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Flip Saunders: 'Let's be greedy'

Washington Wizards Coach Flip Saunders endured virtually every malady you could have envisioned -- and others that no one could have predicted -- this season. That's what made getting the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA draft so special; now, officially, the Wizards can close the book on a disastrous 2009-10 and look ahead to adding either John Wall or Evan Turner.

"I think it was a combination of reactions," Saunders said this morning at a news conference at Verizon Center when asked for his reaction to Washington winning the NBA draft lottery last night. "Number one, when we saw Philadelphia bump up and Golden State move down, at that point we knew that we were in the top three, and I think everyone was ecstatic that for one of the few times we were moving up. I said, 'Hey, we're in the top three. That's great.' Then I said, 'Let's be greedy.'

"So it kept on going, it kept on going. It got to number one, and as I told somebody, it looked like a bunch of kids playing Little League that were getting ready to go to Dairy Queen that had just won a game. Everyone is jumping around like little kids."

Saunders was noncommittal when asked if he thought the first pick would be Wall, the dynamic point guard from Kentucky, or Turner, the versatile all-American from Ohio State who won every major player of the year award. But he did say he had a preference.

Did he want to share that with the public?

"No," Saunders said, laughing heartily.

By Gene Wang  |  May 19, 2010; 11:22 AM ET
 
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Comments

An organization with a coherent strategy is bound to get better. Given time, the Wizards will field a great team we can all be proud of.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 19, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Question?

Who has more championship rings Jordan and Kobe or Nash and Kidd?

So do the Wizards go with a point guard or a 6'7" shooting guard?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 19, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

He's a point guard coach, it's no mystery who he wants.

Posted by: zxhoya | May 19, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Give me Turner!

Posted by: zxhoya | May 19, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards should pick John Wall without a doubt. He is the best player available, and the best point guard. And good point guards don't come about very often. And when you get a chance to draft one you should, look at how it turned out for the Bulls with Rose.

Check out my blog on the draft:
http://eastcoastpaperboy.com/2010/05/19/powerball-new-york-lottery/

Posted by: jon3889 | May 19, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Why is that the chincy way out? Is MJ's legacy lessened because he had Pippen? Wishful thinking on your part."

How many rings and finals MVPs did Pippen have when he signed with chicago?

Posted by: divi3 | May 19, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Wiz should package pick and Arenas together and trade them for a kings randsom which they would receive.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 19, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

BTW I guarantee you you could get a whole lot in return from the NJ owner--Harris No. 1 picks for years etc. That guy is a huge fish waiting to be reeled in. He would give anything for that No. 1.

Posted by: dovelevine | May 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Question?

Who has more championship rings Jordan and Kobe or Nash and Kidd?

So do the Wizards go with a point guard or a 6'7" shooting guard?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 19, 2010 11:40 AM |

What about a 6'4" shooting guard paired with Wall?

You don't have to answer. Couldn't pass that up. I know you believe that their is no way that Wall and Gilbert could make Teams be for mercy.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 19, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Who has more championship rings Jordan and Kobe or Nash and Kidd?

So do the Wizards go with a point guard or a 6'7" shooting guard?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 19, 2010 11:40 AM

This is the stuff that proves conclusively you are just a hater through and through!

How long have you moaned on and on about a "true pg" and how Gil was a sorry excuse for a pg. If only we had drafted Nash eons ago! Watch Rondo play! Tony Parker! Why cant we have Chris Paul? And on and on and on.

We get the biggest stroke of luck in forever, have the #1 overall pick when the THE consensus player is a 6'4" true PG super athlete...and you're instantly on Turner knowing full well we're picking Wall.

You're a trip dude!

Posted by: divi3 | May 19, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Blow up the team, draft John Wall, start from scratch. This should be a OKC Thunder style rebuild.

Trade the mentally inadequate players for whatever we can get: Blatche (should fetch decent value) and Young (for whatever we can get). These guys are mired in mediocrity. They've been losing for so long, they don't know what it takes to win. That's a dangerous and perpetuating psyche to have.

If we could get rid of Arenas, obviously that should happen too. But that's not likely.

I'm tempted to toss McGee in the Blatche/Young group, but I still hold out hope for him. He's young yet.

Keep Singelton and Thornton, resign Miller, pick up the option on JHoward. Draft Wall, #30, #35. Along with McGee and Arenas, that's 9 players, plus whatever we get for Blatche (hopefully mid-1st), and whatever we get for Young (not much). Fill out the rest of the roster accordingly in FA.

It's time to build this thing from the ground up.

Posted by: psps23 | May 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

beg for mercy

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

'Who has more championship rings Jordan and Kobe or Nash and Kidd?

So do the Wizards go with a point guard or a 6'7" shooting guard?'

The thing is, Turner is no Kobe nor Michael Jordan so there's no comparison. Also, Turner had a broken back a year back and missed several games. He healed up now yea, but with back injury, it will come back to him as he get older (see Tracy McGrady).

Wall by default, there should not be a debate, period!

Sign Rudy Gay, trade arenas for some role players (rebounder - nothing fancy). Use the 30th and 34th pick on sharp 3 point shooters.

Wall to McGee, will put on a show especially when both can really run the floor.

Posted by: demonj21 | May 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

plus whatever we get for Blatche (hopefully mid-1st0
Posted by: psps23

And Blatche goes somewhere else and blows up like C-Webb and Rasheed did?

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 19, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Get a grip, folks.

To all of you hoping that the Wiz draft Turner--if Arenas weren't on the team, would you still want Turner to be drafted No. 1? My guess is most of you want Turner because he's supposedly the better fit to play alongside Arenas.

When you pick No. 1 you have to pick the best overall talent!

Posted by: gimmedat | May 19, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

psps23

As I told one fella earlier, THE TEAM HAS ALREADY BEEN BLOWN UP.

Cannot believe you are saying give up Blatche, McGee, Young, Arenas, and build around a rookie.

That is a look to give up for a number one pick. Sometimes our logic makes no sense.

Just because you got the number one pick dosen't mean you trade your best players just for the sake of starting from scratch.

Did you really say get rid of Blatch and McGee, for whom???

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 19, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

'Who has more championship rings Jordan and Kobe or Nash and Kidd?

So do the Wizards go with a point guard or a 6'7" shooting guard?'

The thing is, Turner is no Kobe nor Michael Jordan so there's no comparison. Also, Turner had a broken back a year back and missed several games. He healed up now yea, but with back injury, it will come back to him as he get older (see Tracy McGrady).

Wall by default, there should not be a debate, period!

Sign Rudy Gay, trade arenas for some role players (rebounder - nothing fancy). Use the 30th and 34th pick on sharp 3 point shooters.

Wall to McGee, will put on a show especially when both can really run the floor.


Posted by: demonj21 | May 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

good stuff holmes. i think john wall won't hit 19 until september of this year, with no major injury concerns, not to mention the ability to play point guard. He's the head and shoulders No1 overall pick unless he gets hurt before the draft or Turner pulls out the 5o inch vert and 65 foot 3pt range, and even then he still wouldn't be a pg.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 19, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Blatche has all the ability in the world to dominate, but lacks any of the desire, maturity, and mental acuity to win consistently.

The rebuild will need to start from the franchise culture on up. This team needs self-motivated leaders that infect the locker room with a culture of work, work, work. Blatche is the opposite of that. Trade him before the draft to rid the locker room of the complacency that has run rampant for the last few years.

Posted by: psps23 | May 19, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Assuming we draft Wall, is it a foregone conclusion that Livingston and Gilbert are out?

I would much rather have Gilbert at the two next year than Miller.

I would much rather have both Livingston and Wall at the one next year than a mix with Gilbert at the one or Foye or mighty mouse off the bench.

I say if nothing comes up better, then it might be smart to keep both Livingston and Gilbert for at least one year.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The rebuild will need to start from the franchise culture on up. This team needs self-motivated leaders that infect the locker room with a culture of work, work, work. Blatche is the opposite of that. Trade him before the draft to rid the locker room of the complacency that has run rampant for the last few years.

Posted by: psps23 | May 19, 2010 12:23 PM

Except that your statement is inacurate, for it gave Blatche no credit for his maturity and work ethic last year. Your characteriztion of Blatche would be accurate 2 or more years ago, but maturation and work ethic has clearly taken root in the fella.

Get Real.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Question?

Who has more championship rings Jordan and Kobe or Nash and Kidd?

So do the Wizards go with a point guard or a 6'7" shooting guard?

Posted by: bulletsfan78

Well, 6'9" Bill Russell has 11, so I guess we should take Favors. =P

Posted by: ts35 | May 19, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"The rebuild will need to start from the franchise culture on up."

So why on earth do you want to sign Mike Miller and Josh Howard? I agree about the dangers of a losing mentality....but you do realize Miller has been starting on 45-50 loss teams for years now? Howard will be coming off major knee surgery?

Why start from scratch by signing used up old heads?

Posted by: divi3 | May 19, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Larry, I think you're shielded by the win-now mentality surrounding most fans.

Look at the Eastern Conference. Orlando is set for years. Boston is still humming along. Chicago is on the upswing, with cap room to maneuver. And the giant list of FAs are running to move to teams with cap space, almost all of which are in the East. One or more of those teams will instantly become contenders when Lebron/Wade/Bosh move. The Wizards are not winning anything with a majority of their current makeup.

Yes, I'm saying rebuild around a rookie. A franchise rookie that can run the team. The Wiz also have 2 more picks in this draft, rumored to be a deep one. If you trade Blatche, that's 3 more picks (and hopefully Blatche's is a mid-high pick). That gives the Wizards a 4-man youngster tandem to build with, along with McGee (I didn't say to trade him). I'll take that in a heartbeat over what I've been seeing the last few years.

Posted by: psps23 | May 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Is Wall 6'4"? Didn't realize he was that tall. I think most people are saying draft Turner bc they think he IS the best player in the draft. I am kind of in that camp, but based on position and potential, we will pick Wall and I'm ok with it. Besides we might also get Ashley Judd sitting court side, which is not a bad thing either...lol.

Posted by: rphilli721 | May 19, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: divi3

The difference is that Miller doesn't command the team on the court the way a supposed star like Blatche would. Miller is a supporting guy with a good head on his shoulders. But players wouldn't look to Miller in tight times to carry a team.

With Blatche they would. And that's why his lack of maturity is so dangerous. Plus you can't really compare how Blatche carries himself mentally to how Miller does.

Picking up the option on Howard is a one-year thing. It doesn't tie up anything long-term. He's a good veteran to have around, comes from a history of success, and he wouldn't hamstring the cap for the future. His contract would open up space for the 2011 FA class.

Posted by: psps23 | May 19, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

psps23, you're on to something. I like Blatche a lot but I don't he seem to be more concern about breaking records to help soar his chance of landing a big contract rather than making the team better. I would give him another chance this year but I wouldn't be sad to see him go. As for McGee, I just hope he's in the weigh room right now. It fun watching him dunk and everything but not when he's being pushed around like a ping pong ball.

Yea, Arenas has to go too. Don't resign Howard, miller, or Foye.

Posted by: demonj21 | May 19, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Larry, I think you're shielded by the win-now mentality surrounding most fans.

psps23,

On the contrary my good fella I'm looking at fielding the best of the situation now as a long term goal.

Sure it sounds good to jettison what we think are damaged goods and build around a rookie.

But, what is so wrong with that, is that the rookie hasn't played one year in the NBA yet. He is unproven. Your synopsis would be more appropriate after one year with the players you want to get rid off.

Then you have a more sure fire evaluation of the rookie and if any of the current cast is worth retaining.

Your plan bets everything on the rookie. My synopsis bets everything on more than just the rookie going forward.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 19, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Uh psps23?

You want to 'blow up' the team, but keep Singleton, Miller and Howard?

You're worried about the maturity level of AB and NY, but you want to keep Howard? At least AB and NY have somewhat of an excuse that they are young idiots. Howard started developing his issues as he got older.

If you want to blow it up and ditch all of the headcases, that's fine, just make sure you're consistent about it. And sadly, we're unlikely to move the biggest headcase, so it may be moot.

Posted by: ts35 | May 19, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

ts35, I'm willing to give Howard the benefit of the doubt. He came in with an attitude to prove his doubters wrong, and I also believe his mishaps were blown way out of proportion in Dallas. Sometimes a change of scenery can do wonders for an athlete. It's not that I don't believe Blatche or Young CAN'T be good, it's that I don't believe they will be good here. It's too stale, they've been here too long. Change is needed. None of Miller, Thornton, Singleton, or Howard have been here longer than a year. And as I said, Howard is only a one-year deal.

Posted by: psps23 | May 19, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Ultimately, you're just wanting to get rid of two of the guys they have under contract. That's not really 'blowing it up'.

Btw, how much are you going to play Singleton and Miller to stay?

Posted by: ts35 | May 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

sorry *pay* not *play*

Posted by: ts35 | May 19, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

psps23, your assumptions on why Blatche and Young can't be a success here and why some others will because they aren't stale here dosen't really pass the smell test.

I would be cautious this year on whom we decide to get rid off, unless they are the obvious choices, like Foye, Dribble Dribble, Fabulous, even Miller.

Trust me, it isn't the time right now be talking about getting rid of Blatche.

John Wall makes Blatche expendable. I don't think so.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 19, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

trade Blatche for a mid 1st? Are you insane? Blatche makes 3mil per for the next 2 years and you want to trade that & his 20 & 10 potential for an average mid 1st guy who will probably end up being a bench/role player?

Posted by: dlts2041 | May 19, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"And as I said, Howard is only a one-year deal."

A 1-year deal worth $11 mill for a 30-year-old player coming off major knee surgery who may not be available to play when the season starts, and almost certainly won't be near 100% when he is cleared to play. I thought there was a chance and a justification that the might pick up his option before the injury. Now it makes no sense at all.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 19, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Of the remaining players under contract, only Blatche and Gil have "reputation" issues. As such, I don't think anyone would argue against using either as a piece in a sign and trade that returns one of the premier free agents in this class.

I agree that we have already done the heavy lifting of the rebuild and don't need to tear down the remaining five guys to build around Wall yet, but nobody under contract is untouchable.

If the Wizards intend on playing a role in the 2011 FA sweepstakes (Melo, maybe Durant..., M. Gasol) then picking up the option on a guy like J Howard can make a lot of sense as he becomes a trade asset at the deadline next season as an expiring contract. Plus we need someone to pick up the slack scoring the ball now that Butler and Jamison are gone. He wouldn't be my first choice, but he does preserve our cap space and fill up the stat sheet.

Posted by: jbisdaman | May 19, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Guys we are getting to far ahead of ourselves. Bring in Wall and let him jell with AB, GA, NY, JM, and Al Thronton. Keep Livingston and resign Dwight Howard. Get some good back up with 30th and 34th picks. It will all work out and stop bashing NY and AB, let those guys play.Pick up David Lee from the New York Knicks and we will fill up the Phone Booth.

Posted by: GHALL4 | May 19, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

You don't need to sign a player as a placeholder to "preserve cap space." All you need to do is not spend it. And if you do that, the $11 mill in cap space becomes just as attractive a trade asset as Howard's expiring contract as they both serve the same purpose to potential trade partners. Picking up Josh Howard does little to nothing for the Wizards next season, either on the court or on the balance sheet.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 19, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Kalo - I didn't know as much detail about his injury and didn't see your comment prior to mine. I agree there isn't a need to use him as a placeholder, but if he was able to play - he's a scorer...and we need scorers. Specifically on the bench. Thats what I was saying. Gil and Blatche are the only two proven scorers we have going forward. If we draft Wall I think he becomes our 3rd.

Posted by: jbisdaman | May 19, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Spending $11 mil on a guy coming off the bench is bad roster/cap/team management.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Kalo, what are you even talking about? 1st off Howard when healthy will not be coming off the bench. He would be the starting 3. Most of all, why do you keep talking about 11mil? Have you been watching or listening?

There is no way in hell that the Wiz would pick up the option. No one is saying to do that and even Howard knows that wont happend. When people say to keep him, they mean to resign him as a FA for a lesser price. He seems like he's willing to. Make it a 1yr 7.5mil deal or something

Posted by: dlts2041 | May 19, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou70 | May 19, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou70 | May 19, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

For all you so called GM's out there, until the Wizards can play some defense they wont be winning anything. Yeah,John Wall will be a great addition but they play no defense:

Nick Young-plays no defense
Andre Blatche- plays no defense (needs to get in the weight room he looks fat and only plays for himself)
Gibert Arenas- plays no defense
Mike Miller-plays no defense
Randy Foye- plays no defense
JaValle McGee- (tries to block every shot and gets dunked on) plays no defense
The rest of the bandwagon- plays no defense

Posted by: paulelucas2 | May 20, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Except that your statement is inacurate, for it gave Blatche no credit for his maturity and work ethic last year. Your characteriztion of Blatche would be accurate 2 or more years ago, but maturation and work ethic has clearly taken root in the fella.

Get Real.

LarryInClintonMD.

Did you forget Blatche quitting on his team this past season. Mature he is not!

Posted by: agreen3 | May 20, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

For those of you who don't know bball, John Wall is the best player in this draft, he is faster than every point guard in the nba right now (even Chris Paul), Jason Kidd and Tyreke evans are the only starting point guards that are taller at 6'5 and 6'6 respectively. Wall plays defense, is a great passer and plays 100 miles an hour at all times. The only thing he needs to work on is his jumper. Why draft Evan Turner who is just a scorer when you can get Wall and get everything. Wall is the best player accross the board and the only pick for the Wizards.

Posted by: agreen3 | May 20, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

all of you wiz fans are missing a very important point.that point is that as long as ernie bernie and flippy wippy are gm and coach,you got nothin!how many rings do either have?0.flip inheriredf a championship team in detroit,and did nothin!the only thing ernie did was stumble up on garnett and redd totally by accident.whos been putting this team together for the last few years? ernie bernie,and they still are fair to middlin.why leonsis is keeping these two runnin this ship is beyond me.so for all of you do-gooders who want to run gil out of town(by the way,this team head a sub 500 record wayyy before gils trouble surfaced,so stop blaming him for this sorry organizations failures for this year)you need to re-focus on your coach and your gm.a way will be found to muff this pick also,just wait and see,and you will still remain smothered in mediocrity-period!

Posted by: billydee123 | May 21, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

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