I'd say the prevailing thought amongst most Wizards fans seems to be for keeping the pick if we can land a top-two pick. If we get a lower pick, then it would probably be a good idea to explore some trade options to see if we can unload some bad contracts and pick up someone who can bring a more immediate impact than the draft pick would. It's a sound strategy, but I don't think that it is as airtight of a strategy as some seem to think.
It's no secret that the talent in this year's draft drops off once Griffin and Rubio are taken off the board. If the Wizards end up with the 3rd, 4th, or 5th pick, the level of talent offered by other teams will drop off accordingly. Are guys like Hasheem Thabeet, Jordan Hill, and James Harden worth taking on a deadweight contract?
Some might look at look at Mike and Etan's contracts and classify them as expiring contracts rather than deadweight contracts. Normally I'd agree, but in this recession I don't think teams are going to be reach for those expiring contracts any sooner than they have to. If you're a team dealing with salary issues, would you rather take on that expiring contract in June, or right before the trade deadline in February when you only have to pay for one-third of the contract?
The Wizards have a rare opportunity as a team with playoff talent to use a lottery pick as an asset to bring in another piece to get them closer to contender status and shed some bad salary. Unfortunately, the rare economic circumstances and unusuall shallow talent pool in this year's draft is going to make it difficult for the team to capitalize on this opportunity.