I kid, only slightly, but Michael Lee brings up a point about this year's eventual lottery draft pick that I hadn't considered in depth.
When Grunfeld committed to Arenas and Jamison last summer, he had no plans of adding the huge, guaranteed salary of a high lottery pick in 2009. The draft pick offers opportunity, though, especially if the Wizards want to catch up with division rivals Orlando and Atlanta, who have surpassed them this season.
There is the potential to add a high draft choice to their nucleus, but if the Wizards don't land the top pick, or even a top three pick, Grunfeld will have to strongly consider repeating what he did in 2004 and package the draft pick with an undesirable contract or two and add some veteran help to a suddenly aging core. Next season, the Wizards could potentially have Arenas going on 28, a 29-year-old Butler, a 33-year-old Jamison and Brendan Haywood going on 30.
I hated the idea last year, and I'm not sure I like it now that we're talking about an even higher pick. This seems like the exact type of quick-fix thinking that has plagued this franchise for years, going back to the Hamilton-for-Stackhouse trade, the Wallace-for-Strickland trade and the Moses Malone acquisition.
On the other hand, perhaps there is merit to the idea if we get stuck with, say, the fifth pick. We have a dichotomy of sorts on the roster between our core guys and our young'ins, and that schism has become ever more prevalent in the last couple of years (my theory is because of Arenas' injury; he could mingle with both parties). Do we really want to add to that schism when a proven veteran that can help right away may be available?
The other question is, who exactly would that veteran be? Would you trade a lottery pick for Gerald Wallace? Tracy McGrady? Chris Kaman? Marcus Camby? Who do we even mean?
Anyway, food for thought. I'll be back later.