The Washington Wizards have selected Bradley Beal and Tomas Satoransky with their two picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. Now, it's time for some instant analysis of the picks. We've had a chance to sleep on it, so here now is the official stance of all of Bullets Forever's site editors.
I'm as hard on Ernie Grunfeld as anyone, and was disappointed in the trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza because I felt like he was shutting himself out of potentially better opportunities down the road. This, of course, led to a philosophical debate, during which many argued that it's unfair to criticize someone for not waiting for a mythical scenario to develop down the road. Personally, I think it's fair to critique Grunfeld for going for deals too soon like that.
But if we're going to criticize Grunfeld for jumping at the first move, he also deserves lots of credit for not overreacting to the smokescreens that were coming from Charlotte and Cleveland. Given all the noise about the Bobcats trading down to let someone else swipe Beal away from them, it would have been very easy for Grunfeld to overreact and trade up to draft Bradley Beal. That could have cost him a young player, another asset or a future draft pick. Grunfeld also could have let things happen, thrown up his hands and selected Harrison Barnes, his clear second choice. But instead, he called both team's bluffs, stood there and watched the Bobcats scoop up Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, leaving Beal, the Wizards' clear first choice, to fall to No. 3. That forced the Cavaliers to scramble for Dion Waiters, and as much as the Cavaliers will pretend like Waiters was their choice all along, we all know that's a load of BS.
No matter how you feel about Beal the on-court fit, you have to admire Grunfeld's foresight in anticipating his fall. This wasn't Grunfeld getting lucky. This was Grunfeld ignoring all the rumors, forging forward and getting his guy through it all.
The second-round pick of Tomas Satoransky is a bit more disappointing, but this isn't DeJuan Blair redux. Yes, Quincy Miller, in a perfect world, would have been perfect here, and I wish the Wizards took him too. But they already have 12 roster spots taken with guaranteed contracts (11 if Andray Blatche is released via the amnesty clause), and Roger Mason and Maurice Evans are both coaching Summer League, so that really could be 13. That leaves one, maybe two spots left, and my hope is one of those goes to Cartier Martin. The other, given the lack of non-guaranteed contracts, should stay open in case of injury. Blair was a debacle because the Wizards had roster space, clearly needed a big man and instead chose to spend four times as much money on Fabricio Oberto. Not drafting Miller, Jae Crowder or others is more a function of the makeup of the roster and the fact that you can only carry 15 guys at a time, and most teams don't.
Overall, it was a good draft. Grade: B.
Bullet Nation In Exile: Wait an hour, it's coming. Grade: B
Jkhan15: Ernie Grunfeld gets credit for calling Cleveland's bluff and/or using mind control to stop Charlotte from trading the pick. Beal is a combination of getting the best player available, filling a huge need, and pleasing most of the fan base. As an oft-criticized GM, you can't really ask for much more in a pick. Those comparisons between Beal and Eric Gordon are only made more interesting because both were regarded as quality shooters despite their underwhelming percentages in college. Beal also brings a willingness to make the right play, something Wizards two-guards have had trouble doing these past few seasons.
As for the second-round pick of Satoransky, critics may call out the Wizards for being cheap or targeting another Euro player, but I'm fine with the idea of developing a guy overseas, especially with the current makeup of the team. For better or worse, the team is set for near future, and a 2nd round rookie probably won't break into the rotation. However, because of the crazy lack of shooters on the roster, you have to wonder if Doron Lamb, Kim English or Hollis Thompson could have actually helped the team right away.
Stashing Satoransky also gives the Wizards more time to evaluate both Shelvin Mack and Jordan Crawford while still on their rookie contracts. If their development isn't to the team's liking, Satoransky can hopefully take one of their spots. Although he apparently can't shoot, at least he is a playmaker, which is another thing that the offense lacks.
Getting Beal was the most important thing, and the Wizards didn't have to spend any extra draft picks to move up and get their guy. There were some established college players left on the board when Satoransky was drafted, but the draft and stash has its advantages as well. Grade: A-
Thomas Pruitt: B as in Beal. He's the guy we wanted, he'll fit like a glove, and he'll probably be a star. I doubt he ever becomes a superstar, but he'll be a good shooter with good intangibles and maybe make a few all-star teams. No, he's not going to be the next James Harden, but that's not something we could have realistically expected. Satoransky seems intriguing, but at the end of the day, this draft was about finding a star perimeter player to put next to Wall, and it seems like the Wizards did it. Grade: b.
Jeffrey Newman: Things started off well for the Wizards on draft night. Everyone who covered and tweeted about the NBA the past several days seemed convinced that some team, most likely the Cavaliers, was going to trade up for the No. 2 pick in order to pick Beal ahead of the Wiz. But the Bobcats stayed put and took Kidd-Gilchrist and the Wizards got their guy in Beal.
It was the right pick. Beal's stock had been on the rise the past couple weeks as scouts found little to criticize other than his underwhelming height for a shooting guard. The Wizards need outside shooting more than anything, and they got arguably the best deep shooter in the draft. They also got a complete player in Beal, an excellent rebounding guard with the strength to guard in the NBA and the on-court IQ to make plays for others. He is also by all accounts a stellar young man who should fit right in with the new locker room culture that has been established by the trades for Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. Ernie Grunfeld and the front office also deserve credit for not panicking with so many rumors floating around regarding the No. 2 pick. It could have been tempting to just give up the No. 32 selection in order to get the second choice and guarantee they got their man, but they resisted, let the chips fall and came out with the player they targeted all along.
Had the Wizards stopped and ended their 2012 Draft with the No. 3 pick, this grade would be an 'A.' But then they took Czech guard Tomas Satoransky with the No. 32 selection when better players like Jae Crowder and Draymond Green were available, which knocks them down a notch in my book. Satoransky got some attention locally when he was invited to work out at Verizon Center, but he was an erratic at best offensive player in Spain and Amy not have a true position in the NBA. He played point guard overseas, but he doesn't have the quickness to defend smaller guards in the NBA and His inconsistent shot currently makes him a poor fit at shooting guard, as well. But he's only 20 and has the time and potential to improve. Plus, the Wizards likely got an inside scouting report on Satoransky from fellow Czech Jan Vesely. Who knows, maybe Satoransky was woefully misuse in Europe and flourishes in the NBA, but I'm not counting on it. Grade: B-
Sean Fagan: For all the sturm and drang, Ernie Grunfeld ended up with his guy in the end with Beal. As for the stash pick, I was originally annoyed, but have come around to the fact that if the Wizards feel the need to win now, then the last thing they need is another rookie.
Why isn't this grade an A? For the simple reason that the organization is putting a lot of pressure on Beal to carry the scoring load. If Grunfeld can address the need for more shooting in free agency or another trade, then I would immediately move the grade up. As comprised, however, the roster still appears entirely too unbalanced. Grade: B+