Countdown to the 2013 NBA Draft: Will the Wizards actually use their pick?

Bruce Bennett

Today's edition of the countdown: Will the Wizards actually make a selection with their No. 1 pick, or will they trade it away?

My, how times have changed. Not only do the Wizards appear poised to end their streak of lottery appearances next season, but the possibility of the Wizards trading away a lottery pick has been raised by the players themselves. There's a host of troubling implications there, but we'll gloss right over those to a simple and flawed correlation: the players, notably Nene and John Wall, pounded the table for Randy Wittman and got him. Why not swapping a lottery pick for a veteran?

"I really don't want to worry about the draft. We're going the right way with winning, so we need to keep going with veterans and not keep going to the draft and get younger," Wall said, "but that's how I feel. It's not my decision. It's upstairs and I think they'll do a great job."

John Wall making his preference known is far more likely to get Martell Webster re-signed than surrendering a low dollar, high value asset like a lottery pick. A front-office may give some extra weight to a player recommendation for a coach, especially when an organizational methodology like the Ten Point Plan puts so much emphasis on fostering a high-character environment; demanding more legitimacy (of a kind) from your players means you assign their requests more legitimacy.

Yet it's still too hard to imagine a player request, regardless of who makes it, precipitating a move so contrary to the Ten Point Plan. The Wizards under Ted Leonsis are all about the youth movement, and even a pessimist will have a hard time imagining the team offering up an asset like that with the taste of Mike Miller and Randy Foye all-too-fresh in recent memory.

Still, it's a funny little quandary when your anointed franchise player essentially declares he has no faith in the front office to make find an impact player in the draft outside of the Top 3. In case you're literally inclined to take the above quote at face value, consider the reality: every player Wall will stand up for not named Bradley Beal was drafted by another team. Jan Vesely earned 601 minutes despite the rash of injuries the Wizards suffered. A few seasons back, fans were talking about what a disaster 1000 minutes in his rookie season would imply for the sixth pick. (He played a shade over 1000 minutes in 2011/12.) If Kevin Seraphin is the best evidence for the Wizards' draft acumen, it's not surprising Wall prefers another veteran before Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza likely go their own way.

Forty-four days. What say you?

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