Ted Leonsis announced that the Wiz would be rebuilding this year and established a plan for rebuilding.
This note addresses how the team is doing on the major facets of the plan.
3. Once you decide to rebuild–bring the house down to the foundation–be consistent with your plan–and with your asks–we always sought to get “a pick and a prospect” in all of our trades. We believed that volume would yield better results than precision. We decided to trade multiple stars at their prime or peak to get a large volume of young players. Young players will get better as they age, so you have built in upside. Youngsters push vets to play better to keep their jobs, and they stay healthier, and they are more fun–less jaded by pro sports.
Rationale: dumped Arenas against all odds; good blend of veterans and young players; decent core of young players with Wall, McGee, Young and possibly Booker.
4. Commit to building around the draft. …Draft players that fit the system, not the best player.
Rationale: The Wiz win-loss record ensures a lot of lottery balls. However, it doesn’t ensure a top 5 pick, which the Wizards need to get a superstar forward to round out their team.
5. Be patient with young players– throw them in the pool to see if they can swim. Believe in them. Show them loyalty. Re-sign the best young players to long term high priced deals. Show the players you are very loyal to them as compared to free agents who achieved highly for another team. Teach them. Celebrate their successes. Use failures as a way to teach and improve. Coaches must be tough but kind to build confidence.
Rationale: Patience with McGee = none
Believe in them (e.g., Booker, Seraphin) = not much
Provides minutes to Wall, Blatche, Young = good
6. Make sure the GM, coach, owner and business folks are on the EXACT same page as to deliverables, metrics of success, ultimate goal, process and measured outcomes.
Rationale: No known metrics.
7. Implement a no jerk policy. Draft and develop and keep high character people. Team chemistry is vital to success. Make sure the best and highest paid players are coachable, show respect to the system, want to be in the city, love to welcome new, young players to the team, have respect for the fan base, show joy in their occupation, get the system, believe in the coaches, have fun in practice, and want to be gym rats. Dump quickly distractions. Life is too short to drink bad wine.
Rationale: Several of the players party on a regular basis. Some get caught fighting. What’s next?
8. Add veterans to the team via shorter term deals as free agents. … They fill in around our young core. They are very important for leadership, but they must complement the young core (NOT try to overtake them or be paid more than them). Identify and protect the core. Add veterans to complement them, not visa versa.
Rationale: Hinrich, Howard and Lewis.
9. Measure and improve. Have shared metrics–know what the progress is–and where it ranks on the timeline.
Rationale: There are six young players: Wall, McGee, Young, Blatche, Booker and Seraphin.
Blatche has been out of shape all year.
The weekly PERs for Wall, McGee and Young have been dropping for several weeks.
Booker and Seraphin have been given limited burn.
Overall Grade: C
Rationale: simple average of the seven grades. However, the most disturbing aspect of the results thus far is that Wall, McGee and Young started strong – and are all waning.
Conclusion: If the Wiz end the year at a C, then next year will also have to be rebuilding year.