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Blog Entry

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

Posted on: May 18, 2010 9:01 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2010 9:38 am

Gilbert Arenas tore the Wizards apart. On Tuesday night, the basketball gods took a major step toward putting them back together.

In an upset that could make all the misery of the past season worthwhile, the Wizards landed the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft – a development that gives them an unobstructed path to turning around a franchise that was decimated by Arenas’ gun conviction and season-long suspension.

League sources believe the Wizards will use the pick to select Kentucky point guard John Wall, who watched the proceedings from Beverly Hills, Calif., with his new agent, Dan Fegan.

"It’s a great opportunity to get drafted by any team," Wall said. "It means a lot. I’m just going to come in, work hard, try to make the team better, and just try to win games for the organization next year."

In a phone interview with, Wall said he was expecting the Nets to get the pick but added, "I'm not disappointed. I'm real happy, just excited to play for any team in the NBA."

The Wizards "went through a lot last year," Wall said. "I'll have an opportunity to help turn the organization around. They have cap space to add some good players."

Wall said he'd received a text from his college coach, John Calipari, who is at the center of speculation about several NBA coaching jobs. Wall said he hasn't discussed Coach Cal's future with him -- nor has he spoken with his pal, LeBron James, since his season ended prematurely with a loss to Boston in the conference semifinals.

As for the possibility that ping pong balls and free agency could bring them together somewhere, Wall said, "That would be exciting, but I haven't talked to him about that. I'm just excited to get a chance to play in the NBA."

Wall, the consensus top pick among a cross-section of league personnel executives, will instantly make the Wizards better simply by showing up. It will be hard to fathom them being worse than the 26-win disaster they were this past season with the addition of Wall and with Arenas coming back.

Irene Pollin, the widow of late Wizards owner Abe Pollin, represented the team at the lottery proceedings in Secaucus, N.J. She wore her late husband’s 1978 championship ring in a moving tribute to the man whose memory was besmirched by Arenas’ weapons possession in the team’s locker room.

The incident led to Arenas being suspended indefinitely, and then for the rest of the 2009-10 season by NBA commissioner David Stern. Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld and assistant GM Tommy Sheppard responded by quickly tearing apart a roster that had been expected to be among the top contenders in the Eastern Conference. By trading Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson, the Wizards not only got below the punitive luxury-tax threshold for this past season, but they also cleared enough cap flexibility to chase a max free agent when the much anticipated negotiating period opens July 1.

If the Wizards decline an $11.8 million player option for Josh Howard, acquired from Dallas in the trade that send Butler and Haywood to the Mavericks, they will have nearly $20 million in cap space – enough for a max player and then some to go with Wall, Arenas, restricted free agent Randy Foye, JaVale McGee, Andray Blatche, and role players Nick Young, Al Thornton and Quinton Ross.

And here’s the kicker: If the Wizards want to part ways with Arenas and the $80 million he’s owed over the next four seasons, they can dangle the rights to Wall as his traveling partner. The asking price almost certainly would be one of the marquee free agents threatening to leave their current teams – including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and Amar'e Stoudemire. Faced with the prospect of losing one of those franchise cornerstones and getting nothing in return, all of those teams will be open to discussions with the Wizards.

The Wizards' good fortune was juxtaposed with the first disappointment of the Mikhail Prokhorov era as owner of the Nets. The Russian tycoon stood stern-faced and emotionless as the news was read in the Secaucus studio that his nomadic, star-crossed franchise had failed to cash in on its league-high 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick. The Nets got the third pick, which also will put them out of the running for Ohio State's Evan Turner, whom many league executives believe will be a fine consolation prize for not getting Wall. The second pick went to Philadelphia, which jumped four spots from sixth in the lottery odds.

The Wizards were slotted fifth, with a 7.6 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick. The Timberwolves, slotted second with a 19.9 percent chance of getting the top pick, wound up with the fourth selection. The Kings, slotted third, fell one spot to fifth, while the fourth-slotted Warriors fell to sixth.


Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2010 12:14 am

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

How did the NETS get robbed? The NBA draft lottery is purposely put in place to let teams like NJ Nets to tank, and draft guys like Wall and sign Lebron James at the same time. In a real sense that is not a true competition. If anyone got robbed, it will be the TWOLVES. They have time and time again have been robbed by the nba lottery. I suggest the NJ NEts assemble a better team so they dont go to the lottery and get robbed.

Since: Oct 21, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2010 12:08 am

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

I feel sorry for you, I truly do. At least the Vikings are decent . . . .

Since: Jul 6, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:24 pm

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

It's called common sense .
The whole point of the draft is so teams can improve themselves, and no it's NOT good for competition if the worst teams who legitimately need a franchise player don't get one.

Since: May 14, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:07 pm

The Game Is Rigged

Anyone think it was just too perfect that Abe Pollin's widow was at the draft and the Wizards, who had a one in ten chance of winning the lottery, win the lottery? I know there are a lot of people out there who find the draft to be dubious. Obviously there is no evidence, but I'm sure this will be brought up on sports talk radio tomorrow...

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2010 11:03 pm

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

They have a lottery so that teams don't tank at the end of the season.  It probably does more good than harm.  I've never even understood the theory of why the worst team entitles themselves to a reward such as the first pick.  I don't have any problem with the lottery and think it is good for competition.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2010 10:41 pm

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

"The , slotted third, fell one spot to fifth"
HAHA math fail

Since: Feb 1, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2010 10:27 pm

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

Forget the lottery, the Wolves' have been their own worse enemy.  Most years they still had players available to them, they just made bad decisions....

1989: Missed out on Sean Elliot and Glen Rice.  At #10 took Pooh Richardson ahead of Nick Anderson, Mookie Blaylock, Tim Hardaway, Shawn Kemp, and Vlade Divac.

 1990: Missed out on Gary Payton.  At #6 took Felton Spencer and at #20 took Gerald Glass.  Not a very good draft class.

 1991: Missed out on Larry Johnson and Dikembe Mutombo.  At #7 took Luc Longley ahead of Stacey Augmon and Terrell Barndon.

 1992: Missed out on Shaquille O’Neal and Alonzo Mourning.  At #3 took Christian Laettner ahead of Jim Jackson, LaPhonso Ellis, Tom Gugliotta, Robert Horry, Doug Christie, Latrell Sprewell.

 1993: Missed out on Chris Weber, Anfernee Hardaway, and Jamal Mashburn.  At #5 took Isaiah Rider ahead of Vin Baker and Sam Cassell

 1994: Missed out on Glenn Robinson, Jason Kidd, and Grant Hill.  At #4 took Donyell Marshall ahead of Juwan Howard and Eddie Jones.

 1995: At #5 took Kevin Garnett, the best player in the draft.

 1996: Missed out on Allen Iverson and Marcus Camby.  At #5 took Ray Allen AND TRADED HIM for Stephon Marbury.  Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas were all still available.

 1997: Didn’t pick until #20, took Paul Grant.

 1998: Didn’t pick until #17, took Neterovic.

1999: Missed out on Baron Davis and Lamar Odom.  At #6 took Wally Szcerbiak ahead of Richard Hamilton, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Ron Artest, and Andrei Kirilenko.

2000-2002: No 1<sup>st</sup> rou
nd picks.

2003: Didn’t pick until #26, took Ndubi Ebi ahead of Kendrick Perkins, Landrinho Barbosa, and Josh Howard.

2004: No 1<sup>st</sup> rou
nd picks.

2005: Missed out on Chris Paul and Andrew Bynum.  At #14 took Rashad McCants ahead of Danny Granger and David Lee.

2006: At # 6 took Brandon Roy AND TRADED HIM for Randy Foye.  Rajon Rondo was still available.

2007: Missed out on Kevin Durant.  At #7 took Corey Brewer.

2008: At #3 took O.J. Mayo and traded him for Kevin Love.  Maybe this will work out...

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2010 10:18 pm


First he takes over the Caps and gets the first pick and takes Ovechkin and now he takes over the Wizards and gets the rights to Wall or Turner. This guy is money money money. Take heed NBA, in three years the Wizard are coming and coming hard! This guy knows how to build a franchise, and it has to be easier when each time you start you get the best player available!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2010 10:17 pm

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

NHL has a lottery too.

Since: Jul 5, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2010 10:07 pm

Wizards get Wall; Nets get robbed (UPDATE)

It's hard to sit here and say you really expected life to work out for you if you're a fan of any Minnesota sports. It's not just Woe are we the Minnesota's woe are we the fans who stand behind any Minnesota sports. Year after year the twins fail in the postseason, the Vikings collapse is an undeniable feelin every year that somehow we will blow it, nothing good ever happens to the T-wolves, the Wild can never get their stuff straight long enough to do anything of real worth and the Gophers can't put a good football team on the field and the bball program is looking up, but something always goes wrong (being beat by 1 guy from Xavier, losing Royce White because he's a dumba$$, Mbawkwe troubles ect ect.)

As a Minnesota fan born and raised, there willl always be a Woe Is Me attitude that eventually everything will go wrong somehow.

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