Moving on from yesterday, because I feel like I speak for everyone when I say let's forget about it...
What was already a complex decision regarding DeShawn Stevenson's future is about to get even more complex.
In an interview with Draft Express, Spanish guard Juan Carlos Navarro, one of the top international prospects out there, has expressed an interest in coming over to play for the Wizards next season. The Wizards own his rights after drafting him in the second round of the 2002 draft.
Juan Carlos Navarro: I would love the opportunity to play for the Washington Wizards. Everyone grows up with the dream of playing in the NBA. I feel that they are a good young team with great guard play and I feel I could fit in great and really help the team get to the next level. That is a discussion that I hope will take place in the near future. As an athlete, I am always looking for new challenges and I feel that playing in the NBA for the Washington Wizards would be a great challenge. In past years I may not have been ready for the NBA and the style of play but I think that I have really developed as a player since I was drafted in 2002 and I think that I am ready to compete at the NBA level.
[Sidenote: To all potential sports journalists out there, take note of the phrasing of the question. It was asked really well, and it led to a pretty nuanced answer].
The biggest thing that's held this back in the last couple years is the buyout from his Spanish club, which, according to a league source, is between 2 and 3 million dollars. That does not include the contract the Wizards then need to get Navarro to play here.
From everything I've heard about Navarro, he's a really solid player. He's averaging 17 points a game in Europe this year as a combo 1 and 2 guard, and he showed in the World Championships this past summer, he can carry a national team from the perimeter. He's also plays pretty good defense, an area of his game that has really improved in recent years.
Essentially, he sounds like a better version of Stevenson, and he has the same diamond-in-the-rough appeal that Manu Ginobili had back in the bay. On the other hand, you never know how his game will translate to the NBA. Just ask Sarunas Jasikavicius.
The other thing is that, combined with the impending re-signing of Andray Blatche, the potential re-signing of Stevenson, the move to bring over Oleisky Pecherov, and the salary of the first-round draft pick, there isn't much money to go around. Ernie's almost certainly going to have to find a way to move either Etan Thomas or Brendan Haywood in order to make this all work, and I don't see many teams taking one of those guys on in a salary dump.
So in the end, it might come down to a decision between Stevenson and Navarro. Personally, I'd rather take the surer thing, but it's not an easy question to answer. Remember, they're both about the same age (25 for Stevenson, 26 for Navarro).
What would you do?