Surely the latest playoff non-triumph delivered via the whimpering LeBron James and his striped cronies would cause the Wizards' certified Genius Manager (GM) Ernie Grunfeld to destroy anything even remotely resembling the 2007-2008 Wizards in lieu of a newer, younger, bigger, playoff-winnier, internet-friendlier team, right? Wrong. Grunfeld, a certified practicer of the DCO's patented mantra ("Relax, everything is going to be fine") has instead decided that the team that again almost beat the cohesive basketball-destroying floppers from Cleveland should remain pretty much intact, brilliantly re-upping all-star awesome Antawn Jamison for four more years, and working towards locking up Gilbert Arenas for what's looking like six years, after which both of their jerseys will mine the rafters next to all of those Mystics attendance championships.
And before you complain-blog about "keeping intact a mediocre team," and blaspheme this brilliant managerial move towards stability, which did not involve acquiring some aged, broken down center as some doofus suggested back when he still maintained a regular position at this blog, keep in mind that this team has yet to truly harness their combined worth. I'd tabulate all of their actual games played together, but then I'd just take work away from Bullets Forever, or I guess I could just link to some post where they have already postulated on this topic. Anyways, while the big three were intact, the Wiz were in first place, and while the wiz were in pieces, they beat the vaunted best team in the league. (Jamison in particular was beasting on the "intense" Garnett) Maintaining the structure of a first-place team is something that highly-approved team-constructors do.
Another thing highly-approved team constructors do is draft well. And after taking in every lamely protracted draft ranking and draft diary, I must say, new Wizard 7-footer JaVale Magee is certified grade-A draft earning material. Why? Naturally, with the Wiz having solid contributors to just about every position combined with a draft that is noticably lacking in talent outside of the first three studs, the predilection for finding a real contributor in these meandering rounds resembles a crap shoot. Thus, taking on a seven foot project, who has an insanely strong basketball pedigree (hmm, what other DC-based superstar has a hoops-playing Mom? Did he just pwn the entire NHL last year?) a wingspan that rivals secret covert ops planes housed in Langley, and an ability to "run the floor" that causes stiffs in Charlotte to cower, was a great decision that smart, foundation-building planners routinely take. Of all people to agree, Michael Wilbon was even on board, not so much as applauding the Grun-trust's decision to go with a Dwight-stopper, as he was hoisting the Wizards' decision-making prowess to the levels of their lauded playoff neighbors. With Magee, Andray Blatche, Nick Young, Domenic McGuire, and Oleksiy Pecherov, there are enormous, young, talented ballers that could cause match-up problems for entire seasons. The buying and selling of tweening prospect Billy Walker to the Celtics was a blip on the radar that likely registers more in De Moines' NBDL plans than in DC, where Ivan Carter assured the 90-thousand or so freaking out in the comment section, that Walker had no chance of cracking the lineup.
Plus, with the selling of this chip, Grunfeld opens up the possibility of retaining the only other questionable piece to this puzzle, the supposed odd-man-out, Roger "The Wheaton Weapon" Mason Jr. According to everyone, like much of the home-grown business that will soon be jettisonned from my 'hood in favor of sleeker, chain-ier stuff, Mason is likely not going to hang around. But with the cash saved in both Jamison's team-first paycut, and the dealing of Walker, Mason could, maybe, be retained.
Stability, punctuated with ground-building efforts from the bottom up. A great gameplan for both your sub-prime mortgaged house and for the construction of the Wiz, whose foreman continues to display traits of brilliance influenced by the 'tism. Here's to the Wiz making some serious noise in 08-09, and not of the "Ow I have torn my crucial joint thingy!" variety.