Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Here we go again

Well, the Wizards have done it again. Here's what they needed in order to advance past the first round of the playoffs next year: a power forward or center who plays d and rebounds and (if possible) is not a complete offensive liability, a true point guard, and some scoring off the bench. What did they get? A couple of Russian shooters. If either one of these guys can make the team and play a little next year, I'm not sure that they can bring anything to the table that Jared Jeffries doesn't already have (and lack).

Skinny 6'11" shooters will not help this team in the short run. While its possible that one or both will magically morph into Nowitzki, Kirilenko, or Stojakavic, it probably won't happen (it ever) for a number of years. When Marcus Williams slid in the first round, we should have snatched him up right there. I don't care if he's got character issues. Show me one team without several flawed players. The guy can play.

Instead, we got a friend for Alexander Ovechkin. I'm not saying Pecherov is bad. Honestly, I've never seen the guy play, but if every other European player can be a measuring stick for this pick, he can probably shoot but he doesn't play defense or rebound all that well for his height. I'm guessing he ain't gonna block too many shots either. In terms of what we needed, that's batting 1 for 4. That doesn't cut it on a first rounder.

In the second round, I really wanted Paul Millsap. He's a guy who could have come in and competed for major playing time right away on this team with our horrible power forwards. But, alas, he was taken one spot ahead of us by the Jazz, who get an A+ in the second round by getting Millsap and Dee Brown back to back. The next logical choice for us would have been Gansey, a solid point guard from WV or his teammate, Kevin Pittsnogle. Either one of those guys could have come in with the second unit and logged some decent minutes while not killing us by not scoring. Instead, we got another friend for Alexander Ovechkin. Essentially the same player as we got in the first round, but not as good.

With Chicago, New Jersey, Orlando, and Cleveland all getting better through the draft, we may need to make a splash in the free agent market in order to even make the playoffs. Hell, if the Bobcats have an amazing year, they could even pass us up. Luckily, we'll still be able to beat up on the Hawks and Knicks for another year.

When you sum up what we needed, what was available, and who we got, I have to give the Wizards a solid D- for this draft. I'm hoping that we'll stow away these guys in Europe for a year or two, bring in JC Navarro from Spain, and maybe get a second-tier free agent who plays some friggin' defense. I have to trust that Ernie Grunfeld knows what he's doing because he did, after all, draft Michael Redd in the second round a few years ago [Please stop mentioning that in every article Washington Post. Please.] But you'll have to forgive me, as someone who has suffered for so many years at the hands of Les Boulez.