First of all, congratulations to the Washington Wizards for bouncing up from the eighth position to number three in the NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday night.
Yes, for the sixth straight season, the Wizards participated in the lottery. Participating in half a dozen such events celebrating futility means we should have a solid young core, right? Well, not exactly.
Before we get to my guidelines for Ernie, lets take a look at how Washington has done since the ridiculous Gilbert Arenas $111 million dollar contract. Top talent selected after the Wizards pick are shown in paranthesis.
2007 NBA Draft
#16 Nick Young. #47 Dominic McGuire Young's NBA career is heading downhill fast. I wouldn't be surprised if he is playing overseas by 2015. The Wizards just wanted to get rid of him at the trading dealdine in 2012 and the rest of the league knew it, so they got basically nothing in return. McGuire was taken immediately prior to Marc Gasol- 'nuf said.
(#23 Wilson Chandler-DePaul) (#27 Arron Afllalo-UCLA) (#48 Marc Gasol-Spain)
2008 NBA Draft
#18 JaVale McGee. 2nd round pick sold to Boston- Like Young, the Wizards had enough of McGee's antics and dumped him on the Nuggets. Nene is a nice player, but aging fast, injury prone and very expensive.
(#19 J.J.Hickson- NC State) (#21 Ryan Anderson-California) (#24 Serge Ibaka-Spain) (#26 George Hill-IUPUI)
(#35 DeAndre Jordan-Texas A&M) (#36 Omer Asik-Turkey) (#45 Goran Dragic-Slovenia)
2009 NBA Draft
Epic faliure. Wizards were slotted second, landed fifth in the lottery. Washington traded the selection to Minnesota for injured backup guards Mike Miller and Randy Foye. The Timberwolves selected guard Ricky Rubio. 2nd round selection was sold to Houston. With the 2nd rounder, Wizards could have chosen DeJuan Blair, Marcus Thornton or Danny Green. Needless to say, two of them are playing in the Western Conference finals.... again. Yes, the Wizards could have selected any one of four solid point guards with that first round pick.
(#7 Stephen Curry-Davidson) (#10 Brandon Jennings-Italy) (#17 Jrue Holiday-UCLA) (#18 Ty Lawson-North Carolina)
2010 NBA Draft
#1 John Wall, #17 Kevin Seraphin, #23 Trevor Booker The Wizards were basically given the Seraphin pick along with Kirk Hinrich. Down the line, the Wizards returned the favor, giving Jordan Crawford to Boston.
Slotted fifth heading into the lottery, where would the franchise be had they not hit the jackpot with the top overall selection? Overall, the 2010 draft is shaping up as one of the worst in recent memory. #7 Greg Monroe and #10 Paul George are the only prime time players at this point. The jury is still out on #3 Derrick Favors, #5 DeMarcus Cousins and #18 Eric Bledsoe.
2011 NBA Draft
Sitting at #4, the Wizards fell to #6 and fell even further with the selection of Jan Vesely. #18 Chris Singleton Singleon was a star at Florida State- when healthy- but its painful to think they passed on Kenneth Faried. Kawhi Leonard was brought in to the Verizon Center, but for some reason the Wizards liked Vesely better than the San Diego State All-American. Give me Faried and Leonard on this one.
(#9 Kemba Walker-Connecticut) (#11 Klay Thompson-Washington State) (#15 Kawhi Leonard-San Diego State)
(#22 Kenneth Faried-Morehead State) (#30 Jimmy Butler- Marquette) (#38 Chandler Parsons-Florida)
2012 NBA Draft
#3 Bradley Beal, #32 Tomas Satoransky The Wizards slipped from two to three in the lottery, but still got the player they targeted. Beal had a horrible start, but came on mid-season before injuries plagued him down the stretch. Satoransky showed promise in Summer League play, I would be disappointed if he isn't on the 2013-'14 roster.
(#6 Damian Lillard-Weber State) (#7 Harrison Barnes-North Carolina) (#9 Andre Drummond-Connecticut)
My suggestions for the 2013 draft? Don't trade the lottery pick. Don't trade down with the lottery pick. Don't take a Euro. I would try and package the two second round selections to move up into the back end of the first round. Take Otto Porter if he is available and get a combo guard like Erick Green of Virginia Tech with the pick generated from the trade.