What does Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld have in mind if Washington is unable to draft Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal?
There is growing sentiment that Cleveland will leap frog the Wizards by trading up from the #4 spot and acquiring the #2 overall selection from Charlotte.
Whispers indicate Washington is interested in North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes, but he really isn't a fit as a two guard.
Free agency begins on Sunday, but the Wizards will have to exercise their amnesty provision on forward Andray Blatche to create any kind of cap space.
More on free agency in a bit, but the draft is Thursday and other than Beal, most don't believe there is a shooting guard worthy of the #3 selection.
In my opinion, Grunfeld has several options.
1) Beat Cleveland to the punch and trade up with Charlotte for the #2 pick. The Wizards could offer their second round selection (#32 overall) and #3, but the Cavaliers are offering pick #4 along with the #24 spot, acquired from the Lakers for Ramon Sessions.
2) Trade down with Portland. The Blazers have a pair of lottery picks (#6 and #11) and they would probably consider a Wizards package of #3 and #32. In that scenario, the Wizards could draft a pair of shooting guards like Duke's Austin Rivers, Dion Walters of Syracuse, Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb or Terrence Ross from the University of Washington. Selecting from among this group would not be a reach (after trading down) and they would most likely be available.
3) Take the best player available at #3. Kansas power forward Thomas Robinson, Connecticut center Andre Drummond, Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Barnes would be available. This would not immediately solve the lack of depth in the backcourt and perimeter shooting, but could create depth for a trade to acquire such. Philadelphia is shopping Andre Iguodola among other options. The Sixers are in need of front court help and might be interested in the #3 selection.
4) Take the best player available at #3, then try to solve the backcourt issues through free agency. Unrestricted options include;
-Ray Allen- At 36, obviously a short-term answer, but when healthy is a lights out shooter. Allen would also provide veteran leadership in the youngest backcourt in the Association. Ray wants another ring and is already talking seriously with the Heat.
-Mickael Pietrus- Like Allen, Pietrus is a better fit off the bench at this stage of his career. Pietrus plays defense and can hit the three, both areas of need. Both New York teams are already negotiating with the former Celtics super-sub.
-Gerald Green- Green came out of nowhere to show enough to get a multi-year deal in excess of $10 million dollars. Green is more of a small forward, more athletic than Barnes, but not as much of a sharp shooter. Green is only 26, with the Lakers, Mavericks, among others interested.
Obviously, Beal is the ideal solution, but with Cleveland also interested, things could get complicated.