Tag Archives: Thomas Robinson
With NBA free agency in full swing since Wednesday the 11th, the NBA landscape is a whirlwind of activity from the draft, trades and free agent signings. With so much activity thus far, and the promise of much more before the start of training camps, the DCDime wants to keep you updated on all personnel moves during this busy NBA off-season in a series we are calling the 2012 NBA Free Agency Carousel.
We all know, or should if we haven’t been hiding under a rock lamenting LeBron’s first title, that some big fish have stayed put (D.Will in Brooklyn), some are on the move (Steve Nash to the Lakers) and one remains stuck in purgatory as his fate is decided (Dwight Howard). These players may take up all the headlines, but they are only the biggest puzzle pieces in NBA free agency not all of the pieces. There are players big and small on the move that will impact the standings next year. We will be taking a trip around the league breaking down all the activity by division.
We start our analysis with the runner-up Western Conference and move to the East from there. We will highlight the players that each team has added/lost thus far in the off-season, and we will drop the dime on each team by breaking down what it all means.
The Pacific division out West has been the center of NBA headlines over the last two off-seasons. Last year, two of its members (both L.A. franchises) were involved actively for the biggest off-season target, Chris Paul. Commissioner Stern vetoed him going to the Lakers but accepted the trade of Paul to the Clippers, and the drama and intrigue only began from there. This off-season has begun much the same way, with both franchises paying major roles in the activity thus far. Last season’s division bottom feeders, Phoenix, Golden State and Sacramento, have also been making moves, although not all of them are helping them catch up with the rivals in L.A. Without further ado, here’s a deeper look at the activity thus far in the Pacific.
L.A. Lakers (1st place in 2011-2012)
Players Added: Steve Nash, Darius Johnson-Odom
Players Lost: Ramon Sessions, Matt Barnes
The Dime: Mr. Stern did not want a star point guard to join Kobe and company last off-season, but there was little he could do to stand in the way of Free Agent Steve Nash deciding to put on the purple and gold. In pursuit of the elusive championship, Nash chose to join up with the rival Lakers who he had battled in the playoffs for nearly a decade. If Kobe can handle Nash setting the table for himself and their stable of bigs, this move can immediately make the Lakers a contender again after spending much of last season struggling to find their rhythm and compete against the league’s top teams.
However, the Lakers biggest problem last season, containing the athletic guards in the league, may have become an even bigger issue for 2012-2013. Obviously, they are hoping what Nash offers offensively will void out his deficiencies defensively. The Dime will be interested to see how this theme plays out throughout the season in 2012-2013.
L.A. Clippers (2nd place in 2011-2012)
Players Added: Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom
Players Lost: Swaggy P. Young, Reggie Evans, Mo Williams
The Dime: The Clips have had an active off-season, re-signing veteran Mr. Big Shot, signing streaky 6th man Jamal Crawford, and bringing Mr. Kardashian back to Hollywood.
The biggest news, however, was re-signing star Blake Griffin to a 5-year max contract. The day he signed the contract, Blake went down in Team USA’s practice with a tear in his meniscus in his left knee. Although he is only expected to be out for eight weeks and should be ready for the start of camp, the Blakeshow now has as many knee surgeries as he has had seasons in the NBA (2). Not what you want for your franchise player.
In other news, Chris Paul has decided to play out the rest of his contract and will become a free agent again at the end of next season. That means the player they moved so many pieces to trade for last year may end up throwing lobs to Melo and Amare in New York after all. More bad news to Donald Sterling and Co. If nothing else, this has been an off-season more in line with what Clippers fans have come to expect over the years.
The thing I will be watching for this season is how the team reacts to coach Vinny Del Negro. Del Negro is one of the league’s worst coaches, but is entrusted with one of its most talented rosters. It will interesting to see how this plays out, but I have a feeling it won’t end well for Vinny in L.A.
Phoenix Suns (3rd place in 2011-2012)
Players Added: Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola, Kendall Marshall
Players Lost: Steve Nash, Grant Hill (not yet, but he’s a goner)
The Dime: The Suns have officially started the After-Nash Era rebuilding effort. The franchise more or less press reset over the last month. During the draft, the franchise showed it may be ready to move on when they selected DC native and fellow O’Connell-alum, Kendall Marshall. A pass-first point guard, Marshall was widely regarded as the top pure-point guard in this year’s class. After Nash decided to move on and sign with LA, the Suns moved to quickly ink Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley and submitted the winning bid for Luis Scola on waivers.
Although the moves help the Suns compete some in the short team, it is not nearly enough for this team to avoid being lottery bound for the next few years. Nash was the maestro that made the mediocre pieces around him into a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts. Now with him gone, Phoenix fans will be severely missing him and his S.S.O.L (Seven Seconds or Less) Suns’ teams.
Golden State Warriors (4th place in 2011-2012)
Players Added: Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli, Andrew Bogut (DNP after trade)
Players Lost: Dorell Wright, Brandon Rush
The Dime: Mark Jackson’s team added another potent outside scoring threat to the back court by choosing UNC’s Harrison Barnes. With Barnes teaming up with fellow youngsters Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, Golden State has one of the youngest and most offensively gifted backcourts in the league.
However, the game is played on both ends of the court. Golden State is hoping that the addition of center Andrew Bogut late last season in the Monta Ellis trade will pay great dividends this year. If the big Aussie can get healthy and stay that way, he has shown he can be an above average NBA defender and rebounder in the paint.
The other draftees, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli, were both seniors who will bring winning pedigrees to the Warriors. The consistent rebuild in Golden State continues, and I cannot see much from this off-season that makes me believe things will be turning around anytime soon in the bay.
Sacramento Kings (5th place in 2011-2012)
Players Added: Thomas Robinson
Players Lost: JJ Hickson, Terrence Williams, Donte Green
The Dime: After an off-season last year when most of the talk was focused on where the Kings would be playing in the future (and the Maloof brothers avoiding expenditures like the plague), it’s nice that this year the team could focus on improving its roster. Although they have not been an active player in free agency (who really wants to play in Sacramento?), they were able to use the draft to improve their team. They added the former KU bruiser, Thomas Robinson, early in the lottery this year. This pairs him with former 1st round selection Demarcus Cousins in the frontcourt that will be sure to physically impose its will on opponents and rebound with real ferocity.
However, the rest of the roster is such a mess that the Kings will continue to be a bottom-feeder. Without a true point guard on the team, the Kings will continue to rely on the poo-poo platter of Jimmer, Tyreke Evans, and Isaiah Thomas.
With that in mind, I think the big theme to watch for this year is what the Kings decide to do with Tyreke Evans. He is an explosive scorer and athlete, but has not shown great improvement since his rookie year. It may be time for the franchise to move in another direction and use Tyreke as a trade-chip to help improve the roster.
Tags: Chris Paul, Golden State Warriors, Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, Kobe Bryant, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Luis Scola, Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Steph Curry, Steve Nash, Thomas Robinson, Vinny Del Negro
By: Willis and Bohlin
Bohlin and I are going to throw on our GM hats and try to predict this draft for you readers. While there’s little certainty just yet with all these trade rumors floating around, we’re going to give it our best shot.
Willis: Can we just skip the first pick, or do you have an implausible trade scenario to offer up? Anthony Davis: Is he that good? Because he does approach John Henson weight.
Bohlin: 89.5″ wingspan. All you really need to say and yes, he’s that good
Willis: Okay he’s got more length than Lexington Steele, fine. But there isn’t even a bit of concern about how his body is going to handle being abused? This isn’t Kevin Durant, who was a perimeter player and no one realized he wouldn’t be posting up anyone until he got old and fat. This is a power forward/center. What happens if he goes up against Dwight Howard?
Bohlin: He’ll be a 4 in the league and its not like that frame cant put on more weight pretty easily. The sky is the limit, the kid has realistically played 30 games as a 6’10″ freak of nature
Willis: …I’d still take Dray.
Bohlin: well duh…I said the sky is the limit not an “anything is possssibleeeeeeeee” skill set.
Willis: Back to the second pick, where we get Michael Jordan, the guy who mauls every draft beyond repair on a year-to-year basis.
I know this offseason is all about conspiracy theories, so I’ll go ahead and say it. Have other GMs adapted a form of the Jordan Rules that applies to his off the court drafting? Is it because of misinformation and forcing him left that he ended up with Adam Morrisson and not Brandon Roy?This year, he inexplicably scooped up a declining Ben Gordon from the Pistons and all but negated his team’s ability to draft the top rated SG in this draft, Bradley Beal.
Bohlin: Ultimate wild card selection of the draft, if he doesnt trade it for Pau Gasol to try and make up for 2001…Cho has to lock MJ in a room and phone in the pick for Thomas Robinson before his Airness can do otherwise.
Willis: See, this is what the Wizards want. The Bobcats to draft, and wisely on their part because he fits a need, Thomas Robinson so Beal can fall to the Wizards.
I don’t see that happening because it’s too smart of a move, but I’m going to say that with the second pick, the Bobcats take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He fills a need for their team, and even though he’s got a broken jump shot, MKG is going to make everyone around him better. He hustles, is a damn good athlete, and once he gets a jump shot he’ll be a true talent. Plus he’s won on every level, and that’s got to count for something, right?
Bohlin: Charlotte is such a mess they can take just about anyone but Drummond with this pick and come away feeling good
Willis: Imagine if they sported a starting five of KEMBA!, Ben Gordon, Michael Kidd Gilchrist, BJ Mullins, and Bismack Biyombo. Can you pencil them in for at least 60 losses, please?
Bohlin: Thats why they need to go Robinson so they can roll out KEMBA!, DJ Augustin, The artist formerly known as B.G., T-Rob and BigMack Biyombo
That team only loses like 50 games
Willis: The Jordan Rules prevent it. Three undersized guards is tempting, though.
Bohlin: Ok more like 60. If they go MKG how will Gerald Henderson to continue to get the amount of looks he needs a game to score in the teens!?!?!? Answer me that! Cant do it.
Willis: Hey, Gerald’s last five games he averaged 19-5-5 (Five something’s, because he didn’t pass)
Bohlin: Wizards…pretty simple here. Got a PG who thrives on the break and a bunch of big slow guys and no spot up shooters surrounding him. Ernie Grunfeld does the prudent thing and takes the best shooting prospect in the draft in SG Bradley Beal.
Wall is at his best on the move. Since he hasn’t found that shooting stroke yet, and neither has anyone else on our roster, Beal steps in and is immediately our best look from the perimeter. When defenses collapse on Wall driving to the basket Beal will provide him an outlet he can be confident in knocking down tough jumpers from the outside.
He is also a great rebounder for his size, averaging just under 7 RPG as a freshman at Florida. I have a man crush on Bradley Beal and am praying he falls to the Wiz Kids tonight.
Willis: And it doesn’t alarm you at all that the number three draft pick can barely shoot 34% from long range in college? 14 points, 7 rebounds? I know people compare him to Ray Allen, but those aren’t Ray Allen type numbers
If he isn’t consistent in the NBA, the Wizards are a doormat.
Bohlin: Nope, not one bit. His shooting stroke is as pure as anyone I can remember in the past few drafts. The kid is a big time player and has largely flown under the radar his freshman year with Kentucky garnering much of the press in the SEC. Billy Donovan said before the NCAA Tournament that the Gators would go as far as Bradley Beal would take them. That is a lot of praise to have thrown onto a freshman especially when he shares the backcourt with upper classmen. If the Wizards can land Beal tonight I think they will have brought in the second best player available in this draft.
Having Erving Walker “distributing” the ball to you is a lot different than having John Wall running your offense as well.
Willis: Wall turns the ball over a lot more?
I actually convinced myself that Bradley Beal is who we think he is! That being said, I have a terrible feeling he is going to struggle going in.
Bohlin: Should have been more clear…Wall doesn’t take horrendous shots and make questionable decisions the majority of the nights he takes the floor.
Willis: Regardless of where Wall can deliver him the ball, he’s going to need to knock it down. I think he can, but there will be an adjustment period. If the kid is only 19 years old and has a chance to be Eric Gordon on bath salts? You take him
Which brings us, then, to the fourth pick. Ahh, Cleveland, what have we left you with
Bohlin: Other than matching father son suit/eyeglasses combinations?
Willis: Exactly. Now that Dan Gilbert can focus on basketball again since the Cavaliers won a championship before LeBron…
I know they’re going to try and trade up in the draft, but I’m not sure they’re willing to pick up Tyrus Thomas’ awful contract in exchange for the Bobcats #2 slot. Even though I do think Kyrie Irving/Old man Drew might actually get product out of him.
In that case, I’m confident that they take Harrison Barnes with their pick, and somehow manage to skip out on Thomas Robinson
I say this for two reasons:
Bohlin: Irving and Barnes being friends certainly doesnt hurt this prediction…He has probably been lobbying for his buddy since these workouts started
Willis: I think Barnes could actually be drafted higher, but there’s absolutely no way he slips past four because Kyrie is going to lobby for him. And Barnes can be a great player when paired with a great point guard. Who better than his best friend? I expect Barnes to be a much better pro, but it should be noted that I have a pure mancrush on the Black Falcon.
Bohlin: Well at least we both got those out of the way fairly early. I agree with Barnes going fourth overall, once he cancelled his workout with Sacramento I assumed he had received a promise in the top 4 picks.
Speaking of Sac-Town…That’s who is up next
The Maloof’s will be somewhere popping bottles of moderately priced champagne should Thomas Robinson fall to the Kings at the 5th pick. Pairing Robinson with DeMarcus Cousins would be one scary good front court out West.
Willis: Are you sure Geoff Petrie Dish doesn’t want, say, Andre Drummond?
You mean to tell me that they can’t be coaxed into taking ANDRE THE DRUMMER.
They just took Jimmer, Mike.
THEY TOOK JIMMER, TYREKE, AND COUSINS.
They thought a mormon and two big time triple OG’s would work!
This isn’t the Nationals.
Bohlin: Its got to be more than tempting but the fact that they did just take The Jimmer makes me believe they cant swing for the fences again and take the gift that would be Thomas Robinson falling into their laps.
Also…Have to note that in the 5 hours between now and the draft there is a 96% chance Darryl Morey makes three deals to acquire this pick.
Willis: At what point in time does Darryl Morey make a move for A.) My girlfriend B) Targuy Ngombo and C.) the fifth pick aka Andre Drummond
Bohlin: I’d imagine he has already beaten you to the punch on two of the three
Willis: I better call her….Nonetheless, I agree that Thomas Robinson makes sense for the Kings. I think it’s probably a mistake for Washington to pass on him. I think he’s better than Okafor, Seraphin, Booker, and anyone else we want to throw out there immediately. I was extremely impressed with him during the tournament, including the national championship game where he almost outplayed Anthony Davis! Really showed off his athleticism there. He did miss a lot of shots, and it scarily reminded me of when I said very similar things about a guy named Gordon Hayward
Where’s T-Rob’s upside
Bohlin: (Hayward) Who has turned out to be a pretty solid player for the Jazz, but that’s neither here nor there…I like Robinson’s motor, the guy never stops battling out there on the court. I don’t know if Robinson will ever be a star in the NBA but he is without a doubt going to be a serviceable starter in this league for a long time. Any team drafting in the top 5 could use players like that on their roster.
Now we come to Portland, whom ANY other year I’d say they draft Andre Drummond
But Greg Oden got three GMs fired during his stint in Portland, and I don’t think they’re going the center route for a long, long, time. Though they always seem to find themselves in this position.
So therefore, they’re going to take Damian Lillard, the Weber State guy who shot up draft boards when scouts watched some Youtube clips. He fits a need, and he did put up some nice numbers at Weber State….I keep going back to that. At Weber State….at Weber State….
I get that he might be good, but he’s a little old for a draft pick and hasn’t really been challenged on a consistent basis. The toughest team he played all year was BYU, and he didn’t even play well against them
Bohlin: He has killed it in his workouts though, Portland said he had the best workout of any player they have seen since Kevin Durant…They didn’t pick Durant however. Think they tipped their cap with where they are leaning with that comment at all? I sure do.
Willis: They didn’t even pick Durant! That should show you how stupid they are. I’m not sure what supposed basketball guy would ever say Greg Oden would be better than Kevin Durant…….
Bohlin: Golden State Warriors…Or Whatever they will be called once they move.
Willis: The San Francisco Double Rainbows
Bohlin: The Double Rainbows select…..Dion Waiters!!!!
Willis: …Are you serious?
Didn’t they just get rid of Monta Elllis?
Bohlin: Yes…I think…
Look, GSW is chock full of shooters and thats about it.
Willis: The polar opposite of the Washington Wizards…
Bohlin: Curry…chucker, Klay Thompson…chucker, they dont have anyone who can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket with any finishing ability. That is basically a definition of what Waiters does well, he is a hard nosed Big East guard. Couple this with the fact that reports have Jerry West being infatuated with this player and I think I have a strong enough case to throw out Dion to the Bay.
Willis: You’ve convinced me. Dion to the Bay sounds so much like an Eazy E song it almost makes too much sense
You know who Dion Waiters reminds me of?
Bohlin: Gilbert Arenas? Or is it that I look for reasons to bring up the Hibachi in casual conversation?
Willis: The latter. But close in terms of team turmoil ability (which should be made into a statistic–get on it Hollinger)
Isaiah Rider. A worse, much worse, Isaiah Rider.
Character issues that are largely ignored in exchange for the best athlete in the draft with tremendous upside
Bohlin: That falls in line with the thought process of “You can’t teach height”
Willis: Can’t teach felons, either.
In all seriousness, I like Waiters because he’s the cockiest guy in any gym he goes to. The guy who wouldn’t hesitate to dunk on a seasoned but aging vet his very first game.
But alright, next pick…
The Toronto Raptors select….
Just kidding, I think they take John Henson
Bohlin: Ah the old Meyers Leonard fake out pick…well played sir
Willis: Henson, who only in body looks like Anthony Davis, is a great player to put beside Andrea Bargnani. It does give them the softest front court ever assembled. It’s worse than Jahidi White and whoever else the Wizards put next to Jahidi White. But Henson gives them length, rebounding, and is an underrated defender.
Bohlin: I think the player you were referring to was NBA Champion Juwan Howard…I like Henson’s game though, he is a poor mans Anthony Davis on the defensive end which still makes for one damn good defensive power forward. He will need to try and add some weight to his frame but I like his prospects as a professional.
Willis: He’s not going to be much offensively, but with shooters on their team he’s bound to average ten points strictly based off of cleaning the offensive glass
Bohlin: Personally I had him slotted 9th to Detroit so were close to agreement on this one. Since my guy is no longer there I guess I will just go out on a limb and take the best player left available for the Pistons selection here.
Willis: OHHHHHHHH YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
EVERYBODY DO THE PISTON’S DRUMMBLE
This guy has Kwame written all over him
And yet he still doesn’t slip into ten…. -___-
Bohlin: This would be approaching wet dream status for Joe Dumars and Detroit. Drummond is looked at as the top C prospect in this draft and could be a potential home run for any team that takes him. This selection would allow the Pistons the option of moving Greg Monroe to the PF, which I feel is his best spot in the NBA, and allow the 7’0″ 280 lb Drummond to man the middle giving them a more than formidable front court when stacked up with the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Willis: That’s assuming he doesn’t foul out in the first four minutes of the game, considering he knows about as much about basketball as Renardo Sidney does about weight management. Matter of fact, if we’re going off potential, why don’t they just take Renardo Sidney? I get why teams want him, hell if he could be had later in the draft I would want him
Bohlin: Well yeah…that’s why I called him a “potential” homerun. If he were eligible 8 years ago, maybe Renardo would have had a shot then.
Willis: Can we just pause to feel bad for Renardo Sidney?
No, let’s not. One hyped center is enough
Andre Drummond might actually become decent learning from Greg Monroe, a cerebral player who is wise beyond his years. I think him going to Detroit works out, but they have to be nervous given that this is the same franchise that took Darko.
Darko, Renardo Sidney, Kwame Brown, and Andre Drummond….all in one pick!
Bohlin: At least Darko won a ring…
Willis: Yeah and Lance Bass was a member of N’Sync…but he didn’t matter, either.
Bohlin: Duly noted. What you got brewing down in the Big Easy as we enter double digits?
Willis: New Orleans is in one of those precarious situations where the best player available is currently Jeremy Lamb, yet they already have a player there in Eric Gordon. I think they take Jeremy Lamb anyway instead of bolstering that front line of Rashard Lewis and Gustavo Ayon. I’m high on this guy, and not because he looks like he took Hydro to the head as a child. I’m high because he’s a pretty good shooter and even though he has a small frame, he’s smart. Lamb doesn’t take bad shots, and when he”s not asked to be a number one option, he should excel.
No, he’s never going to be a leading scorer on your team, but he’s still a very talented player, and provides them with insurance assuming Gordon bolts.
Bohlin: He will stretch the floor for opposing defenses though and when you have a slashing PG like Vasquez, who I am assuming would be the starter, and a big who will need space to operate effectively like Davis eventually will I cant really argue with the pick.
Willis: I like your thinking…but go on next pick
Bohlin: Going at #11 is a personal favorite of mine, mainly because he played in the SEC, but the Trail Blazers select Terrence Jones from Kentucky!
Willis: T.J. Hooker…how did he fall this far?
Bohlin: Jones could have easily come out last year and been a top 6 pick, but came back for his sophomore season under John Calipari and in my opinion improved as a player. He is hurt by being in such a deep draft this year but Jones became a leader for the national champion Wildcats and was one of the driving forces to them being as successful as they were this year.
Bohlin: A 6’10″ PF who can put the ball on the floor and attack the basket as well as spot up from the outside is a find in any draft and I believe that Jones will be a solid player in the NBA in his career.
Willis: NBA GM’s know exactly what they’re going to get. He’ll take plays off, but he’s going to rebound, defend, and is surprisingly a team player. He’s also an underrated athlete, and while he may be a bit of a tweener it doesn’t matter because he can play both the three and the four just fine. His frame isn’t going to be backed down that easily.
Bohlin: The fact of the matter is he has more or less been a professional the last two years playing under Coach Cal….moving on
Willis: And here we have Houston, who is guaranteed to pick some player needed in their ridiculous attempt to get Dwight Howard who just came off the first injury of his career, for guaranteed only half a season….
I get their logic, because the nerd running their front office is nothing but logic, but I’m not sure they’re making any headway for Dwight and Deron…so for now I have them snapping up Myers Leonard..
Bohlin: For reals this time?
Willis: Oh it’s real this time. Myers Leonard is coming off the books. How many times do white guys with freakish athleticism work out in the league?
Who’s that guy the Bucks drafted a few years ago? Joe Alexander?
Bohlin: Meyers Leonard, I’m beginning to think this is a clever troll attempt by misspelling his name but I’ll allow it, is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. Love his combination of size and skill, without a doubt one of the most fundamentally sound big men to come out in a while. Like most young big men he could still use additional weight on his frame but that is something that should come over time. While he may struggle on the block on the defensive end of the floor I believe Leonard is going to be a serviceable big man for a long time in this league.
Jumpin’ Joe Alexander from West Virginia…He didn’t pan out, but in his defense not many Milwaukee Bucks picks of late have panned out so it might not be entirely his fault.
Can he change his name to FSWG?
Fundamentally Sound White Guy
Bohlin: I support that 100%…Great selection at 12 for Houston by taking the FSWG
Michael: Anytime you can youtube a guys highlight tapes and the only thing that shows up are his rebounding abilities
you know you’re drafting a bust.
I mean there’s nothing I like about this guy except that he’s going to give you great fouls
Lawrence Funderburke was fundamentally sound, too.
And a great athlete
and he was out of the league in a few years.
Bohlin: He was also the 51st pick in the draft…
Willis: Oscar Myers (and I’m going to keep misspelling his name because I sleep on him that much) isn’t good…
Bohlin: Lets head out to what will soon be Steve Nash’s former home…Phoenix
Willis: And my home state!
Who’ve you got
Bohlin: This one seems pretty easy for me, especially since the rumor of the promise being made is already out there but I have to go Austin Rivers out of Duke here
Willis: You mean Kobe? Have you ever seen Austin Rivers pass the ball?
Bohlin: I alluded to it earlier, Nash is all but packed his bags and is headed out of town. While I may not buy into it completely there is a feeling amongst some front offices that Rivers can play PG on the next level. The comparisons to other players, a la Jrue Holiday, who were off the ball in college but became floor generals in the NBA. While I am a firm believer in his ability to score the basketball in many different ways I am not sure I would want him running my offense. Because, as Mike notes above, he likes to put the ball up the majority of the times he touches it.
Willis: The majority of times he touches it? Try every time he touches it. It’s like the pass button got jammed on his basketball controller. He is never going to give up the ball. Sure, he’s a scorer in that he has a nice floater? But he’s not an elite athlete, not a great passer, not a great shooter, and so on and so forth.
His dad, however, can coach three Hall of Famer’s to a championship
Is it possible for a player to get drafted based on his dad’s credentials?
Bohlin: Basketball pedigree?
Willis: God I wish job interviews happened that way
Well if you want to go the basketball pedigree route, let me throw out Jeffrey Jordan
Bohlin: Dont get me started on the shortcomings of Michael Jordan off the floor by bringing up the younger Jordan’s.
Willis: Fair enough…at least we agree that Austin Rivers has Sebastian Telfair written all over him. And we head into the dregs of the lottery with the Milwaukee Does. It’s almost a guaranteed lock that they’re going to blow this pick, right?
Bohlin: There is one player, and one player only that I would take here.
Willis: Let’s hear it, so I can pick another player
Unless of course you’re referring to PJIII
Bohlin: PERRY JONES III!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously doesn’t Perry Jones just give your pickle a tickle?
I personally like the guy once you accept what he is: He’s an athlete who can get by on pure talent alone, but needs to work incredibly hard so that he never has to really push himself to the limit. I think if he only puts in a medium amount of work, then he’s going to be good. Yes, he’ll take plays off, but there are plenty of small forwards who do the exact same thing in the NBA yet still manage to carve out a niche.
The Bucks and Scott Skiles? A perfect match for a kid who needs a fire lit under his ass
Bohlin: Him and Brandon Jennings will immediately be boys as well, all positives as far as I am concerned.
Willis: Brandon Jennings sucks.
Perry Jones III should have come out last year, though. He would have likely been on the Washington Wizards. Imagine if Perry Jones III and Jan Vesely combined to make one, complete, player? Jan’s hustle and PJII’s handle and shooting touch?
We’d have Kevin Durant
Bohlin: I’d imagine his girlfriend wouldn’t mind at all either…I am not sure where the KD comparison is coming from however.
Willis: PJIII is long, can shoot, and is actually athletic. Durant.
To be continued….
According to a Washington Post article by Michael Lee, Wizards Insider, the Wizards have been fielding calls for the #3 pick as we inch closer to Thursday nights draft.
This news isn’t overly surprising to me as any team in the upper end of the draft, sans New Orleans, is doing the same. Speculation is that the Wizards would trade this pick to a team wanting to move up for Thomas Robinson were the Cavs and Bobcats swap picks. With the amount of misinformation that is put out during this time of year it might not be worth believing this rumor is a real option but you cannot totally dismiss the idea.
At the very least the Wizards front office is attempting to scare MJ and Rich Cho into thinking they won’t get their man. Thomas Robinson is widely speculated to be Charlotte’s top target in this draft. If we can keep them at #2 to select T-Rob we will still get our man Bradley Beal at #3.
Like I said before, these rumors should sometimes be taken with a grain of salt but you must consider them. IF Charlotte and Cleveland swap picks and were not 100% sold on Harrison Barnes we should absolutely look into moving the pick. But we can cross that bridge if we ever even get there.
The fact of the matter, like I said before, is this is more than likely just a smoke screen. We’re talking about trade rumors which would be contingent upon two other teams making a deal that hasn’t come close to happening yet. Needless to say there are a lot of moving parts involved here.
Until something changes we should still have all eyes set on Bradley Beal at the top of our draft board. Now we just have to wait, and hope, that two of our most loathed opponents, Dan Gilbert and his Cavs as well as Michael Jordan for obvious reasons, don’t get together and play let’s make a deal.
The debate between drafting Bradley Beal or Harrison Barnes (as it applies to the Wizards) is one that we’re all going to hear over and over again, likely, for a while into their careers. Both players are great shooters and great scorers who address Washington’s two biggest needs: shooting guard and small forward. With an ample supply of big men in Nene, Kevin Seraphin, and Trevor Booker already in the stable, the Wizards might want to or even have a chance to take Thomas Robinson. So then, the conversation flows back to the next two prospects, Beal and Barnes. While Barnes grades out to be the better athlete and (to this point in his career) scorer, Beal is younger and has drawn some serious comparisons to Ray Allen with his quick release and all-around game. The two would immediately come in and provide a perimeter threat sorely needed in Washington. The question is, who do you take?
By my estimation, it’s Harrison Barnes.
On Twitter yesterday, someone brought up a great point by posing this rhetorical question: Which position needs an upgrade more, Jordan Crawford or Chris Singleton? I’ve been such a huge critic of Jordan Crawford and his inability to be effective in basically any aspect of the game that I immediately decided Crawford. I really don’t think he has what it takes to be a starter in the NBA because when his shot isn’t falling he becomes invisible. His impact on the game is marginal at best, and good starters excel in something even when the buckets are bouncing out. Amongst all guard (shooting or point), Jordan Crawford always ends up in the middle of the pack. Except when it comes to shooting, wherein he remains one of the worst (40% from the field).
Crawford is as streaky as they come in terms of being a shooter, with little or no concern at the defensive end. He is a Jamal Crawford clone, which means his only way to be effective is by inevitably becoming a sixth man specialist. But was he so terrible as a starter that we unequivocally need to revoke his privileges right now and draft a very young rookie to start in his place? At one point last season, when Jordan was finding his groove, he rattled off 7 straight games of 20 or more points. During those games the Wizards were just starting to turn the corner to success, and suffered two 2 point losses, a 3 point loss, and a 4 point loss. Against a few playoff teams to boot. And it shows the impact that Crawford has when his shot is going in. Sure, that fact is not necessarily that often, but with age comes better shot selection, and one can see how Crawford might become a smarter player given more time to acclimate himself with the professional game.
Bradley Beal may actually provide a downgrade to Jordan Crawford at this point, believe it or not. Young guards tend to not be that effective in their first season at the professional level. Just ask Evan Turner, Ben Gordon, Brandon Knight, Wes Johnson, Xavier Henry, Brandon Jennings or anyone not named Marcus Thorton, Stephen Curry, or Eric Gordon. Eric Gordon, the guy whom Beal draws the most comparisons with, was a much, much better college player than Bradley Beal was. He averaged nearly 21 points per game, and while he did struggle with consistency at times, didn’t have the concerns Beal has. I’m not saying that in the future Beal doesn’t become a six-time All-Star and one of the best scorers to ever play the game, I’m just saying when it comes to next year, Beal is more than likely going to struggle.
So I ask again: is Jordan Crawford really the guy we want to replace instead of Chris Singleton? Well, if you thought Jordan was bad, then make sure you don’t have any hot beverages around you because Singleton was historically terrible. Chris Singleton was the worst small forward in the NBA last year by just about any standard you’d like to put him up against. On a team where anyone who could score would be allowed the ball plus plentiful times to shoot said ball, Singleton couldn’t manage. Nine double digit scoring games in 66 games (51 starts). Zero double digit rebounding games; zero games with five assists or more; dead last amongst all small forwards in scoring, rebounding, you name it. It wasn’t a good year for him, as he was forced into a starting role which he was not qualified to handle at all. He definitely tried to play the role effectively, he just wasn’t that good. Singleton’s defensive skills weren’t that great aside from steals because he loved to reach so much. Oftentimes he got himself into foul trouble for that exact reason, and was forced to come out of games early and deplete further an already barren small forward rotation.
I have a hard time believing that a guy who is already old for a rookie at 22 years young, is going to improve by leaps and bounds given another year. Singleton may prove to be an effective defender and a backup in the future, but as a starter Singleton hurts the Wizards more than any other play at any other position. Small forward play by Washington was atrocious, and there’s no real way around that fact. If the Wizards want to go another year with Singleton manning the helm and a rookie alongside of him at the shooting guard position, fine. Just don’t expect it to get any better. In fact, expect it to get worse.
Which brings us to why Harrison Barnes fill the Wizards biggest need and also makes them better in the short and likely long term. Barnes has two years of college under his belt, and while he didn’t quite live up to those lofty expectations going into college, he certainly hasn’t done anything to dispel the notion that he’s a very good talent. His 6’8 height and sturdy build, combined with freakish athleticism as evidenced by the combine, will likely serve him well in the future. He’s a versatile scoring threat who can get up and down the court exceptionally well with John Wall and Jordan Crawford, as well as catch open spot up looks from the perimeter. His game fits so perfectly with what the Wizards are capable of that, though third overall may be a little high for him to be drafted, the amount of sense he makes is almost too undeniable. Sure, he is streaky at times, but with a great point guard like Kendall Marshall (and John Wall), his potential is much more likely to be reached.
The Wizards need to address that perimeter threat, and while Beal has unlimited range, Barnes does as well and provides an upgrade over the incumbent player. Kick outs will look cleaner; plays can actually be ran without worrying about Singleton bumbling them up with a lack of ball handling ability and a competent jump shot. The Wizards will excel and pick and pop shooting and the floor is going to be opened up. Yes, this is best case scenario talk, but that’s what you’re supposed to do during the draft dreaming days leading up to the Wizards picking.
Barnes played in a system that is oriented toward guards and centers, yet he still managed to thrive. Having watched this guy throughout his college career, I’m going to predict that his game is without a doubt more suited for the NBA than it was in college. No, that doesn’t answer why he struggled in the tournament or failed to knock down shots at times, but I simply don’t think he is going to bust out in the NBA. He’s a confident, even keel player who has fought through adversity and shown maturity for his age. Beal is a great player, no doubt, but Barnes is simply a better fit for the Wizards right now if they’re looking to get better right away. For those reasons, I’m going to say we need to go with a 3 at the 3.
We all know by now that the Wizards have the third pick in the draft, and as a wise spider-based superhero once said, “With great draft position comes great responsibility.” Or something along those lines. In this segment of A Case for Drafting, I look at Kansas Jayhawks power forward Thomas Robinson, and why he would be a good fit for the squad. After biding his time on the bench, the native of D.C. Junior managed to guide his team all the way to the NCAA National Championship game before falling to a loaded Kentucky team. Robinson decided to forgo his Senior season, and threw his name into the draft pool of players, and in doing so officially put himself on the Wizards radar.
When you talk about Thomas Robinson as a player, there are two things that come to mind: his rebounding ability and, most importantly, his mental fortitude and passion. From a basketball standpoint, Robinson excelled at the college level at lots of things, but his rebounding rate was just about second to none. In 27 of the 39 games he played last season (including the NCAA Tournament), T-Rob collected 10 or more rebounds. Furthermore, he grabbed at least 7 boards in every single game that he played. By the end of the season, Robinson actually finished up with the second most double-doubles in the nation. You could make the argument that, at this point in his career, Robinson is better at rebounding than consensus #1 draft pick Anthony Davis (10.4 rebounds/game). Believe it or not, Robinson actually rebounded better in his first season as a full time starter than even Kevin Love (10.6 rebounds/game). I’m not suggesting that he’s better than Kevin Love at rebounding, but it does bode well for his ability to do so at the next level.
Some could argue that his height might serve as a hindrance at the next level, but that simply won’t be the case with Thomas Robinson. He’s simply too athletic to let a simple height discrepancy keep him off the glass. Robinson sports a physique that isn’t seen on college players heading to the NBA (his body fat percentage is 5). He’s also got a 7’1 wingspan, which means he isn’t likely to be a defensive liability on the other end of the court.
Another factor that should play into Robinson’s success at the next level is, without question, his mentality and passion for the game. Everyone has probably heard the tragic story of Robinson losing, in the span of one month, his grandmother, grandfather, and mother during his sophomore season. The guy lost his entire family save his 9 year old little sister in the proverbial blink of an eye. The average person wallows in a sea of depression after a loss of that magnitude; Thomas Robinson is not the average person. Instead of quitting ball for the season and losing hope in humanity, Robinson doubled down on his efforts on the court.
After averaging only 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest his sophomore year, the guy spent countless hours in the gym and, as a result, changed his course in the world of basketball. That type of mental fortitude is something simply not seen in the vast majority of people, let alone NBA players. Robinson brings a passion to the game that is, by his own coaches admission, infectious. If anyone has the toughness to overcome any obstacle in his way, it’s going to be this kid. If anyone doesn’t think that an intangible like playing with a chip on your shoulder isn’t important in determining a players worth, think back to the short list of basketball players that did so: MJ, Kobe, Wade, LeBron. The list goes on and on, and a lot of those players excel simply because of their will to be the best. Robinson, I believe, falls squarely in that category.
It’s not all peaches with Robinson, of course, as there are some flaws in his game that can’t be overlooked. The most glaring of which is his limited offensive skill set. Currently, T-Rob doesn’t have the most comprehensive list of go-to low post moves. One could argue that he doesn’t really have any yet. His athleticism is what got him by on the offensive end at the college level, and against other elite athletes in the NBA, it might not go as smoothly. He can certainly perform up-and-under’s and back to the basket moves, but not at an elite level just yet. He is going to need to work on that in order to establish himself as a legitimate threat and not a jack-of-all-trades type of guy, wherein he does everything but not anything well.
If you watched the National Championship game you could see that, while his shot does look technically sound, it doesn’t go in all the time. To take his game to the next level, Robinson has to work on being able to stretch the defense with his jumper so as to spread the court and use his athleticism to attack the basket. In doing that, his potential would be limitless, and would turn him into a perennial All-Star instead of an occasional/potential one.
Another slight knock on Robinson is his court vision, which is substandard at this point in time as evidenced by his assist/turnover ratio. Last year he averaged 1.8 assists to 2.7 turnovers per contest, which is an alarmingly high rate for a low post big man. He’s not the best at passing out of the double team, and needs to work on playing more controlled, as numerous times last year it was almost as if he got a bit too excited. I normally don’t look too much into turnover ratios for big men, as most of them can’t really dribble that well anyway, but that number is a tad too high to overlook. I think with more experience on the court, he will get better at that, and his work ethic dictates that it’s something he will focus on in the offseason.
According to DraftExpress.com, Robinson’s upside is Al Horford. Our friends over at NBADraft.net have him pegged as a Derrick Williams type of player. But the more I watch this guy on film, the more I see one of my favorite players ever in Antonio McDyess. He might be slightly worse than Antonio was coming out of college, but they’re both freakishly talented athletes who know how to crash the boards better than most. McDyess might have played a bit more under control, but before his knee injury, he played very much like T-Rob. Scoring wise, he relied on his strengths as an athlete to get to the rack and beat people off the dribble, and then developed that midrange jumper later on. I think Robinson could do the same thing here.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think Robinson’s downside is probably a better rebounding Al Horford. I think Robinson has the potential to be a double-double machine in the pros, but unless he can develop one or two go-to moves (or a shot to become a pick-and-pop player), his point totals are going to be quite limited. His athleticism lends credence to the belief that he can start in the NBA and probably defend relatively well, but the difference between 12 PPG and 18 PPG is pretty steep. Either way, Horford is a fantastic defender and a solid rebounder who averages around 15 and 10, so that’s what I think Robinson brings to the table at the very least.
Why He’s a Good Fit in the District
Uh, because he’s from here?
Seriously though, in spite of the logjam at the 4 and 5 with the Wizards, Robinson’s game would work surprisingly well with John Wall. He runs the court better than most big men, and would be a shoo in for Wall lobs with his ability to get to the rack. The Wizards should look to trade one of our big men in a package deal for a SG or SF before the draft to make room for this guy, because he is incredibly talented. He could even play very well off of Nene and Kevin Seraphin, as is more athletic than both of them (believe it or not) and doesn’t necessarily always occupy the same space.
Plus, he gives the Wizards something they need more than anything: rebounding. If ever there were a guy who the Wizards could use, it’s a can’t miss rebounder. Nene, Seraphin, Booker, and Jan aren’t the best rebounders, and when all your front court can’t do that it poses a big problem. Robinson would fit that need and provide some serious hustle points in the process, while also extending possessions.
The NBA Draft Combine has begun, and with that, some answers about potential draft picks for the Washington Wizards will be answered. But before we look into what we learned on Day One, we should get one thing straight: The NBA Combine isn’t anywhere near as cool as the NFL version. Half of the players elect not to shoot, there’s a lot less sprinting for 4.2 40 times and a lot more measuring of body parts. Still, we do get to learn a little more about lottery picks, and get some interesting sound bites which can speak volumes about their personalities. Fans tend to read too much into particular quotes (oftentimes taken out of context), but who cares? That’s what this whole thing is about, damnit!
University of Florida, Freshman
Listed Height: 6’3
Listed Weight: 195 Lbs
Directly above this you’ll see Bradley Beal’s main flaw: He’s a munchkin by NBA shooting guard standards (in everyday life he’s huge). GMs and coaches like two guards who have length and fall within the 6’5 to 6’7 range. Before yesterday, Beal was considered 6’3, largely due to the fact that his player profile on Florida’s webpage said that. The good news for Wizards fans is that it isn’t true, as Beal measured out at 6’4 1/4. It’s one and a quarter inch, but an inch could be the difference between being picked third or fifth. To be honesty, it allayed some of my fears that he might be a bit too DaJuan Wagner-ish to hang in the NBA.
Not only was he taller than listed, he was also longer: Bradley’s wingspan measured out to be 6’8. So while he may not have great height, that wingspan means he could be more versatile than expected. It means Beal can become a very competent defender in the NBA (if he chooses to) and his rebounding ability might translate. Speaking of his rebounding ability, knowing now that he has a 6’8 wingspan, it makes sense why a guy his height could average 6.7 boards/game last year for the Gators. NBA scouts constantly preach that the one skill that almost directly translates to the NBA: rebounding. Beal clearly works hard to grab boards, and the Wizards could use a bit of that hard work.
University of Kansas, Junior
Listed Height: 6’10
Listed Weight: 222 Lbs
District native Thomas Robinson was another guy who NBA scouts thought might be vertically challenged. Listed at 6’10 going into the draft, Robinson actually lost a bit over an inch when he measured out at 6’8 3/4. Power forwards come in lots of shapes and sizes, but nearly all of them are 6’9 and up. Robinson, without shoes, is darn close to that measurement, but I’m not sure it matters with this guy. Why? Because he also had a 7’3 wingspan. He’s not a pterodactyl, but he’s not Randy Moss catching balls midfield either. Chris Bosh manages with being a “listed 6’10″ guy just fine. With that wingspan, Robinson’s height disparity amongst other power forwards will be virtually negated. His rebounding skills at Kansas, where he averaged almost 12 per contest, should translate very well to the pros.
Perhaps the most striking part about this guy is the physical shape he’s in. Robinson is an absolute specimen; he looks like Michelangelo carved him right out of stone. Through the NBA Combine we have come to find out that Robinson only has 5% body fat. My body fat percentage in college was Natural Light, and I played sports! Thomas is a guy who is already about on par with Karl Malone (3%) and Dwight Howard (7.5%) in the elite athlete category. If there’s any doubts about him, it’s not going to be whether or not he’s going to blow up a la Eddie Curry at any point during his career. That work ethic (notice a trend with these top 3 picks?) could be just what the doctor ordered for Washington.
University of Kentucky, Freshman
Listed Height: 6’7
Listed Weight: 228
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist already has enough exposure and was one of the players who opted not to participate in any drills, so as not to hurt is draft stock. That’s completely understandable, because with MKG, it’s all about the intangibles. He may not jump higher than any of the small forwards in the draft (though he’s no slouch vertically), and he may not be the fastest or tallest (though he again is formidable), but MKG has plenty of intangibles to salivate over. A National Championship at 18, lock-down defense, and rave reviews from John Calipari always help a player’s cause. At the NBA Draft Combine Kidd-Gilchrist measured out to be 6’7.5 in shoes with a 7’0 wingspan and an 8’8.5 standing reach, which are fantastic measurements for him. However, when you talk about MKG it always goes back to the fact that (Cue the music) all he does is win.
Kidd-Gilchrist won a gold medal at the FIBA U-17 games in 2010; and while he lost out on a state championship in high school, his college career says he could easily repeat performances at the professional level. He has a blue collar mentality, and he does and says all the things you want to hear from a prospect coming out of college. That being said, there were some sound clips I heard which were great, and some which were…well…not so great.
When asked about who he compares his game to:
“I like (Scottie) Pippen. I like Pippen’s game a lot. That’s old school. I’m only 18,” he added. “That’s old school to me. No offense.”
“I’ll make it work if I go there, I’ll make it happen.”
“I might cry some nights,” he said. “But it is what it is at this point.”
(Cue record scratching and dead silence)……what?
My colleague pointed this one out, and in his words, “That’s sounds soft to me.” Yeah, it does. That sounds like a red flag to me, but again, I don’t want to look too much into one quote. Still, MKG is going to want to see if he can pick up an endorsement from Kleenex if he gets drafted by the Washington Wizards or the Charlotte Bobcats. If there’s one thing our organizations know, it’s how to lose! So if you can’t stand the heat, get out the kitchen because we’re going to drop games! What does he expect? It’s the lottery; losers play the lottery.
All in all, though, I can’t complain with most of what he said. He’s a nice kid who clearly shows up on the court better than off of it. He comes from winning programs and has been used to winning his entire career to this point. While I may not be too keen on him crying himself to sleep after an early season loss to the Pacers, I love the fact that he clearly hates losing. That in and of itself is a quality that needs to be instilled in this franchise. So give Kidd-Gilchrist a ball and some hardwood and watch him whirl. Unfortunately, unless he’s shooting for people off the court his jump shot concern isn’t going to get addressed anytime soon.
Regardless of who we pick, Beal, Robinson, Or Kidd-Gilchrist, the Wizards are going to grab a hard worker. Despite their minor flaws, all of these guys bring it night in and night out on the basketball court. And unless Washington falls in love with Andre Drummond all of the sudden, it looks like they’re going to get a nice piece to the puzzle in this draft.
By: The DC Dime Staff
With the lottery behind us and the NBA draft only a few short weeks away, I’m sure every Wizards fan is wondering the same question: Who are the Wizards going to draft with the #3 pick? While my colleagues and I may have some pretty comprehensive knowledge on the subjects of NBA draft and the draft, we’re not experts. But while we aren’t, there are some websites that excel at providing some of the most in-depth, impressive, and knowledgeable information on the draft process and the players within.
NBADraft.net is arguably the best out there in terms of draft knowledge, and The DC Dime has been reading it since it’s inception. We managed to get Johnathan Wasserman, one of the writers and analysts for NBADraft.net, to take some time out of his day to answer for Wizards fans a few questions regarding the draft:
DC: Thomas Robinson projects to be, at worst, a great rebounder in the NBA. Where do you see his potential falling? All-Star or borderline All-Star/Role Player.
JW: I think 18 and 8 are realistic numbers by year 3 for T-Rob. He’s much more than just a ridiculous athlete with NBA strength. But I’d be weary of pairing him with Nene to start. Both occupy similar floorspace, which could hinder his progression.
DC: Is Andre Drummond Kwame Brown 2.0? Or is this comparison insulting to Kwame?
JW: Outside of Davis, nobody’s ceiling is higher than Drummond’s. If he figures it out, someone will have landed themselves a starting big for years to come. Problem is big men are vulnerable to underachieving, and his raw offensive game is worrisome. But his basement is not the same as Kwame Brown’s. If Drummond never figures it out offensively, he’s still likely be the most athletic, explosive big man on the court.
DC: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a great player, but not necessarily a great shooter. Should Washington look elsewhere in the draft to address this need? Or do you select MKG based on future potential.
JW: I’d don”t think MKG has a high ceiling. I’m think he can start for many teams in the near future, but don’t expect much half court offense. In my opinion Washington needs another half-court scoring weapon, and that’s not what MKG is. He’s a quintessential glue guy who can play off better players. But unfortunately on Washington he doesn’t have great players to compliment.
DC: If you had to decide today, what do the Wizards do with this pick?
JW: My draft board for Washington, assuming Davis goes 1, would read :1. Beal 2. Drummond 3. Robinson
Thanks again, Jonathan, for alleviating some of the fan concerns about this draft!
For all your NBA Draft information, check out http://www.NBADraft.net for the best coverage!
Tags: andre drummond, Anthony Davis, basketball, beal, blatche, bradley beal, calipari, draft, drummond, florida, Hoyas, Kentucky, nba, NBA Draft, nbadraft.net, sports, Terps, Thomas Robinson, Wizards
The alarm went off at 7:15 am, I dragged myself out of bed and began my usual morning routine to get ready for my job that I actually make money from. Then it hit me, the day I’d been waiting for since February had finally arrived. Today we found out if the Wizards were going to be adding the Unibrow to end all Unibrow’s to its roster.
Needless to say, this put a little pep in my step that normally would be nonexistent on a Wednesday where I had to go into the office. I dawned my John Wall t-shirt under my shirt and tie for perceived good luck and embarked on what I need would be my least productive day at work to date. There was a hint of something in the D.C. air that morning, I’m not talking about whatever smell is emanating from the Potomac River nowadays either. It took a moment for me to realize that it was hope.
For Wizards fans, however, hope takes on a different kind of meaning. Sure, we all hoped that, potential hair club for men spokesman, Adam Silver would pull the Wizards logo out of an envelope and the #1 pick would be ours. Just as many of us, the realists who know our draft history at least, were hopeful that we would not get screwed and fall as far as we possibly could and be left picking 5th. Leaving diehards like myself reeling all day long at the notion of Ernie Grunfeld having to wait until four of the more sure fire prospects were off the board to make our selection. Or what I like to call it, the Andre Drummond/ Perry Jones III nightmare.
The tension mounted as the day bore on. Finding myself more unfocused than ever at my desk I took to playing the mock lottery machine on ESPN.com thinking this would be an effective way to pass time. Four out of my first five attempts at the machine resulted in the Wizards landing the top pick. It got to the point where I was unsure if I wanted to continue playing as I thought everything from I don’t want to jinx it to maybe ESPN caters this to your IP address so your local team wins more.
Not wanting to be “That guy” I stopped playing the game and took to Twitter for my NBA related entertainment. The last two hours of unproductive activity flew by and only a 50 minute commute home on the Metro stood between me, some beers with the guys and what I hoped would be another turning point in Wizards franchise history. We convened at Clyde’s in Alexandria, because here at The DC Dime we like to keep it classy, and settled in for what would either be unparalleled elation or utter disappointment.
As a Wizards fan I’ve come to expect either the best or the worst and nothing in between. Shockingly enough, the in between is exactly what happened Wednesday night. The slots started coming in and everything was going as expected as we closed in on the dreaded 5th pick. The envelope is opened and its not the Wizards! Next slot comes off and we’re not the 4th pick either!
Going into the commercial break they show the remaining teams and place arrows next to Washington and New Orleans indicating we’d secured a spot in the top three. At this point we’ve all had a few adult beverages and one of my colleagues looks over at me and says “What the hell do those arrows mean!?!?” After calming his irrational fears the break was over and we were back to the lottery. I was on the edge of my bar stool as they opened the next envelope…
The Washington Wizards were selecting third. While it wasn’t the rights to the Unibrow, the slot where the Wiz landed was more than fine with me. Especially after Charlotte slid to the 2nd pick and it set in that the Unibrow wouldn’t be playing against us in the Southeast division I felt even better. New Orleans won the lottery for what I would assume were #BasketballReasons, as technically the team hasn’t been handed over to Tom Benson yet and are still owned by the league.
I began to think about who our options would be at #3 and felt good about who would be there. Then I realized that Michael Jordan is picking ahead of us and there is no set in stone second pick in this draft. Meaning the same man who took Kwame Brown over Pau Gasol would have to make a tough decision, immediately I felt better about our positioning. As quickly as it started it was over and with it was a day’s worth of worrying over falling to the fifth pick AGAIN.
We finished our beverages and left the bar, and at least I felt great about the way the evening turned out. This wasn’t just due to the silly oysters I had either. This was legitimate feelings of joy that we weren’t in a position where it was expected for our front office to screw this up.
Since then its come out that the Bobcats will look at “At least six players for the 2nd pick.” This seems like far to many to me when there are really only three options (MKG, Beal and Robinson). Having possibly one of the worst owners/executives in NBA history picking directly ahead of us is a great thing for Wizards fans. For all we know he’ll take another Tar Heel just to sell tickets.
We are officially within four weeks of the NBA Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ (Which shouldn’t be awkward considering it may be the last NBA sponsored event in the state for quite some time). Over the coming weeks we will see a plethora of prospects come through the Nation’s capital for a chance to audition in front of our coaches at the Phone Booth.
This is a draft where we cannot afford to miss on our pick and not land an impact player going forward. Ernie and the rest of the Wizards brain trust will have their work cut out for them over the next month in setting up their draft board and targeting prospects. Personally, I am hoping for either Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Bradley Beal. But I am equally thankful there are no Euro’s at the top of this years draft for Ernie to become infatuated with.
What were we left with after Wednesday nights events? The same thing I woke up with that morning, hope. It’s going to be a fun next four weeks and The DC Dime will be with you the entire way up until draft night on June 28th.
Tags: Anthony Davis, basketball, beal, brad beal, bradley beal, Ernie Grunfeld, John Wall, Kentucky, michael kidd-gilchrist, mkg, NCAA, sports, Thomas Robinson, washington, Washington Wizards, Wizards