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Posted at 8:02 AM ET, 01/28/2011

Wizards hope to get more than one win on four-game trip

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

The Wizards will begin their longest road trip thus far on Friday, a four-game swoop through Oklahoma City, Memphis, Dallas and New Orleans. For a team that has failed in 21 chances to win a road game, Rashard Lewis said the Wizards aren't exactly looking at this as four chances to get one win.

"My main focus is the one" on Friday, Lewis said, "and going one at a time. If we can get the first one, then maybe we can get two or three on this road trip. I don't think we should have a mindset of going into a four-game road trip to try to get one game. I think we have to go out and try to win all of them, and hopefully, we can walk away with two or three. You never want to go on a trip and say 'I hope we get one when we've got four.' "

But the Wizards will certainly have a hard time getting just one. They have never won a game in Oklahoma City, dating back to the time when the New Orleans Hornets played there two years after Hurricane Katrina. The Mavericks, Thunder and Hornets rank third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Western Conference. Memphis (22-24) is the only team that doesn't have a winning record, but they are 13-7 at home.

"You got four games in five nights, so I know it's going to be tough," Nick Young said. "We've got to come out with energy out the gate and set the example."

The first challenge is trying to slow down the Thunder (29-16), which is coming off an overtime win over Minnesota in which District native Kevin Durant matched his career high with 47 points and grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds. Durant leads the NBA in scoring at 28.6 points, but Russell Westbrook is having a solid all-around season, averaging 22.4 points and 8.4 assists.

"It seems like he's gotten better and better every year, especially this past summer. His game just jumped to another level, playing with the USA [gold medal-winning national team]," Lewis said of Westbrook. "Durant and Westbrook are two guys we're going to have our hands full with. And not only that. Their fans are crazy in that building. They are going to have a lot of energy in the building. Defense is going to be a key on this road trip."

Young said he watched Durant go off in Minnesota and shook his head. "We can't have him drop 50."

FROM THE POST
Mike Wise writes about the differences between Nick Young and Mustafa Shakur as they try to help the Wizards win a road game.

Mustafa Shakur discusses his interesting NBA debut and his long path to the Wizards.

Rashard Lewis talks about trade rumors.

Lee Friedman presents his NBA Mid-Season Awards from the Box seats

AROUND THE WEB
Memphis guard O.J. Mayo was suspended 10 games for taking dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the same substance that got Rashard Lewis sacked in 2009. Here's what the Wizards Insider had on the topic back then.

Ten years later, Kwame Brown and Michael Jordan are finally finding happiness together in Charlotte.

ESPN.com's Chad Ford writes about the 10 impact players most likely to be traded by the deadline and Rashard Lewis makes the list.

Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins looks into the life of a guy on a 10-day contract.

CSN Washington's Ivan Carter, a former Wizards beat reporter, rips into Flip Saunders and the Wizards over their treatment of Andray Blatche.

By Michael Lee  | January 28, 2011; 8:02 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rashard Lewis on trade rumors: "You've got to block it out"
Next: Mustafa Shakur hoping to finally find a home in the NBA

Comments

RE: LEWIS:

Why can't he stay and teach these kids a thing or two? There's been real stability and development amongst the young guys since his arrival. Hell, that alone is worth a year of over-paid expertise. No one else with any ability wanted inside the house that POLLIN built. May as well keep a winner who had no choice in the matter. Especially since he's taken to the role.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 28, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

ivan carter sucks as a redskins reporter, but he does actually know basketball. hes right, flip is now treating blatche like hes a star, and now blatche feels hes a star and a made man. comparing himself to arenas?? arenas was an elite player at one point, there is no comparison. he plays lazy defense, and settles for too many jumpshots for a pf. i like him and want him to do good, but he feels like hes a "made man" on this team. flip needs to put him in check, but flips actually part of the problem. different treatment for mcgee who has a short leash. flip needs to find middle ground. or how bout just fire flip? leonsis i think is too dumb or cheap tho

Posted by: skinsfan09 | January 28, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

You cannot just trade Lewis because of the contract. Rebuilding, yes we are, but you have to know when to scrap and when not too.

Lewis right now, as has been alluded too, is providing much needed growth and stability that the Team needs.

When you rebuild a team you have to know what moves keeps you rebuilding and growing.

If a winning Team needs Lewis to get them over the hump they think, then Lewis has to be worth there number one pick IMO.

Why, because if a teams thinks he puts them in the championship or right at it, then to me it is worth their number 1 next year.

And because, the value he is adding to the Team now cannot be underestimated by the Bullets. To take Lewis out of the equation now without a huge positive intangible in return is just unexplainable.

Then we are back to The Hinrich Reign and Howard's Broke Knee.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 28, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"If a winning Team needs Lewis to get them over the hump they think, then Lewis has to be worth there number one pick IMO.Why, because if a teams thinks he puts them in the championship or right at it, then to me it is worth their number 1 next year.LarryInClintonMD.Posted by LarryInClintonMD"

Cheez Louise.

Here's a guy with a really burdensome contract -- one of the highest paid players in the NBA, who happens to be averaging only 14 points a game -- and we want a 2011 top draft choice for him?

No way the Wiz would have traded for Lewis if they hadn't needed to get rid of Arenas.

I was just hoping we could unload his contract for something less damaging.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards best chance to end this road losing streak will be on February 13th at Cleveland. The first road game after this four game road trip.

If things hold, both teams may still riding historic losing streaks by tip off.
Cleveland being 0 for 2011. I believe they've lost 18 or 19 straight.

Posted by: bozomoeman | January 28, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Well Samson151. At some point we are going to have to start putting value on what we have.

We cannot keep dealing from a position of weakness. We keep devaluing our players and that kills our franchise and limits our opportunities and even the opinions of how we even view ourselves.

The only team that would look at getting Lewis would be a Team that is right there at the championship door and thus they feel that he is the piece that puts them through it.

That's the only scenario I see a team wanting Lewis and if that is the case then that is worth them ponying up a number one pick for a chance at a championship.

Thinkaboutit. Why is it so far fetched that a number one pick isn't an equal value for a championship if Lewis is the catalyst that puts them there?

I am so sick and tired of this hat in hand, feel sorry for me approach, the Wizards keep peddling.

Place a high value on your franchise and your players and demand it of yourselves and all whom you have to deal with.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 28, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"The only team that would look at getting Lewis would be a Team that is right there at the championship door and thus they feel that he is the piece that puts them through it."

A team like that probably can't afford him.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Carter might be right about Saunders treatment (coddling) of Blatche, but you can't really hold Saunders accountable for Arenas's development.

If the Wizards organization overindulged Arenas and gave license to his worst behavior, the responsibility is on Grunfeld. Grunfeld came into town with Arenas. Saunders didn't even coach Arenas for one full season, so the Arenas that he inherited wasn't a player that he helped to develop.

As far as Blatche's comments go, of course fans are fickle. If a player produces on the court, fans will love that player and cut them a lot of slack -- even on off nights. If fans are fair-minded too they will cut a player some slack in his first few years in the league.

But by year 5 after the player has signed an extension the old standard doesn't apply. Expectations are going to be higher.

Posted by: JPRS | January 28, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Ivan Carter....I stopped watching his show the moment he came on the air and called Ocho and TO clowns.

Surely, he thought he was justified in calling those two clowns and he did it in a personal and classless manner.

I don't watch his show and his comments about Andre Blatche and how the Wizards treat him are also classless.

What purpose is he really achieving by making those comments.

In a nutshell, he basically is saying that Andre is garbage and the Wizards approve of it.

Whom amongst you out there really believe there is any truth in that statement?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 28, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

These Wizards got my emotions already hyped for these upcoming road games. Man!! Why they do this to me? Get the win and end this road-game-losing-streak!!!!

I'll be watching that's for sure.

Posted by: clifton3 | January 28, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

These Wizards got my emotions already hyped for these upcoming road games. Man!! Why they do this to me? Get the win and end this road-game-losing-streak!!!!

I'll be watching that's for sure.

Posted by: clifton3 | January 28, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Andrei Kirilenko or Michael Redd's expiring contract looks very good right about now. How bout a 1st rounder from the bucks or jazz as well

Posted by: jefferu | January 28, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Samson151,

It's all academic, because the contract this season makes dealing Lewis almost impossible.

Even if there was a late, late 2011 first rounder on the table, I wouldn't want to see the Wizards make the move. The 2011 draft won't be as deep as the 2010 draft, so the pick in 2011 is likely to have even less value. 2012 looks like it could be a better draft -- especially as far as help in the front-court goes.

Even with the big contract, having a guy like Lewis on the roster this year is probably a plus for the team's development. I agree with Larry that he brings stability and he doesn't bring much drama. He may only be scoring 14 a game, but he's doing it efficiently most games on about 12 shots per game.

The salary consequences of the deal favored the Arenas-Lewis swap. Beyond that though, he is a better fit for the team right now anyways. Maybe next year will be different, but he's a good fit right now for where the Wizards are at.

Posted by: JPRS | January 28, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"The only team that would look at getting Lewis would be a Team that is right there at the championship door and thus they feel that he is the piece that puts them through it."

A team like that probably can't afford him.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 11:32 AM

Well then, if that is true then moving him just for the sake of the contract isn't smart. His value to us right now IMO adds hugely to what this Team needs and is trying to do.

Rashard Lewis right now is adding stability to this rebuild process and by example is showing our young Team professionalism.

You should not underestimate the importance of that and trade that away just because of the contract.

If you look at and evaluate Lewis he is handling himself with keen awareness of where he is in his career. His professionalism is speaking volumes. You want people like that around to impressionate your young Team.

It just can't be measured.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 28, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

" You want people like that around to impressionate your young Team." LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

What 'impressionates' me is the chance to create more room for future acquisitions without having to wait another year.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"The 2011 draft won't be as deep as the 2010 draft, so the pick in 2011 is likely to have even less value. 2012 looks like it could be a better draft -- especially as far as help in the front-court goes. posted by JPRS"

Couple issues here:

1) the 2011 draft is notable for having no clear top choice. Other than that it looks moderately deep -- comparable to '09, for instance.

2) Lewis' contract is second only to Arenas' in terms of undesirability. He's gone quite a ways towards rehabbing his basketball rep, but any team would want the Wiz to take on something burdensome in return.

So it's all about the deal. Most likely the contract issues will overcome the b-ball considerations and he'll remain a Wiz into next season.

But Ernie got rid of Gilbert -- miracles do happen.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Lewis is better for this team now then Arenas was, for certain. I don't think his price is too high for a team on the cusp. I'd hate to see him leave, I became more of a fan after he came here. No head games, solid veteran and professional. I hope he stays.

If this team had Tim Duncan in the middle they'd probably be making the playoffs. That says allot about McGee and Blatch. They're good players but there's so little toughness on this team. Weak defense and weak in the middle. Doesn't matter how many blocked shots you get if the guy just blows by you next time down.

Posted by: boblas | January 28, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"You cannot just trade Lewis because of the contract."

That's exactly the point. You can't just trade him, because of the contract.

"If a winning Team needs Lewis to get them over the hump they think, then Lewis has to be worth there number one pick IMO."

Even if that were true (and it's not), a #1 pick from a team that's one player away from a title isn't going to be all that high.

"The only team that would look at getting Lewis would be a Team that is right there at the championship door and thus they feel that he is the piece that puts them through it."

But, as I previously noted, there aren't any teams like that that have any particular need for Lewis. In fact, he was on a team like that at the beginning of the season and they got rid of him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

If this team had Tim Duncan in the middle they'd probably be making the playoffs.

Posted by: boblas | January 28, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hall of Fame big men tend to have that effect on teams.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 28, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Kirilenko from the Jazz for Lewis would probably make the most sense right now. Utah has a couple of trade exceptions they could use to matchup salaries. Utah has been moving Kirilenko in and out of the starting lineup trying to jumpstart things and it hasn't worked.

So a trade of Kirilenko might not be out of the guestion.

Question is would they be willing to part with a future #1 to sweeten the pot to do it. To some extent I agree with Larry, if you're making a trade just to get out from under a contract, what is the net gain?

Are the Wiz going to be able to turn around and use the cap space to sign a player that becomes part of their rebuilding core? If not the veteran leadership of Lewis is worth something right now. It's hard to win at all in this league without some veteran help.

This team's got to show a heartbeat or Wall's gone once his rookie deal is complete. Lewis has seemed to help the team's play since he's arrived. Is the goal at this point more ping pong ball's, or seeing improvement on the court. Is there a Wall or Griffin like guy in this draft? I'm not sure there is a clear cut #1 that I've seen so far.

Milwaukee could offer a similar deal with Redd's expiring deal, but I'm not sure why they would. Except if they think making a run at the playoffs is worth it.

The key to either deal would net a draft pick that would be in the mid to late first round.

Would shipping out Lewis for a future #1 be worth getting out of the contract early?
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | January 28, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"You want people like that around to impressionate your young Team." LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD
What 'impressionates' me is the chance to create more room for future acquisitions without having to wait another year.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 12:34 PM

Yeah, having more flexibility for the rebuilding effort would leave quite an impressionation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Here are some guys who are likely to go late first in the '11 draft:

Trey Thompkins, Georgia
Kyle Singler, Duke
Kenneth Faried, Morehead State
Markieff Morris, Kansas

That's not a bad group. All limited players, but what else would you expect at that point?

Here's who went near the end of the first last season:

Jordan Crawford, Xavier
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
Dan Orton, Ky
Lazar Hayward, Marquette

I dunno, looks about the same to me.

Not that the Wiz should take a late choice -- just a look at who might be available. I wouldn't even hazard a guess as to who's there in '12.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Yes, that's me: the ol' impressionator.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Is there a Wall or Griffin like guy in this draft? Posted by: flohrtv"

I think the answer is no. The tournaments may change that, but so far, nobody is even close to picking a winner. There's no Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, or DeMarcus Cousins, let alone a Wall or Griffin.

Not to say one of the top ten won't turn out to be a star --- just nobody's at all sure who it might be.

Kyrie Irving would be a possibility if he hadn't been hurt.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The Jazz wouldn't trade Kirilenko for Lewis. They basically gave away Eric Maynor and let Wesley Matthews walk for nothing to save money. No way they're trading Kirilenko (whose contract is expiring) for Lewis and the 2 years, $45 mill left on his contract. Esp. since that deal wouldn't actually make them significantly better. It certainly wouldn't make them title contenders.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"Is there a Wall or Griffin like guy in this draft? Posted by: flohrtv"

I think the answer is no. The tournaments may change that, but so far, nobody is even close to picking a winner. There's no Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, or DeMarcus Cousins, let alone a Wall or Griffin.

Not to say one of the top ten won't turn out to be a star --- just nobody's at all sure who it might be.

Kyrie Irving would be a possibility if he hadn't been hurt.
---

Jared Sullinger

Posted by: dc202jp | January 28, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"If a winning Team needs Lewis to get them over the hump they think, then Lewis has to be worth there number one pick IMO.Why, because if a teams thinks he puts them in the championship or right at it, then to me it is worth their number 1 next year.LarryInClintonMD.Posted by LarryInClintonMD"

Cheez Louise.

Here's a guy with a really burdensome contract -- one of the highest paid players in the NBA, who happens to be averaging only 14 points a game -- and we want a 2011 top draft choice for him?

No way the Wiz would have traded for Lewis if they hadn't needed to get rid of Arenas.

I was just hoping we could unload his contract for something less damaging.

Posted by: Samson151

I'm sort of with Larry on this one (if I understand him correctly). Sure there is some value is trading Lewis for a less burdensome contract, but I don't know how much actual value it represents, especially if the team isn't going to be in the business of signing FAs. From what Ted has said, I think they would sign a FA (meaning a higher dollar FA) if it makes sense. But looking at all of the names that have been floated, I haven't seen many with Washington high on their list of destinations. So acquiring one might mean committing to the same kind of contract we're currently trying to get rid of.

So, imo, if they are going to trade Lewis, they should try to acquire an asset besides just cap space, be it a pick or young player they like.

That being said, I was perusing the playoff teams trying to get a sense myself of which team could use him, might be willing to trade for him, and might have the assets to do it, and it's a pretty slim list. Utah could, I don't think they would. Portland was another potential team, but we'd likely be taking back Andre Miller.

Based on the Hinrich trade this summer, I was trying to figure out the mechanics of trading a player without matching salaries. But I think the team acquiring the salary has to be under the cap(?). In any event, if that could be worked out, another team like the Heat might be in the mix. But i'm shaky on how the cap works for stuff like that.

Posted by: ts35 | January 28, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Based on the Hinrich trade this summer, I was trying to figure out the mechanics of trading a player without matching salaries. But I think the team acquiring the salary has to be under the cap(?). In any event, if that could be worked out, another team like the Heat might be in the mix. But i'm shaky on how the cap works for stuff like that."

Posted by: ts35 | January 28, 2011 1:36 PM

In trades, the salaries on both sides have to match within 15% unless the team taking on the greater salary has enough cap space (or a trade exception) equal to/greater than the difference in salary totals.

The only teams that could even come close to being considered contenders that are under the cap at all are Chicago and OKC, and they're just barely under it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, I was perusing the playoff teams trying to get a sense myself of which team could use him, might be willing to trade for him, and might have the assets to do it, and it's a pretty slim list. Utah could, I don't think they would. Portland was another potential team, but we'd likely be taking back Andre Miller."

Posted by: ts35 | January 28, 2011 1:36 PM

Portland is probably even more unlikely than Utah. It's pretty clear they're not going to contend with this group, with Roy hobbled (and likely at reduced capacity for the rest of his career, if/when he returns) and Oden a nonfactor thus far and possibly on his way out the door. Sinking more money into high-priced vets would basically be throwing it down a hole. They're more likely to blow it up than to take on more big salaries at this point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

This coming draft has some pretty good talent at least at the top. Terrence Jones, the SF out of Kentucky looks really good. Sullinger of course at Ohio St, and the guy that is probably going numero uno is the freshman big man at Baylor, Perry Jones. I would be happy with any of them although our need is SF and Terrence Jones looks like the real deal.

Posted by: Wizbullets88 | January 28, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Samson151,

Point taken regarding the 2010 v. 2011 draft. The x-factor is the prospect of a lock-out in 2011, which will probably have the effect of pushing some talent into 2012. Pure speculation, of course.

Either way, it's likely moot because of the difficulty that the Wizards will have moving the existing contract. In 2011-2012 they should have more options.

Posted by: JPRS | January 28, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Jared Sullinger Posted by: dc202jp"

Well, Jared is an excellent prospect and the year's best frosh, but NBA talent evaluators aren't sold on him yet. Til they get a chance to measure him, at least. He looks to be closer to 6'8" than 6'9", with his weight all over the place (as little as 250 and as much as 285). If you saw the Illinois game you probably noticed how much the Illini seven footer affected his shot -- he basically scored from the foul line. There are a whole lot better shotblocking 7 footers waiting in the NBA.

So yeah, he could be number one, or somewhere in the Top 5, depending on the NCAAs and the Combine.

But Griffin and Wall were pegged almost unanimously as the top NBA draft choice even before their last year of college.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Re: Jared Sullinger

I think we could stomach a guy battling in the paint and getting his shot blocked easier than trying to play 6'1" SG.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 28, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

It's fun to think about who might go high in the draft, but when you have as many needs as the Wiz, it probably doesn't matter much. Sullinger would be good to have, but he's only one piece of the puzzle.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"I think we could stomach a guy battling in the paint and getting his shot blocked easier than trying to play 6'1" SG.Posted by: SDMDTSU"

Be very lucky for one team to get the top pick twice in a row. Not that it hasn't happened, but still...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Excuse me... 6'11" SG

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 28, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Just from some research I was doing...it didn't seem like Sullinger was going to be the top pick...they got him listed in the top 5. They had him going 4th with the Wizards picking 5th.

I'm highest on Sullinger and Jones though.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 28, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

See if the Pistons want Blatche and bring back RIP for god's sake..Just get Blatche the hell out of dodge..

I'm going to give Blatche alot of the blame as to the state of this franchise..He is a joke and you don't want this clown in your lockeroom..

So trade him already!!!! For a ham sandwich..

Posted by: kevenjones | January 28, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I tend to think the need is more at a power forward. Four of the top five prospects on Draftexpress are either centers or power forwards or combos.
The hardest thing to come by seems to be talented low post big men, if Wiz have a top five pick (it seems a possibility), I think that is where C/PF is the position to spend it on, unless there is something truly exceptional at SF.

Posted by: midlevex_ | January 28, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"See if the Pistons want Blatche. . . "

Posted by: kevenjones | January 28, 2011 2:27 PM

Bite your tongue!

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@Kalo,

What? I'm just sayn..lol

Posted by: kevenjones | January 28, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

With the possible exception of PG, I don't think there's any position the Wizards shouldn't consider drafting with their first rounder. With any other position, we're not 100% set at starter, and beyond that more depth is needed. Some might say that Nick is locked in as our starting 2. Obviously, though he has a contract pending. Beyond that, you always want to be adding depth. So if we're picking 5th (and EG doesn't trade it like previous #5s) and a SG is clearly the best player available in their estimation, pick the 2 guard and make it work. The worst that happens in that scenario is that you have a tradeable piece.

Posted by: ts35 | January 28, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

In trades, the salaries on both sides have to match within 15% unless the team taking on the greater salary has enough cap space (or a trade exception) equal to/greater than the difference in salary totals.

The only teams that could even come close to being considered contenders that are under the cap at all are Chicago and OKC, and they're just barely under it.

Posted by: kalo_rama

I was pretty sure that was the case, because otherwise you would have seen more of those types of deals in the past, but I never like to assume where the CBA is concerned.

Posted by: ts35 | January 28, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

ts35,

Agreed. It's just nice that they have a young guy at every position except SF. Even if Blatche isn't exactly the type of guy I'd prefer to have, he's shown some ability. With a likely top 5 pick, another young piece should help some.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 28, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Lewis has 2 years left on his contract, the last one is not fully guaranteed and next year's may be more or less nullified by the likely lockout. Not sure how the 2012-13 not fully guaranteed plays out but the Wiz's need to move Lewis is minimal, the draft seems more important. Lewis seems to add some gravitas to the young players attitudes.

Wall's continued development along with a top five in 2011 and the continued development of Seraphin, Booker and not to mention McGee whose improvement is halting but noticeable, the Wiz can look forward to a competitive 2013-14 season. What did Keynes say? "In the long run we're all dead."

Enes Kanter 18, 6'9" 250 lb.
Derrick Williams 6'8" 235, PF
Jared Sullinger 6'8" 250, PF
Jonas Valenciunas 6'11" 240 C
Perry Jones 6'11" 220 PF

Five of the top six are big men.

Posted by: midlevex_ | January 28, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

@midlevex:

Agreed re: Lewis. Unless there's a "wow" deal on the table, I don't see any pressing need to get rid of him just for the sake of having him gone (unlike Arenas).

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"See if the Pistons want Blatche. . . "

Posted by: kevenjones | January 28, 2011 2:27 PM

Bite your tongue!

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 2:43 PM |

LMAO!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 28, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't see much difference between drafting one player and another. They're all decent prospects, and I don't know if you can predict the emergence of one over the rest. And the Wiz have weaknesses everywhere.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"You want people like that around to impressionate your young Team." LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

What 'impressionates' me is the chance to create more room for future acquisitions without having to wait another year.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 12:34 PM

Yeah, having more flexibility for the rebuilding effort would leave quite an impressionation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 28, 2011 12:54 PM

Yeah, thats good to have picks and flexibility for the rebuild. But you want to be careful that you aren't creating the Clipper Syndrone along the way.

If your current players aren't getting a strong sense of stability and value of the current players, whats to keep them from considering moving on when their number comes up?

We can trade Blatche for a ham sandwich and Lewis for flexibility, but we need to be careful and fully visionary about the real impact on the Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 28, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Looking at some of the other prospects:

Perry Jones -- I don't know that he'll be playing PF exclusively in the NBA. He's wonderfully long but his game is more along the lines of a Chris Bosh -- elements of the 3. Has range on his jumper and so far it's looked almost impossible to block. Quick enough to defend some SFs. A good rebounder but looks to be more of a scorer.

Enes Kanter 18, 6'9" 250 -- wish we could have seen him at Kentucky. The two times I did get to see him on TV he reminded me of a shorter Brook Lopez -- more skilled than anything else. I didn't get the feeling he'd play center in the NBA.

Derrick Williams 6'8" 235, PF -- probably the best all-around at this point. I've seen him twice and he has that inside-outside offensive game that teams covet. I'm not sure he's going to measure out at 6'8". In college he's more efficient than spectacular -- that's a plus IMO.

Jonas Valenciunas 6'11" 240 -- only saw him for one half of play, so this is with salt. I don't think he's a natural center. Offensive rebounder, very active, doesn't quit. Skills not so much. He's only 18.

Terrence Jones, 6'8" 220 -- I think he might be heavier by now. Best around the basket but will lose his size advantage in the NBA. Mediocre outside shooter at this point.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jared is an excellent prospect and the year's best frosh, but NBA talent evaluators aren't sold on him yet. Til they get a chance to measure him, at least. He looks to be closer to 6'8" than 6'9", with his weight all over the place (as little as 250 and as much as 285). If you saw the Illinois game you probably noticed how much the Illini seven footer affected his shot -- he basically scored from the foul line. There are a whole lot better shotblocking 7 footers waiting in the NBA.

So yeah, he could be number one, or somewhere in the Top 5, depending on the NCAAs and the Combine.

But Griffin and Wall were pegged almost unanimously as the top NBA draft choice even before their last year of college.

--

Its early yet but you hardly see a young guy come in with his skill set down low. He doesn,t have the hype surrounding him that Wall did. Blake's draft class was deemed weak at the time. Blake is a monster in the league. I don't know if anyone thought he would standout like he is. I agree that there is no clearcut no.1 pick especially with Kyrie Irving being hurt and saying he would return to Duke to play with Austin Rivers. Just a fan of Sullinger's because he bangs effectively in the paint.

Posted by: dc202jp | January 28, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Enes Kanter 18, 6'9" 250 lb.
Derrick Williams 6'8" 235, PF
Jared Sullinger 6'8" 250, PF
Jonas Valenciunas 6'11" 240 C
Perry Jones 6'11" 220 PF

Five of the top six are big men.

Here's what DraftExpress said about Tiago Splitter in '09 based on his status as best Center in Europe:

Obviously a high-level rotation player and likely starter whenever he decides to step foot in the NBA

Splitter has been DNPd 5x this month and had 3 games of 3mins or less. Cant get time away from Blair, Mcdyess, or Bonner. Yes he's technically a rookie, but he's 26 and his been a pro for years. Of course, that may be the whole problem, he developed in europe instead of here and may not catch up. But I'd still be wary of Jonas Valenciunas with a top5 pick

Posted by: divi3 | January 28, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

and I'd be concerned if we're counting on the wizards medical staff to determine that Kanter's knees are not a problem!

Posted by: divi3 | January 28, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Perry Jones is probably more of a poor man's Tracy McGrady(in prime) than Bosh. Handles the ball well and has range that extends to the three point line. Will probably play sf/pf in the league.

Posted by: dc202jp | January 28, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@LarryInClintonMD,

And tell me what the full impact on the team would be if Blatche were traded..Please I want to hear this...

Posted by: kevenjones | January 28, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Can't argue with any of the observations on the draft prospects, there is no apparent Blake Griffin in the 2011 draft and the chances that the Wiz would even land the top pick are small. Still the Wiz will likely pick top 5 or 6 and the top players are mostly bigs. There's plenty of time for things to change but it seems likely the Wiz will wind up with one of these players, not a Blake Griffin but maybe a nice complimentary player with some upside.

Posted by: midlevex_ | January 28, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

"Perry Jones is probably more of a poor man's Tracy McGrady(in prime) than Bosh."

Now that caught me by surprise -- McGrady never played PF, did he?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know if anyone thought he would standout like he is. I agree that there is no clearcut no.1 pick especially with Kyrie Irving being hurt and saying he would return to Duke to play with Austin Rivers. Just a fan of Sullinger's because he bangs effectively in the paint.Posted by: dc202jp"

Oh yeah, they had Blake rated the top pick on most boards a full year before he came out. Difference was he waited til after his sophomore year. Count me a Sullinger fan too -- he's really impressive.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm not certain that Harrison Barnes comes out, either.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Lewis is that he's been more than advertised as a player. If the Wiz were going anywhere soon, it would be good to hang on to him. But I also believe that you should get rid of bad contracts sooner rather than later. So if the offer were reasonably good, the Wiz, as they say in Texas, might could listen hard to it.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 28, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

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