I think I've finally gotten rid of the negative feelings about this pick. I apologize that it took so long, and I apologize that I may have taken it out on those of you who are past the "screw this" stage (or were never at it).
Like it or not, JaVale McGee is a Wizard, and we should root for him to succeed. I do feel better about this pick than I did yesterday. He does have a crazy-long wingspan, and he did block a ton of shots this year. If he can grasp proper defensive positioning, he could potentially alter far more shots than he blocks. That would be nice, if he ever gets there.
This is the thread for positive thinking, as well as discussions on McGee's role next season. Romans12 already mentioned what was at least on my mind; that is, what does this mean for Andray Blatche? I guess that's a good jumping-off point.
Reactions from around the 'Net about the trade:
- Chad Ford gives us a C for our draft.
McGee has upside -- kind of like Andray Blatche does. McGee made a big mistake coming out early, and I doubt he'll ever turn all that upside into a real NBA game.
Like LoneWiz54, I don't get the Blatche comparison. Jim McIlvane seems more apt.
"But basketball they say is a big man's game and it's hard to get a 7-footer with a lot of athleticism and the ability to run the floor and a 7-foot-6 wing span. He has all of those qualities."
- Ivan's blog post discussed how Ernie was hoping to move up in the draft.
Word is that Ernie was using the 18th pick and the conditional first-round pick he has coming to him from Memphis from the Juan Carlos Navarro deal to move up in the first round last night but he couldn't find anyone to dance.
I'm not surprised that didn't work out.
- Michael Wilbon (apparently he's still relevant as a local columnist) liked the pick.
They needed a Big Man. Not a tall, skinny kid who might fill out one day; they've got that in Andray Blatche. They didn't need another scorer; the Wizards have plenty of those. They didn't need a tall guy who plays like a little guy and shoots pretty shots from the perimeter.
Is he talking about a different JaVale McGee?
- Ivan tries to justify the pick in a chat session. My favorite part was where he demeaned the Chalmers possibility by rhetorically asking where he'd play behind Gilbert and AD. You could say the same about McGee, with Etan, Pech, Blatche and Songaila all in the mix. Also loved how he said the Wizards could use a banger like Kurt Thomas, then compared J.J. Hickson to Thomas a few sentences after saying Hickson would never play. (Alright, I'll stop being bitter).
- Times story. For what it's worth, McGee seems like a genuinely good kid who doesn't mind sitting and learning how to get better. Of course, everyone sounds like that after the draft.
- Via Agent Bog, we learn that McGee is the first NBA player to have a mom who played in the WNBA, that his nickname is "The Big Secret" (great blogging material, alright!) and that his hometown paper was urging him to stay in school six months ago.
- DC Pro Sports Report also wonders about Blatche's future.
But, basically, McGee seems to repeat a lot of the skills the Bullets already have in Andray Blatche? So why take him at 18 when guys like Darrell Arthur, Kosta Koufos, Mario Chalmers, and JJ Hickson were all still available? I’m not sure. It could be that GM Ernie Grunfeld and Head Coach Eddie Jordan have begun to have doubts about Blatche and want a replacement for him if their doubts prove justified.
- I love the Real GM commenters, but even I wouldn't read this thread.
- Final question, guys. What should JaVale's nickname be? Is "The Big Secret" good enough? Personally, I think it's kind of weak. We can do better.