We're closing in on the start of training camp which means there is still a little time for reflection on what the Washington Wizards accomplished and a chance to look at the NBA road ahead. For the next couple of weeks, CSNwashington.com Insider J. Michael and Wizards correspondent Ben Standig will examine various issues and answer questions as the Wizards move toward a possible third straight playoff appearance.
We've had serious debates about where the Wizards rank in the SE Division, Kris Humphries stretching his game and who is the second best player in the East behind LeBron James. This next one isn't serious. At all. ...Imagine NBA commissioner Adam Silver announces a new rule in which teams must take back a former player. For the Wizards, that means either Andray Blatche, Nick Young, JaVale McGee or Jordan Crawford. Who ya got?
J. Michael: None of the above. The Wizards would be better off with Oleksiy Pecherov. All of these players mentioned above can score, but unfortunately the game is about much more than that and teams around the NBA value who you are in the locker room more than ever. How do you think the San Antonio Spurs have remained dominant for so long? They don’t compromise their locker room integrity for a stat sheet.
McGee remains the only person I’ve seen get screamed at in a pro-am game (a few years ago by Brandon Jennings) because he was “Cadillac-ing” too much. Think about that for a minute. In an exhibition game that doesn’t even count, McGee agitated a teammate into wanting to choke him on the spot and had to be restrained.
Young stat stuffs on a 20-win Lakers team two years ago, gets a four-year deal and bottoms out the moment he has job security. And he still can’t figure out his responsibilities in a basic 2-3 zone defense. Crawford can’t run an offense and is so on the outs with NBA teams a guy with his experience had to go to Las Vegas summer league with the Mavericks in hopes of getting a spot. Blatche is probably the best skilled of the bunch but remains a head-case and a major off-the-court risk.
Ben Standig: This was my question. Now that I'm answering the question, I'm starting to wonder about my own sanity. Ok, here goes. I'm going to answer this seriously-ish. No, I don't know why.
Jordan Crawford. I watched "Steez" during this year's Las Vegas Summer League and it's apparent he still hasn't figured out that his volume shooting ways won't cut it. The shame of it is Crawford would have been a perfect combo guard/bench scorer this team lacked at times over the last two seasons. Oh well.
Not sure there have been many big men more athletic than JaVale McGee in NBA history, but his basic understanding of the game won't rank very high among any player at any position. Since we don't want Randy Wittman to stroke out, pass. (Ben, come on, he can block shots and stuff. Is there any reason you can justify keeping him?) Can't say I do.
It appeared that Andray Blatche may have turned the corner during his recent-ish run with the Nets when he posted some solid rebounding numbers. That is until we learned coach Jason Kidd "unilaterally banished" the power forward from the team -- and apparently the league seeing as Blatche now plays overseas. Oh, captain my captain.
That leaves Young, a.k.a Swaggy P. Iggy Azalea's other half is largely harmless -- especially as a defender. Truth is Young's streaky scoring can carry an offense at times and he doesn't even seem like he'd freak out much if he didn't play much (We'll find out if that's true with Kobe Bryant, Lou Williams, DeAngelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson in the Lakers back court). He's no prize, but Young was lumped in with the other knuckleheads because of proximity more than his behavior, though his horrid shot selection makes Crawford seem efficient.
With all that said, there answer is clear...Jan Vesely.