John Wall showed us what we expected from him as the No. 1 pick, a solid season scoring and distributing, though had problems which were expected going into the season: a subpar mid- to long-range game and prone to turnovers. But neither of those flaws cannot be fixed with maturity and hard work. Andray Blatche had a very disappointing encore to the final 32 games last season. More on him later. Nick Young came out strong, performing as the sixth man before the Arenas trade and for a time afterwards as the starter. But his upside is brought down by his inconsistency, especially on the road (unless against the Lakers), and inability to do much else. Example, he hasn't a game with three or more assists since JANUARY. Thatshorrendous regardless of whether or not he was injured for the last month and unable to play. Moving on, decent play at the small forward spot was unreachable until Maurice Evans was brought in. I like the way he plays and the veteran leadership he brings, but I think he would be best suited as a backup. Finally, to JaVale McGee. His season resembled a roller coaster, but in the end he put up decent numbers. Yes, stats aren't everything, but they can be accurate sometimes. If he can come to training camp with a go-to post move and add some muscle, he will be a good player. The potential is there for him, and for most of the young players on the team. I would also like to see an improvement in his rebounding.
The front office made two trades, one was atrocious while the other was terrific.
Gilbert Arenas for Rashard Lewis: Terrible trade. No excuse. I like Ted Leonsis and the way he wants to run things, but I didn't appreciate him publicly saying he would not trade Arenas, only to ship him for a way past being washed up, overpaid Rashard Lewis. You're telling me that it was impossible to get a pick? Ridiculous. First off, straight up talent for talent trades NEVER work out for both sides. Arenas' contract was also bad, but Lewis was having knee problems at the start of the season and hasn't really played since the All-Star break. At least Arenas could get to the rim and set up others, but Lewis isn't anything other than a spot up shooter at this stage in his career, and his field goal and three-point percentages have been below average since last year. On top of that, he's the second highest player in the league. Next.
This trade worked out perfectly. Ernie and the gang turned a past his prime Kirk Hinrich and a career backup for a very good talent in Crawford, a vet in Evans, and a decent pick. The Bibby buyout gives financial flexibility. I expect Crawford to be the starter from next year on and Evans to give good minutes coming off the bench. I truly believe that Crawford and Wall can be one of the best backcourts in the entire league in the near future. The 1st round pick will hopefully go towards another player like Trevor Booker.
Now looking to the draft, winning the number one pick will not do the team any good. I feel the team should look to pick between three and five and draft Derrick Williams from Arizona. First off, I would prefer not to see Andray Blatche in a Wizards uniform beyond tomorrow's game in Cleveland. Trading 'Dray for a late 1st/early 2nd round pick would be great considering he was the 48th overall pick back in 2005. Therefore the power forward spot next season should be filled by Williams, a 6'8" freak of nature with good shooting range. Yes, Booker also plays power forward, but I think he would be most effective playing hard for 20-25 minutes wreaking havoc on the boards.
Moving forward to free agency, I'm not a fan of selling out right now and buying a big name player. I would rather see some good players who play hard to fill any voids left after the draft. Nick Young will be a restricted free agent as of July 1, so it is fair to ask if his improved play was a byproduct of it being a contract year for him. With that being said, paying him too much would be detrimental to the team. A reasonable price for him is about $6 million spanning over 2 years. His inconsistency obviously hurts him, along with his one dimensional play. So if another team decides to outbid, the front office should not bend over backwards to bring him back. Jordan Crawford is clearly the better player now and for the future. Also, Ernie found two gems in the D-League, Othyus Jeffers and Larry Owens. Who, by the way, also play the same position as Nick.
If Grunfeld and Ted can execute these plans and the young guys improve this summer, next season looks bright and could produce about 40 wins, enough to get the Wiz Kids back into the Playoffs.