Posts Tagged ‘Wizards’

Opportunity Costs

Posted: December 13, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in Just Turrible, NBA
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Washington Wizards v Houston RocketsBy now, if you are one of the few Wizards fans that haven’t blown their head off, you may have heard about the trade that wasn’t.  As reported by the Washington Post, the Wizards were offered James Harden just for Bradley Beal and Chris Singleton.  The reason the trade was nixed was because Ted Leonsis, the owner, refused to give Harden a max deal which is around 5 years/$80 million.  Now all of these rumors could very well just be hype.  There were rumors of Harden coming to Washington during the draft.  Other teams were also in the mix like the Pacers and Warriors.  And in reality, the package that the Rockets offered the Thunder was better than the Wizards’ so who knows if the Thunder would have signed off on it.  But hear me out on this.

It’s rare that you see what the price would be to make a trade.  For example, remember when there were Gilbert Arenas for Kobe Bryant rumors during the Smush Parker years out west.  At the time, many Wizards did not want to make that trade because they felt Arenas was ascending and Kobe was descending in superstardom.  Looking back now, if the Lakers had really offered that trade, if they even picked up the phone just to kick some ideas, every Wizards fan would jump on it!  That’s called opportunity cost.  What is the price of the next best alternative.  So going back to this Harden trade, to be fair, most fans in October (including myself) would say that Leonsis was right that Harden was not worth the max, especially coming off the Finals.  Also, Beal was suppose to be the next Ray Allen and a lot of people in the organization loved him. But today?  I would throw in Stadium Night Club, mumbo sauce, and some Nike Boots, anything to get Harden on this team.  That’s what makes this news hurt, if it is true.  Because opportunities like this don’t come around.  And opportunities like this cost.

Who knows who leaked this information.  It may be a disgruntled Ernie Grunfeld, who has loved Harden for a long time.  He may have had the trade with the ink drying, and just needed the owner to sign off.  And the owner would not pay for the opportunity.  So this hurts because this goes into what I have been saying for a long time now; what’s the plan?  How can you extend the Arenas shackles with the trade for bums like Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, but not be willing to put out for one of the best shooting guards, if not one of the top 10 best scorers in the league?  And he is only 24! 

I know Leonsis has valued building through the draft.  He did it with the Caps; that team has yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs.  So he is trying it with the NBA.  Doesn’t work my brother.  This is a star driven league.  It is a league where you need at least one max guy; it used to be two until Dallas won in 2011.  But you have to spend money to win championships, unless you get lucky.  And with Grunfeld, you can’t get lucky because you don’t put yourself in a position to get lucky when you draft Jan Vesely with the 6th pick.  And don’t say you can’t get lucky with picks 6-15.  The Golden State Warriors are the eternal late lottery picks.  They are wrecking the league this year!  With Harrison Barnes (7th; Wizards picked Beal #3), Draymond Green (35; Wizards – Satornasky -32!), Klay Thompson (11th; Wizards Vesley 6), and Steph Curry (7th; Wizards traded the 5th pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye), the Warriors stuck with an actual plan, got knuckleheads (Monta Ellis) off the team and got a coach to build them up.  That’s why they are having early success this season.  However with the Wizards news, we are reminded that the front office are throwing stuff at the wall hoping it would stick.  We’re shedding contracts one minute, we’re trying to lure big ticket stars.  We’re going for youth, we need solid vets.  But what is the true plan to win?  What are the Wizards, especially the owner, really want for this team?

That’s what makes this frustrating as a fan.  Did I expect Harden on this team? Not really.  Did I expect Beal to be better than he has been? Yes.  Am I worried about John Wall? Absolutely.  Do I believe that the front office can do what it takes to put a consistent winner on the floor? I don’t know.  Because great opportunities in the NBA cost; they cost an arm and a leg.  And the Wizards, so far in this new ownership group, have proven they are not willing to put forth the money (and time and energy) needed to acquire it.

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The Magic Has Run Out

Posted: November 28, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in Just Turrible, NBA
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Yeah John, I Can’t Watch Either

I attended the Wizards double-OT torture session on Saturday night against the Bobcats.  My anything but lovable loser squad sunk to 0-11 that night, and now sit at 0-12.  That night, the Wizards wasted away multiple opportunities to win the game and to sink back into an irrelevancy that avoids being mocked by the Inside the NBA crew.  First, the having the final shot in regulation,  the Wizards ran a…actually I have no idea what the play was when Jordan Crawford missed badly from the top of the key.  Then in OT, Chris Singleton gets bailed out by the refs on a 3-pt shot down 2, only to miss one of the free throws to keep the game tied.  I don’t think I was shocked, after being tortured for so long, you get used to the pain.  Then, the entire double-OT session was a big clusterf***.  The Wizards, with a 2-pt lead, playing not to lose, shooting terrible shot after terrible shot, until Reggie Williams, who I have never heard of, ended the misery and hit a 3 to put the Bobcats up for good.  I won’t even describe the last-minute of double-OT.  I don’t want you to feel the pain I feel after every Wizards game.

Coach Randy Wittman, one of the few refreshing things about this garbage pail of a season, says he doesn’t have the answers.  I admire his honesty; even though he is pretty much saying that he is not a good coach.  He gets his team to play hard; they don’t run plays but they play hard.  He hasn’t had a consistent starting 5 or rotation but hey, the team makes valiant comebacks after being down 20+ on some nights.  I mean we could have had Jerry Sloan or Nate McMillian but I guess it’s easier to have a scapegoat on the bench instead of a real coach.  So there’s that.

No Randy, you don’t have the answers on the court.  That is because the organization doesn’t have the answers off the court.  Bradley Beal, our 3rd pick in the draft looks every bit of a 19-year-old rookie, from not being ready to catch and shoot which is why we drafted him (multiple times on Saturday he dropped the pass preventing an easy spot-up 3).  Jan Vesely, our 6th pick in 2011 has 30 fouls and 29 points so far this season.  There’s nothing that I have seen that justifies him being a draft pick.  He would make a great undrafted free agent.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he was out of the league in 5 years. I wish I was joking.  John Wall, our first pick in 2010, is hurt and who knows when he’s coming back.  Who made a decision on these guys?  Someone that doesn’t have all the answers either.

It’s the same guy who gave Gilbert Arenas a $100+ million dollar contract despite being injured with a bad knee.  It’s the same guy that hung onto assets for too long when the ship was sinking so he couldn’t get the most bang for his buck.  It’s the same guy who brought in Nick Young, Javale McGee and public enemy #1 Andray Blatche.  It’s the same guy who made the brilliant move to trade Arenas for Rashard Lewis, freeing up money for free agency sooner rather than later, only to trade that asset to get back the money shackle in the form of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza until 2014.  It’s all explained here.   This was all in the name for veteran leadership this young team desperately needed to grow. Guess where Okafor and Ariza was in the critical moments against the Bobcats?  On the bench next to the coaches.  So much for that veteran leadership.  Oh yes, we could have had Elton Brand (coming off one of his best seasons), Omer Asik (one of the better rebounders right now) or Dorell Wright (shooter extraordinaire).

No, Randy you don’t have the answers.  But you are not alone.  The architect of this wandering in the wilderness doesn’t either.  And the owner, who allowed him to stay another season doesn’t.  Well, on his blog he has one answer.  Ted Leonsis said that his two point guards (A.J. Price and Shaun Livingston) had 0 assists.  In 58 minutes, our two point guards combined for 0 assists!  Nene had 3 by himself! But who gave our two point guards contracts?  Who is supposed to put them in the best position to get assists?  One of the guys, Randy Wittman, admits he doesn’t have the answer.  The other guy has proved for years that he is clueless himself.

Tonight, my Wizards play the Blazers, probably our last chance to avoid 0-18; the standard for ineptitude set by the Nets a couple of years ago.  We get to see Damian Lillard, one of the great rookies right now.  We get to see Nik Batum another free agent the Wizards could have snagged with the Ariza/Okafor money.  We get to see another team organized better and coached better than the Wizards.  On the court and off the court the magic has run out on everyone in this organization.  I hope that the man pulling the strings can find the right answers.