Workout Wrapup (UPDATED)

I'll have a story on the Pointguardpalooza in the paper on Wednesday, but if you want to know what went down today at Verizon Center, our favorite Bogger, Dan Steinberg offered up a full breakdown of the festivities. Anything that I may have missed, Agent Steinz has it covered. I have to agree with Dan on one thing: Brandon Jennings won the media session, hands down. The skinny kid with the Mohawk was a quote machine.

Jennings famously wore a Kid-N-Play, high-top fade at the 2008 McDonald's All-American game. He offered up the line of the afternoon when asked about the hairstyle he rocked during his one year playing professional ball in Italy. "I had the European, rough look," Jennings said. "That look like I've been in jail for a couple of years."

We only got to see the last 15 or so minutes of the workout, and it was pretty intense. Curry, Jennings, Flynn and A.J. Price ran three-on-three with N.C. State forward Brandon Costner and Clemson center Raymond Sykes.

The first thing I noticed was that Curry's jumper really was pure like Artisian water. He dropped the first three shots I saw him take -- a bank shot, a three-pointer and a pull-up jumper in transition -- and I asked Ernie Grunfeld if missed any shots. Ernie smiled and said, "Yes."

Then, the next drill came and the players were running two-man fast breaks with the trailer taking six shots. Flynn was feeding Curry and Curry missed his first five shots before making the last one. That's when I realized he was human, or just a smidge exhausted. But every shot he put up looked good at the release.

When the Wizards met Curry in Chicago, he wowed them in the interview from what I hear. Curry is probably the most NBA ready of the three point guards at Verizon Center that are expected to go in the lottery. He seems grounded and has a great basketball IQ (At one point, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders shouted up toward Grunfeld and tapped his right temple, which I assumed was a signal that Curry was pretty smart. After all, the guy is still studying for his college degree at Davidson).

Jennings had a pretty sick handle and quickness to boot. The best comparison I could come up with was Rajon Rondo with a better-looking jumper. Jennings, a lefty, was pretty much money from the left elbow, which made me think about how Avery Johnson used to consistently knock down shots from that spot. He also was an aggressive defender.

Flynn didn't stand out as much as the other two, but it's possibly because of his height. It could also be that he spent most of the practice serving as the setup man for everybody else. Flynn is short, but he's pretty solidly built. He also has pretty good hops. The times he did shoot, he usually hit it.

Jennings, Flynn and Curry were all good, but I also walked away impressed with the point guard that I left out in my story -- Price. Price, 22, was the oldest of the backcourt participants, having spent four trying seasons with the Huskies. No player at the workout has been through as much. He dealt with a life-threatening brain hemmorhage, was suspended for an academic year after stealing some laptop computers from a dorm, and suffered a knee injury in the NCAA Tournament as a junior.

Price is slated as a second-round pick and he spoke about why most general managers avoid seniors and go for youth and upside over experience in the draft. "That's the game. You draft on potential and hopefully, you groom players to become superstars," Price said. "Guys like me who been there four years, you know what you're going to get already and we're kind of a safe bet. You tend to overlook those guys. All you can do as a player is go out there and hope you get the right sitatuon for yourself."

Price hails from Amityville, N.Y., and played at the same high school as current Wizards reserve Mike James. He added that staying in college for four years has beneficial. "[Connecticut] Coach [Jim] Calhoun said it best, 'I came to UConn as a boy, and I left as a man,' " Price said. "It's not a knock if you stay four years. It doesn't me you're not as good if you don't come out early. Physically you're more ready for this level. I wouldn't change anything that happened at UConn for anyting in the world. It made the player I am today, the man I am today."

The one thing that I found interesting about the whole afternoon was that while Flynn was doing his interview, Javaris Crittenton, walked down the hallway to get ready to workout on his own (Nick Young and Andray Blatche also showed up do some individual work).

Crittenton got significant playing time at the end of last season and impressed his teammates and coaches with his work ethic and willingness to learn. But he has the most to lose if the Wizards keep the pick and select a point guard.

Grunfeld has made it clear that he is open to moving the selection, but there is no way the Wizards use the fifth pick on a third-string point guard. If they take somebody, the guy is going to play in all likelihood.

I also found out that the Wizards will bring in Arizona forward Jordan Hill for an individual workout on Thursday. Hill will likely be the last big name vying for that No. 5 spot coming to Washington before the June 25 draft.

By Michael Lee |  June 16, 2009; 8:02 PM ET
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If Crit had a jump shot to go with his ability to get to the rim and his passing and defense, he'd be a great backup for Gilbert. I hope that's what he's working on. It's encouraging that Blatche is working out, too. Maybe Flip had a talk with him.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | June 16, 2009 8:23 PM

The way I see it the Wiz only have 3 gaurds. They have Gil, Young, and Crit. James, Stevenson and Dixon are history. So if they bring in another gaurd Curry would be the best choice. He can play either position and get his own shot and what a shot he has.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | June 16, 2009 8:46 PM

"Everything you folks are saying points to Harden as the best pick.

Where are the big men workouts? I hope they bring in the Hill kid from Arizona and Blair at the same time..

Posted by: oknow1 | June 16, 2009 5:36 PM "

There are no big men workouts because Les BouleS seem to have lost focus, yet again, and forgot that they have a gaping hole in the paint for someone who has a post game and can defend.

Drafting another guard would and should again point to the fact that the pickup for Dee Brown 2 was an absolute waste because his replacement, Javaris Critt, isn't in the future anymore, as many have hoped and hyped after the end of a yet again sad season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 16, 2009 9:37 PM

Ok, so if Gilby is the future of this franchise, was he and has he been part of this talent evaluation?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 16, 2009 9:38 PM

I also found out that the Wizards will bring in Arizona forward Jordan Hill for an individual workout on Thursday. Hill will likely be the last big name vying for that No. 5 spot coming to Washington before the June 25 draft.

By Michael Lee | June 16, 2009; 8:02 PM ET

Posted by: djnnnou | June 16, 2009 9:42 PM

Yeah... Vince Carter


I like it.

Posted by: Darnell1 | June 16, 2009 9:48 PM

So who's the sleeper euro big man this season? No Dirk, no Pao, no OPech (LOL!)?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 16, 2009 9:49 PM

Price would be a good 2nd round pick.

Posted by: Darnell1 | June 16, 2009 9:56 PM

I would do Etan, James, Young, #5 for VC in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Darnell1 | June 16, 2009 10:02 PM

I can't tell if Ernie has a draft day deal going or if he's just stalling. Right now it looks like he'll work out anybody.

Posted by: djnnnou | June 16, 2009 10:03 PM

If I were EJ, I'd trade up the 2nd pick to get Tyler Hansborough in the 1st round before Utah picks him.

He's the classic Utah player.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 16, 2009 10:33 PM

Most of those teams are reserving their money for a shot at James, Wade, or Bosh. -kal

True.


Johnson is pretty far down on the list

I disagree. He'll probably be one of the 3 best guards on the list. Teams that opened enough money to bring in 2 players will be looking for a big and a small. And at 29 by that time, he'll probably be looking at his last long-term deal. If he doesn't think the Hawks can do much in that span, he ay look for another team. And a team looking to drop one of the better PF under the age of 24 simply to save money does not sound like a team that will then turn and go over the cap the following year to keep a 29 year old player at 15 a year for 4-5 years.

They're still in the early stages of rebuilding and Johnson is the foundation of that.

They are very much in the stages of rebuilding. But they are so young with all their key players, that when they are all peaking or close to peaking, he may then be on the down swing. He may not. But that's a lot of money to risk for a team that doesn't like to risk a lot of money.

I doubt they trade him too. Because NBA teams are averse to trading their top guys unless they get an even bigger 'name' in return. With the 5 pick and Butler, Atlanta would get a player who hits free agency during a year when teams don't have a lot of money freed up, possibly making him easier to resign at less. He also brings about the same output offensively as Johnson. They also would get the 5th pick, with which they could get on of the top 2 or 3 PG in the draft or the top SG or the second best PF (if they really want to drop Smith) or the best true center (where they can still drop Smith and move Horford to PF).

Posted by: segastyle | June 17, 2009 2:25 AM

Rondo with a jumper sounds pretty good. Maybe we need to take a serious look at this kid Jennings. If he'd gone to college, he might be at the top of the pg class.

Posted by: original_mark | June 17, 2009 7:06 AM

this comes from the june 17th edition of the racine journal times, a newspaper in wisconsin .... Former Bucks GM Ernie Grunfeld isn't afraid to pull the trade trigger, and that's why rumors about him dealing the Washington Wizards' No. 5 pick are gaining more credence.

I'm hearing a deal, which would revolve around Phoenix's Amar'e Stoudemire and the wizards' top pick, has a decent chance of going down.

Posted by: hireaaron | June 17, 2009 7:35 AM

Any chances of getting an interview/story with Critter? I like him, I'd like to see him perform, what's he doing to make sure that he cements a place for himself here next season?

Posted by: crs-one | June 17, 2009 7:56 AM

"Rondo with a jumper..."

Yes, he's a major talent. That defense is suspect however -- he probably put more into it with the scouts watching than he did during the regular season. He's almost the polar opposite of Rubio -- shorter but also quicker and faster, and a far better shooter. You know where he falls down? Running the team. He's just not that experienced. And that's what his Italian league team noticed every time they stuck him in a game -- he could score and pass, but the team didn't play very well.

Correctable, of course. But to me, none of the guys who tried out yesterday was a legit PG, except AJ Price.

And none of them is very tall. Maybe I'm harping on it too much, but a tall PG starts with a significant advantage. There are hordes of exceptions, but they don't mean a 6'4" player doesn't have that advantage.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 17, 2009 8:03 AM

Take Curry. The 3-point shooting contests with Arenas after practice are going to be classic!

Posted by: t-train | June 17, 2009 8:09 AM

Mike,
Can we get an update about the Harden workout last week? All I heard was that he was disappointed with it because he was sick. Since this is the guy that a lot of analysts are projecting us to pick, I'm curious as to how he performed here.

Posted by: original_mark | June 17, 2009 8:13 AM

Drafting another guard would and should again point to the fact that the pickup for Dee Brown 2 was an absolute waste because his replacement, Javaris Critt, isn't in the future anymore, as many have hoped and hyped after the end of a yet again sad season.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 16, 2009 9:37 PM

Where did you dream that up from. Javaris Crittendon, in comparison with any of these guards we have seen is just as good or better. None of these guards is as tall, and none of these guards has any of his experience. Lakers, Hornets, Wizards.

Javaris Crit is gonna make a two out of Gilbert where he should be. Gilbert playing the point comes from the fact that he should control Team flow, not the fact that he is a 1.

Javaris is the point guard for the Wizards as we shall soon see.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | June 17, 2009 8:46 AM

Curry is a solid 6'3" and has proven stronger then he looks. I've watched him play a lot of games, I've yet to see a team toss him around and get him off his game.

I've seen a lot of guys get in foul trouble and end up sending him to the line. Top NBA scorers all know how to get to the line. Curry has all of the traits of a good NBA scorer. In many ways the kid is a taller, more team oriented version of Iverson without the off the court issues.

From what I understand he actually likes to practice too.

The question is do the wiz need another scoring option? Or do they need help at the 5 more? Help at the 5 may be unfindable with the 5th pick, so does Ernie take Curry to shore up the guards and then looks to deal for inside help?

If Curry is the pick, Butler could be the guy that is dangled to get more inside help. With another scoring threat at guard, McGuire's defense and solid passing become bigger assets at the 3. Bring in a defensive minded 4 or 5 and Jamison could find additional minutes at the three as well.

In many ways I can see Curry being the pick for real.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | June 17, 2009 8:47 AM

Critt, Arenas and Curry could form an effective thre guard rotation with Stephenson(if healthy) available as a rugged defender and spot up shooter.

Jaun Dixon is the odd man out, and James is most likely gone by the deadline at the latest in a deal. I don't regard picking Curry as an end to Critt's time here.

Really quite the opposite, in a three guard rotation Critt would alway's be paired up with a scorer that can shoot from long range or drive and score or dish himself. That's got to open lanes to the hoop for a guy like Critt.

Critt is regarded as a good on the ball defender, his defense and playmaking would blend well with either Arenas or Curry's scoring ability.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | June 17, 2009 9:12 AM

If Curry is the pick, Butler could be the guy that is dangled to get more inside help. With another scoring threat at guard, McGuire's defense and solid passing become bigger assets at the 3. Bring in a defensive minded 4 or 5 and Jamison could find additional minutes at the three as well.

Sounds like a plan to me, GM. Curry and Gil starting together at times works if you have a bigger 3 and 4. Like I was saying last week, I'd feel really comfortable at the end of games if weed a bucket and have AJ, Gil, Curry all on the floor at the same time. If we were somehow able to retain CB, too? Sweet.

Posted by: original_mark | June 17, 2009 9:16 AM

take Curry! Our team doesn't need another 7 foot bust (Hill) or more young immature players. Plus he can play both guard positions which would be a nice option.

Posted by: WahooTim | June 17, 2009 9:18 AM

I think the Wiz are still committed to giving the big three another shot and would be unlikely to trade one of them (unless there is an offer out there that they just could not refuse).

As I have posted before, I think plan A for the draft is to trade the #5 pick with one or more for their dead weight contracts (i.e. James and/or Thomas) to get a veteran(s) that could help them win now.

If they have to keep the pick, I think Hill or Harden with be chosen.

Posted by: cannontl | June 17, 2009 9:39 AM

I'm really starting to hope for Curry. He's so good off the ball, that he'd be a great fit with Gilbert who obviously likes to dominate the ball. Then, when Gil gets tired, Curry can use his point guard skills. Teams don't need a dominating flashy point as much as they used to. Rather, they need a smart intelligent point who makes the simple "right" plays. I think Curry would do this.

Posted by: Shanen | June 17, 2009 9:44 AM

I would do Etan, James, Young, #5 for VC in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Darnell1 | June 16, 2009 10:02 PM


Of course the Wizards would do it! But the question is why would the Nets trade their franchise player for our trash? (Yes, I know they are the Nets...)

Posted by: mabkhar | June 17, 2009 9:49 AM

"Like I was saying last week, I'd feel really comfortable at the end of games if weed a bucket and have AJ, Gil, Curry all on the floor at the same time"

I'd rather have AJ, Gil, and Butler. If it ends up being a toss-up for getting "big man help" between trading the #5 or trading Butler, no shot in heck I'd trade Butler. Even if Butler garners a little more in terms of picking up a slightly better big man, I still wouldn't trade Butler over trading the #5.

Of course, I wouldn't trade the #5 regardless, unless it ends up being a steal. And that's not likely to happen. So, as I've lobbied for all along, keep everyone together, draft who you can at #5, then see what happens in season. If we're 'contending', move James and Thomas for a vet at the trade deadline. If we're not 'contending', let their deals expire, then look to move a piece of the "Big 3" (if possible) for future assets.

Posted by: psps23 | June 17, 2009 9:58 AM

does anyone remember the story "The Emperor's New Clothes"? Ernie and Abe are the swindlers and the people on here that think this team has a chance of winning a championship are the Emperor!

Wake up people Ernie is a con man and you are buying the clothes.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | June 17, 2009 9:58 AM

I really don't understand the Vince Carter pimpin' going on here...

At this point in his career, Vince Carter is overpaid, overrated... just plain over.

There is no way that the Nets consider him their franchise player. Not at this point.

This isn't Vinsanity anymore, he doesn't leap out the gym anymore and settles for three point shots more than his Tar Heel buddy, Antwan Jamison. You don't see Vince Carter consistently play defense, and it seems that he puts it on cruise control more often than he should.

Vince Carter is the definition of a classic underachiever -- he's been that way his entire career. Why would you want him to come to the Wizards to exercise his best trait: mediocrity

What could Vince Carter come and do to help the Wizards? Could he help Haywood close out the paint? Play perimeter defense? Run the offense like a true PG?

The answer is no, he can't. Some of you vouch off name alone and not what he has done lately, which should be the mantra in all sports.

Posted by: RedDMV | June 17, 2009 10:09 AM

RedDMV = voice of reason today.

This Vince stuff is maddening. The last thing we really need is a one dimensional shooter who plays no defense. Curry makes more sense than Vince because of the age factor and his ability to man the point if necessary. If this was 2000, I'd be all for it but now? No way.

Posted by: original_mark | June 17, 2009 10:20 AM

I'm hearing a deal, which would revolve around Phoenix's Amar'e Stoudemire and the wizards' top pick, has a decent chance of going down.

Posted by: hireaaron | June 17, 2009 7:35 AM

yes i read the same thing, and ever since Amare Stoudemire was in the news for being traded i always thought it would be to washington. It makes the most sense for us. And especially if we can make the move without giving up our big three then it would be a hugee sleeper.

If phoenix is smart they would ask for jamison. but i wouldnt trade butler with the pick for him. Butler is the heart and soul of the team. given our current roster can anyone come up with a trade scenario that would make sense to acquire stoudemire?...plus...he might leave next season anyway so they might as well deal him.

I also want to remind you all that Amare was averaging career numbers when he played the 5 in phoenix..I know D'antoni's system inflates everyones numbers, but he was even averaging 10 rpg and was an up and coming dominant big man in the game. I think the trade of shaq declined his numbers. but the best case scenario i could come up with was...

wizards trade
#5( jordan hill )
darius songalia
mike james
10' first round draft pick
10' second round draft pick

phoenix trades
amare stoudemire
and some fillers to match contracts.

any suitors if your phoenix and want to clear cap space while acquiring a top 5 talent?

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | June 17, 2009 10:23 AM

My best crystal ball reading shows our #5 pick being traded for a veteran big, which one Grunfeld has not made up his mind yet plus one or two of the expiring contracts, certainly none of the big three. In the second round, Wiz will pick a point guard who can also be SG, probably Sergio Llul or Nick Calathes if he's still around.

Posted by: rickgonz | June 17, 2009 10:33 AM

If Phoenix trades Amare to the Wiz, Jamison or Butler is going to the Suns along with our Top 5 pick and either James/Etan. Starting 5:

Arenas
Stevenson
Jamison/Butler
Stoudemire
Haywood

Posted by: t-train | June 17, 2009 11:33 AM

Mike,
Can we get an update about the Harden workout last week? All I heard was that he was disappointed with it because he was sick. Since this is the guy that a lot of analysts are projecting us to pick, I'm curious as to how he performed here.


Posted by: original_mark

For what it's worth, Chris Miller (CSN) reported that Harden had an excellent workout.

Posted by: Lisa_R | June 17, 2009 11:53 AM

Any trade for Stoudemire needs to be made with the idea that he'll leave as a FA after this year. If the Wiz are commited to building a strong team long-term, trading the No. 5 plus Jamison or Butler for Stoudemire would be a poor move simply made to appease fans short term. His scoring is also somewhat inflated by having played his career with Nash.

I'm a believer in picking the best player available which sounds like Curry if he's still available at No. 5. Whether he plays point and Agent Zero slides over to shooting guard should be a moot point. People forget that Larry Hughes and Arenas were pretty interchangeable during their 2 years together. Curry's shooting range will also open up things more for CB3 and Jamison who won't be forced to create their own shots.

If Curry is already gone, it sounds like Harden is the next best alternative at No. 5 if we hold the pick.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 17, 2009 12:13 PM

Stoudemire has created some questions about himself last season. I know Flip likes to get out and push the ball, but are the Wiz going to run a system like Stoudemire cut his teeth on playing for D'Antoni?

Amare seems to like to be the only guy working inside and surrounded by shooters that really create space for him to work. Can he thrive in a more conventional system?

The guy that never gets mentioned in all the power forward talk is Boozer. If the Wiz pick and keep Curry, would Salt Lake be willing to work a sign and trade built around Boozer for Butler?

Everbody seems to think the Jazz have targeted Hansbrough in the first round & they already have Milsap. I can kind of see Butler fitting on that roster.

If Boozer leaves as a FA Salt Lake gets nothing. Would Boozer and the Jazz consider a sign and trade? If he does that, he can get one more year on a deal which sweetens the pot on the backend.

It's another name to consider.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | June 17, 2009 12:33 PM

"I disagree. He'll probably be one of the 3 best guards on the list. "

But it's not all guards, is it? It also includes SFs (James), PFs (Nowitzki, Bosh) and possibly Cs (Yao, Camby). Johnson's not going to be in the top 5 and maybe not even in the top 10 targets.

"They are very much in the stages of rebuilding. But they are so young with all their key players, that when they are all peaking or close to peaking, he may then be on the down swing. He may not. But that's a lot of money to risk for a team that doesn't like to risk a lot of money."

Not if they have any interest in being competitive going forward. He's the best, most important, most recognizable player on an up-and-coming team showing some playoff promise coming off more than a decade of living in the lottery. It's called team building. There's no chance they just let him go to save money. If they let him go they plunge back into the lottery and reveal themselves to be a team that cares more the bottom line than winning, at which point top FAs won't be that interested in their money. As for age and Johnson possibly "being on the downside" . . . he's 28 years old, in the prime of his career with several highly productive years left. And it's not like the rest of the guys on the team are teenagers who won't peak for 5 more years. Besides, if the Hawks are strapped for cash and worried about aging players, logic says their first move would be to renounce 31 year old Mike Bibby when his $18 mill contract expires this summer, don't you think?

"He (Butler) also brings about the same output offensively as Johnson."

No, he really doesn't. Johnson is a better outside shooter, much better off the dribble, and is a better passer than Butler. Put another way, Johnson is the best player on a lower rung playoff team. Butler is the second or third best player on a lower rung playoff team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 17, 2009 12:49 PM

flohrv: "Critt, Arenas and Curry could form an effective thre guard rotation with Stephenson(if healthy) available as a rugged defender and spot up shooter"

Now this I don't follow. Maybe people see Curry and Crittenton as more ready than I do. I worry about either one of them playing defense, particularly alongside Arenas. Curry looks a bit slow IMO, and Crittenton is really pretty raw. For all his faults, Stevenson is probably a better fit right now than either of the others.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 17, 2009 12:50 PM

Oh, and add Stoudamire's name to the list of guys ahead of Johnson on the 2010 FA depth chart.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 17, 2009 12:50 PM

kalorama: "Put another way, Johnson is the best player on a lower rung playoff team. Butler is the second or third best player on a lower rung playoff team."

I'd agree with that. Plus it looks to me like Johnson is the more versatile of the two -- a legit two position player.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 17, 2009 12:52 PM

"This Vince stuff is maddening."

Almost as much as the Rasheed Wallace stuff.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 17, 2009 12:57 PM

"Put another way, Johnson is the best player on a lower rung playoff team. Butler is the second or third best player on a lower rung playoff team."

Kind of a pointless comparison. If Johnson swapped with Butler, Johnson would also be the 2nd or 3rd best player on a lower rung playoff team (the Wizards), while Butler would likely be the best player on a lower rung playoff team (Atlanta). Atlanta's talent is spread among 5 key players. Washington's is concentrated in 3 central players. Judging them relative to their teammates isn't the best way to go about it.

Posted by: psps23 | June 17, 2009 1:09 PM

"Kind of a pointless comparison. If Johnson swapped with Butler, Johnson would also be the 2nd or 3rd best player on a lower rung playoff team"

No, because there's a realistic possibility that Johnson is or could be better (all around) than Arenas or Jamison. That ship has pretty much sailed on Butler.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 17, 2009 1:36 PM

"Atlanta's talent is spread among 5 key players. Washington's is concentrated in 3 central players. "

In other words, Johnson is the best player on a team with 5 really good players. Butler is the second or third best player on a team with 3 really good players.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 17, 2009 1:41 PM

"In other words, Johnson is the best player on a team with 5 really good players. Butler is the second or third best player on a team with 3 really good players.

Posted by: kalo_rama"

See, now I think you're just arguing for the sake of arguing.

Arenas and Jamison are legitimate all-stars, with multiple appearances on their record.

Josh Smith, Al Horford, Marvin Williams, and Mike Bibby, while all very good players, have never been to an all-star game (I believe). Certainly the first three have the potential, but judging at this moment, they're nowhere near Arenas or Jamison in overall ability and production.

So if you're judging based on equivalent overall teams (which I assume is what you meant by saying they're both lower-rung playoff teams), then it's obvious that a concentration of talent in 2 players (Arenas and Jamison) yields a higher average per player than a concentration in talent in 4 players (Smith, Bibby, Williams, Horford). Therefore saying Johnson is the best among his teammates, while Butler is 2nd or 3rd, doesn't really tell us anything meaningful when comparing the two players.

And I don't think Johnson has a legitimate shot at being better than the 'old' Arenas. A hobbled, possibly career-long affected Arenas? Sure, he could be better. But so could Butler.

In the end, I think they're about equivalent. Johnson is better on the perimeter, Butler is better working a diverse overall game. And neither is that much better than the other in either situation to make a significant difference. Butler had an off year (and one that isn't as terrible as people on this blog like to believe). He's also just one year removed from a season that led people to legitimately question whether the team should be built around he, not Arenas (when he was the best player on a lower rung playoff team). My opinion is that he meets somewhere in the middle.

Posted by: psps23 | June 17, 2009 2:21 PM

what happened to dominant dwight psps?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 17, 2009 2:26 PM

Why does everyone in Washington want to trade their young talent for older players that are over their prime? One example was when they traded Richard Hamilton for Stackhouse. They've been in the playoffs for the last 4 out of 5 yrs.

Posted by: girland | June 17, 2009 2:58 PM

"But every shot he put up looked good at the release. "

The same was true of Jarvis Hayes and Labradford Smith.

Posted by: MikeNelmsReturns | June 17, 2009 3:13 PM

"what happened to dominant dwight psps?

Posted by: lilhollywood10"

Hey, I never said he was perfect. But he did post a 16 point, 20 rebound, 9 block game -- and they still lost. I can't remember the last time I saw a performance like that in a Finals game. Unfortunately, LA was just too talented.

Posted by: psps23 | June 17, 2009 3:43 PM

"what happened to dominant dwight psps?

Posted by: lilhollywood10"

Hey, I never said he was perfect. But he did post a 16 point, 20 rebound, 9 block game -- and they still lost. I can't remember the last time I saw a performance like that in a Finals game. Unfortunately, LA was just too talented.

Posted by: psps23 | June 17, 2009 3:43 PM

Not getting 20 plus against the stalwart defender pau gasol isn't symptomatic of dominance. 16 pts with 8 coming from th line isn't dominance. He is dominant on the boards, but offensively and even 1-on-1 defensively he has a long way to go if we're gonna call him dominant. He is the most exciting big man in the league, but i think i'll need him to come up with at least 10 made shots per game every game to consider him as approaching dominant. 16-20-9 was his best game, there was no 40s or 30s, there were 12s and 16s and 18s. He can't be dominant and a non-factor at the same time.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | June 17, 2009 4:14 PM

"Javaris is the point guard for the Wizards as we shall soon see.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | June 17, 2009 8:46 AM "

What makes you think Gilby can thrive at the 2 spot? He can't guard 1's, and now he'll have to guard 2's who will be running all over the place and jumping over him?

Keep dreaming dude.

If they draft a PG as a lottery pick, they don't draft him to keep the bench warm.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | June 17, 2009 5:43 PM

"Arenas and Jamison are legitimate all-stars, with multiple appearances on their record. "

You want to talk about pointless comparisons and bad judgments? The all-star game is hardly an automatic badge of greatness. Jamison's been to two all-star games in 11 years in the NBA, and didn't make it to his first one until his 7th or 8th year. Arenas has been to 3 in 8 years (and one of those was as a last minute injury replacement). It's not like they're perennials (a la Kobe or Shaq in his prime). They had a couple good years on a decent team. That's really all it takes. I have no doubt Horford will make make a couple before his career is out. Smith has a chance if he can get his head on straight. And Bibby has never been an all-star, but during the prime of his career he put up numbers as good or better than many players who have.

"And I don't think Johnson has a legitimate shot at being better than the 'old' Arenas."

His overall game is already more well-rounded than "Old" Arenas' was. The only thing Arenas did better than Johnson was put points on the board, which was balanced out by the fact that Johnson does a little bit of everything else better. I have no doubt that plenty o coaches and GMs would take Johnson over Arenas to start a team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | June 18, 2009 12:35 AM

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