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Top Stories of the Week: Ernie Grunfeld was fired, Mystics get ready for WNBA Draft

I think we all know what the elephant in the room is, but that won’t stop me from looking at the Mystics and their draft situation.

Wizards fans are certainly happy about Ernie Grunfeld’s ouster from Washington.
Stewart W. Small

Hope you are all doing well ladies and gentlemen. Let’s get to the top stories of the week.

The Wizards fire Ernie Grunfeld

Last week, team owner Ted Leonsis decided that it was time to move on from Ernie Grunfeld as the President of Basketball Operations. He finally made it official on Tuesday, April 2.

It made sense to fire Grunfeld on April 2. Doing so the day before may require more scrutiny just because it was April Fool’s Day. As many of you could have imagined, Grunfeld’s termination was a day of celebration for Wizards fans.

But the hard work now begins. They would like to keep interim President Tommy Sheppard perhaps, but he is interviewing for the New Orleans Pelicans’ vacancy. And even though Grunfeld is no longer with the Wizards, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller wrote earlier this week that the Wizards made the move for the wrong reasons, namely for missing the playoffs. In fact, Leonsis is on record for hoping that the Wizards make the playoffs next season though I personally think that it’s best for them to blow up the whole thing sans John Wall and Ian Mahinmi.

Though one would think that it makes sense to stretch Mahinmi or even Wall, it just doesn’t make sense to handicap the Wizards for the next decade. We talked about that already.

And finally, though we should all feel happy that the pitchforks, torches and critical blog entries may have swayed Leonsis, don’t view Grunfeld’s termination as the end goal. This is really that start of a new beginning.

We all should be thankful that Grunfeld did what he could to turn Washington around from one of the NBA’s absolute worst to a mediocre performer. That’s progress, even if that’s not where you wished they would be in the end. I wanted to write more on that, but it will have to wait another week. After all, Grunfeld related content has been evergreen for years. And besides, we’re now heading to another major part of the basketball calendar.

Amd if you are wondering, the Wizards lost each of their last two games, including a 129-112 blowout loss to the Spurs last night.

The WNBA Draft is next Wednesday

Early April is certainly a time to get ready for the Final Four. But for women’s basketball in particular. this is right before the league’s annual drat. The Mystics are coming off a WNBA Finals appearance and a 22-12 regular season so they will pick 10th in the 2019 Draft. That may sound like a low pick to you and it is. But consider the players whom some mock drafts have them picking:

In most years, WNBA Drafts’ orders are rather set well before the actual date. This could mean that the 2019 rookie class is abnormally weak. But this year’s draft is quite the opposite. No one really knows who will be the lottery picks, which means there will still be plenty of great players left when it’s the Mystics’ turn to pick.

That’s all I have. Enjoy the rest of your Saturdays.