As my first post on Bullets Forever I thought I would go into depth on my view of the state of the Wizards rebuilding process. I hope you enjoy:
GM: Ernie Grunfeld
Personally I think Ernie has done a great job recently in the rebuilding process. He has made mistakes in the past: signing big deals with Arenas, Butler, and Jamison and attempting to keep a dying team together too long. At the time of all of his mistakes most people would have agreed that they were the right move (other than maybe trading the 5th pick). I think he deserves the chance to work on this rebuild process for a year or two more to see how his recent draft picks develop. I am excited about all of our recent picks and if they develop in the next year or two I think Ernie deserves a fair chance to see the rewards.
Coach: Randy Wittman (Interm)
Step up from what I saw Flip doing at the early stages of the year. Does he deserve another year? Maybe. There is still time left in the season to determine whether he is the right choice. Of course if there is a big name coach willing to take on the task (maybe a Larry Brown) I would jump at the opportunity, but I am content to see how the rest of the season unfolds to see whether to give him more time at the helm of the Wizards. One big way to tell will be to see whether the team gives up and stops playing hard at the end of the year.
The point guard position is by far the position that is the farthest along when it comes to rebuilding the team. Most of that is John Wall obviously. Wall is a top tier point guard in the NBA and if you disagree then you probably believe that he has the potential to be. The best I have seen this team is when Wall is running the team on the court. He still has things to fix in his game but is still the face of the franchise for the next 10 years. Shelvin Mack is a good career backup PG and if that's his role on the Wizards that's fine with me. I think Mack is an expendable asset though as backup PG's area dime a dozen, so using him in trades will probably end up being his fate on the Wizards. Roger Mason is a good guy but personally I think we could find a better veteran backup point guard. When Roger is hitting his 3s he is a great option, but when his stroke is off he is no more than a fresh body. All in all with a clear NBA All-star potential PG, a good young backup PG, that has trade value, and a veteran 3rd PG the Wizards are definitely on the right track at the PG position.
Shooting Guard is an interesting position for the Wizards at the moment. I would consider Nick Young a solid scoring sixth man in the NBA or a starting third scorer on a great team. For a team in the rebuilding stages Nick does an alright job of being a scorer. For the right cheap price I would keep him around because without his scoring the team will definitely struggle much more on offense. There is a lot of argument between fans of the Wizards at the value of Jordan Crawford. I think on the hierarchy of SG, Crawford would do best in a role player position where he would be expected to once every 3-4 games score 15-20 points. He is not a starter in the NBA and I don't think ever will be. I think the best he will ever become is a slightly more consistent version of himself which would be a great sixth man. To summarize the Wizards have pretty good scoring ability coming from the SG position. Nick Young is a good third scoring and Crawford is at best a good scoring 6th man. Noting that Young is probably gone after this year we are still missing the starting SG of the future and Crawford is just a stop gap.
Well, to start Rashard is most likely gone after this year whether by buyout or amnesty so I will just ignore him. Evans is on the end of the bench and is mainly on the team just as another veteran and another dime a dozen player so no need to discuss him as a future part of the team. Chris Singleton still needs needs time to develop his game. On a team with a good scoring SG, Singleton could be a starter in the NBA as more of a lock down defensive player, similar to Deshawn's role on the Mavericks last year. If Singleton gets to the point where he can score 10 PPG and play lock down defense he will be a very valuable piece to the team. I currently view Jan as a project player. Give him a a fair amount of playing time over the next 2-3 years and see how he develops. Jan's upside is potentially having a skilled perimeter scoring big man. Having one or two players like Jan, who can force mismatches as a 6'11 perimeter player is potentially a great asset. Whether Jan develops to become that great offensive weapon still seems like a pipe dream, time is key when it comes to his development. So, we have 2 rookies (both first rounders) that could both potentially start if they develop in to very specific roles (Jan into perimeter scorer and Chris into elite defender with limited scoring) . We also have 2 veterans who most likely will not be a part of the team next year.
If you were wondering my opinion on Blatche here it is:
GET RID OF HIM
His time is up in Washington whether by trade or another option. His presence on the court or in the locker room hurts the teams development.. Now that the negative Blatche part is over time to talk about one of my favorites: Trevor Booker. Booker is a tough, hustle player and is a player I want on my team. Finding a strong, hardworking, defensive minded big man is not easy do I see him as a starting PF in the league? Not unless he is paired with a dominant C that is at least 6'10. Could I be wrong in this case? Yes. With Booker's heart, dedication, and scoring potential anything is truly possible for him. At this second Booker is a great option as 1st forward off the bench and would be for any team. Kevin Seraphin is starting to get some playing time now and his performance vs the Lakers really opened my eyes. If Kevin continues to develop his role on a team is very similar to Booker's. I'm undecided whether I would want to trade one if they end up so similar or just have two effort big men. Having two players like that on your team can only be a good thing.
Grade: C+ (a bit further along in development than SF)
The Center position is a very confusing one. Ronny Turiaf is a great backup C if he could be healthy. I'm guessing he is gone after his one year contract is over. Having Ronny, Trevor and Kevin all fill the same role might be too much. We could probably find a different backup veteran C to fill a different complimentary role. Heck maybe even a back to the basket scorer. Personally I am a fan of JaVale and his potential. A young 7'0 athletic C with the ability to be a defensive presence blocking shots and getting offensive rebounds is a rare asset to find in the NBA. One of the things that a player can develop in the pros is a post game. We have seen some flashes of it in development, but it takes time and I am willing to wait. His lack of maturity is bothersome at times.
GM: Give more time
Coach: Possibly hire Wittman long term, wait and see still
Point Guard: Farthest along will Mack as a potential trade asset, could use a better veteran backup.
Shooting Guard: No true future starter: Young gone (too expensive) Crawford not good enough
Small Forward: Rookies with potential will determine the future of the Wizards at SF
Power Forward: Get rid of Dray, Booker has high potential could be a starter, Seraphin showing some flashes
Center: Give JaVale more time (rare skillset), wish Ronny was healthy
Overall Grade: C
Hope you enjoyed the read. Love to see everyone's thoughts