FanPost

We Need a Team Built for John Wall

I read the posts and articles on this site with regularity and enthusiasm. It's a site for fans; it's a place for us to be fanatical about our team. That means we have the right to exhibit emotion- good or bad.

So it is not surprising to see a lot of opinion flip-flopping on this site, particularly during our 6-game losing streak to begin the season. Jan Vesely has a good game and we speak of his great potential. Vesely has a poor game and we declare he is a flop as a number 6 pick in the draft. Similarly, Trevor Booker has a monster game and we are proud he is a Wizard. Booker has a bad game and we complain he is too short to play at a high level in the NBA. Most of us are frustrated with Jordan Crawford's shooting antics on the court but when he has a good game we applaud. Ditto for Singleton. Most of us love Kevin Seraphin but are increasingly frustrated by his inability to handle a double team. Many of us disapproved of the Okariza trade and still do. Many of us approve of the Bradley Beal selection and pray he matures into a star, and most of us appreciate the addition of Martell Webster. Many of us are frustrated with John Wall but continue to believe he has star potential. And an overwhelming majority approve of throwing the three burritos overboard and bringing in Nene to help navigate our basketball destiny.

At the end of the day, we are fans. We don't work for the Wizards and we are not owners so we can assess, evaluate, and critique the players, coaches and owners without consequence. We need a place to release our emotions- good or bad, and this site is such a place.

As a fan, it is difficult to maintain objectivity; our emotions get the best of us. If we can put aside emotions for the moment, I'd like to assess the Wizards situation in the John Wall era.

There is some luck involved in this business. It's not Ernie Grunfeld's fault that there was no Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose or a Kyrie Erving available in the 2010 draft. No one faults Grunfeld for selecting John Wall. Imagine how different the Wizards would be if we had a Derrick Rose or even Kyrie Erving as our point guard? The team would be significantly better and Grunfeld's job would not be in jeopardy. But it is what it is. And it is the responsibility of the general manager to do the best he can with the hand he is dealt. It is his job to turn lemons into lemonade and he has failed in that regard.

Grunfeld's job is to build a team around his prized player, John Wall. Wall is a remarkable athlete with blazing speed who effectively distributes the ball but possesses a poor shooting touch. To a non-expert like me, the team needs shooters and rebounders to complement Wall's strengths. But Grunfeld has surrounded Wall with a team of poor shooters and less than adequate rebounders through the draft, trades and free agency. Just look at our current roster:

Draft: John Wall, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin, and Bradley Beal

Trade: Emeka Okafor, Treva Ariza, Jordan Crawford, Nene

Free Agency: AJ Price, Jennero Pargo, Martell Webster, Earl Barron, Cartier Martin

Where are the NBA-ready shooters on the Wizards roster? We depend on fringe/marginal players like Martell Webster and Cartier Martin to put the ball in the bucket. We also lean on an open-eyed 19 year old Bradley Beal to make baskets from the outside and on the erratic shooting of a wild and crazy Jordan Crawford.

To be fair, Nene is a decent shooter and rebounder for his position. But Grunfeld knew he had a history of health problems which currently haunts us. In addition, Okafor is a decent rebounder, Seraphin seems to be developing nicely and Beal is showing some potential. But on balance, our current roster is not built for John Wall's game.

This post is not a reaction to the Wizards current losing streak to start the season. I'm reasonably certain that the Wizards record will improve when Wall and Nene return. Rather it is focused on the flawed composition of the roster that Grunfeld constructed. Objectively, Grunfeld's performance as the Wizard's general manager is below par. This team is not built to win a meaningful amount of games.

The Wizard's future is not a lost cause, even with the current roster. My layman's recommendation would be to trade two of the team's young quality but poor shooting players like Trevor Booker, Jordan Crawford, Chris Singleton, and Jan Vesely (assuming no one would take Ariza and Okafor for the moment) for one or two quality NBA shooters. The addition of one or two quality shooters combined with the subtraction of two poor shooters would create a roster composition best suited for a John Wall-led team. This still doesn't guarantee meaningful success as measured by wins and losses. That depends on Wall's ability to deliver on a team built to suit his strengths. Build it and they (Wall) will come.

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This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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