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NBA Draft Review

Ivan Carter and Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 27, 2008 2:00 PM

Post staff writer Ivan Carter was online Friday, June 27 at 2 p.m. ET to discuss all the fallout from the NBA Draft, both for the Wizards and around the league.

From The Post:

Wizards Coverage

The transcript follows.

Discussion Archive

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Ivan Carter: Let's go.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Were the rumored health concerns about Darrell Arthur a reason why the Wiz passed on him? It was reported during the draft that Arthur had dropped from a potential lottery pick because of an undisclosed kidney ailment. I was surprised he slipped all the way to 27. Do you have any thoughts on why this happened?

Ivan Carter: I specifically asked Ernie Grunfeld that question and he said: "No." They say they had JaVale McGee ranked ahead of Arthur, J.J. Hickson and the other players who went after 18.

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Baltimore: Can we assume that management is comfortable that Jamison will be back next year? Seems that Darrell Arthur would have been the logical choice to make up for the loss of Jamison but you wouldn't draft a 7-0 "project" if you were losing Agent-0 and Jamison, would you?

Ivan Carter: They fully expect to sign Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison.

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Rockville, MD: Granted any 2nd round pick is a longshot to make an NBA team. But why sell the pick for cash? Do the Wiz get some cap relief?

Ivan Carter: I just wrote a detailed blog entry about this on wizards insider so check that out as well but here's the deal: the wiz weren't keeping that second rounder no matter what and it's almost impossible to trade a 2nd that late.

This team now has five guys 21 or younger and didn't need another. Bill Walker was not going to make this team. Depending on the cap situation after the Wiz sign Arenas and Jamison as they expect, the back end of the roster will be filled by a veteran (maybe Roger Mason Jr.) or some guy who can play.

Simply selling a pick for cash is not that unsual. The Wiz were one of four teams to do it last night.

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Arlington, Va.: So let me get this straight. McGee is 7-feet tall and has nearly an 8-foot wingspan. Yet he only averaged 7.6 rebounds per game in the WAC? But now he's going to be some sort of rebounding and shot-blocking force in the NBA? Not. Gonna. Happen.

Ivan Carter: Time will only tell. I agree that it would be nice to see better rebounding production but the guy did block a ton of shots and he did make 33 percent of his college threes. Granted, I've only seen highlight reels but I see a very athletic, active 7-footer with ridiculous wing span (7-6), a decent jump hook with either hand and some strong post moves (against college guys). He's 20-years old and no doubt would be a better player had he returned to Nevada but if you are going to take a guy at 18 who isn't going to play right away anyway (and no player at that spot was going to) why not go with a legit 7-footer who has nice tools. This guy is not PJ Ramos.

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Bethesda, Md.: With the draft now complete and the Wizards attention turned to FA, do you see them making use of the MLE to try to fill the need for a veteran bigman who provides a post presence, defense and rebounding?

Ivan Carter: The Wiz will have the MLE but whether they are able to use the entire thing will depend on how much it costs to retain Arenas and Jamison and where the new cap and luxury tax figures come in. Last year's salary cap figure was $55.63 million and the luxury tax threshold was $67.86 million. Both figures rise by two or three million each season. The new figures will be released later this summer.

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Silver Spring, MD: Has anyone seen Erine's draft board? I'd be curious to know who he was considering trading up for, or trading down for.

Ivan Carter: I heard that Ernie was trying to package the 18th pick and the future conditional first-rounder he has coming to him from Memphis via the Juan Carlos Navarro deal to move up but he couldn't find any takers. He also conidered moving down but once it became clear that McGee was going to be there, they took him.

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Washington, D.C.: With all the bigs here now, does Pecherov have a future with the Wizards?

Ivan Carter: Think of it this way: the Wiz now have three 20-year 7-footers. One of 'em has to really pan out right?

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Germantown, Md.: The Wizards had the worst draft in the league. Do you think any team did as little to improve as the Wizards last night?

Ivan Carter: Maybe you are right but how can you say that? This draft was filled with raw players who played one or two years of college basketball, starting with the first few picks. Maybe McGee will be a total bust and guys behind him will be stars. Happens every year. Or, maybe he develops into a solid NBA center of which there are very few and the Wiz look like geniuses down the line. We won't know for at least two or three seasons.

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Rockville, MD: Do you think the drafting of McGee indicates the Wizards are not sold on Blatche and/or Pecherov? McGee seems very similar, especially to Blatche. Do you think McGee is a true center?

Do you know if they considered taking Chalmers at 18? What about Hickson?

Also, are you surprised they passed on DeVon Hardin in the 2nd round?!

Ivan Carter: From what I've seen of him and what I've heard, McGee is more of a true center than either Blatche or Pecherov so he doesn't totally overlap. And, if the Wiz succeed in moving Etan and his burdensome contract at the trade deadline this winter or next summer when his deal moves closer to expiration, they'll potentially have a real backup to Brendan Haywood. Why pay out of the nose to go get a center in two years when you feel you have a potentially good one to develop yourself right now?

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Frederick, Md.: Ivan what possible trade opportunities did Ernie have? Why didn't they trade for a veteran power player?

Ivan Carter: Show me a team that is willing to trade a proven veteran power player for the 18th pick in the draft? Not going to happen.

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baltimore: Can you explain how the Minnesota-Memphis deal works for both teams because I just dont understand how it works for both teams.. I mean both teams gave up extra foliage but now have a glut of the same player Memphis now has like 5 guards who can play the point and Minnesota has 2 power forwards down low which makes and undersized frontline.......Or should I write it off as Kevin Mchale and Chris Wallace

Ivan Carter: I thought about that last night because I'm from Minny and grew up a T-Wolves fan (until McHale started making stupid deals) but I do like the look of that lineup right now: Foye at the PG, Brewer at the 2 or 3, Mike Miller at the other 2 or 3 with Kevin Love and Al Jefferson in the front court. That's not too bad.

Defensively, it will be interesting to see whether Love and Jefferson can do anything to prevent penetration because neither is a shotblocker but offensively, that's a pretty decent lineup.

Memphis must have simply loved Mayo and I have to think that Wallace has a deal in mind for either Lowry or Conley. They took on some brutal contracts.

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Rockville, MD: Can you please provide some updates on what the players have been up to physically this offseason? Last season your insight provided big indicators that Caron would turn in another career year, that Haywood would improve his free throw shooting, etc. Who's working out really hard to improve right now? Anything on the youngsters (Young, McGuire, Blatche, Pech)?

Ivan Carter: I hear that Nick Young has been working hard with former Bullet/UCLA star Don McClean in LA. Not sure about McGuire but I'll find out. Andray has been at the VC several times when I've been down there and my of my buddies informed me this morning that he's been beasting over at the Barry Farms park this summer. Pesh is a worker bee period so I'm sure he's getting after it.

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Reston, Va: I have a feeling the NBA teams last night just encouraged a whole bunch of college players to leave school and declare for the 2009 draft. I'm referring to the ratio of freshmen/sophomores in comparison to seniors drafted in the first round last night.

Ivan Carter: I agree all the way. A bunch of guys were drafted last night who are not anywhere near ready and could have used at least another season of college ball.

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Arlington VA: Can you tell me the difference between Sean Singeltary and DJ Augustin, other than about 35 draft slots?

Ivan Carter: Augustine is a real point guard and Singletary is a tweener?

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Washington, DC: Ivan do you eventually see McGee as our center of the future, Pesh as our PF of the future, and Blatche at SF?

Ivan Carter: I mentioned this on the blog: look at this summer league roster:

PG: ?

SG: Nick Young (6-7)

SF: Dominic McGuire (6-9)

PF: Andray Blatche (6-11) or Oleksiy Pecherov (7-0)

C: Blatche, Pesh or JaVale McGee (7-0, 237)

That's a lot of size, athleticism and versatility. I can't wait to see those guys play in Las Vegas (July 14-20).

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Falls Church, Va.: Who do you think EG was trying to move up to get with the Memphis pick?

Ivan Carter: I really don't have a read on that because I didn't see their board. Brandon Rush was still there when Portland took him at 13 with Randolph, Lopez and Speights going right after. Perhaps Ernie liked one of those guys or maybe he feared that McGee go sooner. He did say that they had him ranked higher than 18 on their own board.

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Woodbridge, Va.: A lot of fans keep pining for a low-post presence and rebounder for the Wizards. Does such a player exist? What type of players are we talking about? Who in the league fits that description?

Ivan Carter: Udonis Haslem, P.J. Brown, Kurt Thomas etc. One of those guys would be great on this team but getting one is not easy. Brown wasn't signing here last year because he wanted to win a title and Haslem and Thomas were with other teams.

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Ashburn, VA: Is there any word as to who the Wiz want in their summer team aside from our signed guys and VV?

Among the undrafted players out there are Reggie Williams and Pat Calathes.

Ivan Carter: None yet but Ernie did say that he would prefer to add a veteran-type point guard if he can convince one to go to summer league.

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Rockville, Md.: How humiliating is it to be drafted late then get traded for cash? Next stop, the Israeli League.

Ivan Carter: The issue with Bill Walker is health not talent. The guy has already ripped up his knee twice and now he has a torn meniscus suffered during a workout. Boston may have made the deal thinking that they'll stash him for a year or so, let him recover and hope they have a steal. He can play though. I liked him at K-State. A little wild but he's aggressive and has no fear. But three knee injuries...

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New York: I just don't see how they could take another project big man when several immediate impact players could be there to supplement depth, like JJ Hickson or Mario Chalmers. Doesn't the front office realize what message this sends to the fans? We're ready to try to win now.

Ivan Carter: I hear you and I like both Hickson and Chalmers but please answer this question: How much would Chalmers play behind Arenas and Antonio Daniels? How much would Hickson play behind Jamison, Songaila and Blatche? I'm just saying. If the Wiz had McGee ranked as the better player - not neccessarily now but down the line when they will actually need a guy to play in the rotation - why wouldn't you take him?

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washington, dc: Ivan , please tell folks on the blog to chill. We've known for months that the outcome of this draft will not affect the 08-09 team. We're rolling with last year's team. Why get all worked up over Walker? So does this mean we've given up on Pech officially?

Ivan Carter: No, I don't they they've given up on Pesh. The guy's rookie season was really hurt by that foot injury he suffered early on. He missed a little over 2 months and never really got going. Let's see how he looks after a full summer with summer league and weight lifting etc. and a full training camp.

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Gaithersburg, MD: Either last week or early this week, there was a rumor that the Wiz and Gilbert have secretly agreed to a contract. Obviously, if they did, they can't say anything. But my question is, why can't they negogiate with Gilbert now? He is their own player. Or do they really have to wait until July 1st?

Ivan Carter: yes, they have to wait until July 1 because he opted out. They can talk to Antawn Jamison (though no other team can because he was their own player). And no, they do not have deal but I will tell you this: I'm hearing that the Wizards are going to jump out right away with a fat offer. It will be up to Gilbert at that point.

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Raleigh, NC: Hey guys great work. Im down here in Raleigh, a big Wiz fan and wondering if you had any idea where Hickson was on the board for the Wiz. The State team this year was a bad mix in chemistry. I think this guy is going to be a very legit pro and to me doesnt have much improving to do to be a factor, something I never get about a lot of early NBA picks. Draft the guy that can already play! Thanks.

Ivan Carter: I liked the little bit of Hickson's workout that I saw. Though he only had one season of college ball, he could be at Kurt Thomas type in the future. I do think the Wiz liked him and who knows? If McGee had been gone or had they moved back, they may have taken him.

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Let's Go Hoyas! *clapclapCLAPCLAPCLAP*: Any comments on the drafting of Hibbert and Ewing, Jr.?

Thanks.

Ivan Carter: Hibbert went to a good place in Indiana. They can spread the floor with shooters and let him work in the post. Also, he kinda reminds of a darker Rick Smits. As for Ewing Jr. good for him. I heard that he busted his tail in workouts and obviously Sacramento liked him. He's a real good kid as well. I wrote a story on him the other day and he was very humble and cooperative. Also, I texted him last night to congratulate him and he immediately replied: "Thank You." I'll be pulling for him.

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Washington, DC: Michael and Ivan:

What do you think the Wizards should have done last night? Or in your eyes, did they get it "exactly right"?

Ivan Carter: I can't say that if I tried, I'd be a liar. I didn't see every workout, pour over every bit of tape and track these guys for several months the way the scouts did. I honestly have no idea whether JaVale McGee is going to be the next Dwight Howard or Mike 'Kandi man. I'll say this: If you are going to take a guy at 18 who you know won't provide immediate help to a veteran-filled playoff team, why not take a legit 7-footer who is young, athletic and shown signs of being a real special talent?

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DC: Went to dinner at PF Chang's last night, missing most of the draft...and who did I see eating by himself also skipping the draft? Agent 0! Asked him point blank if he'd be back and he shrugged and sheepishly smiled. Scoop!

Ivan Carter: He'll be back.

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Washington: Is it just me or did I hear a lot of "he's not ready to play yet...", "he's sill learning the game...", he's not interested in playing defense but he's a great player...", "he'll probably stay/go overseas to learn the game..." Wouldn't it be nice to know that some people were going to be drafted, if they weren't expected to be a starting player (or at least compete for a starting role), that they would be on the bench learning and picking up some playing time? That they were drafted because the team needed and wanted them on the team?

Ivan Carter: Welcome to the modern NBA draft. It's a total crap shoot with these kids. How do you judge guys on one or two years of playing college ball against inferior competition? How do you know how they are going to handle the money, the groupies, the travel, the competition etc.? You don't.

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Lopez Brothers: Not to be a contrarian, but I think Robin is going to be the better pro. Brook strikes me as a Gminski type--pretty good but a tad undersized and more limited defensively. Robin goes to a better situation in Phoenix (vs. New Jersey), with an easier start as an energy guy off the bench to rebound and defend. That gives him time to work with the coaches to learn a few post moves and develop. You can teach offense, but you can't teach athleticism.

Ivan Carter: Intersting thought on the Bros Lopez. I have no idea.

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Georgetown University: On a scale of 1-10, how do you rank Ernie's eye for talent?

Ivan Carter: Compared to Kevin McHale? Genius. Compared to the Spurs? Solid to pretty good. He drafted Michael Redd as a 2nd rounder in Milwaukee. He signed Arenas to a longterm deal when that was viewed as major risk. He got Jamison for the 5th pick and some clutter. He stole Caron Butler from the Lakers for Kwame Brown. He rebuilt an aging Knicks team into one that made the Finals in '99 by picking up Sprewell, Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby after he'd already picked up Allan Houston and Larry Johnson.

Not too bad.

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