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Posted at 8:04 AM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Continuity remains a goal for the Wizards

By Michael Lee
Morning brew

The Wizards acquired Rashard Lewis on Dec. 18, but in two weeks, the veteran former all-star forward has played six games but been able to participate in only three full practices.

He arrived in Washington two days after the deal, sat out that night against Charlotte, practiced in advance of his debut against Chicago, then the team took two days off, which helped allow him to celebrate the holidays with his family. Lewis practiced in San Antonio, played two games against the Spurs and Rockets, then had a day off before playing the Pacers. That was followed by a practice and then a back-to-back against Indiana and New Orleans.

With the Wizards not playing again until Wednesday, when they head to Philadelphia, Lewis will get two practices in with his new team, so that he won't continue to adjust "on the fly."

"Getting some practice time will help. I haven't been able to practice with these guys," said Lewis, who is averaging 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds with the Wizards. "I think these next couple of days of practice should be good for us to help get a feel for each other on the court."

The Wizards are 1-5 with Lewis in uniform, but Coach Flip Saunders has also used five different starting lineups because of injuries and suspensions. So, continuity remains an objective for the team, which recently welcomed back Yi Jianlian from a sprained right knee injury. Kirk Hinrich is expected to return to action after missing the previous two games with a left thigh contusion and Josh Howard is also hoping to be ready for the 76ers.

Fortunately, they'll have a few days to prepare.

FROM THE POST
They aren't winning games, but the Wizards have improved on defense since dealing away Gilbert Arenas.

Chris Paul taught John Wall a few lessons in their first matchup. The Wizards start the new year with some of the same problems.

AROUND THE WEB
Frank Hanrahan of CSNWashington.com offers New Year's resolutions for the Wizards and reveals that he might not be confident in Flip Saunders's future with the team.

Kyle Weidie of Truth About It looks at new years for Rashard Lewis and John Wall.

Bob Finnan of the News-Herald reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have inquired about Andray Blatche.

The blog, Anaheim Amigos, examines the forward tandem of Blatche and Lewis and discovers that it has been a really poor pairing.

The new year has started off terribly for former Wizard Caron Butler, who has a potentially season-ending right knee injury. ESPN.com's Marc Stein writes about how Butler and the Dallas Mavericks regroup.

By Michael Lee  | January 3, 2011; 8:04 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: New year, same problems for the Wizards
Next: Hinrich, Yi return to practice

Comments

So, Frank Hanrahan's New Years Reso' for Flip is to update his resume.

I hope this is based upon some concrete info that he is aware of and not in the same vein of the musings and wishes of bloggers here like myself.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 3, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Q. "When do we start being about winning???
LarryInClintonMD."

A. When Ted Loses Grunfeld!!!

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 3, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"So, Frank Hanrahan's New Years Reso' for Flip is to update his resume.I hope this is based upon some concrete info that he is aware of and not in the same vein of the musings and wishes of bloggers here like myself.LarryInClintonMD."

Since that's the Christian network, it's probably his prayer.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Re Mike Lee's article on defense: that's what we call a measurable sign of progress. I never associated Rashard with improved defense in Orlando, but the early numbers do seem to suggest it. Josh Howard always makes a difference on the defensive end, wherever he plays. John Wall OTO probably puts a little extra pressure on the defense simply by speeding the game up. Defensive clubs tend to be a bit more deliberate, and John's style of play is anything but.

Now at long last instead of defense that's deficient, it's scoring. That's a change for the Wiz, eh? Wall could be a help there. A reliable inside scorer would make a difference, and that was to be Blatche's role. Now the team seems to question it, maybe because Andray has been giving up so much on the defensive side.

Somebody suggested off-loading one of our perimeter players for a scorer who wouldn't hurt too much on defense. Who'd that be, however?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

One of the links on the Wiz front page is 'Morrison Leads Mavericks to Win"; turns out it was really about Shawn Marion. I guess one M is much the same as another. And here I thought Adam was making a comeback...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

maybe because Andray has been giving up so much on the defensive side.

While David West was held to 5-12 FG and 8pts below his season average, Trevor Ariza went for 22pts (season avg 10) most of which came against Rashard Lewis- not exactly a ringing endorsement of the "Lewis improves our D" theory.

Blatche's man defense has been pretty good this season, for the most part. IMO, if his shot wasn't so broken there wouldnt be any trade rumors.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"Bob Finnan of the News-Herald reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers have inquired about Andray Blatche."

The only player in the Cavs roster that I will be thinking of trading AB is Varejao.

Posted by: Dave381 | January 3, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

By Frank Hanrahan
CSNwashington.com

I don't know what the Wizards' New Year's Resolutions are, or if they have any at all. But, if they do, here's what I'm hoping some of the players, coaches and the front office have jotted down for 2011.

President Ernie Grunfeld:

1) Cherish my draft picks.

Ernie..."Draft picks? We don't need no stinkin' draft picks!"

2) Find some guard help. With Kirk Hinrich banged up and Gilbert Arenas finally gone I need some backup guard depth.

Ernie..."Kirk is back and is going to play 40 mins a night...problem solved."

3) Tell Flip to get my first round picks some more playing time. The season is going nowhere. Let us at least get a longer look at Trevor Booker and Kevin Saraphin.

Ernie..."I talked to ETaps our director of player development and he says young players learn more by sitting on the bench and watching then playing."

Ernie added "This way I can always tell Ted when he comes to me at the end of the year that he needs to be patient it's a 10 year plan we're on."

Ernie laughs "Off the record since I only get lucky and about 25% of my draft picks and like selling 2nd round picks for cash I think we can make the playoffs in 2021."


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 3, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"One of the links on the Wiz front page is 'Morrison Leads Mavericks to Win"; turns out it was really about Shawn Marion. I guess one M is much the same as another. And here I thought Adam was making a comeback..."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 10:36 AM

Damn! You beat me to it. If you click on the link, the headline to the actual story is "Marion, Stevenson lead Mavericks past Cavs." Maybe the writer sneezed in the middle of typing the link and inadvertently merged the two names.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"By Frank Hanrahan
CSNwashington.com"
posted by bulletsfan78

Much of that post isn't actually from Hanrahan -- it's just bulletsfan78 exhibiting his relaxed standards of accuracy.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"...not exactly a ringing endorsement of the "Lewis improves our D" theory.Blatche's man defense has been pretty good this season, for the most part. IMO, if his shot wasn't so broken there wouldnt be any trade rumors. posted by divi3"

I never thought of Rashard as a dedicated defender but Andray has certainly slacked off. He may be adequate as long as his man stays directly in front of him but as far as team defense, he's been pretty much absent.

He's still a good offensive player. That's why teams might be interested in him -- thinking what he might do with reduced workload and fewer defensive responsibilities.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"He's still a good offensive player. That's why teams might be interested in him -- thinking what he might do with reduced workload and fewer defensive responsibilities."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 11:17 AM

A good idea in theory. The practical problem, however, is that he's shown a tendency to lose interest and slack off when given a reduced workload and fewer responsibilities. Even before last season's 32 game audition tape, he gave inconsistent effort and focus when coming off the bench (his designated role) but came to play when he got a shot at starting via injuries. And the biggest question surrounding him coming off the end of last season was how well he'd be able to duplicate that effort when he was no longer option 1-3 in the offense and the focal point on the floor. It appears we have our answer.

Still, a change of environment could facilitate a change in results. I still think that, to a large extent, he's floundering under the weight of the (mostly overblown and unrealistic) expectations that have been heaped on him in D.C. over the years, based on the overselling of his "potential."

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The other thing that occurs to me is that if you're a big man, playing next to Javale McGee could accentuate your defensive flaws. Javale is so focused on offensive rebounds and blocked shots that if he misses either, he tends to wind up out of position. Meaning somebody has to cover for him.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

And the biggest question surrounding him coming off the end of last season was how well he'd be able to duplicate that effort when he was no longer option 1-3 in the offense and the focal point on the floor. It appears we have our answer.

Other options on offense have nothing to do with his poor play, for most of this season he was completely green lit and probably still is to an extent. He takes as many shots as he wants, often over 20FGAs- but he isnt hitting him the way he did last season for whatever reason.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Word out of Cleveland is that Hickson has taken up residence deep in Byron Scott's doghouse. If the Wizards can trade Blatche to the Cavs without taking on a bad contract in return (possible because the Cavs have a trade exception on which the clock is ticking) then go for it. They blundered in giving Blatche the extension, so if the opportunity to correct the mistake presents itself, they should take it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

On trading Andray Blatche Mike Prada's take.

Posted by: djnnnou | January 3, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The other thing that occurs to me is that if you're a big man, playing next to Javale McGee could accentuate your defensive flaws. Javale is so focused on offensive rebounds and blocked shots that if he misses either, he tends to wind up out of position. Meaning somebody has to cover for him.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I'd luv it if more than one player attacked the boards for rebounds, or paid closer attention to rotations and defensive postitioning, the fact that AB has to work harder at doing these things can be sort of an indictment against him. If AB were in better physical condition maybe he wouldn't be a step slow on his rotations or a casual observer on the boards. If you know you can count on Javale to go for blocks in lieu of solid defense, and often plays himself out of position, maybe a lil bit of it's on the player to bring a lil bit more to the table. I dunno, i see waaaaaaaaaaay too many situations where guys let the rebound hit the ground or wait for someone else to corral it. A lot of guys are guilty of not hustling, but AB is deathly allergic to hustle.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 3, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

In the 27 regular season games he's played, Blatche has taken more than 20 shots 6 times, so really not that often. More to the point, I never said the issue was number of shots, per se, so pointing that out (even if it had been accurate) isn't really germane to the point.

Other options on the floor certainly may have something to do with it, as part of his problem has been the tendency to settle and take quick shots rather that (A) work harder for better position or (B) give the ball up if a good shot isn't there. In other words, he's basically become a chucker, which is certainly an indication of lax effort and focus. It's also a not uncommon problem among scorers who are loathe to pass up a shot because they think they don't know when the next one will be coming their way.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Players will come and go until the WIZ are division champs, or LEONSIS is convinced EG and crew are schleps, and can's them. This is going to be awhile [2-3 years out].

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 3, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"On trading Andray Blatche Mike Prada's take."

Posted by: djnnnou | January 3, 2011 11:41 AM

Good piece. I agree with pretty much every word.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is missing wide open shots that he made in the past, that is the #1 difference for him between this year and last. Last year he shot 39% from 16-23ft, this season he's at 31%. 40% between 10-15ft last season, 34% this season. There is much going wrong with him, but his J alone is all the difference between wanting to trade him now vs being satisfied with his play (but looking for improvement).

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the issue is AB making jumpers. If he was shooting the same percentage and doing some of the same lazy stuff he's doing...people would still have issues. The foot shouldn't be an issue.

It's been what 7 months? On a 8-10 week injury? Josh Howard was back from a ligament tear in 8 months. And none of that has anything to do with EFFORT. Just like that play from the New Orleans game...he's WATCHING someone go to the basket with no attempt at doing anything. It's getting very old...very quickly.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 3, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Trade Dre, give Booker, Thornton, and Saraphin more P.T, if you're going with the youth movement as pro-claimed.

Dre is 6'11 and plays like a guard. Is he afraid to go in the paint? How many jumpers is Flip going to allow?

I say keep Flip, I HATE his rotation, but he's a good coach.

Posted by: Gooddad | January 3, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

How many jumpers is Flip going to allow?

Considering Flip's offense has been based on jumpers for years, my guess is he'll allow quite a few.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

We must have a #5 that is a defensive counter to McGEE in this draft. ARMSTRONG should be used in role situations only. He's extremely offensively disadvantaged.

JIANLIAN is no answer at the 5-4, but running LEWIS as a 4-3 appears effective.

BLATCHE plays both great offense and defense when it suits him. Since the extension, that has become almost non-existant. Pretty obvious the WIZ brass are close to fed up with his azz. At this point, SERAPHIN has potential defensively, and as an enforcer with six fouls to give.

JOSH HOWARD's knee is not going to hold up this season, and may not ever again. I also like both GEE and BOOKER in the three slot, but THORNTON is not getting the burn he wants, and may be on the way out. Even MARTIN seems to have moved ahead of him in FLIP's pecking order not that he's better.

YOUNG may finally be getting it on both ends of the floor, and MARTIN is effective at the #2. HINRICH does well defensively there against slower two's, but can't handle speedy ones which breaks down the perimeter defense on many occasions.

HINRICH as a pg......no, I'm not buying what the brass are shoveling, but when WALL's out, he is the only choice. HUDSON has to be used, but here is one other area where the 'ZARDS must improve....back-up pg. LESTER ain't it. And this is one position where a very efficient player can be had either by trade, free agency or the draft. A lot more good but not great #1's in this league than #5's.

N'DIAYE should be in the d-league.

We need another #5 to complement McGEE who can be at least as effective, and a solid back-up pg. Let's get it done with or without BLATCHE.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 3, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is missing wide open shots that he made in the past, that is the #1 difference for him between this year and last. Last year he shot 39% from 16-23ft, this season he's at 31%. 40% between 10-15ft last season, 34% this season. There is much going wrong with him, but his J alone is all the difference between wanting to trade him now vs being satisfied with his play (but looking for improvement).

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I consider that a good take on BLATCHE in the WIZARDS scheme of things at this point. A-plus, divi

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 3, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Pointing out that Blatche is missing shots and citing comparative shooting percentages isn't really addressing the issue. It's simply telling us what we can all see with our own eyes: he's missing a bunch of shots. Okay. And . . .?

The issues for consideration if you're the Wizards brass are (A) Why is it happening (e.g., is it just a shooting slump or is it indicative of a deeper seated problem)? (B) Do they think it's something that will correct itself with time and patience? (C) Can they afford/is it worth it to them to invest that time and patience (on top of the 5 years worth of time and patience they've already invested in the guy with limited return) or is it time to move on?

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Prada's piece on trading Blatche is the usual fan-boy lynch-mob thinking that dominates that site. The bottom line is this: lousy as the team is with Blatche, they're even lousier without him. This has been conclusively proved every time he's been out of the line-up. Most of his problems have been due to having to work with McGee and Wall--when Hinrich and any other center are in, his effectiveness improves at both ends. Obviously, McGee and Wall are part of the Wizards' long-range planning; this leaves Blatche as the expendable chip. But after he's gone--and playing way better for another team--the calls will start on sites like BulletsForever to get rid of McGee, too.

Posted by: KTV1 | January 3, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Dray's issues might run deeper than just a shooting slump. He has 19 turnovers in his last 5 games and hasn't attempted a FT since 12/29 vs Indy.

Just about everybody's shooting pct will go up playing with Wall, why has Dray's gone down?

The Shadow club incident isn't helping his cause at all plus he doesn't seem to be hustling much. The play at Houston where he misses all those tip ins and falls down pleading to the ref... not a good look.

I say trade him to Sacramento for Jason Thompson and a future pick. JT is a solid rebounder who doesn't look for blocks. He also can score on a very good shooting pct.

He's gone to the line at least 275 times in his first two seasons and his on pace to do so again.

Dray has never been to the stripe more than 235 times in a single campaign.

Posted by: elfreako | January 3, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Shadow Room fellas

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 3, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Our problem is not any one particular player, it was, is and will be Grunfeld and until he is gone nothing will change except the names of the (bad)players and (bad) drafts. He is the architect of our Losing Culture and until he is gone it will "flourish".

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 3, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

the calls will start on sites like BulletsForever to get rid of McGee

Seems like a pretty good portion of Wizard's fans would be fine with getting rid of Javale today. Can only imagine what they'll be saying about Seraphin in 2yrs when he's nowhere near as good as Javale is right now.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The play at Houston where he misses all those tip ins and falls down pleading to the ref... not a good look.

Was that just against Houston? Could have sworn it also happened against New Orleans.

AB is currently playing with no confidence and probably thinks something unjust is happening to him. He looks borderline basket case recently...

I say trade him to Sacramento for Jason Thompson and a future pick.

Why would Blatche's value be that high right now? Aside from his poor play, the fact that yet again we are going around the league hat-in-hand trying to move players doesnt lend itself to getting good value in return.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a pretty good portion of Wizard's fans would be fine with getting rid of Javale today. Can only imagine what they'll be saying about Seraphin in 2yrs when he's nowhere near as good as Javale is right now.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

You don't see anyone on McGee like Blatche. Yes he has his issues...but he tries. Even if he would try to run through a wall for a block. I can deal with effort even if it's not always the right thing...you can work with that. Someone that just doesn't care? I can't.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 3, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

This is my issue with AB.

Remember last season went he blew up because he didn't get a shot attempt in a game?

How about you get mad when you let someone walk past you to the lane.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 3, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"Blatche is missing wide open shots that he made in the past, that is the #1 difference for him between this year and last. Last year he shot 39% from 16-23ft, this season he's at 31%. 40% between 10-15ft last season, 34% this season. There is much going wrong with him, but his J alone is all the difference between wanting to trade him now vs being satisfied with his play (but looking for improvement).Posted by: divi3"

The FG% is down, but his defensive play is a major issue. If Andray were more effective on defense, the team would probably try to ride out his shooting. Every NBA coach knows that scorers go through periods of relative ineffectiveness, even if Blatche's current struggles don't qualify as a 'slump'. But if he's a defensive liability, too, he's giving up points on that end, too.

Mike Prada's correct -- the Wiz management is thinking long-term. There's no inside scoring option besides Blatche. So unless they pick up another one, the trade will leave the team weaker in the short-run. So would a trade of Josh Howard, and yet that might be a good idea, too.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Seems like a pretty good portion of Wizard's fans would be fine with getting rid of Javale today. Can only imagine what they'll be saying about Seraphin in 2yrs when he's nowhere near as good as Javale is right now.Posted by: divi3"

I sure can't see the team giving up Javale. Despite his flaws, he's well-suited for a Wall-centered open court offense. And he's getting better. Blatche has taken a step backwards.

But really, we shouldn't understate the importance of the Wiz' longer term strategy. They're willing to move pieces today to enhance their prospects for tomorrow.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"The bottom line is this: lousy as the team is with Blatche, they're even lousier without him." posted by KTV1

Prada made special note of that (maybe you missed it). And also that the long-term benefits could outweigh the short term consequences. Depending on what he brought in return, of course.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

There's no reason to even consider getting rid of McGee now. He's in the 3rd year of a rookie deal and the Wiz have the right to hold onto him at a cheap price for 2 more years. The time to consider trading him will come in the final year of his rookie deal when the Wiz have to decide how much they're willing to spend to keep him.

His play has improved but on a good, playoff caliber team, he's still likely a backup. If he improves to the point where he looks like a reliable, full-time starter on a good team, then lock him up at the market rate. No-brainer. If not, then it becomes all about how much other teams are willing to overpay on the chance he'll improve into that player and whether the Wizards want to match that gamble.

"AB is currently playing with no confidence and probably thinks something unjust is happening to him."

So on top of everything else, he's delusional. Great.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's my take on AB's difficulties this year.

First, clearly conditioning is issue #1, whether it is strictly poor work habits or a function of some lingering aspect of his injury (tough to believe this far out). Aside from generally never having been a great defender anyway, his struggles on D, imo, are largely due to lack of conditioning.

A close second, imo, is shot selection. I don't know if he is taking a greater percentage of jumpers this year, but regardless, I think it's more about how, where and when he takes those jumpers. I think that is partly on him, partly on the offense.

At the end of last year he was the focal point of the offense. Not only did a significant portion of his possessions start in the low block, but AB also played with the confidence of knowing that he was going to get a lot of opportunities and where those opportunities where going to come from. The shift to Flip's "two-guard" offense has disrupted that to a degree. AB is definitely less confident and quicker on the trigger, but the offense is also a lot less patient with working the ball into him in the post. As perhaps partially evidenced by Coach Wittman telling AB that those 20ft'ers are "good shots" I think the coaches for whatever reason aren't emphasizing AB working in the post enough.

That being said, when they do work the ball to him down low, AB is less aggressive with low post moves, frequently preferring to back it out and shoot the J or try to drive. Imo, some of that is reverting to his natural inclination. But I think some of it is also due to having less success this year on the low block. He's never been a strong finisher, but with his lack of conditioning this year, he's struggled even more. And defenders have perhaps adjusted.

I think Mike Prada did a good idea of presenting the issues, and I agree with most of it, in particular the lack of other bigs who can create decent shots. I think the most important part of the case he made though was that if they are going to trade him, they can't just give AB away.

Posted by: ts35 | January 3, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Prada made special note of that (maybe you missed it). And also that the long-term benefits could outweigh the short term consequences. Depending on what he brought in return, of course.

Prada waffled. His article boiled down to "We should trade him as long as we get enough in return."

Gee, really? You can make that same argument with ANY player. Hell if the Clippers called wanting to trade Griffin for Wall straight up, they may have a deal

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Mike Prada is only reiterating what I've been saying all along:

"Trading Dray for for another 'defensive specialist' doesn't make any sense either. The greatest need for this team is another scoring option."

Maybe folks will give this some credence, now that an 'expert' has weighed in with the same observation.

Posted by: musicmanjr | January 3, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

With Wall as the building block and Leonsis the owner, the Wizarsd will eventually become an elite team. However before that happens, Flip Flopped and Ernie Unseld must be placed somewhere else in the NBA(the NBA, just because I wouldn't wish for anyone to lose their job). Since Ariza made a poster out of McGee, maybe McGee can focus on learning to play basketball instead of trying to make highlight plays. Young proved to McGee they wern't boys the way he was laughing with Ariza(who looked like he did't want to have much to do with Young's laughter) after that dunk. Nevertheless, with Wall, Booker, McGee, Howard, the 2011 lottery pick and a few trades and free agency, the
Wizards could be on their way to becoming elite team eventually.

Posted by: Theone9 | January 3, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

But really, we shouldn't understate the importance of the Wiz' longer term strategy. They're willing to move pieces today to enhance their prospects for tomorrow.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

3) Tell Flip to get my first round picks some more playing time. The season is going nowhere. Let us at least get a longer look at Trevor Booker and Kevin Saraphin.

Ernie..."I talked to ETaps our director of player development and he says young players learn more by sitting on the bench and watching then playing."

Ernie added "This way I can always tell Ted when he comes to me at the end of the year that he needs to be patient it's a 10 year plan we're on."

Ernie laughs "Off the record since I only get lucky on about 25% of my draft picks and I like selling 2nd round picks for cash I think we can make the playoffs in 2021."


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | January 3, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Theone9 Nick and Ariza went to jr. high together, nick and ariza have been playing together since they were 12yrs old, friends sometimes laugh with each other.

Posted by: maejude | January 3, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think if they trade Blatche they have to get everything they need since they're rebuilding. There are a few guys likely coming out in the draft they can probably get with a high pick to replace Blatche. Getting a piece they feel can help out or another pick can't hurt if they really want to move him.

Jared Sullinger anyone? =\

Posted by: SDMDTSU | January 3, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Prada waffled. His article boiled down to "We should trade him as long as we get enough in return."Gee, really? You can make that same argument with ANY player. Hell if the Clippers called wanting to trade Griffin for Wall straight up, they may have a deal.Posted by: divi3"

I'm not sure what you're objecting to. What I said was "... the long-term benefits could outweigh the short term consequences. Depending on what he brought in return, of course." Far as I can tell, that's a true statement.

Prada made special note of that (maybe you missed it). And also that the long-term benefits could outweigh the short term consequences. Depending on what he brought in return, of course.

Posted by: Samson151

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Sorry -- the previous post should end after 'that's a true statement.' The rest is a fragment that should have been deleted.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"3) Tell Flip to get my first round picks some more playing time. The season is going nowhere. Let us at least get a longer look at Trevor Booker and Kevin Saraphin.Ernie..."I talked to ETaps our director of player development and he says young players learn more by sitting on the bench and watching then playing."Ernie added "This way I can always tell Ted when he comes to me at the end of the year that he needs to be patient it's a 10 year plan we're on."Ernie laughs "Off the record since I only get lucky on about 25% of my draft picks and I like selling 2nd round picks for cash I think we can make the playoffs in 2021."Posted by: bulletsfan78"

I think maybe the above was hoping to be parody. It only seems like nonsense.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

"Trading Dray for for another 'defensive specialist' doesn't make any sense either. The greatest need for this team is another scoring option."Maybe folks will give this some credence, now that an 'expert' has weighed in with the same observation.Posted by: musicmanjr'

I don't know that we should consider Prada an 'expert'. He's just expressing an opinion and providing some supporting evidence.

I think the strength of his piece is that it appears to be correct.

But it's an inside scorer we need if we're going to trade Blatche. The problem since day one has been that the Wiz have no inside scoring option other than Andray. He's turned out to be less than they'd hoped. So if you trade him, it should be for something that meets the team's needs.

At least their long-term needs, if not short-term. So that include draft choices.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

the long-term benefits could outweigh the short term consequences. Depending on what he brought in return, of course." Far as I can tell, that's a true statement.

That's ALWAYS a true statement, and in that sense kind of meaningless.

I think the question of Blatche is more about what SDMTSU is talking about, namely, is it worth trading him despite potentially getting squat in return. Addition through subtraction, consider giving him away now because he's just bad for the team. IMO, that's the question.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

There's no question that the Wizards need an inside scorer. Hell, half the teams in the NBA need one. But I don't know that they're in a position right now where that should be their sole focus in deal-making. The truth is, this team has plenty of needs. It's not like they're the proverbial "one player away." So if the decision is made to move Blatche, the return should certainly fill one or more of the team's needs, but I don't think they're anywhere close to the point where it's "inside scorer or bust." They've got to much ground to cover from where they are to where they want to be.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"That's ALWAYS a true statement, and in that sense kind of meaningless."

Teams frequently reject trades because of the short-term consequences. It was obviously in the Wiz' long term interest to rid themselves of Gilbert's contract, but if they'd been in the running for a playoff spot, even a low one, with Gil as a prime contributor, they might not have made the trade with Orlando. And if the Magic hadn't lost 8 of 9 and become desperate, they might not have pulled the trigger on Gilbert. The timing wouldn't have been optimal.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"So if the decision is made to move Blatche, the return should certainly fill one or more of the team's needs, but I don't think they're anywhere close to the point where it's "inside scorer or bust." They've got to much ground to cover from where they are to where they want to be.Posted by: kalo_rama"

That's true. If they follow the OKC model, they won't start picking and choosing pieces until they have a core. And draft choices, especially potentially high ones, will take precedence.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"...Addition through subtraction, consider giving him away now because he's just bad for the team. IMO, that's the question.
Posted by: divi3"

I don't know how often a team adds by subtracting. The Arenas trade may be an example -- the club isn't actually better without him, but they're playing a little better, and the contract situation is definitely improved (if still problematic). Assuming they don't turn around and fence themselves in again.

Likewise I don't know why the team would give Blatche away for too little. He's not toxic in the locker room and they really don't have anybody to replace him. I imagine they're just offering Andray around to see if anyone bites. The timing's not bad -- teams are starting to think about the playoffs.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

How is the supposed OKC model any different from the Clippers model? Losing is no model, it's just losing. The Thunder were LUCKY to not have to choose between Durant/Oden, and Westbrook is turning out better than 2 guys drafted ahead of him. I just dont see that as model to follow so much as it's just something that happened.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Likewise I don't know why the team would give Blatche away for too little. He's not toxic in the locker room and they really don't have anybody to replace him. I imagine they're just offering Andray around to see if anyone bites. The timing's not bad -- teams are starting to think about the playoffs."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 4:51 PM

Depends on how you define "toxic." He may not be an active negative agitator (a la Derrick Coleman), but on a team with so many young guys, having one of the longest-tenured, highest-paid players on the team be a guy who notably gives lax effort and often seems not to be paying attention sets a bad example for the young 'uns to follow. That's something that has to be factored in if they're really focused on the long-term.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"How is the supposed OKC model any different from the Clippers model? Losing is no model, it's just losing. The Thunder were LUCKY to not have to choose between Durant/Oden, and Westbrook is turning out better than 2 guys drafted ahead of him. I just dont see that as model to follow so much as it's just something that happened.Posted by: divi3"

You have a point, of course. Oden was as good a prospect as Durant, at a more important position, but he was just injury prone. It wasn't like Portland picking Sam Bowie over Jordan. Westbrook has in fact turned out better than expected.

Nonetheless, OKC is the model Ted has chosen, and he believes that model involves accumulating draft choices to build your core. I'm sure that informs the Wiz' trade strategy. It's a gamble -- some of those choices may not turn out.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"That's something that has to be factored in if they're really focused on the long-term.
Posted by: kalo_rama"

And unloading that extension -- that's a consideration.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"You have a point, of course. Oden was as good a prospect as Durant, at a more important position, but he was just injury prone. It wasn't like Portland picking Sam Bowie over Jordan. Westbrook has in fact turned out better than expected."

Posted by: Samson151 | January 3, 2011 5:12 PM

All true. But even so (and taken as a given that hindsight is always 20/20), there were still reasons for concern regarding Oden: the fact that he couldn't make it through one season of college w/o getting hurt, the fact that one leg is apparently measurably shorter than the other, the fact that, unlike a lot of 1-and-done guys, he wasn't really dominant in his college stopover (as opposed to Durant; although the injury did factor into that), the long history of teams regretting erring on the side of size.

Granted, pretty much every GM would have done the same thing in the same position. But just because everyone agrees on a bad idea doesn't make a good idea.

And it does parallel the Bowie over Jordan pick to a degree, because the major factor in Bowie's bustitutde was injury. After playing most of his rookie season, he only played in total of about 65 games over the next 3 years because of injury.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Trade Nick Young and Dray, to gather, as a package deal. Young have lost all of his friend's on the team so far. Dom, and Gill. And now Dray. No way.

Posted by: maejude | January 3, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

How is the supposed OKC model any different from the Clippers model? Losing is no model, it's just losing. The Thunder were LUCKY to not have to choose between Durant/Oden, and Westbrook is turning out better than 2 guys drafted ahead of him. I just dont see that as model to follow so much as it's just something that happened.

Posted by: divi3

The Wizards got lucky having Wall drop into their laps.

The OKC model is more than just sucking and drafting high (which is what the Clips do). They put a premium on the draft and assessing talent. They gave up a great player still on the edge of his prime (Ray Allen) to get Jeff Green.

Imo, the Wizards aren't doing a great job atm of following that model, but that doesn't make it a flawed model. No question there is a bit of good fortune involved, but that's true for any model. The benefit it has over other models is that while the products are less proven, they're also significantly cheaper.

Posted by: ts35 | January 3, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

but on a team with so many young guys, having one of the longest-tenured, highest-paid players on the team be a guy who notably gives lax effort and often seems not to be paying attention sets a bad example for the young 'uns to follow.

I thought you can't coach effort and attitude and motivation, it's on the individual? If that's the case, Blatche's laziness isnt going to affect them.


Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Aside from being a rather obvious, ham-fisted, and not especially creative or clever misrepresentation of what what I actually said (ooh, there's a shock), that statement is also irrelevant within it's own boundaries, as there's a pretty significant (and, again, fairly obvious) difference between someone being a coach (which Blatche is not) and serving as an example or role model (which older players sometimes are to younger ones, whether they intend to be or not).

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

And as far as the difference between the Clipper model and the Thunder model, it's pretty simple: Long-term vision and planning.

The Clippers have a long history of drafting high and selling low. They've drafted a lot of talented players over the years, only to send them packing for cheaper (and generally less talented) replacements when it came time to renew (and, inevitably, increase the size of) their contracts. As a result, they're in an almost constant state of turnover with no continuity or stability.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

and, again, fairly obvious) difference between someone being a coach (which Blatche is not) and serving as an example or role model (which older players sometimes are to younger ones, whether they intend to be or not).

So a successful coach cant get through to players when it comes to effort and motivation, whereas a much-maligned player's very presence will undermine a young guy's motivation and effort? I dont buy that.

Posted by: divi3 | January 3, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, no skin off my ass, because I'm not selling it. It's your wacky idea so if you've got a problem with it, take it up with yourself.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 3, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I know that you have to give up value to get value in a trade, hence the idea of trading Blatche. Still, he is coming off having surgery for a broken metatarsal, so it is not the best time to trade him. Though it would fit with the Wizards pattern of buying high and selling low.

So I would argue for patience. Develop and evaluate the talented young players, watch for an opportunity to upgrade over some of the bench players, and prepare for another great draft.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | January 4, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

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