Throughout this nightmare season in which the Wizards are vying for the worst record in the NBA and plummeting towards the worst record in franchise history, when Gil and Brendan haven’t played and DeShawn and Caron have missed time and Roger Mason and AD have moved on, the light at tunnel’s end is the chance to draft Blake Griffin.
Gil said months ago that it’s OK to dream, and dream we have as Griffin is going off, averaging 23 and 14 while leading Oklahoma to the No. 2 ranking in all the land. He’s our Beasley, if not our Duncan. At least until picking up what Ivan Carter is putting down (emphasis added):
Possible top picks in this year’s draft include Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin, Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet, Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio and Arizona State guard James Harden. However, because the Wizards already have such huge financial commitments, there is a decent chance Grunfeld will consider trading the pick.
The team has about $75.9 million committed to contracts for next season, which would put them over the luxury-tax threshold (it typically rises slightly each year but may not go up next year, depending upon league revenue) before signing a lottery pick.
Oh no. This is not good. The Wizards, one of the worst teams in basketball, have all of next year’s money — and then some — committed to this year’s roster. There has to be some way that Ernie Grunfeld can dump the Etan Thomas and Mike James money while hanging onto Gil, Caron and Antawn. This is the same guy who pulled Butler-for-Brown after all.
Of course, if the Wiz don’t land that No. 1 spot and are looking at Thabeet, Rubio, Harden, etc., then dealing the lottery pick in a similar fashion to what they did in ’04 (sending Devin Harris, Stackhouse and Laettner to Dallas for Antawn) doesn’t sound so bad. But don’t deny me the lovely and talented Blake Griffin. Don’t you dare.
(The Griffin-in-drag photo via The Lost Ogle)