddie didn't always seem to be on the same page. Listening to a couple of Eddie's post firing interviews, it seems clear he didn't think he was provide the players that he wanted.

Grunfeld and Suanders are going to have to get their heads together on this pick. There's some real talent to be had at the 5, it's just finding the guy that the head coach is convinced is right for the situation.

This will be the first big test of the Suanders/Grunfeld marriage. I'd still rather be picking at 5 then at 14. At that point you might still get a very good player, but chances are he might not fit the situation.

My gut tells me the Wiz keep the pick, but engineer another trade not involving the draft pick. It would have been nice to move up, but the only time the Wiz managed to do it they got Kwame Brown.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 20, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Some people just don't get it. Hello???

Posted by: Dave381 | May 20, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

kalo, the juan thing was tongue in cheek response to juan is a great 6/7th man

Posted by: detox04 | May 20, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Bullets Suck!!

Posted by: jwing14 | May 20, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Is the difference between Nick Young and DeRozan that much that you draft DeRozan? Now if you want to gamble that DeRozan will be Kobe-like, I would draft him. If he will be Nick-like, I would not.

Why would we draft Curry and start him next to Gil? Talk about the wiz being a bad defensive team! Ouch!!!! And for his size, Curry ain't Iverson.

The real fact of the matter is the Wiz need a thug or enforcer! A brute! A silver-haired gorilla! Everybody else is redundant. Is Blair that person? Not with #5, too short. Can Hill be one, probably not, questionable instincts.

Maybe take Tyreke Evans. At least he is different than Nick, Critt, and Gil and has potential.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 20, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

or Harden. He is different than what we have too. My bad

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

curry or evans. curry can ball, whoever compared him to dixon doesn't watch a lot of basketball. the kid can shoot from anywhere and get his own shot. evans is a sick athlete that can play both guard spots.

Posted by: the_shocker1 | May 20, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

" just read on espn that Blake wanted to go to OKC or DC. Ugh."

Yes, the Clips don't seem like an ideal home for the guy. Not that they don't need him; their only PFs are 32 year old Brian Skinner and that wandering doorstop, Zach Randolph. They're OK at center with Camby and Kaman, and Al Thornton and Eric Gordon can shoot. Baron Davis is unhappy but... he's unhapppy most places.

But the Clips?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

trade jamison to somebody that has an extra big guy - like cleveland which has the bald guy and the fuzzy-haired guy - pick a SG at #5 - and hope gilbert is ok. update resume in case he's not.

Posted by: stevie2 | May 20, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

gman11: "A silver-haired gorilla!"

Maybe you meant a silverback gorilla. A gorill covered in silver hair would just be funny-looking.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

thanks Samson. I aint too proud to be corrected.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 20, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"detox04, You do realize that's not how it works, right? Posted by: kalo_rama"

He should if indeed he hasn't been back to detox since '04.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

gman11: "thanks Samson. I aint too proud to be corrected."

I'm just glad we don't have to sign a funny-looking player.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot of speculation about trading the pick, but I'm not sure there's a lot value. Who's going to want the pick? It's not a loaded draft, and there seems to be a lot of debate about who even belongs in that second tier below Rubio and Griffin. I'm all for trading the pick, but I'm not sure we'll get any good offers.

Posted by: manifested | May 20, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

If we stay at 5 it should be Harden or Evans. I would perfer Harden just because he is ready to play now. Hes a crafty guy that can score in multiple ways.

Evans has more upside and has been compared to two former Wizards in Hughes and Stackhouse.

I hope that Ernie can work his magic and bring in a quality vet to help this team take the next step.

Anybody have any idea about the possible bigs that we could go after not named Bosh or Stoudemire??

Posted by: DMoney28 | May 20, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

And what about babyface Davis. I just read on espn that he's becoming a free agent. He is not really your big time rebounder and shot blocker, but he had a good run during the playoffs and can bang around with his weight. I haven't watched him playing that much because (mainly) of the time difference in Holland (europe)so I don't know if he's a good on D. Just a thought...

Posted by: Goelez | May 20, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Expect to see some trades. The "best player available" at each slot doesn't match up with the needs of the team with the pick at each slot.

The Clippers have a big, immovable contract at the PF position in Zach Randolph. Likewise, they have big contracts devoted to the C and PG positions in Camby/Kaman and Baron Davis. They will likely be looking to trade one of those players and/or move down to pick later in the draft.

Memphis is in position to take Rubio, but they already have Conley and O.J. Mayo. They may decide to take Thabeet instead.

OKC picks next and also already has a young point guard with lots of upside in Westbrook. If Griffin and Thabeet are both already gone, they may look to make a move.

Sacramento would have loved to have any of the top three to play alongside their veteran swingmen, but they ended up with the fourth pick. They will be looking to make a move while simultaneously praying that Rubio drops into their lap. If they can't trade and their prayers aren't answered, there's no telling what they'll end up doing.


Posted by: yop32 | May 20, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Not that he is that good, but with the Wizards bad luck there isn't going to be an Alex Ovechkins riding into town to save the team.

So, more of the same. An older roster of players who have yet to prove that they can win anything as a unit plugging ahead and hoping for a better outcome in 2009-2010.

The NBA draft is a joke.

The NFL, NHL and MLB all award the picks based upon order of finish.

The NBA consistently gives top picks to clubs that don't deserve them.

If you aren't going to give the worst club the top pick, why not give the NBA Champion the top pick to reward achievement?

Posted by: leopard09 | May 20, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone so high on Rubio and not Stephen Curry or Ty Lawson. We know what they can do we’ve seen what they can do and Ty is homegrown. Mark my words we will watch both of them eat Rubio’s Weathies. Blake Griffin is overrated, who’s making this all up, the experts. These are the same folks who said draft Oden (bust so far) over Durant, OK how about Bowie over Jordan. The only time they have gotten it right was LeBron James (and who missed that one) and he has been crowned the greatest and has not won jack! Just imagine if Jordan had the team James has had to work with thus far; how many rings would Jordan actually have. Enough, get a proven product, that is a winner at every leve, how about something home grown, Ty Lawson! If they decide on a big man why not Hansbrough, everyone knows what he can do. The Gizards won’t need him to score, how about rebounds and defense (they certainly could use that). They could get him real cheap the experts have him listed in the bottom third; trade the pick and get him. They even have Stephen and Ty listed lower than they are worth.

Posted by: mccannd3 | May 20, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

This post will no doubt be derided.

I suggest that, if we can, we package #5, Jamison, Stephenson, James, Dixon and, if necessary, Blatch, or any combination of them, in an effort to get a stellar big man who can score and rebound (like Bosh) and a point (yes, a point) guard who can break down defenses and dish off to Caron, Gil and the rest.

Jamison has a great many scoring and rebounding talents, but plays no defense at all. To my way of thinking, most every non-half-court offensive play begins with a strong defense, and those are the plays that result in easy baskets. Also, his foul shooting, especially at the end of games, is erratic, at best.

And, to my way of thinking, Gil is at heart a SG, albeit one with great PG abilities. I think his team effectiveness woould be even more fantastic were he playing along side a great PG.

Your Humble Servant,

JT from Placitas

Posted by: jutepper1 | May 20, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

David Lee.

Posted by: uptownjive | May 20, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the Caps finished with the third worse record in the league the year they won the NHL draft lottery. I think only one team can move up in the NHL draft, and they can only move up so many spots.

Posted by: larryn703 | May 20, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If you aren't going to give the worst club the top pick, why not give the NBA Champion the top pick to reward achievement?

Posted by: leopard09 |

God, I hope Stern doesn't read this blog.

Posted by: creativefunk | May 20, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

IMO the NHL lottery is the best. There is only one winner of the lottery and they can only move up four spots so that max other teams slide back is one spot.

Harden/Evans/DeRozan seem to be the pool of prospects that the Wiz will be picking from. For some reason I think it will come down to Evans/DeRozan.

Also I wonder if the Wiz could trade up to the Clippers slot and take Griffin...

Posted by: usiel3 | May 20, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

mccannd3,
Shouldn 't the wiz also consider Danny Green with the 5th, and maybe they can swing a deal for Sean May. Better yet, they could hire Eric Montross to coach-up McGee, and hire Sam Perkins to teach Nick Young how to bring it every night?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 20, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

chauncey stepped out of bounds on the three he canned to cut it back to 1 so I'd say it's even in regards to melo/nuggets getting denied their extra point

Posted by: bford1kb | May 20, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the rules preclude teams from trading picks until 30 days after they sign but it sure would be nice to give the Clips AJ, #5 and AB for Griffin. Good deal for both teams, actually. I'd take their garbage (Zach or Kaman) to make the numbers work.
If that's not enticing enough, how about AJ, #5 and JM for Griffin and garbage?

Yes I realize it would never happen but I'm just trying to distract myself from thinking about how we just got screwed in the lottery.

Posted by: original_mark | May 20, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

chauncey stepped out of bounds on the three he canned to cut it back to 1 so I'd say it's even in regards to melo/nuggets getting denied their extra point
Posted by: bford1kb

True. But the out of bounds step was never called. The other was called and was supposed to be reviewed. And was shown to be incorrect. And then it was just buried. Was there a review? They never came back to it. So it's really completely different.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 20, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

How about this...DeJuan Blair? I know he's short and is really only 6'7" but he has the wingspan of a 7'2" player and it's really about wingspan rather than height in this league. Elton Brand is probably about the same size but compensates with long arms. Rarely do you see a player that rebounds well in college that doesn't do so in the pros. (Nick Fazekas might be one).

I realize getting him so high is a stretch but we need rebounding from the PF position since our centers are average rebounders. We could always trade down and hope he's still there when we pick. I think Wes Unseld was probably about the same size and Wes in his prime would be a pretty good rebounder even today. Of course, he'd have to play PF but still...

Posted by: original_mark | May 20, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Please don't ever have Boswell use hockey as an analogy, especially when he botches an analogy involving the Caps.

1) The Caps finished with the third worst record in the league the year they got Ovechkin. Giving them the third best chance to get him.

2) On top of that in the NHL lottery only the worst five teams can end up with the first overall pick as no team can move more than four spots and only one team actually moves up at all.

Posted by: freakinandpeakin | May 20, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I read a Harden Comparison that said he is between Gilbert and Paul Pierce. Sounds like a perfect shooting guard. Also hes a lefty which can give guys fits. Avery Johnson made a career off only going left. Ginobli and Dalonte West are two examples of lefties that give people problems.

Posted by: AWizinLA | May 20, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

...with Blair, we would probably not have to worry about getting overpowered by the likes Maxiell, etc. any more. I can't see Blair getting pushed around. I think he's a hit or miss player..either very good or very average.

DeRozan's the guy if we stand pat. he can play the 2 or 3. We can go big with our 2nd unit with Critt, him at the 2, AB at the 3 and JM at the 5.

Posted by: original_mark | May 20, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

We might pull a Danny Ainge and bring in Chris Bosh, especially if Hasheem falls to us.

With Dominic and McGee working hard, it might light a fire under Andre Blatche's butt so that he works hard too and becomes a Kevin Garnett-like player. This is just his 4th(?) year and it took Garnett five to really blossom into an All-Star player.

Or, we could just draft a Quality Point guard like Ty Lawson (6'0") or Eric Maynor (6'3") and call it a day. I like their shooting more than Jonny Flynn. Then again, AJ Price will probably be available in the 2nd round (but who will match up better against the best point guards in the league?).

For Defense and Shot Blocking we continue to develop Blatche and McGee and maybe, just maybe, we will get something out of Etan.

Posted by: liveride | May 20, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the comment about college rebounding as an indication of competence in the NBA. For that reason, Jordan Hill has appeal.

Harden, Derozen, Evans, etc. seem like legit picks, but who knows which will be a boom or bust? They seem similar to what we all hope NY turns into.

If we trade the pick for a known quantity...

How about trading the #5 and Pech for Ronnie Brewer? Brewer/NY could be a good solution for the 2 guard. Brewer can't shoot the 3, but he is a lock-down defender who has a starter-worthy mid-range game. He is everything we all wish D-Mac or D-Steve could be - but sadly they just aren't near as good. Utah is already weighing the pros & cons of giving him an extension and are risking loosing Brewer after this year if he plays well and they need cash to sign their bigs or go after FAs. As for Pech, Utah is perhaps the only team in the leauge that might value a skinny Russian who shoots a lot.

Posted by: cballer | May 20, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Avery Johnson made a career off only going left."

Hmm? Avery Johnson's career scoring average is 8.5 points a game.

Maybe he should have tried going right occasionally.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Trade the pick for a veteran bigman which is a no-brainer. At No. 5, we won't get a player who can start right away or even be much of a bench contributor. The Wiz have made the decision to try to contend with the current core (not sure if that's the right move), so a proven bigman to play the 4 is a must.

David Lee of NY keeps coming to mind as someone who would be a great fit. The Knicks are trying to free up cap space and I could see them taking on a bad contract or two with the No. 1 pick for Lee. Curry is D'Antoni's kind of player and he may not be available when they pick. If not Lee, possibly Charlie Villanueva of Milwaukee if they were willing to make a trade.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 20, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

ZardsFan1,

You trying to be funny because I am not. The Gizards have not done anything right to make me seem crazy. Also, their biggest mistake was signing Arenas. He's to small to battle most SGs and he does not want to be a PG not to mention DEFENSE! That is worst than not being able to play. He wants to be what he's not. Let's get a true PG in here and let him go and watch a home grown product help you win. If anything at least the folks here will come see him play.

Later ZardsFan1

Posted by: mccannd3 | May 20, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

originalm: "...I can't see Blair getting pushed around. I think he's a hit or miss player..either very good or very average.
DeRozan's the guy if we stand pat. he can play the 2 or 3. We can go big with our 2nd unit with Critt, him at the 2, AB at the 3 and JM at the 5."

Some thoughts:
Blair is like Brand physically except
he's an inch or two shorter and perhaps thirty pounds heavier. Like Brand he needs to play on a team that lets him set up down low and doesn't require him to leg it up and down the court against faster players. I can see him matching Brand in rebounds but not in scoring.

My question about the value of a second unit: when do you ever play one? A bunch of kids on the court at the same time? Why?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Michael,

If the Wiz deal this pick, who are some likely free agents they will target? I say bring in Ron Artest. He is sure to give LeBron fits....

Posted by: t-train | May 20, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that the two skinflint owners in Memphis and LA give the Wiz a great shot at trading up. Having low-cost youth and expiring contracts, plus the 5 pick, could be a tempting package for the Griz or the Clips.

Posted by: joe2chase | May 20, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

live ride said "We might pull a Danny Ainge and bring in Chris Bosh, especially if Hasheem falls to us."

I wish we could. We would need a wizards version of Kevin McHale who giftwrapped Garnett to Boston or Jerry West who giftwrapped Pau Gasol to the Lakers. lol

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 20, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Blair reminds me a lot of Corliss Williamson. A big time low-post beast in college who was a marginal tweener in the pros. Not big enough to be a PF, not really quick enough to be a SF, he made his living as a solid, unspectacular role-player off the bench. He was able to exploit some matchups offensively, because he was too strong inside for most SFs and too quick for most PFs, but he was utterly useless on defense and the boards. Problem is, in the 14 years since Corliss came into the league, players in general have gotten bigger so, at 6' 7" (listed, which almost certainly means he's smaller), Blair may not even be able to out-muscle SFs like Williamson, esp. when a lot of SFs these days fall into the 6' 8" and over range.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

In order to pull of a Danny Ainge type deal the Wiz would need an Al Jefferson type player to offer, and they don't have anything even close.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

You're right, we don't have an Al Jefferson type (18ppg, 9rpg ~ which we would keep if we had one) but our GM has lots of relationships around the league so you never know.

We desperately need two things ~ Low Post Rebounder and Punisher, and High Skilled point Guard who can shoot from 20~30ft to keep defenses honest. for the Guard spot Ty Lawson has the proven experience. He, more than Tyler, was the H&S of UNC's championship team.

Most other rookie players mentioned here today resemble Nick Young who is finally coming into his own. This is breakout year for our youngbloods, though i'd trade NY or Blatche, plus DeShawn, James and Etan to NY for restricted free agent David Lee (who will probably start getting $10mil/year this offseason).

Posted by: liveride | May 20, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Corliss always got abused on defense but in the right scenario Blair could be useful. He'd need to have a decent shotblocker behind him (BTH ?)
Also, we saw this year how a physical defender like DSong bothered some opponents. If DSong can be effective in spots, I'm sure Blair could be. I saw the way he manhandled (and judo flipped) Thabeet.

Posted by: original_mark | May 20, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"You're right, we don't have an Al Jefferson type (18ppg, 9rpg ~ which we would keep if we had one) but our GM has lots of relationships around the league so you never know."

I know it'll take more than "relationships" to get someone to give up an all-star caliber big in his prime for what the Wizards have to offer.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"I saw the way he manhandled (and judo flipped) Thabeet. "

Everybody saw it. And part of the reason why it made people think twice about Thabeet is because the players in the NBA are going to be a lot bigger and stronger than Blair. And if that counts against Thabeet, it also counts against Blair. Most of the plyers he'll run up against in the pros are going to be stronger and tougher than Thabeet, so don't expect any more flips in his future.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Keep the faith team! This is going to work out just fine and we're going to do some things next year!

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | May 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

And it isn't a question of whether Blair can be useful. it's a question of whether he can be useful enough to justify taking him with the #5 overall pick. That seems unlikely. Williamson was useful, but still taken way too high at #7.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"I know it'll take more than "relationships" to get someone to give up an all-star caliber big in his prime for what the Wizards have to offer.
Posted by: kalo_rama "

My prediction: they end up going into the season pretty much as they are, with one extra player.

Of course, my predictions aren't all that great.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"My prediction: they end up going into the season pretty much as they are, with one extra player."

That's really the most likely scenario. As I said in one of the prev. threads, the pick itself isn't going to be much of a draw and the expiring contracts won't really reach full market maturity until close to the trade deadline. They may have no choice but to hang onto whoever they draft, at least for the first half of the season. In that instance, whether the player can crack the Wizards rotation may be less of an issue than whether he may fill a need of a potential trading partner down the line.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 20, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

We will be sorry if we let Ty Lawson and Eric Maynor get away from us. They, along with all the other Lightening quick guards will punish us for years (as they have been doing).

Posted by: liveride | May 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

If I can trade the pick along with an expiring contract for a lower first rounder, I would do so. Thats allows me to fill both my 1st and 2nd picks this year, either by draft or a further trade.

If I cannot unload an expiring contract, then I pick at the Five. Picking at the Five though, will not solve the issue of my 2nd rounder and what I do with it.

Either way, it appears certain, like that old car commercial, pay me now or pay me later, the Wizards have to do a trade deal.

I like the first scenario better, because I solve the issues up front and I hit the season running.

The 2nd scenario may still leave open ended roster issues unresolved.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

i think Lawson is a winner too - he proved it in the tournament - BUT - based on what we saw of Gilbert it seems that he might be more like a real point guard when he returns - he sure was passing a lot. i think i'd look for a shooter in the draft. should be easy to find at 5.

Posted by: stevie2 | May 20, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if Blair is the athlete Maxiel is. In watching the highlights of him I don't see the explosion in his game.

Posted by: thecomedian1 | May 20, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see the Zards draft Tyreke Evans in an attempt to recreate the backcourt production we had with Arenas/Hughes. TE showed in the NCAA tournament the ability to run a team. He may also provide insurance in case Gil doesn't return from the knee injuries.

Posted by: bozomoeman | May 20, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Again today, it seems that the JT Show is very sympathetic that the acquisition of Hasheem Thabeet is the best fit for this Team.

They feel that his skill set, along with Haywood, would translate to better Team Defense by our 4's and our exterior Defense. If Teams know that our interior is solid along with our own players, it would make our exterior play much tougher along with the opposing players knowing they cannot go inside willy nilly.

They are not at this point sold on McGee being the answer at center w/Haywood.

However, if McGee is truly a four, and Thabeet is acquired then that changes the whole dynamics of the Team for the better.

AJ would have to move to the 3 and Caron to the 2. AJ could handle the 3, but Caron has struggled at the 2. But, that being said, if we start out the gate that way, I think Caron's learning curve would not be an issue at all.

Now if the JT Show is correct in there assessment, what that means is we might have to trade up in order to get Thabeet.

Can we make that happen?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 20, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Mccannd3,

You wouldn't be partial to dem' dar' Tarheels, would you fella.'?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 20, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

If we'd hit the lottery and had the chance to get Rubio or Griffin, I think Abe would pay the luxury tax to sign them.

If you were an owner, would you pay a tax for the privilage of any other rookie this year? Even Thabeet?

That pick is actually a big problem for the Wiz. Too bad there are not legit foriegn players to draft and stash until we are below the cap.

Posted by: cballer | May 20, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

i like it mark. there's just something about harden's game i don't like, maybe it's the similarity to other palyers we have or that i just don't see him as a difference maker right away. Evans is my pick at 5

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 20, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

liveri: "We will be sorry if we let Ty Lawson and Eric Maynor get away from us."

I like both those guys at 10-18. You know how few players 6' and under make an impact in the NBA? Maybe they luck out and wind up on a team with LeBron or Dwight Howard. Otherwise, you run the risk they get posted up by every opponent and wind up on the bench.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"'m not sure if Blair is the athlete Maxiel is. In watching the highlights of him I don't see the explosion in his game.Posted by: thecomedian1"

Haven't seen that much of Maxiell, but he seems a completely different type of player. An energy bench guy who matches up favorably with certain forwards (like the Wizards' group, unfortunately). Blair wouldn't give you that at all.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

larryinclintonmd: "However, if McGee is truly a four.."

I don't know what position McGee fits best. I'm pretty sure he doesn't either. And probably Grunfeld feels the same way.

Hopefully this year we'll learn more.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

If the Lottery were fixed it would not give the 1st or 2nd or 3rd lotto pick to the team that will have 3 healthy all stars back, a team that when healthy made the playoffs the 4 out of the last 5 years. That would not be fair to the teams that don't have a chance to make the playoffs next season.

Wait a minute ----- why are we crying about missing out on another Rookie??? We are gonna go from worst to first in the East with the team that we have NOW. Young, Blatch, Critt, Song,McGee off the bench will keep our starters fresh.

We don't need no stinking Number One or Two pick.

Posted by: VBFan | May 20, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Harden = Calbert Cheaney

No thanks.

Nick Young isn't any good


Evans or Curry.

Posted by: toohoes | May 20, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

next year when the wizards get knocked out in the first round, we will look back at this season and laugh

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 20, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

This pick is as good as traded. Frankly, Ernie would've traded anything lower than 1st, so are the Wizards in that different a spot than they would've been? Not really.

Rubio would never play on the Wizards. I saw Wilbon's comment about Magic saying they need a true point guard. I love Arenas, but he can't do his thing unless he has the ball. And if he doesn't have the ball, no one double teams him. If no one double teams him, none of his teammates are open (see, e.g., all of last season, minus the few games Arenas played). For the Wizards to add a true point guard to the starting lineup and move Arenas to SG would equate to subtraction by addition.

Posted by: satchmore | May 20, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

satchmore: "For the Wizards to add a true point guard to the starting lineup and move Arenas to SG would equate to subtraction by addition."

Nice phrase.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Everyone cheer up, the Cavs lost tonight. Cry baby james tried to act like he was hurt after every play with no whistle. Then when he lost he feigned another injury. Just play ball.

Posted by: AWizinLA | May 20, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I could have sworn I heard (read?) someone in here call Dwight Howard a "rich man's Ben Wallace", and that he has no offensive game other than dunks and putbacks.

Are you ready to eat your words?

Posted by: psps23 | May 20, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFan78, you might as well put a case of Crystal on storage or whatever your favorite brew is, cause the Bullets/Wizards will not go out in the first round next year.

Let all of us know when and where the Party is. What about the first weekend night of the 2nd round, we be popping the corks baby.

LarryInClintonMd.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 20, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

i said it and i satnd by it. the great sidney deane once said "the sun even shines on a dogs a$$" this will most likely be his highest point total of the series. he's not a 30 pt guy. tonight he scored 12 pts over his career playoff avg. those 12 were the hooks and post plays that he usually bricks or turns over. he played really great tonight . let's see if he can do it again.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 20, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

larryinclintonmd: "However, if McGee is truly a four.."

I don't know what position McGee fits best. I'm pretty sure he doesn't either. And probably Grunfeld feels the same way.

Hopefully this year we'll learn more.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 6:06 PM

Samson151,

I am pulling for Flip to solve the questions with this Team and get the Vets and inexperienced performing and producing in their proper roles.

If Flip Saunders does that alone, this Wizard Team could be Pretty Damn Good.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 20, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough, we'll see. He doesn't need to be a 30 pt per game guy to be dominant for that team. He just needs to step up in the half court when the rest of the team is slumping (like he did in the 1st quarter to even remotely keep them in the game), then take over defensively. And those post moves were no fluke. Big Z can't handle his athleticism. Most centers can't.

Posted by: psps23 | May 20, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

I like both those guys at 10-18. You know how few players 6' and under make an impact in the NBA? Maybe they luck out and wind up on a team with LeBron or Dwight Howard. Otherwise, you run the risk they get posted up by every opponent and wind up on the bench.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 20, 2009 6:00 PM

Samson151,

I feel your point about players under 6' in this League. But, there have been a few more than just a few of them.

However, let me just point out one of them that people like to point at as a bust, but he really wasn't.

Mugsy Bogues with the Wizards/Bullets ran some of the best point and second Team play in the League.

When he got traded to Charlotte, every year they would bring someone in to replace him and they could not beat him out.

He played year after year, and probably had a better career in the NBA than some highly touted above 6' point guards.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

the 7-0 run in the 4th won the game, couple with Lewis extreme takeover 3 did cleve in. Like I said dwight played great Lewis too. It was Lewis clutch shooting and Turkey's 14 (i think) assists that got them the win. Case in point; they won the game with him on the bench with fouls(out).

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 21, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

What about cryptonite in New York? And how tall is that boy down in New Orleans?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Bogues had a nice career but he was an extreme anomaly, so trying to use him as a measuring stick (so to speak) is a real stretch. Moreover, the expectations of him succeeding were low coming in, so the fact that he could turned out to be a player at all made his career seem like a triumph. The basic truth is that he was never anything more than a pretty good NBA role player. Not great, not a star, not a franchise player. And while there's certainly a place for such guys in the NBA, the number 5 overall position in the draft isn't it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Where was that "boy" down in NY drafted?

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Ya' know I said way back that Boston would not be the Team that Cleveland needed ta' worry about.

Orlando, I predicted would win the East and I am standing by it. After this debilitating defeat for the Eastern crown it would be even sicker for Lebron to bolt to New York. That team in New York ain't ready for Lebron. He needs to stay in Cleveland. They ain't never won nothing. And if they don't figure out how to beat Orlando this year there Goose is cooked.

I can see Lebron being great in the Charles Barkley syndrome, no NBA Ring.

I half jest.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Bogues had a nice career but he was an extreme anomaly, so trying to use him as a measuring stick (so to speak) is a real stretch. Moreover, the expectations of him succeeding were low coming in, so the fact that he could turned out to be a player at all made his career seem like a triumph. The basic truth is that he was never anything more than a pretty good NBA role player. Not great, not a star, not a franchise player. And while there's certainly a place for such guys in the NBA, the number 5 overall position in the draft isn't it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:10 AM


Agreed, I was just making a comparison that 6' and below can make an impact in the League, but not that Ty Lawson should be drafted at the Five.

And its the boy down in New Orleans, not New York. I think he might be 6' or better but he looks mighty short to me, (Chris Paul).

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

3 Chris Paul Point Guard 6'0"

Just like I figured.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Except Muggsy Bogues never really made any kind of meaningful impact in the league. His biggest impact came from the novelty of his size. On the court, he was just another guy who played a bunch of years in the league and never won anything. If he'd been 6' 3" no one would even remember his name.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

And Robinson's done nothing except put up a bunch of points on one of the worst teams in the NBA. And, in all likelihood, he'll be the first guy shown the door when they start rebuilding. And unless he ends up on the Clippers or Warriors (two other loser teams who like to jack it up) he won't have a lot of 40 point games in his future.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

"Just like I figured."

The fact that Paul is (supposedly) 6' feet says nothing about the chances of any other guy the same size. Paul is a franchise level talent. Lawson and Maynor aren't. Measuring them by Paul is like saying Rubio can't miss because he has the same haircut as Pete Marovich.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

The draft is considered by experts to be so bad, so it would make the Wizards look stupid by drafting someone at the 5 that the experts have relegated to low 1st rounders.

So if Ty Lawson, or Hansbrough, or some other low 1st rounder might be a tremendous fit for this Team they should not make the pick.

Sure, thats smart, that would be like picking Kwame Brown all over again.

At the Five, I hope Ernie, if he is picking, picks the best fit for the Wizards and not who the experts rate as a top 5,6, or 7, pick.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

There's a reason guys get rated higher than other guys: because they're considered to be better and more talented. Drafting an 8th man with the number 5 pick (and paying him number 5 pick money) is a bad decision, both from a basketball and a business perspective. They're already overpaying for good talent in Arenas and Jamison. How would following that up by overpaying for mediocre talent improve their situation?

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

And I'm sure Grunfeld will pick whoever he think best fits the Wiz. I'm equally sure he's not going to think a guy who's likely to end up a career backup is going to be that guy.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

On the court, he was just another guy who played a bunch of years in the league and never won anything. If he'd been 6' 3" no one would even remember his name.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 12:34 AM

Great,

You prove my point for me. For, if the short fellow wasn't any good he would not have lasted.

And there have been plenty of Allstar Players in the League with size that have never won anything. Like Charles Barkley. So why since the short guy Mugsy, who also never won anything, have that count against him.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

And drafting a lower rated pick at five, would appear to be non-prudent, but if you have valid reasons to do so, then you just might have to take the gamble.

It would also to be non-prudent to draft the 5th rated pick at the Five and you are sure that he is not a fit for your Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 12:55 AM | Report abuse

You had a point? Must have missed that.


First of all, Bogues was never an all-star.

Secondly, no one said his size "counted against him." The point is, the fact that he was short in no way counts for any other player the same size. His success (limited and relative as it was) is irrelevant to the success of any other player who just happens to be the same height. Basically all you're saying is that a player shorter than 6' feet can play in the NBA. To which the obvious answer is "no sh@t." Randomly throwing out the names of some of undistinguished role players who were listed at 6' or below (or throwing in Chris Paul, who is light years ahead in talent) doesn't make a case for drafting Law or Maynor, esp. on a team where PG is (still) not a primary need.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, can't say that your point is not accurate at all. However we have the 5th and a 2nd rounder.

Depending on how Ernie stratigizes and how Flip wants to play Gilbert or how it pans out, Ty Lawson or another point not named Rubio, might have to be considered.

Just because we have the 5th slot doesn't mean that Ty may not fit in how we wheel and deal.

But I hear you, Ty is a stretch at the Five, but who knows, maybe someone may have there eye on Crit for something of value in return.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 1:59 AM | Report abuse

Question though on another subject. Do you think they would trade up for Thabeet?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 2:01 AM | Report abuse

I think this pick is as good as traded already... unless James Harden or Tyreke Evans or Jrue Holliday comes in for a workout and does not necessarily blow management away like Coach Gar Heard did but at least convinces the powers that be that he can step in immediately and do more at the 2-guard than Nick Young already does... If that proves to be the case (I am not convinced that it will, mind you), then Young, the 33rd pick and an expiring should be traded for a really hard-nosed power forward (e.g. Nick Collison) who can come in and play 25 minutes, score 6-8 points, grab 12-14 boards and make opposing guards think at least twice before driving to the basket... This is the type of player Brendan Haywood asked for in his espn chat a few days ago.

Posted by: khrabb | May 21, 2009 4:22 AM | Report abuse

Tidbit from Bill Simmons' chat:


Bill Simmons: did you know that only three other teams in the history of the NBA have kept a coach with a worse winning percentage than Dunleavy for six full seasons?

Bill Simmons: Philly Warriors (Ed Gottlieb), Cleveland Cavs (Bill Fitch), Wash Bullets (Wes Unseld).

Nice.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Well my two cents on the draft and the Wiz next season.

First, the draft lottery idea is fine. Keeping teams from intentionally tanking, but the formula should be tweeked. Perhaps, make it like the NHL model or at least change the odds a little bit i.e. more weight towards the worst three teams.

Second, I don't see all the doom and gloom levied towards the current roster. It's a proven playoff roster and with some growth of the young players and the veterans alike can be dangerous as is. Yeah, there are a lot of "if's" with health and a team wide commitment to be at least average on defense. Virutally every team in the NBA outside the top 4/5 teams have a lot of "if's" entering the season. I think the Wiz will be highly competitive regardless albeit maybe not the true contenders they could have been with Griffin as the missing power player down low.

Finally, don't forget we have upgraded the coaching position significantly. Flip has lived in the conference finals and been to the finals once. The knock on him is that he might be missing what it takes to win it all, but the Wiz first need to learn what it takes to get that far. That Flip can certainly accomplish or has the coaching ability to do so at least unlike EJ.


Posted by: rphilli721 | May 21, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

This team really only has 2 needs if healthy...

We need a guy who can take AJ's spot but specializes in defense. A 12 ppg 11 rpg guy who can block shots would be perfect.

Hill is the only dude ranked high that has a shot at that.

The other need is an upgrade at SG but unfortunately, one is directly dependent upon the other. If we get a PF who puts up less ppg, we may need a shooter in the starting lineup at sg.
On the other hand, if we continue to go with Aj as the starter, we need more of a defensive presence at the sg spot. Actually, Deshawn (or someone like him that at least tries to play defense) might be the best option for us if he's healthy.

Harden is probably the consensus is we go this route.

Neither one of those guys will make us or break us this year.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Restating the readily apparent, while ignoring the obvious doesn't qualify as critical thought. My 79 year old mother could tell you not many guys under 6' make it in the NBA.

Under 6' guys in the NBA, please explain Nate "Tiny" Archibald. He'd be a better comparison to Lawson then Mugsy.

Guys under 6'7" can't play inside in the NBA. I quess Wes Unseld, Adrian Dantley, and Charles Barkley didn't get the Memo.
All three will be in the HOF.

And "Grandmama" would be in there too if he didn't suffer from a bad back that shortened the career.

And another HOF guy that was part of the 50 greatest in the first 50 years was Gus Johnson. At 6'6" he was one of the most feared men in the league in the lane.

Had the man played a generation later, when modern knee procedures were available. He might be mentioned in the top handful of guys that have ever played.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 21, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Drew Gooden is a free agent now. He gave the Wiz trouble as a Cleveland player. He has size and can rebound. He has experience. He would be a great addition. The Wiz can use him.

It is time to let Blatche go. Perhaps both transactions can be done at the same time.

Posted by: JoeC2 | May 21, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

khrabb: "...a really hard-nosed power forward (e.g. Nick Collison) who can come in and play 25 minutes, score 6-8 points, grab 12-14 boards and make opposing guards think at least twice before driving to the basket."

I always liked Collison as a rebounder. Maybe OKC will draft Thabeet and kick Nick to the curb -- nah, won't happen.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

screw defense.
Draft Curry and let's run and gun. We should try to score 110 ppg and hope that we can hold the other guys to 109.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Actually that makes sense after rereading it.

Curry is probably an upgrade over Roger Mason and would be a great 6th man for us.

He's the one guy that has a skill that we can probably all agree will probably carry over to the NBA. Lots of college scorers (Redick, for example) aren't able to get it done but Curry was the focal point of every defense he faced and still was able to score points.

Let's get him and hope our D is better with a new coach. We don't have one on one defenders so it's gonna be about team D and zones anyway.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

flohr: "Guys under 6'7" can't play inside in the NBA. I quess Wes Unseld, Adrian Dantley, and Charles Barkley didn't get the Memo.All three will be in the HOF"

The fact that you can name them so easily (as can the rest of us) illustrates exactly how unique they were.

Individuals aside, you have to acknowledge that a 6'7" guy is at a disadvantage inside in today's NBA. That's not to say he can't rebound or score or put up decent numbers. Just that he has a handicap to overcome when he lines up against taller players.

Basketball rewards height, doesn't it? The same way football rewards strength. Soccer players tend to be close to average height (or under), but that doesn't preclude a Franz Beckenbauer.

Star players under average height for their position succeed in spite of their height. LeBron James is a terrific player, but a big part of his success is his size.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Can Curry be a better version of Juan Dixon? Probably. He carried his team while Juan had Blake and Wilcox with him.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

According to Barkley and others...As long as you have a big arse and are kinda wide, you can get away with being shorter than average inside because you take up space. Even Oliver Miller was effective til he starting eating the basketball.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Saw JoeC2's post about Gooden and agree he would be a good addition IF he would be willing to come off the bench and except a non-starter salary. I think his decline since leaving Cleveland is that he's not a starter anymore and wants a big dollar deal to go somewhere to be guaranteed a starter's job. Don't think that will happen with the Wiz with AJ at the 4.

As for Blatche, he might be part of a package that includes our No. 1, Etan, and a young player to get an established veteran bigman who can score and defend inside.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 21, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Curry was a nice college player, but I see him being a slightly more effective Juan Dixon in the pros. Meaning has trouble getting his shot off and plays zero defense. I do think he can shoot better than Juan when open. He needs to go to a team with a dominant center who can kick it out to him and cover his D (Magic) or a wide open team like the Knicks to have any success. He would be a waste in washington.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 21, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I would love to pry Biedrins away from GS. Don't know if we can, but he would be a nice addition.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 21, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm starting to wonder if Dajuan Blair could be the best option at 5. If he were 6-9 it would be a no-brainer ... don't know if he can do his thing in the NBA, but if so he would be perfect for this team. He looks fierce.

Posted by: uptownjive | May 21, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

more Simmons chat Wiz-related posts...

Bill Simmons: I loved that Wash fired Eddie Jordan, who had been saddled with all-O/no-D players and no bench for years, and replaced him with Flip Saunders, whose basically no different than Eddie Jordan. The NBA is awesome this way. I'd like to see Eddie get a second chance with a better team.

also...

Dan (DC): So the Wizards should fix the biggest impediment to them being a contender, their horrific defense, by trading for Amare?

Bill Simmons: Yes. I'd go the other way if I were them - just try to out-score teams like the mid-80's Nuggets. Make every game 128-125. They can't win the title with what they have, why not open it up?


My comments: Dam...I agree with this guy on both counts. That might be a first.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

and finally...

CB (Louisville): The steal will be Earl Clark. He wont get picked til 12-20 and is more athletically gifted than just about everyone in the draft. You should have seen this kid two years ago, his improvement has been stunning. Also, mark my words, the ULTIMATE BUST is going to be James Harden. You will be using him as an example for every NBA-related column by 2011.

Bill Simmons: I'm with you on Harden. If you didn't do it consistently in college, why should I think you'll do it in the pros?


Scary.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

As for Blatche, he might be part of a package that includes our No. 1, Etan, and a young player to get an established veteran bigman who can score and defend inside.

Posted by: wizfan89 | May 21, 2009 9:59 AM

I think the 'established veteran bigman who can score and defend inside' part is tough. Can anyone name such a player who is available in the league? I can't.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

Absolutely stupid. Bill Simmons is a hack. EJ was "saddled" with three all-stars and a legit NBA center, which he failed to identify until too late. Remember his obsession with Etan?

Then EJ scared Tom T away to Boston, which I think was the beginning of the end of his career in Washington.

Are we a defense first team? Absolutely not. Do we have the players capable of playing at least average defense, which is all we need to be a 50 win team? YES...try McGee (with more seasoning), McGuire, Stevenson, Haywood. Plus, Arenas used to be a very good defender his first 2/3 years in the league before he became Agent Zero, which means zero defense from him.

The team needs leadership in this regard and I think Flip is the one to do it. Hopefully, some of Arenas' comments at seasons end about not needing to score so much, being more of a leader (a lot less horsing around), and the team needing more defensive focus are all an indication of what to expect next season as well.

The Denver Nuggets analogy is called giving up!

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 21, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Veteran bigman who can score and defend inside: Zach Randolph is available. He can definitely score. He might be able to defend- we can't tell, since he's never bothered to try.

Under 6' players: The rule changes over the last few years that limit perimeter contact make small, quick guys more viable.

Posted by: yop32 | May 21, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Any guy that succeeds in a sport that people assume favors a taller player, does so because they possess skills that offset the supposed disadvantage. In fact most learn to leverage that disadvantage into a strength.

My point was, you can't just say because a player is under a certain height that he can't play. Tiny led the league in scoring and assits, was an Allstar, and later in his career won a title with the Celtics.

Those were all markers that were thrown down as symbols of success. I think he met them all. So an under 6' player can be very successful in this league.

Stating that short guys have a disadvantage on the basketball court is something that's very apparent.

When discussing a guy like Lawson or Blair, the obvious question is, do they have the other intangible assets that HOF guys possessed that allowed them succeed dispite their lack height?

Picking a guy like Lawson or Blair would require a lot of homework. And a basketball staff that knows the right questions to ask, and the right drills to put a guy through to answer those questions.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 21, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

rphilli721,
Actually I should have been more clear. The part that I agree about is the Flip comment. Why fire Eddie and replace him with another Eddie type? We'd have been better off waiting for Thibodeau.

As far as running and gunning goes, I'm all for it with our current team makeup. I've been saying for a while now that unless we change our forwards, we aren't playing any defense. BTH is serviceable defensively...Cb and AJ are not.

Agreed. Bill Simmons is a hack and Boston homer who is usually not objective.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Looking at all of the teams that played great D, they all have good interior defenders at the F position.

I checked the teams that allowed the lowest opponent ppg and didn't see a lot of backcourt def4ensive stars but DID see forwards. I agree that Gil has the ability and probably the desire to play defense but I don't think CB nor AJ can do it physically.

In humble opinion, we should go Suns, not Nuggets. The Nuggets premise in the 80's was that they were better conditioned because of the altitude difference and that would help them outlast opponents. Well they scored in bunches with Issel, English, Kiki and Fat but couldn't stop anyone because the players weren't suited to defense. TR Dunn was their only defender and one guy isn't enough.

I see some of the same weaknesses with our team as long as CB and AJ are starting and getting most of the minutes.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

People will think I'm crazy for saying this: but the best player available for the Wizards is not in the draft. He's a free agent. And he's Ron Artest. I know that pairing him with Gilbert has the potential to be a nightmare ("crazy meet crazier"), but he would bring EXACTLY what the Wizards need: toughness and REAL defense. Not fake, Deshawn defense. I can't believe NO ONE is even entertaining this thought.

Posted by: therearenonamesleft | May 21, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

I completely disagree that we replaced EJ with another EJ "type". I would say that Flip's resume is a lot more accomplished than EJ's. Everyone loves EJ and rightfully so bc he is a classy guy and a decent coach, but his winning percentage is something like .44 or something along those lines the last time I checked and has never been past the second round.

And as Kalorama pointed out to me a long time ago, Flip, although not known as a "defensive" coach, did install a zone based defensive scheme in Minnesota that took them to the finals one year when they were not considered a defensive team by any means. They were however good enough on that side of the ball. That is all we need. And, I believe he will command a little more respect than EJ got for whatever reason.

Personally, I'm tired of being near dead last in 3pt field goal % and 3 pt field goals given up along with total pts etc...that is going on 4/5 years now i.e. mirrors EJ's tenor(sp?) as coach.

D is more about effort and caring than talent and besides AJ our players are capable unlike say the Suns with Nash and a declining Shaq and an over the hill Hill. Hell, I thought Denver could not play defense either??? Seems with some leadership this year, they are very good defensively all of a sudden.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 21, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

rphilli721, We're on the same page as far as being sick of guys shooting open baseline 3's.

I'd just prefer to have a h/c who was an acknowledged D guru. If Flip can make us better I'm all for it but it seemed to me that a players coach who specializes in offense is not what we want unless we plan on staying the course. Staying the course means scoring a lot of points and playing average D around here in Wiz land.

I see your points, though.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

Well, we had Tom T until EJ ran him out.

"Staying the course means scoring a lot of points and playing average D around here in Wiz land."

We need to play average D instead of bottom quarter of the league D. That I think is possible without making a single roster move. Average D which we do NOT play would make us a 50 win team, that I guarantee...hell, anything between the 15th to 18th best defensive team would work...just not 25+.

Hiring an Avery Johnson is like fitting a round peg through a square hole. It's not about changing identity, it's about maximizing what we got and what we got is better than near dead last on D. A little accountability would be nice. What the hell happened to CB? He slipped hard last year on both sides of the ball and I, personally, lost some respect for his game. Like I said every player on the team has the talent to play at least average D except AJ. AJ is too small for the big PF's and too slow for quicker smaller players. Plus, he is not really a leaper. That is why his offense is based on his array of awkward quick shots inside and a decent outside shot. It's also a reason why he might be a very effective player for another 3/4 years, which is the length of his contract.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 21, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Too bad NBA players don't get paid like PGA golfers.

You win, you get paid. You lose, fans offer tips based on the effort.

No more "phoning it in" at the Phone Booth.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 21, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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