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Thoughts from Chicago

The vibe I'm getting is that the Washington Wizards are going with John Wall with the No. 1 overall pick no matter what. They just don't see any reason to make that decision known right now, especially without doing their due diligence (interviews, workouts, etc).

Wall certainly is the most coveted prospect in this draft class. He made Kentucky basketball relevant again, was a blur on the court, managed a collection of egos and complex personalities as a freshman and learned the dribble-drive offense under John Calipari - like Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, the past two NBA rookies of the year, before him.


There is no competition. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Before the college basketball season began, I thought it was Wall and everybody else in the NBA draft. But as the season played out, and I got the chance to watch both Wall and Ohio State's Evan Turner play, the decision over who should go first wasn't so clear cut - for me at least.

That's why I was a little dumbfounded when ESPN interviewed Wall shortly after the lottery, as if his arrival in Washington was a foregone conclusion. And, the bombardment of propaganda from experts proclaiming Wall's greatness in the past few days has made it impossible to engage in any form of debate.

I saw Turner play a handful of times and I was impressed with his confidence, his ability to recover from a broken back and his apparent possession of the "clutch gene" that seems to be a necessity for great players. When Turner made that long-range three-pointer to win the Buckeyes' Big 10 conference tournament opener against Michigan, I was sold on his ability to succeed on the next level.

While I was still thought that Wall would go first to just about every team except Minnesota or Golden State, my opinion was shaken after a brief conversation with a Western Conference front office executive a few months ago. I asked what he thought of Wall and he shrugged.

"I'm not that impressed," he told me.

Stunned, I asked, "Seriously?"

"He's no Derrick Rose," he said before walking away.

After hearing that, and watching Kentucky's shaking performance in the NCAA Tournament, I wasn't so sure Wall over Turner was so open-and-shut.

Turner was national player of the year, but he's not Calbert Cheaney or Shane Battier, as some have tried to compare him while dismissing his credentials to go first. But Turner reminds me of Brandon Roy because this guy will be able to play and contribute right away in the NBA.


Why not? (Photo by Jonathan Daniel /Getty Images)

I spoke to two scouts this week and asked if I was crazy for thinking the Wizards need to seriously ponder this choice. One told me, "I agree with you. It's not a no-brainer." Another assured me that I wasn't crazy, but explained me that the reason why Wall has overwhelming support is because he is "an incredibly gifted athlete at the point guard position."

Extremely quick and athletic point guards have been the rave with Rose, Evans, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo entering the league in the past five years - and the league-wide abolition of hand-checking letting them run wild to the basket.

Rose is the last point guard to go first two years ago, joining a select group that includes John Lucas, Magic Johnson and Allen Iverson. Shooting guards and small forwards are considered a dime a dozen, which explains why historically they get overlooked as the top selection. Teams generally go with size, be it with a center or a power forward.

In the lottery era, LeBron James is the only wing player to go No. 1, in 2003. And you have to go all the back to 1982 to find another small forward going first - when James Worthy went to the Los Angeles Lakers (Mark Aquirre went first overall in 1981, ending an eight-year drought from Doug Collins). But if you look at the rookies of year in the lottery era, you've had Chuck Person (who went fourth in 1986), Mitch Richmond (fifth, 1988), Grant Hill (third, 1994), Vince Carter (fifth, 1999), Mike Miller (fifth, 2000), James, Brandon Roy (sixth, 2006) and Kevin Durant (second, 2007). Those dime a dozen guys don't need as much time to adjust to the league.

I was hoping that meeting Wall and Turner in Chicago would give me a better idea of what the Wizards should do. After spending time with both players, I was thoroughly impressed by both players and the mature manner with which they carry themselves.

Both have overcome hardships - Wall lost his father at age 9 and dealt with anger problems; Turner was a sickly child who battled a speech impediment. Both have dealt with being overlooked in high school - Wall didn't make many recruiting lists until the Raleigh, N.C., native switched AAU teams as a sophomore and entered more national tournaments; Turner was overshadowed by the highly-touted Rose throughout their time playing in Chicago.

On Thursday, Turner had just finished talking to reporters for more than 20 minutes when I spotted him fiddling with his cellphone in the lobby of the hotel. I sat down and chatted with him for about 10 minutes and came away believing that he has an inner drive to do something special. On Friday, Wall had just completed his interview session when he decided to stick around and watch the combine on ESPNU with the rest of us. But what happened afterward was startling - Wall did one-on-one interviews with anyone who asked for nearly 30 minutes. I grabbed him for a few minutes and got a better sense of his desires to leave behind a legacy as one the best point guards ever.

If there was one thing that titled me more toward Wall were the measurements. The 6-4 Wall has a 6-9¼ wingspan, which is larger than Turner, who is 6-7 but has just a 6-8 wingspan. I know long arms don't make a basketball player, but I know other point guards with speed and gigantic arms have thrived (the 6-0 Rondo has an unbelievable, 6-10 wingspan and the 6-5 Evans has a 6-11¼ wingspan).

The Wizards still plan on bringing in Wall and Turner to vie for the top spot. Like I said, the Wizards will probably go with Wall, who is younger, faster, more dynamic and certainly more marketable than Turner given the hype surrounding him. One Eastern Conference playoff coach said Wall is a "gamechanger."

It's really hard to pass up on a prospect like Wall. But I also believe that whichever team selects Turner, most likely Philadelphia, will love that choice, too.


By Michael Lee  |  May 22, 2010; 3:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

Just because Tuner hit that lucky shot in the Big 10 Tourney - THAT'S what convinces you he'll make it big at the next level? Give me a break. Look, I think he'll do well, maybe great, but one stupid shot doesn't mean squat. You have to look at the entire package.

Posted by: iamse7en | May 22, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice to have the top talent in the draft on the East Coast this year. I don't have to stay up until 11:00 pm during the week to watch just one quarter of play.

Posted by: gimmedat | May 22, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree that Turner will probably win ROY, but that's not really the goal. I think Wall's a bigger gamble, but has greater potential to be elite.

Posted by: IrenePollin | May 22, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd say using the #1 pick on a guy who broke his back would be the bigger gamble.

Posted by: divi3 | May 22, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

DC_MANIAC88 said: Let's not get on the John Wall bandwagon just yet....nobody is saying he's not a good player...just unproven....definitely not considered "franchise" just yet....like a LeBron or Tim Duncan or Pat Ewing.
----------
Neither were Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan... And anyway, just because people are excited about getting him doesn't mean they think he's going to be one of the greatest players of all time. But it's not unreasonable to believe he has the potential.

Posted by: IrenePollin | May 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Neither were Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan... And anyway, just because people are excited about getting him doesn't mean they think he's going to be one of the greatest players of all time. But it's not unreasonable to believe he has the potential.

Posted by: IrenePollin | May 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse "

LOL!

And did any of those dudes you mentioned go first in the draft?

Uh, no.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Evan Turner would go #1 if he had off the charts athletic ability, but apparently he does not.

He's probably just a younger Joe Johnson, and Joe hasn't exactly carried Atlanta to championship glory.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Mike, thanks to owning up to your prejudices, although it has shown up in your reporting. Can't believe you would turn your head on the word of ONE WESTERN Conference exec. Nellie, maybe, thinking he'll give Gilbert another shot. And wouldn't THAT be nice!

No sense setting the bar so ridiculous high for Wall, though. But I'm sure he will impress, and get better every year.

Posted by: zinger1 | May 22, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, Turner's definitely the most polished player in this draft. Be a great fit with the Wiz, Minnesota, Sacramento.

Outside of Blake Griffin, I think both the young big guys, Cousins and Favors, are clearly superior prospects to any big man who came out last season. But with Favors you should expect to wait a season or two to see it.

The big Lithu kid, Donatas Motiejunas, is entirely a project, but he can shoot.

Tyreke Evans went 4th last year because he couldn't shoot the 3 pointer to save his life, and now look at him: an RoY who still can't hit the 3 pointer to save his life.

The guy who's climbing fast is Paul George, although if you want skinny, he's your man at 6'7" and 185.

I have no idea why Ed Davis or Daniel Orton came out for the draft. Neither is close to ready for the NBA. Davis has got an unspecified injury that will probably drop him down anyway. Orton still has his baby fat. You have to wonder if Cousins will put a hit out on Orton for that interview he gave.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 22, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

"Neither were Chris Paul, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan... And anyway, just because people are excited about getting him doesn't mean they think he's going to be one of the greatest players of all time. But it's not unreasonable to believe he has the potential.

Posted by: IrenePollin | May 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse "

LOL!

And did any of those dudes you mentioned go first in the draft?

Uh, no.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 6:35 PM


But did they generate excitement like Wall?

Uh, yes.

There's no excuse for pretending Gilbert's still the franchise.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

The more I read these blogs, the more I figure out most of you just want to be different. John Wall is a rare player that comes along every few years, and to have the chance to get him, and then go another route only because you don't want to be in the majority is ridiculous.Wall may not change what Naismith intended , but he will get the job done at very high level. Just keep trying to convince youselves otherwise.

Posted by: bossclifnpooh2 | May 22, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

No way the Wiz pick no. 1 overall a young guy who has already broken his back. Everyone talk about Turner all you want, but unless Wall suffers a serious injury between now and the draft, the Kentucky PG will be lifting a Wizards jersey on draft night.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

""And, the bombardment of propaganda from experts proclaiming Wall's greatness in the past few days has made it impossible to engage in any form of debate.""

Why is it that when alot of people who watch alot of basketball all seem to agree that Wall is really special, that someone has to turn around and call that a "bombardment of propaganda"??

Michael, was your entry here "propaganda" for Evan Turner?

Posted by: p1funk | May 22, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

"But did they generate excitement like Wall?

Uh, yes.

There's no excuse for pretending Gilbert's still the franchise.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse "

Again, these were not the first pick, so your argument is weak.

To rub some salt on your wounds, Les BouleS could have drafted KG instead of Rasheed, but they went with Rasheed.

Now, both dudes are gunning for another ring with the Celtics.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

rondo is the best player on this Cs team and the main reason they are this good....even more reason to be excited about drafting Wall

Posted by: divi3 | May 22, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Again, these were not the first pick, so your argument is weak.

To rub some salt on your wounds, Les BouleS could have drafted KG instead of Rasheed, but they went with Rasheed.

Now, both dudes are gunning for another ring with the Celtics.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 9:37 PM

To build your whole argument on only the first pick generating excitement was an avoidable tactical error on your part. Too bad for you we don't live in a world where only the first pick gets buzz and raises expectations, no matter how much you protest to the contrary.

Pining for Gilbert doesn't get it done.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

rondo is the best player on this Cs team and the main reason they are this good....even more reason to be excited about drafting Wall

Posted by: divi3 | May 22, 2010 9:52 PM

True that....also even more reason to let players learn on the floor with quality pt and not the herky jerky coaching always being applied to young inexperienced players as has been our coaching technique.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 22, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

"To build your whole argument on only the first pick generating excitement was an avoidable tactical error on your part. Too bad for you we don't live in a world where only the first pick gets buzz and raises expectations, no matter how much you protest to the contrary.

Pining for Gilbert doesn't get it done.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse "

Please use relevant examples next time to help your already weak arguments.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

"rondo is the best player on this Cs team and the main reason they are this good....even more reason to be excited about drafting Wall

Posted by: divi3 | May 22, 2010 9:52 PM "

Celts probably wouldn't be thrashing the Magic as bad had they been able to keep Turkoglu.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

As much possum as Les BouleS will probably try to play, they are pretty much forced to draft Wall as he's probably the best player in the draft, nomatter how weak it is.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Please use relevant examples next time to help your already weak arguments.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 22, 2010 10:35 PM

Cogent analysis works. Try it.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

As much possum as Les BouleS will probably try to play, they are pretty much forced to draft Wall as he's probably the best player in the draft, nomatter how weak it is.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 |

We get it. Wall's only first because it's a weak draft. Therefore, Wiz fans should not feel like they really won anything when they won the lottery. Hell, if this were your garden variety, average draft class, Wall would not even be considered a lottery pick. He probably would have been a second rounder. We get it. Now go away, troll.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

"As much possum as Les BouleS will probably try to play, they are pretty much forced to draft Wall as he's probably the best player in the draft, nomatter how weak it is.
Posted by: DC_MAN88"

Did I miss the part where you demonstrated that this is a weak draft? Other than just personal opinion, I mean. We've all got those.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

"Please use relevant examples next time to help your already weak arguments.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

What's your argument? Just like to see how strong it might be.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

The recent comment by Leonsis about how he prefers Red to the current teal blue, but even if he wants to change it , it can't be done before this season. It's brilliant on his part... Everyone will want a Wall jersey once he's drafted. Then next season everyone will want the new "red" Wall jersey. He's gonna sell twice as many jersey's by delaying a change for a season.

Posted by: Darnell1 | May 23, 2010 2:04 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget the strange black and gold Wall jersey.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

"Did I miss the part where you demonstrated that this is a weak draft? Other than just personal opinion, I mean. We've all got those.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse "

What were the arguments that this is a strong draft?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

"We get it. Wall's only first because it's a weak draft. Therefore, Wiz fans should not feel like they really won anything when they won the lottery. Hell, if this were your garden variety, average draft class, Wall would not even be considered a lottery pick. He probably would have been a second rounder. We get it. Now go away, troll.

Posted by: 2020doc | May 22, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse "

Wall is clearly the #1 pick....with Evan Turner close behind...after that, there's not much to talk about.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call him big.....he's above normal height for a PG, but thin.
Posted by: DC_MAN88

a) he's 19. b) Rondo is 6'0" 171, Rose is 6'3" 190. Both appear to be doing just fine.

Let's not get on the John Wall bandwagon just yet....nobody is saying he's not a good player...just unproven....definitely not considered "franchise" just yet....like a LeBron or Tim Duncan or Pat Ewing.

He spent 1 year in college, so it's not like he was a fab five team that went to two straight final 4's.

Two straight championship games...at least get it right. So Wall is faulted for not matching the accomplishments of the greatest recruiting class ever?

I understand what you're saying but the problem with your argument is that LeBron was equally 'unproven' going to the NBA. Everyone saw his ability and assumed he would be great, but it wasn't even proven at the college level. If proving it is the determining factor, shouldn't Cleveland have drafted Carmelo? He was definitely the more proven candidate after taking the Cuse to a title as a freshman and undisputed best player on the team.

About the same percentage of people then advocated for taking Carmelo first as are advocating for Turner now.

Posted by: ts35 | May 23, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse

Magic Sweep: Trade Gil for VC or Lewis?

you know that Im a big Gil fan and want him back but I know others dont. There will be very few trades that are possible for Gil but the Magic was always the most talked about one because of there GM Otis Smith who is the guy who drafted Gil in GS and they have a great relationship. Most thought they would take a wait & see approach on the playoffs. Now they are probably going to get swept while both VC & Lewis look like crap in there system. I think they would move either of them for Gil. Would you take the trade? Here are the salaries

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/orlando.htm

I wouldnt do it because I think Gil is much better than the 2 right now but you could make the case that Lewis would fit alot better in our system at his more natural 3 spot and could play the 4 with Dray at the 5 against some teams in a deadly lineup. His contract is horrible though so you bettter be convinced that he can play like an All Star on this team, in this system. VC seems to be going down hill but has some game left. The upside on this trade is that Gil has 4 years left and VC has 2. Are you interested? I dont think hardly any other team is going to make a Gil trade.

GS wouldve done it in years past but now they have Ellis & Curry. NY might do it if they strike out on every other big name but I think they would take a wait & see approach and only do it at the All Star break if Gil looks great. Toronto would probably do it to get rid of Calderon but his contract sucks also. This is probably the only realistic trade out there but I dont like it. VC maybe but I wouldnt

Posted by: dlts2041 | May 23, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

"a) he's 19. b) Rondo is 6'0" 171, Rose is 6'3" 190. Both appear to be doing just fine.

Let's not get on the John Wall bandwagon just yet....nobody is saying he's not a good player...just unproven....definitely not considered "franchise" just yet....like a LeBron or Tim Duncan or Pat Ewing.

He spent 1 year in college, so it's not like he was a fab five team that went to two straight final 4's.

Two straight championship games...at least get it right. So Wall is faulted for not matching the accomplishments of the greatest recruiting class ever?

I understand what you're saying but the problem with your argument is that LeBron was equally 'unproven' going to the NBA. Everyone saw his ability and assumed he would be great, but it wasn't even proven at the college level. If proving it is the determining factor, shouldn't Cleveland have drafted Carmelo? He was definitely the more proven candidate after taking the Cuse to a title as a freshman and undisputed best player on the team.

About the same percentage of people then advocated for taking Carmelo first as are advocating for Turner now.

Posted by: ts35 | May 23, 2010 3:24 AM | Report abuse "

And Gilby's got about 25 lbs more on him.

Yes, Kentucky got to the elite 8.

I didn't know what the hype was about with Lebron coming out. He's a great player, but he disappeared against the Celts.

Listen, I think John wall will be fine player, but it's way too early to buy into the hype that he's going to save this team.

There have been plenty of perceived saviors for this team, and none of that really panned out.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 6:45 AM | Report abuse

It's rare that a single player can legitimately be credited with 'saving' a really weak club. It's more honest to talk about one-season turnarounds after adding a particular player. Based on their performance, you could argue that acquiring Chauncey Billups was more important to the Nuggets' ascent than drafting Melo or trading for Kenyon Martin (Denver gave up 3 first-rounders in that one). But nobody would argue that Billups would have been able to make that much difference if the others hadn't been there, too.

If I remember correctly, the biggest one-season upgrades from a drafted player were David Robinson to the Spurs and Bird to the Celts. But that was because their teams were pretty awful to begin with. Both those guys were seniors. Given Wall's age and the state of his skills (not that far advanced), we shouldn't be expecting too much from the Wiz next year.

Please put me down as not expecting too much from the team. So if anybody's 'hyping' Wall as a 'savior', it's not me.

Legit question might be: 'will either Wall or Turner have as much impact as Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings?" It's entirely possible that they won't, based more on the teams they play with than their individual performance.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Here's an example of how difficult it is for one rook to lift a bad team very far in his first season: Tyreke Evans.

Evans was drafted by the Kings, who actually had the league's worst record (17 wins) in '08-09. Even though Jennings and Steph Curry had their fans, Evans was far and away the league's most productive rookie. In fact, he was just the fourth rookie ever to average at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists a game. The others: Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

This past season the Kings won eight more games, for a total of 25, or thirty percent. That's with Evans averaging 35 minutes.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Wall or Turner, can't go wrong with either. My preference is to add a first class point guard. But let's focus on the fact that its a team not individual players that wins championships. We have two other draft picks, who should we be looking to add? Aren't we lacking tenacious defenders and relentless rebounders? I'd love to hear some thoughtful comments.

Posted by: Potomac11 | May 23, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Wizards fans have every reason to be THRILLED john wall is coming aboard. Give me break about this "only since it's a weak class". 1)there are a lot of good looking players in this draft and 2)Wall is a top3 pick in any draft class.

Look how pg's have come to dominate league play, then consider (when he fills out) that Wall will be a bigger/better athlete than Rondo, Deron Williams, Rose, CP3, Tony Parker, etc. And he's true pg with real vision(single season assist record at Kentucky), coming from the Coach that just produced Rose and Evans and knows a thing or two about nba talent.

Wall is the consensus lock #1 overall pick and the Wizard won the lotto. What more do people want before getting excited about something?!

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

some drafts have use taking Gani Lawal from Georgia Tech, and he is exactly the type of player we need. Would be happy to get him.

Grieves will probably be there when we pick in the 2nd...

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

dlts2041,
I wouldn't touch Carter with a 10' pole, the guy's pretty much done as a contributer on a playoff quality team. Lewis has game, but it's a soft one. Wall would get him plenty of open looks, but the Wiz need a tough board guy to pair with a rotation of Blatche and McGee not a softie.

Playing Lewis at the 4 or Arenas at the 2, I'd take Arenas.

I think Wall is as well suited of a pairing with Gil since Larry Hughes left.

Wall's not really that skinny, it's those arms and legs that make him look like a spider. He's got the ability to match up with the toughest guard to defend, point or shooter. He's plenty strong and super quick. Wall doesn't really need a lot of shots, he's going set Gil up for a lot of good looks.

If the Wiz do trade Gil, I'd look for it to be more along the lines of a Salary dump. In NY the papers are speculating an Arenas for Curry's salary deal. The salaries don't quite match up though. If the Knicks would throw in Lee at a reasonable sign and trade contract, the Wiz have a mountain of trade exceptions to use to make the dollars work.

Lee could start at center til McGee's game develops, and would be a nice board guy to play in a 3 man rotation with McGee and Blatche for years.

88'er nice to see you talking some B-Ball, but weak draft? Can't disagree more. Blake Griffen wouldn't be in the conversation to go at to go to the Wizards or Philly if he was in this draft. Wall & Turner are a head and shoulders above him as NBA prospects.

The Nets would bring him in to go head to head with Favors, and he would leave with his lunch eaten, and the Nets would choose Favors. I think there's no chance the Wiz take Favor's over Wall, but I think in a lot of years Favors or even Cousins would be strong choices for the number 1 pick.

If it wasn't for the "Artest Factor" Big Cous could be in play to go number one. Favors is not that developed, but he's got soft hands, long arms, is a quick leaper, and he's got an A One dispostion. He'd have went ahead of Griffen last year if he could have come striaght out of HS.

This draft is anything but weak, sure any of these guys could flop, but every draft's full of them. But the Wiz were very fortunate to move up in a draft with multiple guys that have Number One ability.

When Wall steps on to the practice court on day one as a Wizard, he's their best player, that's what you want from a number one pick...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 23, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"We have two other draft picks, who should we be looking to add?"Posted by: Potomac11

Reason you don't hear much discussion about that: it's impossible to tell who will still be there when the Wiz pick (30 and 34). There are exceptions like Tony Parker and Gil Arenas, but most impact players are long gone by then. Almost everybody left is to some extent a developmental project.

If you look for a rebounder, you'd hope for Gani Lawal of Ga Tech, in spite of his 54% FT shooting. If you're needing an on-the-ball defender, you probably want Avery Bradley of Texas to fall to 30. For a versatile off-the-bench player, maybe Craig Brackins. Luke Babbitt is a classic 3 point shooter. For sheer upside, there's Devin Ebanks of WVa or Elliot Williams of Memphis. You could take a backup center like Art Parakhouski. Dom Jones is a SG the Wiz brought in for a tryout.

I'm wondering if his broken finger means Quincy Pondexter, a SF, falls to the end of the first round. He'd be a good acquisition.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Even in the absence of wall going for turner as a 1st pick is not right unless the draft is extremily weak.SG and SF would not win shampionship.Paul did not win untill he has Garnet and Allen,Kobe strugled to be in playoff with out shaq,Gasol.For a SG or SF to win, one has to be as good us MJ.James probably would not win unless he is paired with a big man like Bash or a superstar level gard like Wade.
There is no question in picking wall over turner except trading up to get a big future talent like favours and add another early 1st round pick.If 76ers tink the right way, they will consider to go for a big man than Turner.It is hard to see turner going before Wall.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 23, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

nba draft net has us taking pondexter with the 34th pick and Lawal with the 30th.

That would make for an excellent draft!

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

If we do trade Gil, it wont be about acquiring players to help us win anything- it will be about getting arenas out of here by any means possible. So I could see a trade involving a faded Vinsanity if that's what it takes.

The more I think about it, the more I tend to agree the organization has no plans of keeping Arenas around despite the happy talk.

And no to David Lee. He wants a big contract and is not worth the money he'd need to be paid.

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

While we cannot predict what their NBA careers will be, but say, Wall is Derrick Rose and Turner is Brandon Roy, which one will you pick?

Posted by: sagaliba | May 23, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I was talking to a guy from New York the other day whom is really a football (Giants) fan and not so much a NBA fan.

So when I told him that there were rumors that NY might be willing to trade Curry for Arenas, he gave me a funny kind of look and said.

Yeah, if I was New York I would make that deal, but if I was Washington I would not.

I kinda agree.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 23, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I think Les BouleS have no choice but to take Wall.

There's too much pressure to take him.

There might be a revolt in DC if they don't.

It would be a gesture from EG to Gilby though, to reaffirm his confidence in him that Gilby is his guy at PG.

EG should package the two 2nd rounders and maybe a player in order to move up to get someone with size like Zoubek. They got pushed around a lot last season with only AB and JaTravel manning the paint.

David Lee is a nice player, but he's a 4.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The best part about getting the number one pick is that it hamstrings EG. His choice is so limited that even HE might not get it wrong. We don't have to worry about him exercising his "creativity" by picking some 140 pound stringbean center who can jump out of the building but can't do anything else.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | May 23, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Magic Sweep: Trade Gil for VC or Lewis?"

No! Lewis relies on teams to double team Howard to get his open shots. Wiz do not have such a dominant center. Besides, he is even more expensive than Gil, and with only 1 year shorter contract. He averaged only 5.7 rebounds in his career playing as a 4! All in all, bad contract!

Carter is already over-the-hill, but he only has 1 year guaranteed left (and another as team option), I may consider that. But I will wait and see waht happens to Wall-Gil combination first.


Posted by: sagaliba | May 23, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Getting Wall puts a bigger premium than ever than keeping Arenas away from the young fellas. About 500 miles away.

Posted by: Izman | May 23, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Even in the absence of wall going for turner as a 1st pick is not right unless the draft is extremily weak.SG and SF would not win shampionship.Paul did not win untill he has Garnet and Allen,Kobe strugled to be in playoff with out shaq,Gasol.For a SG or SF to win, one has to be as good us MJ.James probably would not win unless he is paired with a big man like Bash or a superstar level gard like Wade.
There is no question in picking wall over turner except trading up to get a big future talent like favours and add another early 1st round pick.If 76ers tink the right way, they will consider to go for a big man than Turner.It is hard to see turner going before Wall.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 23, 2010 10:20 AM

One could also say that MJ couldn't have won without Pippen.

Posted by: dukestreetkid | May 23, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Michael, I don't post much here but I do read your insider reports. But allow me to put this in perspective for you. If Wall gets drafted over Turner, there will be a parade in DC. If Turner gets drafted over Wall, there will be a riot in DC.

Does that help make the choice easier on you?

Posted by: Bullzards80 | May 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I would hate to see that the Wizards have made up their minds already to get rid of Arenas at all cost.

I think that might be a hugh blunder in a long line of ones made by the Wizards.

I would let the basketball play out on the court and the economics after one year with Gilbert and this team to determine my final decision on Gilbert.

You know sometimes when you are very close to a bad situation, you might think that it is actually worse than it really is.

The biggest thing at this point keeping Gilbert on this team is the contract, the 80 mil.

Other teams might not consider Gill as hughely persona non grata as some do arounds here. It isn't the Gil the basketball player they don't won't, it's the 80 mil.

From Ted Leonsis point of view, he can't lose by keeping Gil another year to see if he works out and in the meantime the 80 mil gets chopped down and makes him more palatable to be traded. Plus, Ted gets props for giving Gill a chance to turn things around. A forgiving man yada'yada'yada' in a good way.

Gil has to perform honorably and be a good citizen or he becomes the shat in the shoe. Lest we forget Gilbert has legal reasons to perform and be on his best behavior.

It is a win win for Leonsis to keep Gill at least for one season but if Gil is jettisoned now just because....I can't say that is a win win though.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 23, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"One could also say that MJ couldn't have won without Pippen.

Posted by: dukestreetkid | May 23, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse "

And neither MJ with Pippen could have probably won rings without stints from Rodman, Bison Dele, and Cliff Levingston....nevermind consistent bail out 3's from Paxson and Kerr.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"The best part about getting the number one pick is that it hamstrings EG. His choice is so limited that even HE might not get it wrong. We don't have to worry about him exercising his "creativity" by picking some 140 pound stringbean center who can jump out of the building but can't do anything else.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | May 23, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse "

And if only EG could also be hamstrung with free agents too.

He hasn't had much success with the draft or free agency or head coaching for that matter.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"And no to David Lee. He wants a big contract and is not worth the money he'd need to be paid."

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 10:29 AM

Agreed. Lee's a solid player who could be an asset on a good team, and for a contract a bit over the full MLE you take him without question. But for the kind of money he'll likely be in the market for (in the $10 mill range), it changes the equation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"Legit question might be: 'will either Wall or Turner have as much impact as Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings?" It's entirely possible that they won't, based more on the teams they play with than their individual performance."

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 8:28 AM

Very true. The Wiz team won 23 games this season for a reason. Unless all those reasons go away, then expecting a huge improvement just from Wall's arrival is wishful thinking. In the two cases you noted, there were two significant additional factors that made a huge difference beyond the incoming rook. For Sacramento it was replacing Reggie Theus with an actual NBA coach in Paul Westphal. For the Bucks it was Bogut being healthy for most of the (regular) season and playing at a near All-star level.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

divi3,
Note I said at a "reasonable sign and trade", everybody in the league knows Lee's numbers are padded by D'Antoni's system. He didn't get even a sniff of an offer over last summer as a restricted FA. He's a second tier guy, will end getting somewhere slightly above Midlevel exception money.

Lee's a hustle guy and a hard worker, I'd take that on a rebuilding team any day of the week over Carter's "me" game. Carter needs the ball in his hands more then even Arenas, I thought the Magic was blowing up a potential title contender by bringing him in. Doesn't look like I'm wrong.

Cater's always has been a "me" guy that needs the ball to get his stats. When coaches have catered to his game he's a happy camper, but his game doesn't lead to winning basketball.

I'd rather pair Arenas with Wall.

This is a deep draft, I'd look for Leonsis to bankroll trying to grab another first rd pick to jump start a youth movement.

LeBron's going to be the key to a lot of things this summer, my quess is that he forces Cleveland's hand to do do a sign and trade in the end so they don't end up empty handed. Or, Cleveland has to wave a magic wand and rebuild again, Shaq's dream of catching on to another title run seems to have died. There's a lot of dead weight on that roster now.

Bron wants to jump straight to a contender, or be assured that Ferry can shape a roster where he's got a real chance to contend, where he ends up being is still really up in the air. Cuban just took a $100,000 fine reminding LeBron that he's got the power to force a sign and trade to a contender. The 100k was just his little way of saying he just might like to be that contender.

The assertion that he ends up only in LA or NY kind of ignores changes in the world of media. Bron's become a worldwide icon from Cleveland, what he hasn't become is a champion. I just don't see him signing on to the Nets, Clippers, or Knicks just to get to see the lights of the big city.

That's why NY's waving around Curry's contract trying to make something happen to bring in LeBron and two other top notch players to make an instant jump into contention instead of having to wait another year to be able to use that cap space to sign the third wheel.

The NY press seems to view Gil as that third guy that they can buy to tilt the scale this summer.

The Wiz have Gil and a pile of Trade Exceptions as chips, there could end up being multiple teams involved if a sign and trade happens for Lebron. I'd think the Wiz could possibly harvest a 1st Rd pick or another young player from their assets.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"nba draft net has us taking pondexter with the 34th pick and Lawal with the 30th.That would make for an excellent draft!Posted by: divi3"

I sure agree with that.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse


There's a lot to be happy about. A week ago most of us were resigned to the Wiz slipping to the 7th or 8th spot in the draft and taking a Cole Aldrich, Greg Monroe or Patrick Patterson.

Then something very foreign to us happened. The basketball gods smiled on us and gave us the opportunity to pick whomever we want. After watching Rondo last night, if Wall is thought to be a bigger, more athletic version of him, what's not to like?

If he doesn't set the world on fire immediately, so what? Deron Williams, considered by many to be the best PG in the game, struggled mightily in the early part of his first season, then started to figure things out. I have no doubt Wall, precocious baller that he is, will be an outstanding addition to the Wiz.

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

"Legit question might be: 'will either Wall or Turner have as much impact as Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings?" It's entirely possible that they won't, based more on the teams they play with than their individual performance."

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 8:28 AM

Very good observation. John Wall may certainly be that foundation piece to rebuild your team on. However, is it realistic to put your rebuild on the fast track to playoff contention?

The conventional way is a 3-year plan. But really, why does it have to be and is there any real evidence that the 3-5 plan really works?

One thing I think that puts team on a conventional plan is money. You just can't in most cases just pay all the right players to come in and make you a fasttrack winner.

So you go with the conventional plodding way and the traditional winners keep winning championships while most teams are still trying and failing at the 3-5 year plan.

I feel that Gilbert Arenas is the piece that can put this team on the fast track to the winners circle. And that is even if we decide to trade him after one year.

We must however keep him for one season, for he will bump us in the expected win projection if he pans out to expectations and his value on the market after one season should double or triple.

That puts the Wizards after one season on the fasttrack to the winners circle.

If we jettison Gilbert now, thats puts us on the traditional 3-5 year plan. I don't like that so much.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 23, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Doubtful anyone expects Wall to come in and change the franchise overnight, he's 19 and it's going to be a process. What can be expected is to see flashes of brilliance and a clear measure of development from day1 thru the end of the season. I'm talking to you Flip.

Very excited to see a relationship develop between Wall and AB! Anytime you watched Wall past season he was penetrating and dishing to Cousins who often just cleaned up on a relatively easy bucket. AB will benefit greatly from defenses collapsing on Wall, between his midrange shot and ability to score on the blocks- the game should get easier for him.

3yrs from now AB will be 26 and Wall only 22! That's how build something long term

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Butchasee, I look at it this way. This is the business of NBA basketball. The ultimate prize is to win a championship and more than one if you can.

So you always have to be about the business of capturing a championship and for it to be a total success you should make a little money along the way as well.

So the question in my mind, if I am Ted Leonsis, concerning Gilbert Arenas basketball wise and business wise, how do I turn Arenas to an asset?

Is his basketball skills good enough to even venture playing him with Wall for at least one season? Well, yes.

If I trade him now, would it make since to just do it to dump salary and not get acceptable value back? Well, no.

Would a Wall and Arenas backcourt pay more dividends in the stands than Wall and somebodyelse? Well, probably, Yeah it would.

If all of this is true, won't I get much more for Gilbert in one year than now and plus he will be easier to move and his value will be greater? Well, yes.

Should I really have reason to believe that to keep Gilbert on my team for at least one more year is so poison that no good can come from it such as above?

If yes, then Gilbert is a liability and I should cut my loses, but if that isn't true then the prudent thing to do would be keep Gilbert for at least this season, for he surely would be an enormous asset to the business.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Minnesota would be willing to give us the rights to Rubio and its number 4th pick for our first and perhaps one of our later picks. I know many on here don't like Rubio, and bring up Navarro's departure as a red flag in bringing in a Spanish player. But I've seen Rubio play a lot and I can tell you he can ball. While he lacks Wall's speed and star power, he is a far superior passer, floor marshal and perhaps slightly more polished with his jump shot. I don't throw this around lightly when I say he has rare Magic/Kidd passing vision and a Bird-like instinct for picking off in the passing lane. Has has also proven himself in a tough European league, which is far more impressive than proving yourself KY on a KY team with two other tall lottery picks to pass assists to under the basket. With the 4th, we could grab Wall's teammate, Cousins, or one of the other potential stars available at that pick (Wes Johnson) and maybe still pick up two great players out of one draft with one or two prospects left in the late first/early second round (depending on whether we have to trade one for Rubio). What scares me about Wall - aside from playing essentially on a college all-star team - is that he has only played one season and doesn't seem particularly enamored with DC (free agent departure risk in a few years?). Is he really as good as his hype? I hope so. I do think he can be special, but having Rubio in a year + Cousins/Johnson (or even Turner if he falls) spreads our risk across two very promising players and may offer more value than one great prospect.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 23, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Rubio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSBLKrZCkeU

I know it's a greatest hits, but check out his court vision.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 23, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Doubtful anyone expects Wall to come in and change the franchise overnight. . . "

Much of what's been posted here in the last few days would seem to strongly dispute that.

"I wonder if Minnesota would be willing to give us the rights to Rubio and its number 4th pick for our first and perhaps one of our later picks."

I'm certain they would. I'm equally certain there's not a chance in hell the Wizards would even consider that deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 23, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Ricky Rubio???? Are you serious? We could have taken him last year if we wanted too.

And trading up for Zoubek are you kidding. That dude it horrible. The ONLY reason he did anything in college is because he was 6 inches taller then anyone else. He not going to have that same benifit in pro ball.

Ever hear of Big Country Brian Reeves???? He had 4 times the skill set of Zoubek and didn't last more than 3 years in the league.

Go back to playing NBA live DCman you are better suited for that.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | May 23, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Zoubek isn't even ranked in the top 10 in his position clown.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | May 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Nice analysis and breakdown of combine measurements.

http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Analyzing-the-NBA-Combine-Measurements-3477/

Posted by: harrybalz | May 23, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"Ricky Rubio???? Are you serious? We could have taken him last year if we wanted too."

Actually, we couldn't have. We traded the pick before finding out he would fall to our pick.

Wall may be the next Rose, but Rubio is the next Nash. If we could get him AND a Turner/Johnson/Favors/Cousins (one of them has to fall to number 4 when Minnesota picks), our team could be better for it.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 23, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Rubio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSBLKrZCkeU

I know it's a greatest hits, but check out his court vision.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 23, 2010 1:15 PM

Watched the first minute or two and (to me) he looks like a decent athlete playing against a slower group of stiffs than you could ever assemble in the nba. I know so much is made of the tough euro leagues, but those guys look like they have cement in their shoes relative to the speed of nba play.

I'm guessing there isnt a single GM in the nba that would take Rubio over Wall, hopefully Rubio is in the nba soon and we can know the score once and for all

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"Wall may be the next Rose, but Rubio is the next Nash."

I dont agree with this because Nash is one of the best shooters of all-time, while Rubio can barely hit the side of a barn. Yes, he may develop a J, but it cant be expected or assumed he'll ever have a deadeye J like Nash has always killed the league with.

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd say Rubio is more like Jason Kidd, with the huge question being is he athletic enough to succeed with that style of play in the nba.

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Rubio might have the vision of Kidd but that's where the comparison ends. Rubio's not as physical and is not as good a defender or rebounder. I wouldn't expect Rubio to be a constant triple-double threat either.

Posted by: harrybalz | May 23, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I've seen Rubio half a dozen times (artifact of a cable package) and it looks to me he improved a lot this past season. Somebody compared him to Jason Kidd, but he's nowhere near that sort of athlete. Kidd's the sort of athlete who if he'd chosen differently could have been a star in several different major sports, along the lines of like Tony Gonzalez, Danny Ainge, or Antonio Gates. Rubio is a basketball player first and foremost. He's closer in spirit to Nash, Lenny Wilkens or Ernie DeGregorio (no, he's nothing like Maravich). He needs to play on a team that ran a lot and didn't ask him to connect on 3 pointers.

My guess would be that at some point Rubio comes to America and is a real success, partly because he and his handlers will carefully select the club he plays for. But it won't be Minnesota.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

"...said Cavaliers guard Anthony Parker, who led Maccabi Tel Aviv to Euroleague titles in 2004 and 2005 and was Final Four MVP in '04."

So Anthony Parker was arguably the best player in the Euroleague for a couple years. And Juan Carlos Navarro is the best player there now. And Rubio averages 6pts a game on 38%fg in this league.

He's still young, may have a bright future in the nba, but man am I glad it's the Twolves waiting on him and not us!

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ArmChairQB | May 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Watched the first minute or two and (Rubio) he looks like a decent athlete playing against a slower group of stiffs than you could ever assemble in the nba. I know so much is made of the tough euro leagues, but those guys look like they have cement in their shoes relative to the speed of nba play."

True, the speed is slower, but the zone defenses are hard to penetrate (hence the importance of jump shooting there), and Rubio is the best currently in Europe at shredding them. Even though he lacks Wall's speed, he does like to run, and is arguably as good as anyone in the NBA not named Kidd at finding the right guy on the break.

"I dont agree (that Rubio is the next Nash) because Nash is one of the best shooters of all-time, while Rubio can barely hit the side of a barn. Yes, he may develop a J, but it cant be expected or assumed he'll ever have a deadeye J like Nash has always killed the league with."

I think Rubio is a better passer and has better anticipation on D. He doesn't quite have Nash's speed, nor, at this point in his career, the J. But it took Nash a long time to shine in the NBA and Rubio, don't forget, is still 19. He has a lot of professional growing yet to do. And while I don't know how Nash was at 19, it is hard to believe that he was at Rubio's level, or else he would have been drafted higher and accomplished more at a younger age.

"I've seen Rubio half a dozen times (artifact of a cable package) and it looks to me he improved a lot this past season. Somebody compared him to Jason Kidd, but he's nowhere near that sort of athlete."

Kidd is a very good athlete, but he has never been a great one by NBA standards. His game is uncanny vision and heart, mostly, and having good size for his position. He has continued to be a very good player despite losing much of his speed and athleticism. Rubio doesn't have a young Kidd's physicality and will never threaten a triple double, but I bet his anticipation makes him one of the better rebounding PGs in the NBA.

I love Wall. My argument is only that we could end the Turner/Wall debate, pick up Turner... or Johnson, Favors or Cousins (who really knows who will end up being the best player out of that group) AND get an exciting, experienced and at least at this point more accomplished PG with huge potential in Rubio. That seems better to me than Wall and a couple of late first/early second round projects.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 23, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Dray lookin noticeably thicker!

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse


Flip asked Dray to live in the weightroom and he's doing it? Maybe that relationship can be salvaged after all!

Posted by: bobabuie | May 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

AB look heavy with puffy face, I do not think that is Muscle.He is probably in restorants not in a weight room yet.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Damn, I just payed attention to it and VC's 2nd year is a team option. IDK how I missed that although some say that there is 4mil guaranteed on that 2nd year but thats still nothing. Basically it would be Gil's 4 year contract for VC's 1 year. I still like Gil so I say keep him but I could live with that trade, along with the Eddy Curry one

Posted by: dlts2041 | May 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Nash was a great player on college, went pretty high considering he was outta Santa Clara. Definitely took a little while to adjust to the league though

Posted by: divi3 | May 23, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"

Rubio might have the vision of Kidd but that's where the comparison ends. Rubio's not as physical and is not as good a defender or rebounder. I wouldn't expect Rubio to be a constant triple-double threat either.

Posted by: harrybalz | May 23, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse "

JKidd is not a reliable scorer though.

Who would have thought that a guy his caliber only averages 13 ppg in his career.

With Steve Nash, you could tell that he had game in college. He single handedly destroyed Maryland during the tourney.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I wonder why all the talking heads at the Post keep wanting Ted to go after Carmelo.

Carmelo is a good player, but watching him on tv, dude is like a total knucklehead. I don't see him improving team chemistry.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Another question for EG now is which of his FA's does he keep.

I think they should keep MM, Singleton, and Al Thornton. Shaun if he wants to stay.

Also, see if we can get back Zo Gee.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Rubio's not a reliable scorer. He's not the answer for a team seeking a quality point guard. Minny made a mistake with him.

Posted by: bobabuie | May 23, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a gilbert fan but if either VC or Curry's expiring contracts become available you trade, thats just what you do.

Posted by: hardiboiled | May 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I do not think keeping MM is a priority for rebuilding, josh howard should be considered for half a year to see how much basketball he can have for 1011-12 season.Gee, i think there will be tons of gee's ,it is amatter of scouting.SL is a must stay PG, JS is cheap and good, Foye is too expensive for what he does,i do not see any potential on him.He is too slow to be PG,undersized and slow to defend at SG, his moves to the basket are blocked ,something has to do on his release.His 4.8 can cover wall's salary for next season.

Posted by: gtefferra | May 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

nba draft net has us taking pondexter with the 34th pick and Lawal with the 30th.

That would make for an excellent draft!

posted by: divi3

Agreed. That would be pretty close to best case scenario for the Wiz. I've been singing the praises of Lawal on here for awhile now. In fact, if Ted buys a pick in the 20s, I wouldn't mind it if they drafted him there. Not that he's such a great player, but he just fits a lot of the needs the Wiz have.

He is a physical rebounder who doesn't need any plays run for him to get double figures, sets hard picks, holds his position well down low, athletic enough to run w/the other young players and he has a mean streak, too.

Posted by: SportzWiz | May 23, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Supposedly Bosh has narrowed his preferred candidates to the Bulls, Lakers, Heat, and Knicks. Not the Rockets, who have openly expressed interest.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 23, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

"Rubio's not a reliable scorer. He's not the answer for a team seeking a quality point guard. Minny made a mistake with him."

He is 19. How many current point guard stars in the NBA were NBA reliable scorer at that age? He does have an improving, albeit still suspect J. But he plays in Europe, where they play zones and you have shoot the J to score because it is so hard to drive inside. In man-to-man, he will be a better scorer because of his speed and the room he will have to operate. Jennings was not a great a scorer in Europe, either, for the same reason, but thrived in the NBA. BTW, Wall has the same weakness shooting the J, and I doubt he would do much better if faced with European zones.

Minny thinks they made a mistake with Rubio because he didn't play with them, leaving their GM with egg on his suit. That's why we could maybe nab him and Minn's 1st with Wall and our late first. They would have a young 'American' star, the hype around him would make fans forget Rubio and make Flynn redundant, allowing them to trade him for another good piece, thereby allowing them to upgrade at two positions. We would get Rubio and either Cousins, Turner, Favors or Johnson (two will fall to Minny's place). That would give us two elite prospects instead of one, double our chances of landing a franchise player and allow us to fill two positions in one go. Wall looked great passing to two future NBA forwards in college, but is he really going to tear up the NBA where everyone is bigger and faster? He may be the consensus best prospect to do so, but no sure thing. Rubio is already the best point guard in the European professional leagues, and held his own against the Redeem Team, earning praise from Kobe and Chris Paul.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 23, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

SammyT1,

I admire your optimism. Putting aside the question of whether Rubio will be a great NBA PG or not (can't say either way, can't say it about Wall either), I'm trying to figure out why Minnesota would agree to that deal. They thought enough of Rubio to draft him. It's a stretch to me that they would give up Rubio and the number 4 for a shot at Wall. If they were going to do it, more likely they would try to give The Wiz their #16 pick instead. So would you do the trade then?

If you're concerned about Wall not being enamored with DC, what about the part where Rubio's agent made noise about not wanting Rubio to play in DC (or Rubio not wanting to play in DC). Whether that has changed with everything else that has changed in DC, who knows? But it should be considered.

And has Rubio said for sure when he is coming over to the NBA?

Finally, I don't think it's fair to praise Rubio's play to the hilt, but dismiss Wall's play as the result of essentially playing for an all-star team. Especially considering how stacked FC Barcelona is.

Posted by: ts35 | May 23, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I have watched a good deal of video on Rubio, also saw him play some in the Olympics and I do not believe he will thrive in the NBA. He looks a little slow, particularly with defensive reactions. He is not a good outside shooter and does not create well for himself in a half court set. I just think the kid is terribly overrated...John Wall is on a whole other level physically and also 19...oh, and not under contract in Europe.

No need to over think this one...

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | May 23, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow...what a great move by EG not to trade MeTawn for Amare. He sure looked washed up at 27 yo. after playing all 82 games this season.

I'm sure Wall would hate to play with a finisher like Amare.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 23, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Snap.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 23, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the reply ts35,

"I'm trying to figure out why Minnesota would agree to that deal. They thought enough of Rubio to draft him. It's a stretch to me that they would give up Rubio and the number 4 for a shot at Wall."

Because Wall is the consensus best player in this draft, because the pick is sexy and because Wall is box office. GMs are only as good as their last draft (except for Ernie, somehow), and I think Minn regrets drafting two pgs, one of whom never played. Getting Wall & his attendant hype would be the dawn of a new day for the franchise, just as getting the number one here has this city ecstatic. It would 'sort' their double-pg problem, and allow them to trade Flynn for another player.

"If they were going to do it, more likely they would try to give The Wiz their #16 pick instead. So would you do the trade then?"

No.

"If you're concerned about Wall not being enamored with DC, what about the part where Rubio's agent made noise about not wanting Rubio to play in DC (or Rubio not wanting to play in DC). Whether that has changed with everything else that has changed in DC, who knows? But it should be considered."

The fall of Gilbert Arenas happened. Rubio and his agent didn't want him in DC because they thought he would sit behind the team's star at PG, not out of any dislike for the city. With Gil's problems, loss of internal influence, etc. and the rights to Wall, the Wiz are already shuffling him over to PG. I see no reason they could not do so with Rubio, as well.

"And has Rubio said for sure when he is coming over to the NBA?"

No, only that it his dream and goal to play here. Obviously the team does not pull the trigger on the deal without some assurances. I think he wants to, and will be able to after next season.

"Finally, I don't think it's fair to praise Rubio's play to the hilt, but dismiss Wall's play as the result of essentially playing for an all-star team. Especially considering how stacked FC Barcelona is."

I love Wall as a player and am thrilled we have the opportunity to draft him. But I do think Rubio has proved more against tougher competition, including the all-world Redeem team. Barcelona is not stacked like KY was compared with its competition. KY has three projected top ten picks, another projected top 20 and a fifth projected to go in the top 40 in this draft. That is perhaps the deepest pool of talent ever from one team in the history of the NBA draft, even more impressive than the Florida teams of a few years ago, the Webber Fab Five and that great UNLV team of the 1980s. I do think that makes evaluating Wall's talent problematic.

My only point is the possibility of picking up another great PG prospect AND a potential elite SG/SF like Johnson or Turner (which we need), or a tough big man like Cousins or Favors to solidify our skinny frontcourt.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 23, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

"I have watched a good deal of video on Rubio, also saw him play some in the Olympics and I do not believe he will thrive in the NBA."

These guys disagree:

Jason Kidd: "The sky is the limit for him (Rubio)"
Carmelo Anthony: "Ricky is the most fascinating story of the Olympics"
Kobe Bryant: "He's played awesome, he single handedly changed the course of some games"
Chris Paul: "Ricky is unbelievable".

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 24, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

And Gilby's got about 25 lbs more on him.
Posted by: DC_MAN88

And Shaq has 200 lbs on him. And this affects his ability to play how? If Wall was going to be playing in the post, I'd be concerned. As a PG, weight doesn't mean much.

Yes, Kentucky got to the elite 8.

Your designated 'franchise player' Tim Duncan had 4 shots at it and also only made it as far as the Elite 8.

I didn't know what the hype was about with Lebron coming out. He's a great player, but he disappeared against the Celts.

I'm assuming your definition of 'disappeared' includes averaging 27p, 7a, 9.3r. Did he disappear, or did the rest of his teammates fail to show up?

Listen, I think John wall will be fine player, but it's way too early to buy into the hype that he's going to save this team.

There have been plenty of perceived saviors for this team, and none of that really panned out.

I know there are some who have been overly effusive in their praise. But I think by and large if you ask people who they think the 'savior' of this team will be, they would say Ted, not John Wall.

And with the exception of those who are ridiculously high on John Wall, most would also say that Wall doesn't represent the sum total of the hopes for a new Wizards era, but rather a good start.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Those are some friendly quotes during a friendly Olympic competition...clearly they all know far more than I about the game but I just don't believe them. I can only go on what I have seen...he is not explosive, can't shoot and can't defend.

I would love to ask the exact same group if they had their choice would they take Rubio or Wall?

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | May 24, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"[Rubio] is not explosive, can't shoot and can't defend."Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows |

He's not explosive in the way John Wall is, but he's very good in the open court with the ball in his hands -- a la Steve Nash. He's not a very good 3 point shooter, but he's much better than Tyreke Evans, for example. And he does play defense -- unlike most of the other PGs in the league.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 24, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Wonder how much more money Amare made for himself this offseason with tonight's performance. I still don't think he's a good fit for the Wiz though.

Posted by: bobabuie | May 24, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

"Those are some friendly quotes during a friendly Olympic competition...clearly they all know far more than I about the game but I just don't believe them. I can only go on what I have seen...he is not explosive, can't shoot and can't defend."

He is a great pickpocket with long arms and knows how to raid passing lanes. Certainly not as explosive, but shoots as well and is a better passer.

"I would love to ask the exact same group if they had their choice would they take Rubio or Wall?"

That would be interesting. Of course, my point isn't that Rubio is better than Wall (Time will decide that one), but that Wall and his hype is a valuable commodity that we may be able to parlay into a better deal for the team.

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 24, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Rubio has open court game...no question. Outstanding vision, good handle and excellent natural instincts for the game. What makes Nash un-guardable is he consistently shoots over 50% from the perimeter and is deceptively quick. Certainly Rubio will likely become a better shooter but for him to succeed, right now in the NBA, I believe he has to bring that coming in the door.

Just my opinion...

I like ts35 on Wall, not the savior but the kind of freak athlete and pedigree you like to start a rebuild with. Particularly nice that he is a point with all of our past hardships there.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | May 24, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Having to wait at least one more year for a franchise PG doesn't seem like a good deal to me.

Posted by: djnnnou | May 24, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

The fall of Gilbert Arenas happened.

If they trade him, maybe. If not, he's still here. Gilbert hasn't agreed to move positions. And if he does, maybe he would be willing to do it for Wall, but would make a stink about doing it for Rubio. Whenever Rubio comes over.

Getting Wall & his attendant hype would be the dawn of a new day for the franchise, just as getting the number one here has this city ecstatic. It would 'sort' their double-pg problem, and allow them to trade Flynn for another player.

Or more likely raise questions about why they drafted Rubio and Flynn in the first place. And then had to trade one of them, plus another top 5 pick in order to get a third PG. Essentially trading a #4, #5, and #6 for a #1. And then to make your scenario work out, have to deal arguably the least talented out of the 3 PGs from a position of weakness. While simulatenously giving away the risk protection that you claim is beneficial to the Wizards.

Also, if EG traded for Rubio, it just continues to keep open the issue of trading the #5 pick last year. You know, the one where he traded the pick for vets to do the kind of risk mitigation you're talking about. Oh it also completely tarnishes our own 'new dawn' which, in case you haven't noticed, the franchise desperately needs.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 12:53 AM | Report abuse

SammyT1,
To your greater point, I am sure EG will explore a number of possibilities with his current leverage. That said, in no small part due to the hype, there is a lot of downward pressure and it would be a tough PR sell to trade the pick if it did not result in LeBron or Wade wearing a Wiz uniform next year.

Folks are already buying season tickets with the expectation of seeing John Wall at point running the show.

Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows | May 24, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

I mean seriously...let's take the fairy-tale-ish story of a new owner going with the widow of the recently passed previous owner to the lottery, wearing her husband's championship ring, and then despite the franchise's history of bad luck in the lottery and with only a 10% chance, getting the top pick in the NBA draft.....and then chuck it out the window by trading the pick. Can you hear the squeals of "Curse of Les Boules Lives!"?

From a PR perspective alone, yikes!

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Here's what they need to do. Pay livingston, and trade that pick for 2 number ones to NJ.

If Leonsis is serious about building with youth and drafting, this makes all the sense in the world.

Posted by: Matte | May 24, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

^^^^ How many times in the NBA has trading down from the #1 over all pick for 2 lower first round picks worked? This isn't the NFL... the talent pool is never that thick, and there is no comparison between the type of talent at pick #3 and less.

Bad idea. Draft Wall and hope for a hall of famer, end of story son.

Posted by: hardiboiled | May 24, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Rubio did not play that well in the Olympics, and his stats bear that out. Against the USA, he played like 40minutes and had 2fg's and 4 assists or something. And that was on a nba-level Spanish team. Of course, he was 18yrs old so what do you expect....it's not a knock on him, just more evidence of the ridiculous hype around this kid.

And dont forget Jennings played him and held him scoreless and without an assist (or something close to that).

Juan Carlos Navarro is the best player in that euroleague, imho, there's no question the ncaa's are on par with that at least. Big difference is of course boys vs men, but as far as talent it's not like Wall was in the B leagues while Rubio is tearing up the best of the best.

And by tearing up, I mean scoring 6pts a game on 38%fg which is what he did this season. Yawn.

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Michael Lee: "...watching Kentucky's shaking performance in the NCAA Tournament, I wasn't so sure Wall over Turner was so open-and-shut."

This puzzled me -- Kentucky was shaking? Couldn't tell by the games. They beat East Tenn State by 29, a very tall Wake team by 30, and that upset-minded Cornell club by 17, in front of tens of thousands of NY fans in the Carrier Dome... before losing to West Virginia by six. I think they were more overconfident than anything else. But with four frosh getting major minutes, they were vulnerable to a Bob Huggins team.

Kentucky went 35-2 during the season, won fourteen conference games and the SEC tournament. If they'd won it all, nobody would have been particularly surprised.

I was glad they didn't, however. Not that I'm a Duke fan, but the Dukies do play an old-school game that should be rewarded.

Even with all those five-star freshmen (four at last count), Kentucky could struggle a bit next season.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 24, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

one more Rubio stat, avg against the euroleague top16 teams this season:

19mins
5pts
1reb
3assts
1.8TOs

He really is mainly a product of hype, not that he wont be an ok nba player (if he ever comes)....but trading him for Wall is out of the question. Heck, the Kings described him as "underwhelming" and went with Evans instead. You dont trade "underwhelming" for "off the charts" under any circumstance!


Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

that Cornell game, Wall was absolutely glued to opposing guards, they could barely get the ball past halfcourt. Hopefully he shows that kind of defensive effort with regularity

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

The Wiz are not trading this pick, John Wall will be a Wizard unless something totally surprising pops up in the background checks. The guy seems to be a pretty straight arrow, besides the fact that he's the best player available.

Rubio & the 4 for Wall, not happening...

Rubio has the tools to be good, Wall's got the potential of a much higher ceiling.

Wall's got that blazing speed that only a few guys have. Combined with 6'2 1/2" height in socks and the 6'9 1/2" wingspan. He's lean, but solid, I didn't see him get posted and pushed around once in college.

Sure he'll need to hit the weights to be an elite NBA player. And he'll need to learn to shoot 3's, but there's nothing about his makeup that says he wants anything but the best. And he'll keep working til he is...

I've got to agree with Larry, unless the Knicks are going to sweeten the pot a lot on a Curry deal, the Wiz's best move is to play a year with Gilbert. His trade value's at it's alltime low right now.

I don't buy the Arenas won't move off the point for Wall talk, he did it all the time with Daniels and Hughes.

Wall played with Cousins and had our old friend Rod Strickland as an assistant coach. A year with Arenas isn't going to faze him a bit...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | May 24, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

and btw, Wall shot 51% this past season on 2pt attempts, whereas Rubio was at 38%. That's really where the achilles is on Rubio, questionable athleticism isnt a huge issue for a guy who can shoot...but an average athlete who cant shoot is not exactly a prototypical nba player

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

A piece on Cousins that raises some interesting questions about what kind of attitude you want from your big man:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/frank_hughes/05/21/cousins.update/index.html

Mike Brown gets the axe in Cleveland. Man that COY award is becoming almost as big a jinx as being on the cover of Sports Illustrated or Madden Football.

"[Rubio] is not explosive, can't shoot and can't defend."Posted by: The_Shadow_Knows |

He's not explosive in the way John Wall is, but he's very good in the open court with the ball in his hands -- a la Steve Nash. He's not a very good 3 point shooter, but he's much better than Tyreke Evans, for example. And he does play defense -- unlike most of the other PGs in the league.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 24, 2010 12:33 AM

Maybe, but he's not playing defense against NBA caliber starting PGS.


Here's what they need to do. Pay livingston, and trade that pick for 2 number ones to NJ.

If Leonsis is serious about building with youth and drafting, this makes all the sense in the world.

Posted by: Matte | May 24, 2010 8:34 AM

That doesn't make any sense in any world. If you have a shot at a potentially game changing player at a vital position, you take it. Period. Is it a risk? Sure. Is it one worth taking (esp. for a team in the Wizards' position)? Hell yes. They played it safe by re-signing Arenas and Jamison and preserving the big 3; then did it again by trading the #5 pick for two experienced players that could help them "win now." How'd that work out?

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

As far as trading Arenas to Orlando . . . I could actually see some interest there, given their need for some dynamic scoring not dependent on Howard getting double-teamed, and Arenas' relationship with GM Otis Smith, but there should be no interest in Lewis or Carter for the Wiz. However, I would like to see Brandon Bass in a Wiz uniform (still don't get SVG's refusal to play him, esp. now that the Magic are getting out-hustled and out-toughed by the Celts up front, Bass's specialty).

Problem is, it would be tough for the Magic to put together a deal that worked financially without the Wiz taking either Lewis or Carter.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

One point for teams that are considering drafting Demarcus Cousins -- that SEC championship game against Mississippi State. The Wildcats won by a point in OT. Cousins was thoroughly outplayed by Jarvis Varnado, not normally an offensive threat, but quicker than Cousins, who ended up with four fouls and a chunk of time on the bench. Daniel Orton was actually the only Wildcat center who did anything against Varnado, a likely second-rounder.

According to one Kentuck fan website, Cousins played last season in the neighborhood of 325-330 lbs...

Posted by: Samson151 | May 24, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Cousins will eat himself out of the league within five years. Teams can deal with the bad 'tude but the lack of food discipline is what will do him in. He's a very young Oliver Miller.

Posted by: bobabuie | May 24, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I could definitely see Gilbert as a great fit for Orlando, based on how he was playing at the time of his suspension last year. I would love to get Gortat here somehow, but I suppose every other NBA franchise would as well.

I haven't been able to watch much of the Magic series, but I'm curious to ask whether or not Van Gundy has played Howard AND Gortat at the same time? You'd have Lewis, Carter, Reddick and Nelson as options to fill out the perimeter. I would start with Howard, Gortat, and Nelson -- and then fill out from there.

Posted by: Bellman | May 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

i read that philly will trade their #2 overall pick if someone takes brand

don't think it will happen but it seems possible and we should strongely consider that

with our trade exceptions, and then throw in a combo of thornton, young, mcgee, all cheap and young we could take on brand's huge contract but also get the #2 pick

brand would be that "max player" we are able to sign so its not like we'd be going crazy with salary

that would end the debate as we would get Wall AND Turner

PG Wall
SG Arenas
SF Turner
PF Brand
C Blache

we'd still have the mid level exception to sign someone like josh howard or mike miller or a big man (shaq?) or someone else be off the bench

we'd also have the 30th pick and the 34th pick to add to our depth

then of course we stay active trying to trade the two bad contracts away unless this combo works

i know taking these contracts on would suck, but considering both arenas and brand's contracts are finished by the time we would need to consider maxing wall and turner, its not like salary cap should be an issue

plus brand's contract is listed as 3 years, which means should be easy to trade in 2 (expiring year) and gil same story in 3 years since he has 4 left?

won't happen, but it would be awesome

Posted by: hb_321 | May 24, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@Bellman,

Gortat and Howard have logged time together (more than I can recall them doing in the regular season). Hasn't done much good though, given the inability of Nelson, Lewis, and Carter to get going.

@hb_321
Assuming that's true, I'm pretty sure that any deal Philly made for the #2 Pick/Brand would have to include them getting a pick back, and it would have to be higher than the 30th overall (probably lower lottery). I can sse them moving down in the draft, but not out of it. A rebuilding plan like that makes no sense, given that they just went out and spent big money on a big name coach.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@hb_321
Assuming that's true, I'm pretty sure that any deal Philly made for the #2 Pick/Brand would have to include them getting a pick back, and it would have to be higher than the 30th overall (probably lower lottery). I can sse them moving down in the draft, but not out of it. A rebuilding plan like that makes no sense, given that they just went out and spent big money on a big name coach.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Good point. Do you think offering next year's first, and maybe this year's 30th pick would do the trick? and would it be worth it?

I think its worth it, but curious what others think

Posted by: hb_321 | May 24, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm actually getting less impressed with Gortat as this series goes along. Of course Howard isnt looking very good either. Pretty odd how completely dysfunctional the Magic suddenly look...not to take anything away from Boston.

With Bynum's bum knee, it's easy to see the Cs rolling the Lakers too if that ends up as the Finals series

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Elton Brand does not need to be on this team. We are trying to get away from older injury riddled players that can't out jump or grab the ball away from the other team.

Posted by: millineumman | May 24, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

@millineumman

brand by himself, of course, no question

but to take on brand so that you can also take turner, is completely different

id take an older injury riddled player every day of the week if it meant a potential all star coming with him.

Posted by: hb_321 | May 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Brand has like $50mill left on his deal, the fact Philly is willing to part with the #2 pick to get rid of him (supposedly) is exactly why the Wiz should want no part of that deal

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

(A) Philly will want a lottery pick in this draft to start the rebuilding right away, otherwise they'll have basically hired Doug Collins to spend next season babysitting a bunch of short-timers. I don't see that. (B) The Wiz just finished clearing out the dead wood of disgruntled, overpaid, under-performing vets who didn't get the job done. Adding another one is taking a step backwards. They need to focus on players who are part of the future rather than acquiring more expensive space fillers. Taking on Brand's contract to get a shot at the #2 pick is a desperation move calculated to try and accelerate the rebuilding pace. No need for that. Just let things take their course naturally. (Besides, there's a fair chance they could end up back in the lottery next season anyway.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

As far as trading Arenas to Orlando . . . I could actually see some interest there, given their need for some dynamic scoring not dependent on Howard getting double-teamed, and Arenas' relationship with GM Otis Smith, but there should be no interest in Lewis or Carter for the Wiz.

Problem is, it would be tough for the Magic to put together a deal that worked financially without the Wiz taking either Lewis or Carter.

Posted by: kalo_rama

Can't see the Wiz taking Lewis. I think if they took Carter, it would only be to shed salary after next year.

I know Gil has a relationship with Otis Smith, but I'm not sold on Gilbert improving the Magic. He either takes the ball out of Jameer's hands or they form the Magic back court, which is not ideal. He also adds an uncertain element from a chemistry perspective. It might work out great....and it might implode.

Plus the Magic would be greatly increasing the amount of guaranteed money on their books. At least with Vince, they contrrol him for two years, but can get out after next year if they want to. Pick up Gilbert, and they start to look like the Cavs and the Mavs.

I think there are other, better ways for the Magic to find a secondary creator or secondary playmaker. At the very least, in the draft, there will be a lot of quality tweener types at the end of the first round. There are things to like about Willie Warren, Avery Bradley, Dominique Jones and some of the other guys, and likely one will be there for them.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

There are things to like about Willie Warren, Avery Bradley, Dominique Jones and some of the other guys, and likely one will be there for them.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 11:44 AM

imho, this is a great looking draft from a depth perspective. I think we'll see more later picks staying in the league than in most years.

and just watch the Spurs grab Larry Sanders at 20th, geezus they know what they're doing!

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 24, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Can't see the Wiz taking Lewis. "

Thus the "problem" part of my point in saying that "Problem is, it would be tough for the Magic to put together a deal that worked financially without the Wiz taking either Lewis or Carter."

"I think if they took Carter, it would only be to shed salary after next year."

And that's bad, how?

Actually, I could see them trading Arenas for Carter and Bass and then buying out Carter's contract. A Carter buyout would be cheaper than buying out Arenas because Carter only has 1 year guaranteed left while Arenas would have three. And taking on Bass (and maybe another player) would help offset the financial hit the Magic would take in acquiring Arenas.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

,i>"I think there are other, better ways for the Magic to find a secondary creator or secondary playmaker. At the very least, in the draft, there will be a lot of quality tweener types at the end of the first round. There are things to like about Willie Warren, Avery Bradley, Dominique Jones and some of the other guys, and likely one will be there for them."

Except they don't need a secondary creator or a playmaker. They need a primary one.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"I think there are other, better ways for the Magic to find a secondary creator or secondary playmaker. At the very least, in the draft, there will be a lot of quality tweener types at the end of the first round. There are things to like about Willie Warren, Avery Bradley, Dominique Jones and some of the other guys, and likely one will be there for them."

Except they don't need a secondary creator or a playmaker. They need a primary one

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Solid analysis of Rubio:

http://thepaintedarea.blogspot.com/2010/01/checking-in-on-ricky-rubio.html

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 24, 2010 12:15 PM

Here's the thing, people WANT rubio to be great. So articles like that focus on the fact that he sees the court so well and mention but gloss over his complete inability to score. Look at his full season stats this year:

http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?pcode=LFW

He can barely get shots off, made 4fg's in a game ONE TIME all season. And it's not because the euroleague is so tough, Navarro scores plenty on the same team against the same opponents. Rubio cannot shoot and he cannot score. Majority of his point come from the line, and in the nba you dont get to the line until you prove you can score on your own.

I wouldnt be surprised if he doesnt come over here for several years, his current game would be fruitless in the nba because if you're a pg who is no threat to score you can be smothered into ineffectiveness

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Draft Wall first, he is a marquee name already and can flat out ball. He is the type of basketball player that brings fans to the arena home and away. Basketball is also a business, so let us not dismiss the market value of Wall. Now, Turner is a great player(therefore you have to do a little scouting and homework) and I know everyone wants to analyze and compare Turner to Wall(and say pick Turner first) to prove they have some type of basketball knowledge, but Turner over Wall is not the answer. Remember, front offices always play this charade and posture over who should go 1st or 2nd, in the final analysis it will be Wall going first. Look at the bright side; with Wall, draft picks, and possibly a decent player from cap space, you guys won't have to gush over and cry about loosing end of the bench at best D leaguers anymore.

Posted by: Theone9 | May 24, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"Can't see the Wiz taking Lewis. "

Thus the "problem" part of my point in saying that "Problem is, it would be tough for the Magic to put together a deal that worked financially without the Wiz taking either Lewis or Carter."
Posted by: kalo_rama

Wasn't arguing against you goober, essentially agreeing with you that the Wiz have no use for Lewis.

"I think if they took Carter, it would only be to shed salary after next year."

And that's bad, how?

Actually, I could see them trading Arenas for Carter and Bass and then buying out Carter's contract. A Carter buyout would be cheaper than buying out Arenas because Carter only has 1 year guaranteed left while Arenas would have three. And taking on Bass (and maybe another player) would help offset the financial hit the Magic would take in acquiring Arenas.

Not bad at all, I was just making the point against what you said

but there should be no interest in Lewis or Carter for the Wiz.

By saying originally what you just repeated, the Wiz could have interest in Carter as a means to clear salary. I don't think we could get Bass out of the deal, but you never know. They might have buyer's remorse.

But the rest of my point was that I don't ultimately think it makes sense for the Magic, on the court or financially. Maybe, maybe as a trade deadline deal if Gil shows well in the first part of next season.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Except they don't need a secondary creator or a playmaker. They need a primary one

Posted by: kalo_rama

Oy. Is this discussion going to devolve like the whole argument y'all had about Jamison as a primary-scorer-after-LeBron vs secondary-scorer? If so, I'll check out now.

Let's just leave it at they need someone else who can create shots for others and/or himself. Regardless of whether you want to call that guy the primary, secondary, tertiary or quadrary, I'm not convinced Gil is the answer for what they need in a way that doesn't disrupt the rest of what they are or that helps them advance in the playoffs.

As much as Smith might like Gil, I can't see how he could be convinced enough of that either, convinced enough to gamble an extra $50 million on. Especially after the low level heat he took (and probably will take more of) for opting for Vince instead of Hedo.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Turner made the shot to beat Michigan but this happened in his last game as a collegian.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Video-Evan-Turner-blocked-at-the-buzzer-did-he?urn=ncaab,230559

Posted by: richs91 | May 24, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Even if the two of them were rated equal, you'd take Wall because he's 2 years younger. Imagine how good he'll be with 2 more years of development.

Posted by: shanks1 | May 24, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"Wasn't arguing against you goober, essentially agreeing with you that the Wiz have no use for Lewis."
"Not bad at all, I was just making the point against what you said"

So make up your mind Gumby. Were you agreeing with me or arguing with me? I find a discussion usually goes much smoother if you pick a side and stay with it all the way through.

"Let's just leave it at they need someone else who can create shots for others and/or himself."

Saying that they need "someone else" implies that they have someone already. And who would that be? Carter has struggled through most of the playoffs and Nelson looked great when he was being guarded by the likes of Felton, Bibby, and Crawford, but as soon as he faced some legit PG comp he crumbled. Moreover, he's a 5' 9" (maybe) scorer whose size limits his ability to see over defenses and create good shots for his teammates. The Magic's problem is that they don't have anyone on their roster who can create good shots against locked in defense. That's something Arenas has a history of being able to do. Add to that that the fact that, if/when the Celts bounce them, the Magic will find themselves in a situation eerily similar to what the Cavs had been in with Lebron. Howard can become a FA after the 2011-12 season, giving the Magic two years to put together a title team. Clearly the team they have isn't it, their cap situation makes FA a limited avenue, their low draft picks aren't likely to yield much in the way of difference makers. If they want to make changes they're going to have to make trades and take some risks. Is this a risk they'd want to take? Possibly.

I'm not putting money down on the Magic going for the idea (again, thus the whole "problem" aspect) but given their situation, it's not something I would place outside the realm of possibility.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 24, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Go with Turner, because he looks and sounds like he won't get caught up with the DC nightlife, like John Wall will. John Wall is a turnover machine who had previous anger issues. Stay away from the hype and And 1 game, Wizards and take the sure thing in Turner.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | May 24, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Just finishing Halberstam's book on Jordan, Playing for Keeps, the comparisons to Wall are compelling. Both reared in N.C. Both were 6'4" entering college. (Mike grew to 6'6" and filled out to 218, 3 percent body fat. J.W. unknown, but he might not be finished growing.) Both sort of off the radar early on in their H.S. careers. Both freakishly athletic. Both are clearly cognizant of their images at an early age (maturity). Both had to tone down their games in college (Jordan b/c of Dean Smith's system, Wall b/c of Cal's system and his penchant to get his teammates involved) Both will do what it takes to win. (check out Wall's performance at MSG and his off. rebound off a missed free throw in the SEC Tourney late in the game) he has that 'no way are we losing this game' gene that cannot be taught. Now is he Mike, hells naw! Cause if he was UK would have found a way to get past West Ginny. All I'm saying is that this dude is special and you build the team around him. He will be better than Rose, Rondo, Paul, Nelson and D. Williams...

Stay away from Vince, 'Melo, Lebron or any other FA that's gonna take the ball out of his hands. (he's stuck with Gil, unless EG does some more magic) All he needs is someone to be his enforcer aka D. Blair, who they could've had... never mind, a mid-range jump shooter (get Boozer and you have both), a shot blocker (they may have that in McGee) and a 3 point specialist. I know that is a lot to ask for, and you won't find them all this season or next. But by 2012-13, John Wall will have the 'Zards prime to take over the East, if not the whole NBA.

Posted by: samisunc | May 24, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

So make up your mind Gumby. Were you agreeing with me or arguing with me? I find a discussion usually goes much smoother if you pick a side and stay with it all the way through.
Posted by: kalo_rama

I see why you have such difficulties now Pokey. It's actually possible to agree with part of what someone says without agreeing with all of it. I think you're the only person I know who continues to argue even after someone agrees with you. And for reference, the side I'm picking is my side. As in the side where I agree about Lewis and disagree with your original stance on VC. I can draw you a chart if it's still unclear.

Saying that they need "someone else" implies that they have someone already. And who would that be? Carter has struggled through most of the playoffs and Nelson looked great when he was being guarded by the likes of Felton, Bibby, and Crawford, but as soon as he faced some legit PG comp he crumbled. Moreover, he's a 5' 9" (maybe) scorer whose size limits his ability to see over defenses and create good shots for his teammates.

First, I seem to recall having a conversation earlier this year with someone who sounds a lot like you who said that being able to see over defenses doesn't mean much. Speaking of picking a side....

It almost sounds like you're saying that Nelson was capable of creating for his teammates until he faced tougher defense. Almost like he needs help from someone else.....

The Magic's problem is that they don't have anyone on their roster who can create good shots against locked in defense. That's something Arenas has a history of being able to do.

I must have missed the part on Arenas' resume where he has a history of breaking down defenses and finding shots for his teammates against locked-in defenses in the playoffs. Which particular Cleveland blow-out series was that? And how many years and knee surgeries ago was that now? Pretty sure we've both said that Arenas is not a piece we want to build around here, but now he's supposed to be the missing piece to the playoff puzzle?

(two-parter)

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse


Add to that that the fact that, if/when the Celts bounce them, the Magic will find themselves in a situation eerily similar to what the Cavs had been in with Lebron.

Yes, and it sounds very much like you're endorsing the same failed plan that the Cavs and Mavs just followed. We have a star about to become a FA, let's bring in someone who isn't a good fit but has posted good stats in the past to molify our star and take a shot. And in the process, totally wreck our cap situation for years.

I'm not putting money down on the Magic going for the idea (again, thus the whole "problem" aspect) but given their situation, it's not something I would place outside the realm of possibility.

You're not, but Otis Smith would be putting down a huge chunk of change. But you're right (agreeing with you again, I'll try to note it when I do, so you're not as easily confused), it is absolutely not out of the realm of possibility. Sports franchises have a long history of making expensive mistakes.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Nelson's problem is he ran into Rondo, the best defensive pg in the league.

And there's no reason Wall cant be similar defensively. He's a superior athlete, taller, thicker, and with almost the same mutant wingspan as Rondo.

Again, we'll see what actually happens, but it's sure fun to think about the possibilities of a player with such a high ceiling.

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Kal, say the Magic follow your plan and pick up Arenas. Then they face the Celts next year. Who does Gil cover? Rondo or Ray Allen (assuming they keep him)? Tony Allen?

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

the magic's problem is that DH12 has no game . Didn't last year, when folks like SDTSDMU was callin him dominant, and he doesn't now.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Javale could have scored 7pts Saturday

Posted by: divi3 | May 24, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

the magic's problem is that DH12 has no game . Didn't last year, when folks like SDTSDMU was callin him dominant, and he doesn't now.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 24, 2010 3:38 PM

The biggest problem that the Magic have (other than the obvious heart/courage issues seen in this series) is that the Center position is a "dependant position" as wise old Coach John Thompson likes to say.

Howard needs to have teammates who are skilled enough to deliver a good pass when he has worked for good position down low. It's harder than is sounds. The Magic traded away the player who was best at doing it (Hedo), while both Nelson and Lewis have had a tough time doing it versus tough long armed defenders. Just go back and watch last years playoff run and you will see that with Hedo and R. Lewis playing together one of them would always have the advantage of being able to pass over there defender to a waiting Howard.

If the Magic added Gil, they would still have this problem.

If the Magic do try to change their roster prior to next year, maybe the Wiz can move in as a third team with their trade exceptions and steal Bass. In response to the question asked earlier: Yes the Magic do have buyers remorse about him, cuz Van Gundy does not know how to use him.

Posted by: SportzWiz | May 24, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"and just watch the Spurs grab Larry Sanders at 20th, geezus they know what they're doing!
Posted by: divi3"

My crystal ball says Long Larry is gone before then.

Oh wait, that's a grease spot...

Posted by: Samson151 | May 24, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The guy Sanders reminds me of is another Larry -- Nance. Of course Nance developed an excellent outside shot in the pros, and Sanders would need to do the same thing. But he's a natural rebounder and shot-blocker and he's cut his turnovers way down this season. Plus he's got his FTs up to 65% -- that's an improvement that Gani Lawal needs to make.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 24, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting how I wrote a few days ago that the Magic were hurting in this series w/o the services of Turk, and lo and behold, Wilbon writes an article for today saying the same thing.

And he gets how many million for that expert analysis from TNT and the Post?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 24, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I was saying the same last summer when they did the deals. VC is a good player, but he's not a creator.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

And I agree wholeheartedly, Wilbon has become the master of the obvious, and a day late and a dollar short at that.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Kal, looks like SVG finally decided to let Bass off the leash. And Nelson decided to play like a playmaker. We'll see if it's enough tonight.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

To: NBA big men who struggle with free throws.

Bend your damn knees as part of your shot. If you bend your knees. Then stop. Then shoot the free throw, you might as well never have bent them at all.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

"Here's the thing, people WANT rubio to be great. So articles like that focus on the fact that he sees the court so well and mention but gloss over his complete inability to score. Look at his full season stats this year"

You didn't read the whole article... it deals extensively with his shooting problems.

"He can barely get shots off, made 4fg's in a game ONE TIME all season. And it's not because the euroleague is so tough, Navarro scores plenty on the same team against the same opponents. Rubio cannot shoot and he cannot score. Majority of his point come from the line, and in the nba you dont get to the line until you prove you can score on your own."

He is young and must work on his shot, to be sure... a flaw in Wall's game, too. Stats are somewhat difficult to translate from the Spanish league, because they sub and even stars like Rubio only play about 20 minutes a game. His 'per 36' minute scoring average is about 11 points, assists almost 14 and, because he has spider-sense anticipation, nearly 6 rebounds per game and excellent steal statistics.

"I wouldnt be surprised if he doesnt come over here for several years, his current game would be fruitless in the nba because if you're a pg who is no threat to score you can be smothered into ineffectiveness"

Kidd?

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 25, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"To: NBA big men who struggle with free throws.

Bend your damn knees as part of your shot. If you bend your knees. Then stop. Then shoot the free throw, you might as well never have bent them at all.

Posted by: ts35 | May 24, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse "

Yes, the best in the world can't even hit free throws...how sad.

A lot of the ballers in the NBA wouldn't be ballers if not for their size/height. Translation: many lack skills necessary to be a baller.

Interesting how a lot of euro players can hit their FT's and do have knowledge/skills about what to do in an offense.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 25, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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