Wizards attempting to move up in draft
The Washington Wizards are actively attempting to acquire at least one more pick in Thursday's NBA draft, with team president Ernie Grunfeld working the phones in hopes that the team can assemble to best possible talent around No. 1 pick John Wall. The eventual selection of Wall isn't a secret, but the NBA does not allow teams to make the official choice known before David Stern steps on stage at Madison Square Garden to make the announcement.
The Wizards also have the 30th (acquired from Cleveland in the Antawn Jamison deal) and 35th picks in the draft, but they are not content with just those choices. New owner Ted Leonsis has already expressed his desire to add more players through the draft. They are also in pursuit of a pick between the late lottery and early 20s of the draft, Grunfeld said on Tuesday that "we're having as many conversations as any team in the league about trying to move up and acquire another pick, but a lot of teams are trying to do the same thing."
Washington is among several teams with multiple first-round draft picks. Minnesota and Memphis have three picks, and Oklahoma City and New Jersey have two. Miami and Atlanta could also be looking to move their lone first-rounders to create cap space for the 2010 free agency class. Grunfeld wouldn't confirm or deny that he's been in touch with any of those teams. But the Wizards have competition for first-round choices, with teams like Cleveland and Dallas -- which don't have selections -- also looking to move in.
Gilbert Arenas, Andray Blatche, Al Thornton, Nick Young, JaVale McGee and Quinton Ross are the only players under contract next season, with Ross informing the team several weeks ago that he fully intends on picking up in player option for the 2010-11 season. The Wizards are looking to add depth to their roster, regardless of position. Even if they are unable to make a deal for another pick, they still have more than $20 million in salary cap room to fill those needs.
A deal likely wouldn't occur until closer to the draft, but the Wizards are considering several scenarios to move up -- from dealing future picks, packaging both of their lower picks, to simply buying a pick (at a cost of about $3 million), to taking back a salary in addition to a pick, to even packaging one of the six players under contract for next season with a pick.
"There are a lot of different ways to get one and we'll explore every opportunity to get there if it's available to us," Grunfeld said.
The one scenario that will not be discussed, Grunfeld said, is the possibility of dealing the No. 1 choice. The Wizards are keeping it.
June 22, 2010; 3:34 PM ET
Categories: NBA draft
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