This is the part 4b of a four part series assessing the future of the Washington Wizards. Part 4a focused on free agent big men and a trade possibility for Blazer big man, Joel Pryzbilla (our SB Nation colleague from BlazersEdge has since stopped by and nixed the deal......and probably rightfully so).
A couple of readers expressed that a greater need is for a wing man/guard....someone who can serve as a backup for Caron Butler. I agree, and that's one of the reasons I listed a lock-down perimeter defender as need #1 in part 3 of the series. Earlier parts were hosted on Truth About It Dot Net and you will find those links below.
The Washington Wizards Future
Part I: The Situation Room, Part II: The Assumptions, Part III: Needful Things
Like last time, I'm going to list select statistical ratings which are most in tune with team needs. Each player will be rated using True Shooting Percentage (TS%) from KnickerBlogger.net. I'm also going to use the John Hollinger numbers of Rebound Rate (Reb-R) for obvious reasons, Assist Rate (Ast-R) because passing skills are always wanted, and the famed PER as a general evaluation. Finally, I'm adding each player's 3-point percentage for their career.
(Restricted, Boston Celtics) 6-4, 213, 26 years
TS% - 52.7
3P % - .316
Reb-R - 7.3
Ast-R - 16.5
PER - 10.83
I’ll always remember Tony Allen for blowing out his knee while going for a dunk well after the whistle blew.
- Plus: Allen is a slashing athletic monster who uses his ability to create turnovers. His on-ball D is solid when he is not gambling. He has the strength to hit the boards on both ends. Allen seems like a "slasher"….meaning I've seen his ability to get to the FT line.
- Minus: D'oh….can't shoot….can't dribble…turnover city. This year's FG% was by far the worst of his 4-year career. And the Wizards definitely don't need another guy with a history of knee injuries and guns.
(Unrestricted, Golden State Warriors) 6-6, 215, 26 years
TS% - 54.9
3P % - .353
Reb-R - 9.8
Ast-R - 9.3
PER - 12.88
Piétrus has always been an intriguing player, but hasn't lived up to his potential as a former 11th overall pick in 2003…..and hasn't turned out much better than the guy picked right before him, Jarvis Hayes.
- Plus: Lengthy athleticism…sounds good to me as he uses that to defend (steals, blocks, boards). Pietrus can also shoot from the outside, making 1 trey a game, attempting 2.8 per. Hollinger says that he likes to shoot from the corners attempting 82.6% of his threes from those spots (of course, that was in 06-07)....but I think that attracting defensive attention to the corners would really help drivers like Arenas and Young.
- Minus: Can't guard guys bigger than him and is less than adequate at ball handling (passing and dribbling). He was in the Warriors 8-man rotation this past season, but didn't show as much improvement as hoped for (especially in a contract year…Piétrus signed a 1-year $3.47 million qualifier last year). His PER actually went down as offense was a struggle in 07-08.
(Restricted, Minnesota Timberwolves) 6-6, 225, 24 years
TS% - 57.3
3P % - .327
Reb-R - 9.6
Ast-R - 18.6
PER - 13.50
From his days with Nevada making Sweet 16 runs in the NCAA tournament, Snyder seemed like an all around baller.
- Plus: Can play defense against multiple positions, In 27 games with Minnesota, he showed his best rebounding and passing skills averaging 4.2 and 2.1. He has the ability to get high% shots.
- Minus: Won't extend the floor with long distance shooting, Doesn't seem to have the quick and hustling D to get many steals, Not an ideal replacement for Roger Mason.
(Unrestricted, Cleveland Cavaliers) 6-5, 220, 30 in December
TS% - 49.4
3P % - .341
Reb-R - 8.5
Ast-R - 20.2
PER - 11.45
I used to love watching this guy with the Spurs in 04-05 when he was averaging 7.4, 2.7 boards and 37% from three. He balled with the Hornets in 06-07 before signing with Cleveland for a year….but that was also when New Orleans was depleted by injuries leading to signing Brown in mid-season and garbage time minutes.
- Plus: Rebounds well as he is the same height as Roger Mason, but bulkier; Hits the trey ball; Before the season, our friend Hollinger compared Brown to Ledell Eackles….normally I'd say this is a good sign….but that might fall under the Hollinger Jinx: not sure if the comparison is to the good or bad side of Eackles….whatever it may be, Grunfeld needs to do the opposite.
- Minus: Defense is not a strong point….he's never seemed quick. Our need is for more of a stopper.
(Unrestricted, Orlando Magic) 6-5, 215, 26 (tomorrow, May 12)
TS% - 55.9
3P % - .353
Reb-R - 7.0
Ast-R - 13.1
PER - 10.99
I've seen Bogans play in person many times as he starred at DC area's DeMatha High and went on to play at the University of Kentucky. He's always struck me as a utility player.....does a lot of things well, but nothing great. He holds a player option on $2.55 million for next year.
Bogans' teammate, Keyon Dooling is also an interesting prospect. Dooling is smaller, a better mid-range shooter, a better distributor, and quicker than Bogans. However, Dooling can be a gunner and I'd rather have the strength and rebounding of Bogans.
- Plus: He's got size to defend three positions; His 3-point shooting has improved as he got the green light to shoot more this season (averaging 5.0 attempts per game (a career high by 1.9), and 1.8 makes (a career high by 0.8).
Minus: Scouting reports say that his arms aren't very long; His time in Orlando has been spotty as he's received fair chances to solidify himself in the lineup, but played less as the season progressed (averaging over 32 minutes per game the first two months of the season, and less than 24 minutes the final four months). Bogans has averaged 7.0 points and 29 minutes in the playoffs so far.
(Unrestricted, LA Clippers) 6-6, 193, 27 years
TS% - 43.0
3P % - .286
Reb-R - 6.6
Ast-R - 18.4
PER - 7.72
He's been billed as a defensive stopper, so you know I wouldn't mind him on the team…Ross might be a desperate BAE gamble ($1.91 million).
- Plus: Mid-range game, Decent rebounder for thin frame, Bothersome defender.
- Minus: The knock on his game going into 07-08 was lack of offense, and his stats got worse. He's a bad FT shooter. Seems like the Michael Ruffin of guards.
(Unrestricted, Chicago Bulls ) 6-1, 185, 26 in August
TS% - 50.8
3P % - .356
Reb-R - 4.4
Ast-R - 36.9
PER - 11.28
Would I want this guy over Roger Mason?
- Yes: He's a comparable 3-point shooter, better ball handling and passing skills, better defender than MaseOn.
- No: Not as good a scorer as Mason, Duhon is 4 inches shorter, Duhon went to Duke and he is not from Washington, DC.
And evidently, Duhon is known for partying….not sure on whether that's a 'yes' or a 'no'.
(Player Option, LA Lakers) 6-8, 210, 23 in June
TS% - 56.8
3P % - .209
Reb-R - 11.0
Ast-R - 18.6
PER - 16.18
I'm with Prada here….well, I wouldn't call Ariza a personal favorite, but I do like the guy's game. Ariza can board, run the floor and is a great, quick defender. Unfortunately, he can't shoot, can't really drive, and his FT shooting is crap. That being said, I'm not sure how much Ariza would give us over Dominic McGuire and why we would want to pay him a ton to do that….as I don't exactly see him declining $3.1 million to play with the Lakers next year.
(Unrestricted, Milwaukee Bucks) 6-4, 215, 26 years
TS% - 48.7
3P % - .331
Reb-R - 4.8
Ast-R - 24.1
PER - 8.96
- Plus: Ivey has decent size and can push the ball in transition. I remember him being able to penetrate and distribute into the Wizards zone this season. Defense is Ivey's strong point.
- Minus: He's not the worst three point shooter, but he doesn't take many...making only 35 on the year.
Even though Hollinger compares Ivey to LaBradford Smith in being most similar at age, I'd rather him be a last ditch option. I'd like to have him as a defender, but his youth, inexperience at the point and lack of perimeter game would keep him at the end of the bench.
(Restricted, Denver Nuggets) 6-7, 225, 26 in August
TS% - 51.8
3P % - .297
Reb-R - 6.2
Ast-R - 18.4
PER - 8.25
Defensive stopper? Maybe…that's what "they" say. But Diawara leaves a lot to be desired on offense…..a lot. He's more of a training camp invitee than a free agent signee. In fact, I'm not even sure why he's on this list.
Others? C.J. Miles, Jazz (too young), Kevin Ollie, 76ers (too old), Maurice Evans, Magic (I think Orlando would rather keep Evans than Bogans), Tyronn Lue, Mavericks (too small), James Posey, Celtics (I'm betting he takes his $3.462 million player option for next year).
Guys like Pietrus and Bogans stand out to me. They are decent defenders, have some size, a touch of shooting ability, and they can help the team on the boards (something the Wizards need more of at the backup wing position).
If you have Gilbert Arenas and his renewed distribution capabilities along with Antonio Daniels at the point, and Stevenson and Nick Young at the 2 spot, then an addition with the ability to play the 3-spot might fit in very well with this team.