Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld appeared on Washington Post columnist Mike Wise’s 106.7 The Fan radio show on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NBA draft. Grunfeld was asked about the recent trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, Thomas Robinson, moving up in the trade and, of course, Andray Blatche. Here are some of the highlights:
On if the pick is between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Harrison Barnes or Bradley Beal: It’s fair to say at least two of those three players will be there when it’s our turn to pick. Every draft goes in groupings. Obviously everyone knows who the No. 1 pick is going to be, but after that, there is a group of four or five players that will go anywhere from two to six, depending on who is picking. I think those three players are probably in that grouping, as is Thomas Robinson.
On the chances that he’ll still take Thomas Robinson after trade: You never have enough bigs on a team.
On the need to have a running mate for John Wall: We feel good about where we are. We’re going to get a good player and we’re going to get someone that can come in and help and that player is not going to have all the pressure on him to have to come in to play 30, 35 minutes and carry the major load for us. Now if he’s capable of doing that, then he’ll be able to do it, but it’s something that any player that we draft is going to have to come in and have to earn it, because we have some young players that played for us last year who improved and hopefully they improved more this summer. But we’ll have a player who is real solid, who is going to be with us long term.
On if the consensus is that Charlotte would move the pick to a team that plans to take Bradley Beal: Who knows what the consensus is? What we’re trying to do right now is figure out our own situation. We want to make sure we’re comfortable with our order. We can’t control what teams in front of us do. We’ve had a lot of conversations about moving up, moving back, trading two picks for one pick, and that’s very common to this time of year.
On if the Wizards would trade No. 32 to get Charlotte’s No. 2 pick: I’m not getting into these kind of specific things. There’s a lot of different conversations going on this time of year and we’re involved in some ourselves.
Are individual workouts more important for one-and-done players like Bradley Beal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? Not necessarily. In those 45-minute, 50-minute workouts, you don’t get to see that much. They don’t really play against anybody. You don’t get to see them play five on five. The most important thing you get to see is their work ethic and if they pick up things quicky. If they understand terminology. You get to see athleticism, shooting form skill-level and ball-handling. It’s just part of the whole big process. You can’t put too much in these small workouts…That’s just part of the whole process for us.
On if the trade makes the Wizards a playoff team: It remains to be seen. We are an improved team.
On if the team will amnesty Andray Blatche: That’s an option that we have, but right now Andray is under contract. He’s working hard this summer. He’s working out in Houston as we speak. Those kind of things will take care of themselves, but right now, he’s under contract with us.
On taking the best player available or addressing an immediate need: It’s a combination. You have to do your work and you have to see who the best players are and I think we’re pretty fortunate at that three spot, where we feel we can get a player that’s going to be with us for quite some time. We feel good about where it is and you have to take both into consideration with the current players that you have.
On projected No. 1 pick Anthony Davis being a game changer: I think he can be. A very skilled and talented young kid. He does remind me more of a Marcus Camby than Tim Duncan. He has the potential to be a six, seven-time all-star.