Not many franchises would render a great amount of scrutiny and backlash for selling their second round pick. I mean, it’s just a 2nd round pick, right? It’s practically a crap shoot in finding potential talent. Most teams also have reasonable justifications for ridding their chances of finding their own Manu Ginobili in exchange for some moola. In most instances it’s because these franchises have no vacant roster spots to fill.
But of course that type of reasoning never applied to the Wizards when they made their decision last night to trade their 2nd round pick of Jordan Clarkson to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for 18,000 Benjamins (that’s 1.8 million for those who are foreign to my hip lingo). Something about acquiring money, though, made it hard for me to stop imagining Ted and Ernie hanging up the phone after the conclusive conversation with Mitch Kupchak, and then proceeding to prance in our faces like Puffy and Mase in their shiny Bad Boy suits. Here’s what it would have looked like.
It’s not clear exactly when the contingents of the suspect Wizards war room decided to move away from the selection. The news of the sold pick broke just a few minutes before the Wizards got on the clock so it’s fair to assume the decision was near last minute. And considering that for the past few weeks the Wizards had been working out several draft prospects – and even brought two guys back for a second look – it is possible that the Wizards were actually preparing to make a selection and bring in that fresh raw talent to develop. But alas, LOL.
During his post-draft interview, Ernie mentioned that one reason the Wizards sold their pick was because all the players they were seeking had already been drafted off the board. Really? It’s the fourty-sixth pick! I mean, the prospect of drafting and developing a Dwight Powell cannot be that far in between the prospect of drafting and developing a Patric Young, right? To use and express that ideology is a bit embarrassing.
Most Wizards fans have begun to use choice terms and phrases to shame Ted and Ernie’s decision, but to call Ted ‘cheap’ or to say that his sole interest in money yielded this decision is not entirely true. Remember, Ted doesn’t always shy away from spending. After all, he did succumb to paying for Andray Blatche’s dismissal, and in fact still paying for it today. He’s also most likely going to pay for Andre Miller to stay on board, and of course we remember the entire MLE given to Martell Webster to have him stick around for a few more years. So it’s safe to say money is not the only factor here, if a factor at all. The fact of the matter is that this organization is simply negligent when it comes to developing young players (see Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton) and you don’t have to go too far back in time to come to this realization (see Nick Young and JaVale McGee). I mean, even Shelvin Mack…f*cking Shelvin Mack was a great 2nd round selection by Ernie, but the lack of patience in getting him to blossom cost the Wizards a primary backup for John Wall and served the Hawks a treasure on their bench. Go figure. Aside from the two back court gems found in Wall and Brad Beal, along with the need-to-know status of Otto Porter, the Wizards have botched their draft decisions pick after pick, year after year. It’d be of no surprise to learn that the Wizards had simply become skeptical about bringing in a late pick to develop this year. And that’s just plain sad.
What’s sadder is that we all love to talk about and admire the San Antonio blue print for building a successful franchise, while it’s clear that our team’s front office has no interest in taking that same route to find its own success. All of this may surely become an afterthought after free agency (if things go the right way), but it won’t elude the fact that there is a logical principle when you’re drafting: TO DRAFT.
Tweet of the night, though:
If the Wizards were a soccer team they'd sell John Wall to Man City tomorrow.
— Jack Kogod (@Unsilent) June 27, 2014