Originally written September 19, 2012 on Blog So Hard Sports:
Let me start this out by saying as some of you know, I am not the biggest Ernie Grunfeld supporter. I will however be the first to point out that I actually like a majority of the most recent moves the GM has made on essentially his 3rd team building exercise here in Washington. This Wizards roster has gone from seeing Nick Young, JaVale McGee, and Andray Blatche starting day one of last year, to possibly putting out a starting lineup including Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Nene, and Emeka Okafor. The maturity level and professionalism cleary does a 180, and the consistency and skill level of the major impact players should certainly go up as well providing everyone stays healthy. So while I can applaud Ernie for that, I still have a problem with the choice to take draft-and-stash European player Tomas Satoransky with the 2nd pick — and more so the reasons behind it.
  • The assumption was that after making a few moves for veterans, that the roster was full and would be better off not adding another rookie.
“A different second-round pick might have been able to make the team, but we’re going to wait to see if we can add some veteran players to the team, to see who else is out there as far as a free agent is concerned. But this is a very good prospect we’re talking about, a prospect for down the road.”
So the idea here is to not take a young, talented player who may be able to help your team in the very near future? For a team that has been in the lottery the past few years, you would think that adding any talent that can immediately contribute to the roster would be high on their list of things to do. About those veterans? Sure we grabbed A.J. Price (filled a need). But since then the Wizards have given non-guaranteed deals and camp invites to Shavlik Randolph, Earl Barron, and Brian Cook (the latter of which sparked this article). You already know what you are getting with those guys, none of which will be making an impact on this Wizards roster barring catastrophic injuries. To me, it is just a giant waste. Why not pick up a talented player, with minimal financial implications as a 2nd round pick, who has a chance to come in and compete for a spot and make an impact on the team right away?
  • Grunfeld has a past history for showing too much loyalty to his draft picks — see extending Andray Blatche. This may be totally off the wall, but selecting one of Jan Vesely’s buddies could be seen as a move to keep his #6 overall pick from the year before happy. I understand that is probably not the case, but it has been mentioned other places as well. I also feel like there were some better options at 6 than Vesely anyway, but that is just another discussion itself.
  • This is the one that really gets me……there were better players available with the 32nd selection. I am by no means saying that Satoransky won’t someday be a good player for the Wizards, I actually have no idea. But for a team whose owner said it would be “unacceptable” for the Wizards to land in the lottery again this upcoming season, you would think that would mean going after players that can contribute now.
A screen shot from draft night If you notice, the two best players on the board were Will Barton and Quincy Miller, two potential first round picks who I had pegged as good targets for the Wizards with their second choice. Will Barton could easily have made an impact on this roster, showing as knack for scoring as evidenced by his 72 point outburst in Baltimore. Quincy Miller would be a perfect compliment to the future of Washington’s 3 spot next to the defensive minded Chris Singleton. There were other players on the board very capable of making an immediate impact on the roster, such as Jae Crowder who could play the 2-4 in certain sets and would have brought toughness, defense, and efficiency on offense. Enough with beating the dead horse though. I am not happy with the selection as it reminds me of not taking Dejuan Blair. Just had to get this off my chest with the news of all the recent “additions” to the Wizards camp. Let’s just hope the guys in the main rotation can get the job done and none of this worrying about fringe, end of bench guys will really matter anyway.
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