The Options At No. 5

You might be a scorer, James. But I'm a hustler, baby. I just want you to know. (AP Photo by Danny Moloshok)

It would've been so much easier for the Washington Wizards if they hadn't dropped three spots in Tuesday's draft lottery to fifth. Ernie Grunfeld sounds like he's okay with this position, but since they have no shot at landing Blake Griffin or Ricky Rubio, things should get pretty interesting between now and June 25. A lot will depend on what Memphis, Oklahoma City and Sacramento do in front of them -- the Los Angeles Clippers have already said they are taking Griffin at No. 1. But there should still be some talent available at No. 5.

After Griffin and Rubio, the Wizards really don't see much separation between the players who could go between third and fifth -- a list that includes Arizona junior forward Jordan Hill, Arizona State sophomore shooting guard James Harden, Connecticut junior center Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis freshman point guard Tyreke Evans and USC freshman wingman DeMar DeRozan. Thabeet likely won't slip to No. 5, so that really leaves four players in that range -- with the potential for someone to make a surprising rise the next few weeks.

Hill is a rugged, athletic forward who won't shy away from mixing it up. He has an NBA body already, but an unpolished game. Scouts are willing to overlook Harden's poor NCAA Tournament because of his overall body of work and his uncanny ability to score. But he also lacks speed and athleticism, two things that wing players need to succeed in the NBA. Evans really doesn't have a position, but he is incredibly fast, can make plays and could score with anybody on the collegiate level last season. DeRozan came on strong in the NCAA Tournament and one scout recently compared his athleticism to Vince Carter's.

Can all that hustle stop this, Jordan? (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic)

This draft is very limited with big men, so the Wizards will likely wind up with some backcourt help in the unlikely scenario that they keep the pick. There really is no consensus in the organization about the players available, which makes their pre-draft workouts very important.

If you look at various mock drafts, you can see the Wizards taking anyone from Hill or Harden. ESPN's Chad Ford has the Wizards taking Harden because "he's one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft." Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen has the Wizards going with Hill, if they decide to keep it, because "Hill's interior presence would be a big help to a franchise that needs to change its soft image."

Of course, the Wizards, in all likelihood, will decide to move the pick for some immediate help, which Grunfeld has repeatedly stated was an option for his team. ESPN's John Hollinger went over some trade scenarios and speculated that the Wizards would likely trade down and find a taker for Etan Thomas. Grunfeld's success in turning the fifth pick in 2004 into Antawn Jamison has been brought up a bunch lately, but that deal won't happen anytime soon. Best believe there will be tons of rumors over the next five, six weeks.

We'll talk about the top prospects for the next few weeks, but what do you think the Wizards should do at No. 5. Trade it? Or keep it?

By Michael Lee |  May 21, 2009; 10:44 AM ET
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If I was the GM and had to make the choice today for the team as it stands... assuming we don't make any trades...

It would be DeRozan. We really need a decent sized 2 guard and we really need a rebounding big man. Since big men usually take longer to develop, I'd have to go with the 6'6" guy who can play both G and SF.

If I was the coach and I could change starting rotations, I'd take Hill.

Depending on what the coach wants to do,
Blair, Hill, Curry and DeRozan all make sense.

Posted by: original_mark | May 21, 2009 11:01 AM

EG is committed to Haywood, Jamison, Butler and Arenas as the core.

That leaves James and Stevenson at the 2, which is inadequate.

That also leaves McGee and Blatche as back-up centers which is troublesome, unless these guys are pounding weights and getting schooled.

Trade bait: the pick, Etan, James
Low value players: Songolia, Stevenson, McGuire, Pech
Medium value players: Blatche, Young

Lots of possibilities, but the priorities should be on getting a quality 2, and then assessing whether McGee and/or Blatche are adequate back-ups.

Once the decisions are make, the needless in-fighting by Jamison needs to stop.

Posted by: Izman | May 21, 2009 11:31 AM

Do we know anything about DeShawn's status? If he is going to be good as new, we aren't hurting too badly at the 2.

Don't forget about Nick Young at the 2.

Posted by: yop32 | May 21, 2009 11:34 AM

I voted for trading down. I would love to see the Wiz somehow pick Gerald Henderson, who is one of the most athletic players in the draft. Other options I would consider are Blair and Curry, but unfortunately none of these picks fall in the 5 range and a trade would become necessary.

Posted by: johnny_blaze | May 21, 2009 11:35 AM

The Wiz might be best off taking a SG, and trading Young (and ET or MJames?) for a middle-of-the-road banging PF, if there's any posibility for that. I believe NY has shown enough of his scoring inconsistency (including lack of 3pt range) and of his defensive deficiencies to warrant giving up on his potential. I'd keep AB, since he can spell Antawn and play center.

Posted by: creativefunk | May 21, 2009 11:36 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if the 2, 3 and 4 picks could all get moved. Sounds like all of these teams, think they could move around find the player they really want and dump a salary or unwanted player in the process.

Does that sound familar? The ability to trade this pick, AND get value maybe a reach. A lot will be deterimed once the 2-14 guys start working out.

But everybody seems to want to move down, not up, right now.

Posted by: flohrtv | May 21, 2009 11:44 AM

Drafting Tyreke Evans is the best option only if we keep the pick. But if I were a betting man, I'd say the odds of Ernie trading the pick are 2:1

Posted by: CBell29 | May 21, 2009 11:45 AM

Quick -- somebody say they should take the best player available.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 11:48 AM

they should take the best player available!!

Posted by: WizSkinsFan | May 21, 2009 11:52 AM

cbell: "I'd say the odds of Ernie trading the pick are 2:1."

Fine, except who he trade it to? Any GMs out there pining for one of those four players? I can't believe Thabeet lasts til 5 either.

Last year Memphis got some mileage out of Kevin Love and the vet Mike Miller for OJ Mayo. But they really, really wanted Mayo.

Would some team really really want DeRozan, Hill or Harden? Maybe Evans.

So if we're talking trade, doesn't it seem like we'd have to throw in a prime veteran? And that makes it less likely, IMO.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 11:52 AM

wizfan: "they should take the best player available!!"

You WIN the all expense paid trip to... to... the best place available.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 11:56 AM

yes the next couple of weeks will be interesting. I feel that the organization will make a trade because of some of the pieces it has to bring in a capable player ready for the NBA.

I cannot find a scenario that would seriously benefit us, but then again.I never would have expected Caron Butler to be traded for Kwame Brown, and then the move that brought in Antawn Jamison.

we are going to have to find a solid bench player that could start for us and be an animal. Someone like milsap(which utah wont trade) or Maxiell, or maybe even zach randolph. Since the clippers have the #1 pick. washington can def trade down along with maybe even thier second round pick, along with thomas, james and blatche for randolph and another clippers player. Randolph still has some basketball left in him. That line up would actually be nice though if you have...

arenas (scorer,might convert to true pg)
butler (capable 2 guard, can score)
mcguire (perimeter defender to stop the kobes,ray allens and dwades)
jamison/randolph (preferably randolph)
and haywood.(defensive anchor)

the best case scenario would be trading for david lee and larry hughes. Imean new york could draft a pg with the #5 overall to run thier offense, along with a scorer like nick young and two expiring contracts
that would be fitting for both clubs, but we will wait and see

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | May 21, 2009 12:03 PM

mcguire (perimeter defender to stop the kobes,ray allens and dwades)

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | May 21, 2009 12:03 PM

Funniest statement of the day! LMAO.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 21, 2009 12:05 PM

cbell: "I'd say the odds of Ernie trading the pick are 2:1."

Fine, except who he trade it to? Any GMs out there pining for one of those four players? I can't believe Thabeet lasts til 5 either.

It only takes 1 idiot to make a deal.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 21, 2009 12:07 PM

I say we trade the pick, Jamison, Thomas and/or Songalia to Phoenix for Stoudamire and the 14th pick, then get Henderson, Curry, Blair, or Holiday.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 12:08 PM

If you believe stats, we are already set at the PF position.

On average, AJ outscores his counterpart by a lot. And although he is a poor help defender and a mediocre on-the-ball defender, he makes up for these shortcomings (to a certain extent) by being an exceptional rebounder. AJ is also very good at avoiding fouls.

DSong is a very good backup who can space the floor with his midrange J, plays sound positional D, and is very good at boxing out.

Posted by: yop32 | May 21, 2009 12:14 PM

I am actually a big fan of Jamison. But he is not a true PF. What we NEED is a good defender and banger at the 4. What we don't need is a PF who spends as much time on the perimeter as he does underneath. Our "big three" aren't good enough to get us past Cleveland, and Jamison makes the most sense to move because of his deficiency on defense and his age.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 12:22 PM

I wish you folks would stop talking about trading Young or Blatche. That's why this organization fails because we give up on young talent too soon. Rasheed, Webber, Ben Wallance, Hamilton, etc. Need I say more. With the right coaching and the elimination of Jamison's negative and divisive critisims, Young, Blatche, McGee and Crittenden can become above average contributors next year with the return of a healthy Arenas and Haywwood. Be patient and stop with the knee-jerk reactions to last season. Take Lebron and Ilgasgus off Clevlend and where would they have finished this year?

Posted by: garrybrown | May 21, 2009 12:28 PM

Can't understand why so many people want to upgrade the 2. The Wiz already have one of the best 2's in the league. Problem is they have him playing the 1. Gil is not a great passer. Yes he has great spped and can drive to the hoop. Once he geats there he is not a great finisher. Yes he gets alot of fouls and thats good. But he can do that from the 2 also. Get a better passer and finisher to play the 1 and let Gil do what he does best.

Posted by: jfwil | May 21, 2009 12:29 PM

I agree that we need to start cultivating our own talent. And I do think Young can become a great scorer. The problem is the 2 coaches he's had here have been too quick to yank him if he screws up. Too bad they don't so the same with Stevenson. But if we draft a Harden, Derozan, or even Henderson, where does that leave Young? Does anyone know how many years are on his contract?
I think Harden or Henderson could come in and start over Young AND Stevenson. But a 2nd unit of Crittenton, Young, McGuire, Blatche, and McGee would be pretty exciting if they were given their freedom. They could run a frenetic pace and press fullcourt like the 76ers do.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 12:37 PM

The only way the Wizards pick at #5 is if they make another trade before the draft. There is no way Abe will sign the 5th pick at 3 million and change and go over the luxury cap for a guy that might help this team win down the road.

It's all up to Ernie; let's see if he can do something with this roster. He can't even blame a former administration. Great organizations do whatever it takes when they see they have a chance to win it all.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 21, 2009 12:44 PM

Didn't Orlando just burn Cleveland with a power forward raining them in from the outside?

Posted by: flohrtv | May 21, 2009 12:45 PM


I hear you. The problem with the Wiz has been injuries, and bad refereeing. They can compete with anyone. You always can upgrade, when possible. But, there will be no upgrade to any position available in this draft. Even Blake Griffin wouldn't be an immediate upgrade.

Know, just make the team stronger by drafting the best available player, physically and mentally. Kwame was a high draft pick physically but nothing mentally. If DeRozan has the highest potential at 5 physically, I might take him if you can grade him high mentally. If not, I may go with Evans.

The other side is we need a thug. That is the one thing the wiz don't have. They have length, finesse, shooters, scorers, but no muscle. NONE! Is Hill that? I don't think so. Is James Johnson? Good question. It is too high to take Blair, so I may trade down for him.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 21, 2009 12:46 PM

"It only takes 1 idiot to make a deal. Posted by: CBell29"

Aha -- you're invoking the Idiot Factor.

Who'd you have in mind? Kevin McHale?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 12:47 PM

Aha -- you're invoking the Idiot Factor.

Who'd you have in mind? Kevin McHale?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 12:47 PM

Nah. I think McHale's learned his lesson. I was thinking more like Mike Wallace from Memphis. Or maybe catch a team in fire sale mode, *cough*New Orleans*cough.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 21, 2009 12:53 PM

"But a 2nd unit of Crittenton, Young, McGuire, Blatche, and McGee would be pretty exciting if they were given their freedom. They could run a frenetic pace and press fullcourt like the 76ers do."

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 12:37 PM

I love the idea of a fullcourt pressing second unit. Did you guys see this:

and this:

I think the Cavs would be especially vulnerable to the fullcourt press. Their guards are small and don't have elite PG skills. Maybe we could get LeBron to cramp after only 30 minutes.

Posted by: yop32 | May 21, 2009 12:55 PM

Didn't Orlando just burn Cleveland with a power forward raining them in from the outside?

Posted by: flohrtv | May 21, 2009 12:45 PM

True. But when he's off, he's really off (ie. see first half).

Posted by: CBell29 | May 21, 2009 12:55 PM

I wouldn't follow any of Hollinger's thoughts on the Wiz. Trading the pick just to help dump a salary and get under the tax will just hurt this organization in the long run. If there is not a good trade available, keep the pick, pick whichever player you think is the best, regardless of position, and move on.

It may be that whoever we pick ends up making someone one else expendable, and we can then try and trade that individual during the season before the deadline. Remember, we have Jamison, Butler, and Arenas under contract together for 2 seasons, So you can't just think about next season.

I'd be fine with Hill or Harden. I think the PF position is one of our lowest needs, but if Hill is definitely better then take him. We could trade a different forward later on if need be.

Posted by: segastyle | May 21, 2009 12:56 PM

They've gotta package the trade with Etan, James, Stephenson, and add a major piece to this group.

I'm sorry, but the big 3 aren't going to be able to do it in the East without some big addition. With Orlando, Cleveland, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, etc. it's a hell of a lot more competitive. The big 3 could only get so far several years ago, before every other team in the division made huge additions to their rosters.

The last thing we need is a new young person to bring off the bench for a few minutes a game, and spend time developing them so that when their new contract comes up they jump ship (R. Wallace, B. Wallace, R. Hamilton, etc.)

We've got enough young talent. We need someone who can come in and really make a major contribution. We need a big 4 to go to the next level.

Posted by: Independent11 | May 21, 2009 12:57 PM

There are a number of players who could be at five - Hill, Evans Derozan, possibly even Rubio under certain circumstances, who could become stars. There are a number of other players... Harden, Jennings, Blair, Lawson and Curry who could be good starters and/or nice sixth men. Rather than trade for an aged vet, which we have plenty of, why not swing for a star or trade a little down and get a starter? We lose 5-7 years of starter time if we trade the pick, and unless we get, say, a Bosh, who could bolt after a year, we'll end up with a known, albeit zero upside aging quantity. Kobe, Garnett, Dwayne Wade etc., were all found at our pick or after. Sure, there have been busts at our pick, too, but I'd rather take my chances in trying to get a star with the promising Evans and absurdly athletic Derozan than get 4-5 years from a known vet. I'd even rather get a 12-year starter like Blair than a few years of an aging and recently/oft injured Boozer or A. Stoudamire. As for Randolph, I wouldn't take him for free... he would tilt the power structure of the team away from solid vets Butler, Songalia and Jamison towards the bad habit and/or still immature components, the fighting Haywood-Thomas symbiote, the me-first, I'm no leader Arenas, Blatche, Mcghee, Young, etc. We should also consider trading our high second (32) to move up into the late first, where we could maybe get Ellington, Psycho or Patrick Mills, who I consider to be the most intriguing star potential player at the end of the first. He is one of those rare players who can be controlled somewhat in college, where, as the only exceptional player on his team, opposing teams could focus their schemes against him, but could bust out in the man-on-man pros. He ran circles around the Redeam Team - twice - and seemed to play at a higher speed than even that hugely athletic team.

Posted by: jwlaytham | May 21, 2009 12:58 PM

AJ is aging so they should consider a possible replacement for him. Blatche, Mcgee, and Haywood means they don't need a front court player especially if they are unable to trade Etan Thomas which is highly possible cause of his injuries and ineffectiveness. I would like to see the Wiz draft a natural PG that can penetrate, defend and the willingness to defer to teammates on the offensive end. A player similar to Rondo

Posted by: HolleyMvp | May 21, 2009 1:06 PM

I say EG pulls out every deal that Red Auerbach ever made. Study and analyze them to a fault.

Then wheel and deal, so that he keeps our core in place and have added our 1st and 2nd pick and gotten rid of two expiring contracts.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 21, 2009 1:07 PM

I'd love to see us get Patrick Mills, but I don't see our 2nd rounder making the team if we even keep the pick. Our roster is overloaded as it is. That said, I do think a youth movement is in order. Without a HUGE upgrade, there's no way we can compete with the top teams in the East these next 2 years. I'm tired of hearing Ernie say we WERE on our way up when we ALMOST beat Cleveland. They Cavs have gotten a lot better since then, as have the Magic, Hawks, and even Philly. Plus Boston will be there if KG comes back.
I don't think there's enough of a difference between the 5th pick and the middle of the draft, which is why trading Jamison for Stoudamire and STILL landing Henderson, Blair or Curry would help us now and in the future.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 1:12 PM

I'm not sure we have all the aged vets that you're thinking. We want to trade James, Etan, and Stevenson.

That leaves Gil, Jamison, Caron, Songalia, and Haywood as our only real aged vets.

And Gil spends all his time riding the pine with injuries, and Songalia is decent, but could certainly be upgraded. All the rest on our roster are young uns that didn't rise to the occasion last year when given the opportunity.

I think Ernie is trying to make something happen within a 3 year window, because Jamison will be tapped at 36 years old at that point.

We've already got Young, Crittendon, McGee, Blatche, McGuire, Pech, ... all who need more development time. None have yet proven to be reliable even to come off the bench.

So essentially we have many aged vets we're looking to dump, an injury plagued big 3, and a bunch of rookies and near-rookies.

I think you have to get another proven, high caliber, veteran if there's any chance of getting even to the second round. In fact, Grunfeld should proceed as though Gil will NOT be available next year. That leave a Big 2 and a mostly vacant lot.

Posted by: Independent11 | May 21, 2009 1:19 PM

I agree with Hollinger that Abe demands that we package the pick with Thomas or James to move down so the team can get below the luxury tax.

I think this is a historic mistake, on par with Sarver selling Deng and Rondo. DeRozan has all-world potential, and he dominated at the end of last season in college. He is a no-brainer at 5, or in my mind, at 3 for the Thunder.

Posted by: Dellis2 | May 21, 2009 1:21 PM

Or we just do a huge salary dump, and swing a sign and trade next year. How about our 'Big 3' for LBJ? Then WE could play 8 on 5 like Cleveland does now with the refs on OUR side for once.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 1:24 PM

I say pick Gerald Henderson or Tyreek Evans. They both posess NBA athleticism at guard. In fact Henderson has Derrick Rose like athleticism and Evans is as fast as any guard already in the league. I say they will take scoring pressure off of GA. With Arenas, Nick Young and one of those guys we have a quality back court for years to come. Both can become stars in the league in a couple of years. Question is would if we dont pick them and they end up being a rondo, Williams or CP3. Then we will be really wanting to run EG out of town.

Posted by: ged0386 | May 21, 2009 1:28 PM

I understand the sentiment for Jamison. The guy is world class. But anyone who thinks our current team is good enough to win the East is delusional. Arenas is un-moveable due to his salary, and Butler is the MVP of the team. Which leaves Jamison as our only trade-able commodity that will get us anything immediate use in return. And, I hate to be a Jamison curmudgeon, but has anyone thought of how nice a backcourt of Arenas and Devin Harris would have been had we NOT traded him for Jamison? I know, hindsight is 20/20, but that's the perfect example of why we need to focus on upgrading with youth.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 1:35 PM

"But a 2nd unit of Crittenton, Young, McGuire, Blatche, and McGee would be pretty exciting if they were given their freedom. They could run a frenetic pace and press fullcourt like the 76ers do."

Posted by: CJHutch7673

Or they may just totally screw up. Don't forget Sixers have Miller, a very experienced floor general to run the show.

Posted by: sagaliba | May 21, 2009 1:35 PM

Bottom the pick & Jamison for Amare OR BOSH for Phoenix/Toronto 2nd round pick (since the draft is weak & Mr. Abe is cheap he won't have to pay a new player 1st round salary) OR take a guy like Evans (a true point that can score) since we need a point & move Arenas over to his natural position (2 spot).

Posted by: cevans1019 | May 21, 2009 1:38 PM

They might as well say they are going to trade it now.

The Wiz are OVER the luxury tax thanks to good ole Gilbert and signing a top 5 player would mean they would be that much more over even with the rookie allotment.

The Wiz have no choice UNLESS they can dump somebody on someone else.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 21, 2009 1:43 PM

They might as well say they are going to trade it now.

The Wiz are OVER the luxury tax thanks to good ole Gilbert and signing a top 5 player would mean they would be that much more over even with the rookie allotment.

The Wiz have no choice UNLESS they can dump somebody on someone else.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 21, 2009 1:43 PM

Actually, its Mike James' contract that's killing us. Because he has a player option.

Posted by: CBell29 | May 21, 2009 1:45 PM

And, I hate to be a Jamison curmudgeon, but has anyone thought of how nice a backcourt of Arenas and Devin Harris would have been had we NOT traded him for Jamison?

Posted by: CJHutch7673

And who will be your PF, may I ask?

Posted by: sagaliba | May 21, 2009 1:46 PM

"Or they may just totally screw up. Don't forget Sixers have Miller, a very experienced floor general to run the show."

I actually think Crittenton is going to turn heads this year. He is the only true PG on the team, can pressure the ball, and can run the break. In fact, if he had any semblance of a jumpshot, I'd say start him.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 1:51 PM

Trade Basics.

You must have something that someone else wants before they will consider trading with you.

What could another team want that the Wizzies have??
A #5 pick in a 2 man draft?
A small center that recently had his chest cracked open??
A journeyman point guard that has already been around the league?
A hoe chasing 4 or 5 that has been developing for 4 years|?
A talented shooting guard that just doesn't get it?
Another SG that is recovering from back surgery?
A forward that is recovering from foot surgery?

Sorry for bringing everyone down.
I think Ernie will trade the #5 for a couple of later round practice players.

Posted by: VBFan | May 21, 2009 1:53 PM

I think it is possible to find a rookie who can contribute in a playoff team. Just look at Courtney Lee of Orlando, who was picked #22 last year.

BTW, if you compare Courtney Lee with Nick Young, they have similar stats, but Courtney Lee has better 3P%, and is a better defender. While rookie Lee is contributing in the Conference final, we are still here discussing whether or not sophomore NY will be matured. Sigh!

Posted by: sagaliba | May 21, 2009 1:55 PM

And, I hate to be a Jamison curmudgeon, but has anyone thought of how nice a backcourt of Arenas and Devin Harris would have been had we NOT traded him for Jamison?


"And who will be your PF, may I ask?"


I'm sure they would have found one by now. I'm just tired guys coming here and turning into jump shooters. It happened with Webber, it happened with Stackhouse, and now it's happened with Jamison. It's ok to have a finesse PF if you have a monster center (a la D. Howard), and last I checked Brendan doesn't have a Superman cape in his closet. Haywood's serviceable, but has anyone ever noticed he NEVER wins the jumpball?

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 2:01 PM


I have watched numerous pac 10 thursday and sunday night games over the past 3 years and have never come away from an AZ game saying wow, that Jordan Hill was a beast.

Posted by: seanmo1 | May 21, 2009 2:05 PM

Talking about lottery luck, I cannot believe how Chicago got so many lottery picks (one lottery pick every other year since 2002), even though they screwed up so many times!

Here is what Chicago got since 2002:

2002: #2, drafted Jay William
2004: #3, drafted Ben Gordon
2006: #2, traded for #4 Tyus Thomas and cash
2008: #1, drafted Derrick Rose

Posted by: sagaliba | May 21, 2009 2:15 PM

Not sure how it works in the NBA, but in the NFL, if a team runs over their allotted time they can fall back in the draft.

Let's say EG spends an hour and 45 minutes thinking over the selection when the Wizards are on the clock, which means they pick at end up picking at #26. Would the move save the Wizards about $2.1 mill in cap room, or would they have to pay the #26 selection #5 money?

/kind of kidding.

Of course, the Wizards move the pick if they can for some immediate help.

If they can't they'll probably get a pretty good prospect anyways. They can look at making a move or doing a salary dump during the regular season.

Who knows, maybe the Clippers decide that the #1 overall asking price for Griffin is too high and try to move the pick for some expiring contracts. Stranger things have happened -- and it is after all the LA Clippers.

Posted by: JPRS | May 21, 2009 2:15 PM

"And who will be your PF, may I ask?"

I'm sure they would have found one by now.

Posted by: CJHutch7673

Someone, for sure; but is it someone good? Maybe they'd just start Songaila, or Blatche.

Posted by: sagaliba | May 21, 2009 2:17 PM

The big upgrade we will see will not be the players but rather Saunders. If this team stays healthy (big IF), this team will score points. Whoever we get will need to be able to run and not be "Shaq like" and stroll up and down the court.

Curry would be an interesting pick as the Wizards have been one of the worst 3 point shooting teams and Curry would bring a definite improvement. And we would not need him to start but rather come off the bench for 10-15 minutes a game. I see him replacing Dixon/Stephenson.

Might not be the best team this fall but will definitely be one or the more exciting teams in the league.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | May 21, 2009 2:20 PM

The Wiz don't have a "Big 3". They have 3 very good offensive NBA players (when healthy), although their defense is sorely lacking, especially come playoff time. A "Big 3" is Kareem/Magic/Worthy or Bird/McHale/Parish or Jordan/Pippen/Rodman, even Duncan/Gino/Parker, but the Wizards "Big 3" haven't proven anything except that they can lose to LeBron in the playoffs. To talk of the Wizards "core" like they're untouchable after having had the 2nd worst record in the league is ridiculous. If you can get a guy like Bosh by trading the pick, Blatche, AJ and a few other pieces you do it every time.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 21, 2009 2:30 PM

We've had exciting. When healthy, Arenas is one of the most exciting players in the league. But is he another Tracy McGrady? All style, no substance, unable to go far in the playoffs? For our sake, I hope not, since we're stuck with him. I also hope he doesn't become the next Juwan Howard - vilified in town because of his contract.

The bottom line is - the draft is a crapshoot. Griffin was the only bankable star, and the Wizards don't have the luck to end up with a guy like that. You want luck? How about Orlando getting THREE #1 picks, all studs, since they've been in existence? That's luck.

Posted by: CJHutch7673 | May 21, 2009 2:33 PM

Maybe Ernie makes his big move at the 2010 trade deadline. Instead of dumping salary now along with the 5th pick, Ernie, who thinks he's got a pretty good team when healthy, takes the best 2 guard with the 5th pick and allows the Wiz to tread water around .500 for the first half of the season. Then at the trade deadline he finds a club that is itching to dump salary as their season tanks. This makes sense to me. What do you guys think? Don't expiring salaries have more value in the middle of the year as compared to the beginning?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 21, 2009 2:46 PM

Unlike McGrady, Agent0 has at least gotten out of the first round. In the playoffs, Agent0 has performed valiantly, being a dominant scorer against Cleveland and nearly as unstoppable as LeBron. That is not to say Gilbert still has Agent0 in him. I don't know. It is not as though Gil has had multiple injuries. He had really 1 injury to the knee that was never fixed correctly, hopefully until know.

Don't break up the Big 3. Keep it together. They won't have to rely on it as much anyway. Fill a whole on the team by using the pick by trade if possible.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 21, 2009 2:48 PM

As yet unexplored draft scenario:

Ricky Rubio doesn't have to stay in the draft! Maybe he doesn't want to play in Memphis or Okla City or Sacramento. Would one of those teams take a chance with that high a draft pick?

If not, then Washington is the highest draft spot in a big city.

Most likely scenario would be one of those teams dealing Rubio. But what if they can't?

Posted by: traderkirk | May 21, 2009 3:05 PM

cjhutch: "But is he another Tracy McGrady? All style, no substance, unable to go far in the playoffs?"

Are we talking about the same Tracy McGrady? Because the one I'm looking at has lots of substance.

Sure, he's been hurt the last couple seasons, but look at his playoff stats (over 7 seasons, three teams, 38 playoff games through 2007-08)

Minutes per game: 42
Points per game: 28.5
Assists per game: 6.2
Rebounds: 6.9
FG%: .430

That's not substance?

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 3:13 PM

trade the pick for Kwame Brown, if Kenny Greene is not available.

Posted by: garyhalperinyoga | May 21, 2009 3:18 PM

Let's bring back Kwame and then move the team to Seattle.

Posted by: chumbucket1 | May 21, 2009 3:18 PM


agreed. people seem to want to glorify the small negative over a career that involves teammates and a lil luck. I remember McGrady playing his azz off in the playoffs on a team hamstrung by Grant Hills contract without Grant Hill because of the ankle injury. That team would have done some playoff damage. Same thing in Houston. Give the man a break. Everything aint his fault.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 21, 2009 3:22 PM

"The bottom line is - the draft is a crapshoot. Griffin was the only bankable star, and the Wizards don't have the luck to end up with a guy like that. You want luck? How about Orlando getting THREE #1 picks, all studs, since they've been in existence? That's luck."

Don't mean to argue, but the NBA draft is a lot less of a crapshoot than, say, the NFL draft, or the NFL draft, or most remarkable of all, the MLB draft.

That's partly because the talent pool is so much smaller, and the scouting so much more intensive. That doesn't apply to foreign players, who remain murkier figures until they get to the States. But the typical top-tier US college basketball player has been scouted since he was a young teen, and a lot of the risk has been diluted by that vetting process.

That scouting process has whittled the top pick down to Blake Griffin. The two through six picks are less clear. But it's still a rarity when somebody slips all the way through the first round and still becomes an NBA star (whereas in the NFL it happens all the time).

Gilbert Arenas is the exception.

I think we'll get a good player at 5, should we decide to pick. I just don't think he'll be predictably good enough that some other team will offer us a key missing piece in exchange for him.

Nonetheless, assuming we don't utterly blow the pick on some unknown 7' Byelorussian, we could easily come up with a solid ten-year NBA regular.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 3:23 PM

On the other hand, if Grunfeld thought Ricky Rubio was as good as OJ Mayo or Derrick Rose, he might be able to package the 5th pick, a pick next year, and a regular, to trade up.

But I don't think he believes Rubio is that good.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 21, 2009 3:27 PM

Trade down and try to get Gerald Henderson. He has good offensive potential, but at the very least he'll play tough defense, something this team desperately needs...

Posted by: sargeantmofo | May 21, 2009 3:35 PM

I say package the pick with some combination of Blatche, James, Dixon, or Pecherov to get a veteran, physical front court player. I'm in favor of keeping Young, but I've seen enough of the Andre Blatche show. He's already been here longer than any of the other "young talent" that the Wizards/Bullets have traded away. Last year was a golden opportunity for him to show what he can do. He was healthy all year and the Wizards really needed him, but he came up short. He talked about how he felt "free" once Eddie Jordan left, in effect blaming the coach for his own shortcomings. And then, even after being "freed" he remained a prisoner of his own inconsistency and lack of work ethic. I think he's more likely another Kwame Brown than Ben Wallace.

Posted by: sonny2 | May 21, 2009 3:36 PM

I was extremely happy that the Wizards lost in the lottery.

The top 5 picks will be - in this order

1 - Tyler Hansbrough - North Carolina
2 - Danny Green - North Carolina
3 - Ty Lawson - North Carolina
4 - Blake Griffin - Oklahoma
5 - Wayne Ellington - North Carolina

Maryland basketball will finish with a 15-16 record this upcoming season
- No NCAA Bid
- No NIT Bid

Maryland football will finish with a 2 - 10 record.

Carolina Blue - Carolina WHITE - Go Tar Heels - Let's go Tar Heels - NCAA Champ

Posted by: hclark1 | May 21, 2009 3:44 PM

I have watched numerous pac 10 thursday and sunday night games over the past 3 years and have never come away from an AZ game saying wow, that Jordan Hill was a beast.

Posted by: seanmo1 | May 21, 2009 2:05 PM

I agree completely. Taking Pendergraph from AZ ST in the second round would be a better value pick. He plays good position defense and is already familiar with the zone which Flip has talked about using next year.

Posted by: djnnnou | May 21, 2009 3:53 PM

The Wizards need an enforcer, Blair of Pittsburgh would be great if they can trade down to 10 to 15

Posted by: lostdogrwd1011 | May 21, 2009 4:00 PM

I doubt Blair is still available at 10. He's apparently been looking very strong in postseason workouts and is attracting a lot of attention.

Posted by: flohrtv | May 21, 2009 4:16 PM

what's the fascination with henderson? i saw a really good college player, but i don't see him with as much upside as evans or derozan. not to mention, he's a duke guy and they don't really pan out in the league for whatever reason.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 21, 2009 4:34 PM

I love Derozan and I can't believe everyone has been smart enough to not even mention Hansbrough. He shouldn't even be the first Tar Heel taken, maybe not the second either. I agree we need some mean muscle inside. If we don't package a trade, I think we should go after Rasheed. He has got one good year in him. We also need a strong passing defensive point guard. I was never really a big fan of T Prince, but he fits the bill. Did Denver sign Billup to an extension or just get him for the rest of this season. He would be the player to put us over the top. Though Jamison has been a great player for this organization it would not bother me to see him go, and i just can't believe Stephenson is still here and Mason is gone. That was lunacy.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | May 21, 2009 4:52 PM

My biggest fears are 1) that we trade our pick just to dump a foolhardy contract. That would be an admission by Grunfeld that he was incompetent in taking on/signing bad contracts, and him single-handedly scr@wing our entire 2009 Draft. The reputation loss if our pick, or someone picked after us, emerged as the next Dwayne Wade would blemish him the rest of his career. I also hope that the team realizes that Wizards fans would not stand for our biggest offseason move after an uninspiring 19-win season being... dumping dead weight, especially if the guy who took it on in the first place is still our GM. My second big fear is that Derozan or Evans become the next NBA star, but we trade the pick for another 'Big 3'-ish player on the downside of his career. Personally, I think the alleged 'weakness' of this draft has been oversold by the media and that there are some potential stars and solid, immediate second-teamers/ possible starters by the end of the season to be had when we pick. We've been holding onto our 'core' and malnourishing our young talent too long, while other teams have passed us by. Bringing in an aging vet will only be another nod to our 2006 team, not the bold, confident stroke we need looking forward.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 21, 2009 6:09 PM

Hate to say it but it fits with the Wizards' recent past:

Take the best foreign player available with #5. Think of it as banking the pick.

Fill the team's most pressing need with the #32 pick. Probably a PF.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | May 21, 2009 6:21 PM

"Didn't Orlando just burn Cleveland with a power forward raining them in from the outside?"

It's shocking how much easier that is to do when you've got a C who can put up 20 and 20 on a regular basis.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 21, 2009 6:33 PM

Agreed Samson151 regarding the draft. Many other good comments.

Also, agreed kalo_rama about Howard. Of course, it also helps that Orlando has a balanced attack and a legit 3rd scoring option. Howard fouled out in the final minute, but the combo of Turg. and Lewis still created problems for the Cavs perimeter D -- especially with LeBron gassed.

Barkley called this one this past weekend.

Posted by: JPRS | May 21, 2009 9:17 PM

No way Ernie keeps this draft pick, or even the 2nd round pick unless he can stash him in Europe. Also one of the young bloods--NY or AB is probably gone in a package deal. I think Ernie is looking for a Jason Terry or Travis Outlaw type or maybe a Paul Milsap...he might even be tempted by Carlos Boozer, though I'm not sure he could make the salaries work in a trade for Boozer.

Btw, I think a healthy Wiz team matches up better against Orlando than the Cavs.

Posted by: oddjob1 | May 22, 2009 6:53 AM

The easiest way to handle this move is by trading their pick. The Wizards cannot draft another young player in hopes he'll contribute in 3 yrs, they have it already (Blatche, McGee, Pech, Young, etc). Reading the ESPN column by Hollinger trading down with the Grizzles or Thunder would be a smarter move. It allows them to dump player’s contracts and pick up someone; the question would be for whom? My guess it would be a three team trade where the Wizards give either the Grizzles or the Thunder their fifth pick and in return, they receive a lower pick and a NBA-ready player, possibly a former All-Star player.

On the other hand, I think the Wizards should trade out of the pick and get Chris Bosh in exchange for the fifth pick and possibly Etan Thomas plus cash. I'm a fan of Bosh and think he'll have a better impact for this team. The Raptors has no shot in keeping Bosh and Andrea Bargnani looks to be improving on his game so the best solution for the Raptors is to go younger. Bosh would have a chance to join a team that is playoff built and play for a coach that has worked with KG and Sheed. It the best solution for the Wizards and Chris Bosh…at least in my

Posted by: rcnasa | May 22, 2009 10:30 AM

I think everyone is underrating james harden. He's a much better athlete than people give him credit for and he's a genius of a shot creator for himself and others. He put too much trust in his teammates in the tournament (who were extremely overmatched, including pendergraph offensively) and can't play one on five because he can't hit pull ups of a ridiculous degree of difficulty. With NBA spacing and offensive talent, though, efficiency is key, and therefore playing the right way is a plus, and harden would be a major asset to the wizards as the de-facto point guard. He could be a stronger and better passing ginobli, and I can't see him turning out too far below that. Ideally I would like a big man but harden is too good to pass up at 5. And i guarantee his impact will be felt immediately, no matter where he ends up.

Posted by: truemilkman | May 22, 2009 11:31 AM


It must be great being a Tarheel. The irony of all those Heels coming out is that any one of them guys would be a good role player for the Wizards.

If expiring contracts are as golden as claimed, maybe Ernie can dump two of them for a couple of slots for some fresh Tarheel blood, and while they at bring in Phil Ford as an additional assistant.

Boy that would send some folks rounds' here in a tizzy.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 22, 2009 11:31 AM

I think clearly the best move would be trade the pick. Only problem is, the players that will be available at 5 are not that attractive. Trading for Stoudemire would make us an instant title contender but would Phoenix really give him up for Jamison and a suspect rookie?

That said, if we stay at 5, take a 2-guard. I haven't seen Hill play much so maybe Im being bias, but Harden is a scorer and a better defender than Nick Young. He could put pressure on NY to step his game up

Posted by: Gtown87 | May 22, 2009 1:57 PM

Package the #5 pick with Etan, James and/or Stephenson for Stoudamire. Or, if necessary, package #5 pick w/ Jamison/James & Stevenson for Stoudamire. Try and get Eric Maynor in the draft. This kid would be a perfect backup for Arenas. Larry Sanders may be available too.

Posted by: wiz_fan | May 22, 2009 3:10 PM

I would trade the 5th pick, Jamison, and Blatche to Phoenix for Amare Stoudmaire.

Posted by: tbhunt12 | May 23, 2009 9:27 AM

If we look to our position by position strength, we will be rated at #20 in NBA that means we are not playoff team.However this is not the right way of evaluating a team.The main reason I put the above statment is to tell you that the negatives on jamison is too much in this bloag.AJ is an under sized pF but he is one of the top effective offenssive players in NBA.Just take some Pf's from the top teams and compare them with AJ.Tim duncon, Gasol, KG,Nowinski, Bosh and elton brand are exceptionals. All NBA teams would need such players in their team.AJ should not be taken egatively even if he can not defend the above players, he need help on that area but he usualy out score or score close to them.David west, cavs, PF, orlando's Pf, portland PF and others are not better than him.what he need is a strong center .RL is a pf for orland having haward at the center makes him an effective PF for the team.Please let us stop down grading AJ, it is fine to replace him by the best PF but we have other significantly weak positions to improve the team and mainly we need to work in improving the team defensewith the current talent.I realy do not get it when we are trying to be cretical on a pro. who is the top 10 in double double.What we need right now is a strong rebounder that could improve our interior defense , that could play both center and PF. Blache and sangalia are not the answers for this need atleast from the chance each had the past season.We definately need another Gard. It could be a strong starting gard or a combo gard that could play both positions and help Arenas at the point.Stevenson did that in the year when he was fightling for his contract and last season by himself, he could be that person but i am not expecting him to come back 100% and be productive as a starter ,I personaly do nt want to see the 2008-09stevenson to be a starter.NY is so far a failure to take a starting responssiblity on that position since he is inconsistant ,not perfect in defense and also weak in his out side shooting.DM is an excellent back up player for both SG and PF position. Moving butler to SG might be a temporary solution in some games but it is asking him to defend very quick SG like alen, kobe,Redd, AI who could score 30 point evry night against hamilton score 31 against him.Butler is a complete SF ,his ball handling will improve with his confidence when he play with arenas, he can rebound( he was the leading rebounder for the team in one season),he will continue to play against best SF like paul.Moving him to SG with an expectation of improving the team is awrong plan.The clippers won 19 games with 4 big men in their roster not only because of injury but also do to chemistry problem.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 24, 2009 10:37 AM

This is very good!

Posted by: suesue8709 | May 28, 2009 5:58 AM

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