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2012 NBA Offseason: Washington Bullets

Draft Grades, Offseason Needs, Free Agents

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Washington Wizards (Last Year: 20-46)

Live 2012 NBA Draft Grades:

3. Bradley Beal, G, Florida: A Grade
The Wizards breathe a sigh of relief as the Bobcats didn't deal the second pick to a team wanting to grab Beal at No. 2. Beal and John Wall give the Wizards a talented backcourt to go with the pieces they've recently added up front with Nene, Emeka Okafor, and Trevor Ariza.

32. Tomas Satoransky, G, Czech Republic: B Grade
This is a good second-round investment for the Wizards as they didn't have a glaring need and can stash him overseas for a year or two.

*** 2012 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***

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hosch kabosch 06-01-2012 06:09 pm (total posts: 2)
14     40


1. Ernie Grunfeld is incompetent

2. Ernie Grunfeld is incompetent

What they should do but Grunfeld will combat it because he is incompetent.

1. Amensty Blatche. Only reason this hasn't been done is Leonsis is impressed with how Grunfeld has handled the team's financials. Biting the bullet on this massive mistake would blemish the team's financials so he's trying to find any takers for this clown. No one is going to pick your trash Grunfeld get this guy out of town. Going to boo him till you have to.

2. Jordan Crawford. Horrific volume shooter. Guy kills the offense and when he isn't on the court it's like fresh air into the offense. John Wall would play a lot better w/ a non ball dominant 2 guard, someone who doesn't dribble himself into ridiculous 25 foot fade aways with a full shot clock. Kim English would be a great answer in the 2nd round. Ray Allen would be a nice FA but Grunfeld destroyed the Bucks franchise back in the day by trading Ray Allen for breaking down Gary Payton. He was fired the next year. Similar move with the McGee for Nene trade, I don't think McGee is a great player but the trade reeks of a lack of intellectual development from Grunfeld.
Bullets reality 05-31-2012 02:09 am (total posts: 6)
22     16

Fairly good look at what the Wizzies need.

I like the PG combo as Mack played really well off the bench late in the season.

Chris Singleton, while unable to create his own shot, did hit 34.6% on 3PT and 68.2% on FT. If those numbers become something like 38% and 75% he could be a longer Bruce Bowen type with his defense. I really like adding MKG to the mix as he and Singleton could bring some superb wing defense and help the team get more fast break points.

Depending on how the 2nd pick goes, it's got to be MKG, Beal or Barnes for the Wizzies. Whichever one they land, they should look to add the veteran at the other position instead of as a backup PG.

Lewis will be shopped to teams looking for an expiring contract and could even be packaged with someone else to upgrade a position if needed.

Agree completely on going the amnesty route with Blech. He's been a joke for years now and he's the last of the knuckleheads that needs to go (it was an enormous boost to the team to be able to dump both Brick Young and Magoo Magee last year).

This team could legitimately start next season with 4 hard working post players, all of which are good scorers, a double salvo of long defenders at SF, a sweet young PG combo and a youngster/veteran duo at SG. That, along with the potential of the Blech and Lewis contracts being gone, seems like a pipe dream from just 1 year ago that actually came true.
Concerned Wiz Fan 06-28-2011 06:56 pm (total posts: 1)
52     53

I'm very cautiously optimistic about the wizards' draft this year.

While I am as excited as the next guy about visions of Vesley running the break alongside JaVale and J-Wall, I'm really worried that Jan will turn out to be more of a liability than anything else. From what I've read, opposing Euro-league coaches already mark him as a weak defender when he plays SF because, despite his great length, he doesn't have the lateral quickness to keep up with smaller, quicker opponents...consequently putting him into foul trouble quickly. On top of that, his career rates from 3-point range, which is suppose to be one of his major points of interest, and the free throw line are below average (correct me if I'm wrong) and he's pretty much exclusively a spot shooter (which I don't consider to be too big of a deal because J-wall will be able to create plenty of open shots for the rest of the team.
Aside from those points, I love his athleticism given his height, but his highlights really only show him dunking over scared euro-league players that don't look like they've seen a dunk in their lives (although I must admit he gets up there pretty high). I kinda have a hard time seeing Dwight Howard shy away from swatting the dunk of a skinny European next year...
The important thing will be to decide what Vesley is going to be and stick with it. If he's going to be a post player and develop moves with his back to the basket, he needs to add some pounds and get tougher. If he's going to play more SF, the wiz probably need to set up a help defense that conceals some of his lack of lateral quickness...which could actually work since JaVale is really only interested in help defense to get a blocked shot instead of guarding his man...

Beyond that, I absolutely love the Singleton and Mack picks as they add great toughness and defensive prowess of the bench. Love the point of Singleton as our defensive stopper after watching him do just that all the time in ACC play, hopefully he can develop a little more offensive ability tongo with it

All in all, I think the draft rests on the success of Vesley (no surprise there) which worries me because he seems to have a lot of the characteristics of the typical Euro-bust of the early/mid-2000s
mprofetta 06-24-2011 10:07 am (total posts: 1)
41     27

I think that the "is he a SF or PF?" question has become kind of outdated in today's NBA game. While there will always be a place for your classic, Buck Williams-type PF on an NBA roster, today's game is all about long, versatile athletes who can run the floor and beat you in a variety of ways. The Mavs just won the title with Shawn Marion (the prototypical SF/PF 'tweener)as a key contributor. Vesely will be murder on the break with Wall.
Better than Walter 06-23-2011 09:26 pm (total posts: 1)
35     31

Don't forget that they have the length of Seraphin and the pure bulk of Booker on that front line as well. That's really 6 guys to split up the SF/PF/C positions.

2011-12 Season Summary:
Team president Ernie Grunfeld called this the second year of a three-year plan for the Washington Wizards franchise. After finishing with the second worst record in the NBA, there will need to be some accelerated growth next season if the team is going to reach the desired destination of said plan.

As part of their rebuilding effort, the Wizards were one of the youngest and most inexperienced teams in the NBA. Seven rotation players were either rookies or in their second year in the league. Injuries to veterans Rashard Lewis (who was disgustingly the second-highest paid player in the NBA this past season) and Andray Blatche factored into the young guys being thrust into larger roles, but that should actually benefit the team in the long haul.

The main cog of this youth movement is former No. 1 overall pick John Wall, who didn't show a whole lot of growth from his rookie season. His supporting cast certainly had something to do with that, but you still expect to see him make steady strides. Wall's stats were consistent with that of his first year in the league though he shot an abysmal 3-42 from distance.

The team formerly known as the Bullets shook up its roster a bit prior to the trade deadline by dealing young players/sometime knuckleheads Nick Young and JaVale McGee for a veteran big man in Nene Hilario. Though Hilario only played in 11 games with Washington, his presence and experience was a welcomed addition to the young roster as it displayed better chemistry and maturity while finishing 11-14 after his acquisition.

It's easy to find a glass half-full approach for the Wizards. They finished the season on a six-game win streak and have quality young talent to go with a proven veteran in the middle. With a top-five pick in the draft, Washington will add another piece to the puzzle. I'm not ready to make a bold statement like Jordan Crawford's claim that the Wizards will be a playoff team next year, but I think with a couple of intelligent moves this offseason that they'll be one step closer to fulfilling that three-year plan.

2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Nene Hilario/Emeka Okafor/Kevin Seraphin

PF: Jan Vesely/Andray Blatche/Trevor Booker

SF: Trevor Ariza/Chris Singleton

SG: Jordan Crawford

PG: John Wall/Shelvin Mack

NBA Free Agents:

SF-Mo Evans (UFA)

PF-Brian Cook (UFA)

G-Roger Mason (UFA)

PF-James Singleton (UFA)

G/F-Cartier Martin (UFA)

SG-Morris Almond (UFA)

Offseason Transactions:

Wizards acquire C Emeka Okafor and SF Trevor Ariza from Hornets for F Rashard Lewis and 2nd round pick (46th overall).

2012-13 Team Salary: Approximately $56 million

NBA Offseason Needs:

1. Leadership: With all the talented youth Washington has acquired the past couple of offseasons, it now needs to find a player or two to add to the veteran presence Nene brought to the team in mid-March. Rashard Lewis is another elder statesman on the roster, but he isn't a part of the team's long-term future, while other veterans like Mo Evans and Roger Mason are free agents. The Wizards may not need to look outside of their roster if John Wall can truly emerge as a leader entering his third season as a pro.

2. Leaping the Wall: The parallel of Washington becoming a legitimate playoff-caliber club must coincide with Wall taking the next step toward being the true face of the franchise. He needs to cut down on his league leading 255 turnovers and work on his outside shot to reach that next level.

As I mentioned earlier, upgrading the talent around Wall will take some of the pressure off his shoulders. I also think it would be beneficial for the team to bring in a veteran floor leader who can help tutor Wall a bit.

3. Shooters: The Wizards need to find some depth on the wing since the shot-happy Jordan Crawford is their only shooting guard under contract for next season; small forward Chris Singleton is known more for his defensive ability. A wing or two who can actually shoot the rock from distance would be ideal, since only one returning player (Singleton) connected on higher than 30% of his three-point tries.

4. Amnesty Andray: With about $23.4 million remaining on the final three years of his contract, it's time for the Wizards to bid adieu to the enigmatic Blatche. Since they did not use their one-time amnesty prior to this past season, they can still release him and not have his bloated contract count toward their salary cap.

Young guys like Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin are capable of replacing Blatche's hot-and-cold production. Lewis is also a candidate to be amnestied, but since he is in the final year of his contract, Washington might be better letting his contract play out even though he is scheduled to make a baffling $23.8 million next season. The team also has the opportunity to buy out the final year of Lewis' deal for a cool $13.7 million.

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