2010 NBA Draft: Wizards Take John Wall With No. 1 Pick

The Wizards own the No. 1, No. 30, and No. 35 picks in tonight's NBA draft.

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Reaction To Wizards' Draft Haul Is Mixed

In the fallout from the 2010 NBA Draft, the reaction to the Wizards' draft has been rather mixed on SB Nation's BulletsForever. Many believe that the draft was a coup for Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld, who not only added potential superstar John Wall, but also gained grit and toughness through the acquisitions of Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Hamady N'Diaye. Others, however, are perplexed that the acquisition of Seraphin came at the cost of taking back Kirk Hinrich from the Bulls, a player who will be paid $17 million over the next two years. This, to many, seems like a high price to pay for someone who is going to act as little more than a glorified caddy to John Wall.

Quick reactions:

Mike Prada (Founder of BulletsForever):

The Kirk Hinrich trade was really bad, and for that, I blame EG, not Ted.  Why?  Because in theory, the Kirk Hinrich trade accomplishes the bare bones of Ted's philosophy.  Ted's not afraid to take on salary in order to get more picks, and he probably told Ernie so.  But at that point, it's on the general manager to fulfill the owner's philosophy in such a way to maintain proper cap flexibility and team building.  The Kirk Hinrich trade does not accomplish that.  Hinrich is okay, but he's also 29, and has not had a good season since 2007.  He's slipping on defense, which was once his calling card.  More importantly, he's owed $9 million next season and $8 million in 2011/12, one year after a new collective bargaining agreement is put in place.

User zeke5123:

And this trade gets worse. For the 11th pick, the Hornets traded to OKC Mo Pete (BOYD), for the cap space plus what, the 21st and 28th? Are you telling me they wouldn’t have done Peja for our late first rounder? We could’ve added Xavier Henry. And had a valuable chip come trade deadline.

User seewhite:

I’m a litle confused about all of the anger. I think Prada’s take was pretty much spot on. We got Wall, a couple of raw but talented bruisers, a ready to go bruiser, and a back up combo guard that we probably overpaid for. I think that they did everything they set out to do. And again, we may have overpaid for Heinrich, but by the time we know what time of team we have in two-three years he will be gone. He is a little expensive but it’s not as if we broke the bank for this guy. The team is going to be extremely young and extremely athletic next year, and I don’t think that is such a bad thing. We aren’t getting anyone from this free agent class and we aren’t getting anyone next year either, so using some space on Heinrich, especially if we can somehow dump Arenas, isn’t such a bad move, especially if the Frenchman pans out. He’s got a lot of hype behind him.

User JonathanJoseph:

Hinrich trade: This is where we’ve sort of “over-educated” ourselves. This is a bad trade if you look at it through the lens of a BOYD trade but it was NOT a BOYD trade. Grunfeld has wanted Hinrich for years and got the player he was targeting (Seraphin) and $3M cash for taking him.

Grunfeld had a very specific agenda in mind and very specific players in mind and he got them. Adding tough front court prospects and a mean, defensive atitude to the Wizards seems like a smart play to me

BOYD assumes that you are adding any washed-up or extraneous player to your roster until his contract expires. Grunfeld acquired the backup PG he needed regardless AND set the tone for adding players known for TOUGHNESS and DEFENSE. Yes $9M per is too much for Hinrich but the Wiz can easily absorb the cap hit for 2 years. It’s not a long term contract.

Seraphin: Yes, an unknown, but an TOUGH, PHYSICAL athletic big man. If he turns into a poor man’s Nene, which is what he’s been described as, then great addition.

Booker: Known for being TOUGH. Ernie said in the post game that he had targeted Booker at 30 or 35 and he thought someone else was going to pick him.

Personally, I have had my fill of project big men. Grunfeld has yet to prove to me that he is an adept horse trader on draft night. I hope that he works some of his magic over the next few weeks.

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Wizards Select Hamady Ndiaye With Second Round Draft Pick Obtained From Minnesota

Big East defensive player of the year, Rutgers center Hamady Ndiaye, was selected with the 56th pick in the NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will send his rights to the Washington Wizards. This is the second part of the trade that first sent the rights of the 23rd pick overall, Trevor Booker, to the Wizards.

Hamady Ndiaye is listed at 6-foot-11 and 235 pounds with an impressive 7-foot-4 wingspan. He is known a defensive specialist, averaging 4.5 blocks in his final season at Rutgers. Ndiaye has difficulty scoring but there is no questioning the defensive abilities he brings to the Wizards.

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Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld Discusses John Wall

TruthAboutIt.net has some excellent footage from Ernie Grunfeld's press conference following the selection of John Wall as the first pick of the 2010 NBA Draft.  Check out the Wizards GM's thoughts on Wall as a person and player, then stick around for Grunfeld's quick attempt at the famous John Wall dance. 

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Wizards Trade For The Rights Of 23rd Overall Pick Trevor Booker

The Washington Wizards have traded the 30th and 35th overall picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the rights to Trevor Booker (23rd overall) and the 56th overall pick.

Booker, the 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward from Clemson, averaged 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game during his senior year at Clemson. He was the first senior selected in the 2010 NBA Draft, the latest point at which a senior was first selected in draft history.

He joins John Wall and likely Kevin Seraphin (via trade) as other Wizards draft picks.

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John Wall: 'I'm A Leader That Won't Mind Speaking Up To The Older Guys'

John Wall's night was perfect, except for one thing - he went into the wrong interview room. As his crew made their way up the steps through the adoring fans, someone made a wrong turn into a side room. The entire group followed, only to find that door didn't lead to the interview room like they all thought. 

Eventually, everyone changed course, went the right way and made it to the right spot. Once there, Wall was direct right off the bat. He is a leader, and he'll have no problem being one right away. 

"I was always a leader by example, working hard, being the first in the gym, the last [to leave], and I'm going to keep doing that in the NBA, working hard," Wall said. "But I'm now a leader that does not mind speaking up to the older guys." 

Wall tried to stay cool throughout, never smiling as he made his way to the podium, but he did laugh uncontrollably once David Stern said something to him on stage. Once in the interview room, he also got a bit emotional when asked about his mother, who raised him by herself after his father went to prison and then passed away.

"Words can't even explain [her impact] right now," Wall said. "Growing up, I lived in a tough neighborhood, getting in trouble in school, especially when my dad passed.  So my mom taking me to school and picked up in the afternoon, that was it. As a kid, 10, 11 years old, you want to see your family spend time and didn't really have it.  She was the first lady, she says, if you don't change your attitude, you'll never be doing [anything]. So for her, to be in this situation, means a lot to me, and I love her to death."

Wall also said he is thrilled to be the leader of a new youth movement in D.C. The Wizards obviously have four picks this year, which means a lot of new young guys are coming in, so Wall took note. 

"That means a lot. It means we're going out there and trying to start up brand new and build the team all over again," he said. "Let's hope that, with me and the other guys picked this year, we can change the organization around on and off the court."

More later...

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Wizards Season Ticket Holders React To John Wall Being Picked No. 1

The Washington Wizards threw a draft party for season ticket holders on the Verizon Center practice court. Below is their reaction to John Wall being announced as the first overall pick.

(H/T: Wizards Insider)

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Wizards Select John Wall With First Overall Pick

A month of speculation following good fortune at the NBA Draft lottery has finally become reality as the Washington Wizards selected Kentucky point guard John Wall with the No. 1 Pick in the NBA Draft.

Wall is listed at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds. In his only season at Kentucky, he averaged 16.6 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals. He also helped lead the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.

Stay with this thread for notes and quotes regarding the Wizards' selection of John Wall.

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Wizards With Four Picks Tonight

Following their trade with the Chicago Bulls earlier this afternoon, the Wizards hold the No. 1, No. 17, No. 30, and No. 35 picks in tonight's NBA Draft.

The No. 1 pick is all but guaranteed to be Kentucky freshman point guard John Wall. Some mystery remains about the other picks, however, both in terms of who they will be used to select and whether they will be packaged in a trade for a player or higher pick.

Follow this stream all night for updates during what is a very exciting night in the Wizards rebuilding process.

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Report: Wizards Are Not Pursuing Josh Cildress

Contrary to an earlier report on RedPlanet, the Wizards may not actually be pursuing Olympiacos Pyraeus player Josh Childress. Per Mike Jones of CSN Washington:

Source says Wizards are not working on a deal with Josh Childress.

Childress was drafted sixth overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2004 NBA Draft. He played four seasons for the Hawks, averaging 11.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, before signing a three-year $20 million contract with the Greek club Olympiacos two summers ago.

Stay tuned to this stream for more updates on the veracity of these reports.

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According To A Greek Newspaper, The Wizards Will Sign Former Atlanta Hawk Josh Childress

Despite how memorable his hair style is, some fans may have forgotten about Josh Childress. He's a big small forward who played for the Atlanta Hawks before signing on with Olympiakos in Greece two years ago. Kind of an interesting career choice.

Now, Childress is on his way back state side, and according to a report on Redplanet, he will do so with the Washington Wizards. Yeah, it's all in Greek, so you'll have to take our word for it. We're not sure how reliable this source is, but considering he has been playing in Greece for two years now, it needs to at least be considered. We'll see how accurate it turns out to be.

(H/T: Sham Sports)

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Report: Wizards Trying To Move Into Lottery For Frontcourt Player

Like many other teams, the Wizards are apparently trying to improve their draft position. The Washington Post's Michael Lee reports they're targeting another frontcourt player.

The Wizards aren't targeting one player in particular, but are considering trading up for several frontcourt players projected to go between picks six and 15 - Kentucky junior forward Patrick Patterson, Nevada sophomore forward Luke Babbitt, Baylor junior center Ekpe Udoh, Kansas junior center Cole Aldrich, Butler sophomore swingman Gordon Hayward and possibly Georgetown sophomore big man Greg Monroe, under the unlikely chance that he slips out of the top 10.    

But Lee also writes that the Wizards don't have very much to offer in terms of players or future picks. However, he does not mention the Wizards' cap space this summer, which could allow a team to shed a bad contract in return for moving down in the draft.

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Gilbert Arenas-Vince Carter Trade Probably Not Going To Happen

Washington Post’s Michael Lee has weighed in on the rumored Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter trade and if you wanted to see Arenas out of D.C., you probably won’t be happy. According to Lee’s twitter feed:

Was told Wiz & ORL talked about Arenas-Carter swap, but conversation didn’t get far. One prominent player agent said, “Not going to happen.”

So, if you believe an anonymous NBA player agent, this discussion was not anything more than just a discussion. It certainly never got to the point of becoming negotiations if deal discussions are already finished.

I would say never say never, but this one doesn’t seem likely.

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Rumor: Wizards Could Trade Gilbert Arenas For Vince Carter

This is a highly speculative rumor at best but Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony has tweeted that there is a potential trade of Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter being worked on right now. From Givony’s twitter feed:

Hearing some chatter from a trusted NBA source about a potential Gilbert Arenas for Vince Carter trade in the works. Wonder how real it is.

Is this just pre-draft chatter or something that could actually happen?  No word on our end as to how real it is, but we will definitely be keeping an eye on this trade scenario. 

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Live At Ernie Grunfeld's Pre-Draft Press Conference

Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld held his customary pre-draft press conference at the Verizon Center today. You could tell he was excited about Thursday, and finally making a selection with the first overall pick, instead of just finding ways to avoid talking about it.

Its been a month since they won the lottery, and during that time the team was not allowed to talk about who they were planning on selecting with the first pick, even though everyone expects the team to take Kentucky PG John Wall. While Grunfeld again couldn't say who they were taking for sure, his analysis of Wall all but confirms that he will be the pick.

  • Re-iterated that he couldn't talk about who the pick was, but said this about him, "an outstanding young man, comes from a great program, and outstanding leader. Really understands the game. One of the rare players that makes those around him better."

Certainly sounds like John Wall to me. Don't expect any surprises at the top of the draft tomorrow night. Here is some more insight from the press conference:

  • "This is an exciting time for us. The draft is coming up. Its the beginning of a new era with new ownership. We made a lot of changes since last off season, and we're re-building. What better way to start the the process, start a new era than with the number one pick."
  • Grunfeld thinks the workouts are a bit overrated. Just a small part of the whole evaluation process. They really focus on the regular season and how the guys play. The workouts are just an opportunity to meet the players and see how they react to different situations.
  • On a trade: "Its is on our radar. We've had a lot of conversations. We're not sure anything is going to come through for us. But we've had a lot of conversations, trying to move up and get another pick. We've been working the phones, well see what will develop."
  • What he wants in a player: "We're looking for are players that are committed to winning, to playing the game the right way, and have a good attitude, and want to be here for the long haul. We're looking for guys to build with."
  • On the two picks after first overall: "At 30 and 35 there are so many more players who will be available to you. A player can go anywhere from 15 to 35 in this draft once you get past the lottery. It just depends on which team likes which player. So we've done out homework."
  • "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if you're moving up. The pool is larger when you get higher"
  • Grunfeld believes that the depth of this draft is at PF, especially at the top. The more you go down, the more it thins out. But again, he re-iterated that they needed help everywhere and would take the best player available.
  • Claims the re-build, and the draft process really started at the trade deadline last year. The team got stale and needed to be refreshed. Wanted to put them in a good salary cap position, and lucked out with the top pick.. 
  • There are only six guys under contract for next season, and Grunfeld said they would like to upgrade at every position if possible. He said its about trying to find the best players, as well as the players who fit the best.
  • Also made it clear he couldn't talk about free agency, but expects it all to start when Lebron makes his decision. 
  • Everybody still excited for Thursday? It should get interesting.
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Wizards 2010 Draft Stream: Wizads Want Another First Round Pick

Thursday's NBA Draft is already going to bring tremndous change to the Washington Wizards, with John Wall a lock to go first overall, and two more picks at 30th and 35th overall. But the team doesn't seem to be happy with just the first and last picks of the first round, from Michael Lee,

Wiz actively in pursuit of another pick in 12-26 range. Obvious targets have been contacted - MEM, MIN, OKC, ATL & MIA - & many others.

Let's be honest: the Wizards can use all the help they can get. Any move that brings more talent, particularly talent that meshes well with young Mr. Wall, has to be considered a move in the right direction. If acquiring another first-round pick is the best way to do that, than it is a path worth exploring.

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