I must confess, I can't remember the last time there was a situation where the protection on a conditional draft pick has taken this long to resolve.
It's been four days since Ernie Grunfeld waited until the 11th hour until finally trading Juan Carlos Navarro to the Grizzlies, and it's still unclear what we're getting back.
Earlier today, our very own Vanilla Gorilla mentioned a rumor from Memphis radio personality Chris Vernon's blog suggesting that the pick would start off being top-20 protected, then slowly make its way down until it becomes top-12 protected in 2013. Vernon's blog appears kind of sketchy, and a quick scan of the archives makes him sound like a bit of a prick (which I'm sure he isn't...it just seems that way), but he does have some credibility. He was the first to report on the Grizzlies hiring current general manager Chris Wallace, and he also broke the story that Wallace went to Argentina to meet with then-free agent Andres Nocioni. Still, it's been over a day, and I haven't heard that report confirmed in any DC or Memphis papers.
In fact, Sports Illustrated's Marty Burns wrote an article on JCN today, and specifically mentioned that the Wizards are "reportedly set to get a lottery-protected first-round pick in the 2008 draft." Still, I'd feel more comfortable if it weren't for Burns' language and his status as an overrated hack of a writer.
Ivan Carter has been on the case, and says the following.
-There is no case in which the Wiz would lose the pick altogether and no matter what happens, it is "very unlikely" that the pick would be anything worse than a late first rounder. In other words, I guess there is a chance it could wind up being a second rounder but that would not be likely.
-The pick will likely be in next year's draft but I can't tell you whether it's top-19 protected, lottery-protected or top-10 protected in that first year.
Wonderful. Get ready for this saga to keep dragging on.
Some of you (okay, probably none) must be wondering what I would do in this situation. Well, I'd probably go to MJ and offer him Etan Thomas for a prime number protected pick. Once he accepts, I'll hire someone to injure all his players and rig the lottery so the Bobcats win. Then, only seconds after he celebrates getting the number 1 pick, I'll walk up to him and casually remind him that one isn't a prime number. Then, he'd kick my ass.