Point/Counterpoint: What Should Wizards Do at #3?
By DC Staff Writer John Manuel & Steve Shoup: This week’s Point/Counterpoint looks at what the Washington Wizards should do with the 3rd pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
Easy answer, keep Ernie Grunfeld away from making this decision. But I have already gone down that road. He will be making the pick and I think any position is open except drafting a point guard with John Wall. No one else on the roster can be seen as a long term lock as a productive starter on the roster and some even question Wall’s future. This team lacks talent so screwing up something like the 3rd pick would be a disaster for a franchise that may already be a confirmed disaster of an organization. They must take the best player available at 3 and not to fill a need. I will get into that later but I think you can see where I am going? Do you agree this is the correct approach?STEVE:
I agree, and I think Grunfeld didn’t do the Wizards any favors by making a deal that basically highlights where they intend to make a pick. The Wizards do need a starter at every position, but if they draft a SF, PF, or C they are just cutting minutes from their other young guys or a player they are giving big money to. Now as you said, there is no one on the Wizards roster that should prevent them from taking anyone, but by stocking your roster like they have, it means that it will decrease the value of both the pick and their current players.
The Wizards seem locked into Bradley Beal, which I don’t like because I think Thomas Robinson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes and Andre Drummond are all more talented players. The other issue with showing your hand is it allows a team like the Cavaliers to make this potential trade up, stealing him from you.JOHN:
Completely agree with a lot of your points. I do think they are showing everyone Beal is their target and since other teams like him I expect him to go number 2 to whichever team trades with Charlotte, most likely Cleveland. I actually hope that trade goes down and Beal is not there at 3. I do think a shooting guard needs to be found but not sold on Bradley Beal as a 6’4” shooting guard.
So say he is gone and they are on the clock. Drummond I am too nervous on. I like Robinson but feel that the selection should be made between Kidd-Gilcrest and Barnes. Right now I am torn between the two. I can see Barnes becoming a Paul Pierce type player pretty quickly but also feel that MKG reminds me of Carmelo back in college. He didn’t score like him but he didn’t have to at Kentucky. I have a feeling that he will become a better perimeter player and then be a perennial all-star. I don’t think they could go wrong either way. Both guys would have Ariza on the bench by November collecting DNP’s like in NOLA. I think I have a small lean towards Kidd-Gilcrest though.STEVE:
I agree the best thing that can happen for the Wizards is the Cavs trading up for Beal. I like Beal, but under no circumstances do I think he’s the 3rd best player, in this draft and I think he’s borderline top 5. If Beal’s off the board I’m looking at either Thomas Robinson or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Like you I think Drummond is too much of a risk to take at the 3rd pick. He could be a star, or he could be another Kwame Brown. Even if he is a star, it likely won’t be for a couple of years.
Barnes is a solid option, but I do feel he’s a notch below Kidd-Gilchrist and Robinson. While Kidd-Gilchrist would be tough to pass up, I think I’d go Robinson. He reminds me of the Hawks’ Josh Smith, and I think he could be an impact PF. He’s athletic, physical, and it looks like his offensive game has caught up to the rest of his skill set. I think he’d fit well next to Nene/Okafor, and really give this team an inside presence.
The real issue I wonder is do you trade back? It sounds like Portland might be willing to move up, and Houston is desperate to land a top 5 pick to entice Dwight Howard, and has 3 first rounders (14, 16, 18), two first rounders from last year, and Kyle Lowery they appear willing to move, not to mention future 1st round picks.
If the Rockets are desperate and offer you the 14th, 16th, picks and last year’s first rounder Donatas Motiejunas, do you take it? And if not, what would you need back in a deal to move the pick?JOHN:
I wouldn’t make that trade with Houston because the picks are too far out for my liking. I do think you could get one solid player at least with the picks but could also end up with three moderate players over time. As for Portland, I would very much consider that if MKG is taken number 2. There would be a chance that Barnes could be there at 6, not likely but possible that someone in the top 5 reaches for Austin Rivers, Dion Waiters, Damian Lilliard or a wildcard like John Henson. Then you also use the 11 to grab another big man like Meyers Leonard of Tyler Zeller.
This draft is very important to hit a home run with whoever they draft after last week’s trade. I can’t see them getting a top 3 pick next year now after last week’s trade which will get them around 30-35 wins and put them in the back end of the lottery. Then again who I am kidding, Okafor and Ariza will most likely be bench guys by December taking Rashard’s and Andray’s old seats and we will be in the top 3 again.STEVE:
I probably wouldn’t make the trade with Houston (though now it is the 12th pick they have), but one deal I’d consider would be Kyle Lowery and say the 18th pick, for the 3rd pick. I know with Wall grabbing another PG doesn’t make sense, but a backcourt of Lowery, Wall, and Crawford would be absolutely entertaining to watch (defending SG’s would be problematic though).
Honestly, I’d love to see some sort of trade worked out for the Wizards, as I think this a real deep draft through the top 25-30 guys. I’d love to see the Wizards get two guys from that group, and fill needs at multiple positions.JOHN:
Until they make the pick and probably for about 30 minutes after it’s going to be interesting. We should have a good idea though right before once Charlotte decides what to do and I figure Rich Cho will hold off as long as he can with all their needs. I know there are about there are about 20 GMs out there licking their chops knowing they can fleece Grunfeld and the Wiz by tomorrow night. Feels like going into a draft with Vinny Cerrato but he would grab all 3 Houston picks and draft three point guards. Sad thing David Kahn already did that in Minnesota.STEVE:
Yeah I get the feeling that there will be a lot of movement in the draft as the night unfolds and I could see a number of trade’s opportunities for the Wizards. One thing that I’d like them to do if they keep the pick though, is to try to move up for the falling Jared Sullinger. I think he will end up being the steal of the draft (for at least the next 5 years). Then again if they land Robinson with the 3rd pick, that would be a bit redundant. The only thing I’m sure that will happen draft night, is that Wizards fans will be disappointed.
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