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Michael Jordan Playing Beer Pong

Because why the hell not?

MJ the GOAT playing beer pong while dressed in himself — Jordan XI kicks, an AIR tshirt and some khaki shorts (also likely Jumpman).

Michael Jordan Beer Pong

Despite being 50 years old, something tells me Jordan calling next on your beer pong table is a little different than your girlfriend’s father stepping up to bury you in 10-cup.

 

Wizards Send Okafor and First-Rounder to Suns for Marcin Gortat

Okafor - Gortat

The Washington Wizards made a large splash last Friday when they sent center Emeka Okafor and a 2014 first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for center Marcin Gortat, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and Malcolm Lee.

My thoughts and opinion surrounding the deal were put on the back burner for the weekend for a couple of reasons.

1.) I felt like I was in the minority in terms of liking the trade,

and

2.) that made me feel somewhat guilty.

Many are quick to call this deal a scramble job by Washington, blaming them for hastily sending away a valuable draft pick in order to better their chances at fulfilling a preseason promise for the playoffs in 2013.

I tend to think it was a smart deal by general Ernie Grunfeld in the final year of his deal.

For the first time in what feels like forever (DC’s last postseason appearance was 07-08), the Wizards entered this season with a legitimate chance at the playoffs. There was John Wall with his massive new max deal, Bradley Beal entering his second season after a promising rookie campaign and Emeka Okafor and Nene holding down the frontcourt.

Then Okafor went down with a herniated disc and the Wizards were suddenly left with a not-so-durable Nene playing center and a 31-year-old Okafor on the bench with a bad back due to make $14.5 million.

Would the Wizards have made the playoffs without Okafor? I guess you could argue they could. But does anyone really think Nene can stay healthy for an entire 82 games?

I don’t. And without Nene, the Wizards don’t make it with Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin logging significant minutes.

Across the way in the desert, the 29-year-old Marcin Gortat was entering the final year of his deal, perhaps growing a bit agitated given the Suns current roster position.

Due to his desirable skill set in the trade market and Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough’s craving for as many first-round as he can get his hands on by next summer, Gortat was the perfect trade bait for all parties involved.

Because the Polish Hammer is set to make $7.7 million this year, the Suns were required to throw in additional pieces in order for the money to work. That’s where guys like Kendall Marshall (!), Shannon Brown and Malcolm Lee came into play. But according to reports, the Wizards aren’t expected to keep any of the additional fluff — making no Marshall in Washington probably the most disappointing part of the whole deal.

Although the departure of Okafor also means kissing his efficient defense goodbye, Gortat brings more offense to a Wizards team that ranked dead last in points scored per game last season.

Not to mention, the amount of content written by knowledgable roundball guys about how good Gortat is in the pick-and-roll is, quite honestly, the most excited I’ve been about a big man in Washington since becoming eager about Andray Blatche’s “potential” in 2007.

For at least a season, the Wizards have a true center. A guy that can score, defend, move, rebound — and perhaps more importantly — allow Nene to return to his more natural power forward position.

Obviously giving up future draft picks isn’t a real comfortable feeling. Not when you’re the Wizards, anyway. And that’s what gives me that guilty feeling.

The unknown, or what could be in terms of that draft choice, is scary to give up. But it’s also important to remind yourself that it’s a protected top-12 pick, meaning the Wizards hang on to it if they wind up sucking something awful and picking somewhere inside the top-12.

So here I am confessing my love for the trade, while cautiously waiting to see what would’ve fallen to the Wizards — in what’s supposed to be a loaded 2014 draft class — had they held on to their first-rounder, a crippled Okafor and maybe an eighth seed in the East.

Happy basketball season.

 

Seven Days of Steez Presents: The Ghita

With just a week five days to go before the Washington Wizards embark on their 2013-2014 season, we’ve decided to countdown the days by way of an exclusive “Seven Days of Steez” episode, named after former Wizards guard and village idiot Jordan Crawford. Although the direction of this nostalgic Shae & Dr. J production isn’t exactly clear, we hope you enjoy the photos and quick blurbs in all of their glorious randomness. And to increase effect, please take a marker now and inscribe “Playoffs” on your footwear. 

* * * *

Ghita Half II

An introduction isn’t needed. Neither is a story.

Gheorghe “Gita” Muresan goes down as one of the most legendary Bullets players of all time, despite just four seasons in Washington.

Muresan averaged more than ten points and nearly seven rebounds per game during his stay with in Washington, which begs the question: how does a man standing 7’7″ not grab at least a dozen boards a game?

And I don’t know the answer.

Ghita Half IAll Ghita errything.

There’s five days left til the Wizards tipoff the season in the Phone Booth.

Warmest regards.

 

Seven Days of Steez Presents: The E/A Y’s

Jordan Crawford Seven Days

With just a week to go before the Washington Wizards embark on their 2013-2014 season, we’ve decided to countdown the days by way of an exclusive “Seven Days of Steez” episode, named after former Wizards guard and village idiot Jordan Crawford. Although the direction of this nostalgic Shae & Dr. J production isn’t exactly clear, we hope you enjoy the photos and quick blurbs in all of their glorious randomness. And to increase effect, please take a marker now and inscribe “Playoffs” on your footwear. 

* * * *

Referring to them as the E/A Y’s due to the matching vowels in their respective last names — and because it seemed really creative at the time — Chris Whitney, Tracy Murray and Calbert Cheaney all played an integral role in our childhood fandom of Washington basketball.

Chris Whitney was waived by the Spurs two years after San Antonio selected the 6′ shooter out of Clemson in the 1993 draft. Less than a month later, Whitney signed a 10-day contract with the Bullets that eventually led to eight seasons in Washington, where he averaged 7.1 points (50 percent of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc), 1.5 rebounds and three assists per game.

In October of 2002, at the age of 31, the Chris Tucker semi-lookalike was traded to the Nuggets for George McCloud. He spent another two years in the league, including a last stop in Washington. According to his Wikipedia page, Whitney is now a front office guy with the Charlotte Bobcats.

The EY's Edited_edited-1

Alongside Whitney for four years in Washington was swingman Tracy Murray. During his time here, Murray shot 38 percent from three-point while averaging better than 11 points and three rebounds per game. He was later traded to the Nuggets in 2000 in exchange for Popeye Jones (another one of my favorites).

Honestly, Murray didn’t play that big of role for me, but his appearance was easy to remember (for whatever reason) and he happened to have a last name that fit the lame criteria for this segment.

Not to mention, who wouldn’t want to be featured in something like the Seven Days of Steez? I’m sure Mr. Murray, who currently works as a UCLA radio guy, athletic trainer and streetball coach, would be thrilled.

And then there’s Calbert Cheaney — easily one of the more memorable players of my childhood, again for reasons I can’t really explain.

One thing I do remember, however, was that I somehow managed to acquire a ton of Calbert Cheaney trading cards. Like, a lot of them. And there was also an unforgettable dream I had when I was just a young pip squeak, in which ol’ Calbert and I played on the same team in a 3-on-3 tournament in Florida (at that age, I had never even been to Florida).

Cheaney was drafted by the Wizards in 1993 with the sixth-overall pick following a brilliant four-year career at Indiana under head coach Bob Knight, capping his college stay with a National Player of the Year award.

During his six years in Washington, Cheaney averaged 12.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He was also a lefty and appeared in that awesome movie Blue Chips in 1994.

After a pretty lucrative 13-year NBA career, Cheaney worked as an assistant coach in Golden State with the Warriors before returning to his alma mater Indiana, where he served as the Hoosiers Director of Basketball Operations. Today, Cheaney serves as an assistant coach at St. Louis University.

Another note on Cheaney that is of great importance: he was the first part of the Bullets’ 1993 draft class. The other part was Romanian sasquatch Gheorghe Muresan. CONNECTED TO GHEORGHE FOREVER AND EVER.

The Wizards tip the season in six days.

With love.

 

 

 

Seven Days of Steez Presents: The Wallaces

Jordan Crawford Seven Days

With just a week to go before the Washington Wizards embark on their 2013-2014 season, we’ve decided to countdown the days by way of an exclusive “Seven Days of Steez” episode, named after former Wizards guard and village idiot Jordan Crawford. Although the direction of this nostalgic Shae & Dr. J production isn’t exactly clear, we hope you enjoy the photos and quick blurbs in all of their glorious randomness. And to increase effect, please take a marker now and inscribe “Playoffs” on your footwear. 

* * * *

Remember the Wallaces?

Before going on to earn four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons, big man Ben Wallace was an undrafted free agent on the Washington Bullets 1996 roster. In his three seasons in Washington, Wallace played in 147 games, averaging 3.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.

The Wallaces

The Bullets drafted North Carolina forward Rasheed Wallace in 1995 with the 4th-overall pick. In his lone rookie season in Washington, Wallace averaged 10.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. But because the Bullets were set with Chris Webber as their power forward, Washington traded Wallace to the Portland Trailblazers in exchange for point guard Rod Strickland. Wallace would eventually make his way to Detroit, joining Ben Wallace in winning an NBA Title in 2004, and spending six seasons with the Pistons.

Oh, you don’t recall Sheed in a Bullets uniform? Perhaps that’s because he looked younger and drew a strong resemblance to Bubba from Forest Gump.

Rasheed Wallace BulletsSeven days left until the Wizards host the Philadelphia 76er’s.

Later.

 

Gilbert Arenas Is Fine, Living off Wizards Dime

gILBERT - cOSBY

Former Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas is doing just fine since playing his last game in the NBA back in 2012.

In fact, Arenas is so financially set that he could “spend every penny he has in the bank and still have $38 million coming” from you know who.

The Washington Wizards.

TMZ released a video of Arenas — seemingly tracked down in a parking lot — reacting to a list published by Yahoo! Sports that ranked Arenas’ six-year $111 million deal handed out by the Wizards in 2008 as the worst NBA contract of the 21st century.

Arenas was surprised to learn his was deemed the worst of all, but he didn’t necessarily disagree with the ranking, noting the NBA rewards players for what they’ve done, and not what they’re going to do. A solid point by Arenas, actually.

The 31-year-old former Shanghai Sharks guard also mentioned — despite not having to actually work — he has kept busy with his current gig of designing apps and fueling the tech companies that build them with his wheelbarrows full of cash.

You can watch the video below. Pay close attention to how awkward Arenas is when dishing out numerous Bill Cosby faces.

 

 

 

Jay-Z Dons Bullets Hat in Baltimore Club

Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake performed at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Thursday night. Afterwards, Hov made his way to Mirage where he COMPLETELY DITCHED THE V.I.P. LOUNGE, according to WPGC, and hung out with us common folk near the bar.

As a proponent of pretty much anything Jay-Z, I’m having trouble coming to terms with myself about the lack of serious interest I had in attending the Legends of the Summer tour, despite it taking place less than 30 minutes down the road.

And that’s nothing against Timberlake. The guy’s a stud and all-around showman. But here’s my thing…

While I don’t have any doubt that Jay-Z and Timberlake put on a terrific and entertaining show, I’m curious to know: How many of the people that proclaim it to be “the best concert ever” have been to an actual Jay-Z concert? Not a cameo appearance at a Beyonce show, or together singing ‘Suit and Tie’ with Justin, but a real Jay-Z concert with surprise appearances by his cronies and endless hits dating back to the Reasonable Doubt album?

Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is the best damn concert ever.

Maybe not ever. But it’s up there.

But I write that to show you this: A photo of Jay last night at Mirage donning nothing more beautiful than a Bullets hat.

 

c/o @mrwhisperzz Instagram

c/o @mrwhisperzz Instagram feed

 

Tom Ford?

 

Wizards: John Wall to Workout with Gary Payton

Payton / Wall

Payton / Wall

 

With all eyes on John Wall after signing his five-year max-offer [ here's why I like it ] from the Washington Wizards last week, the 22-year-old point guard is planning on working out with former Seattle Sonics guard and Hall of Famer Gary Payton before training camp opens in the last week of September, according to J. Michael of CSN Washington.

Payton spoke with ProBasketballTalk in January about the struggles he faced early on in his career and his most recent talks with Wall.

“First of all I struggled for three years,” Payton told ProBasketballTalk. “Really for two years, and then when George Karl got there (to Seattle) my struggles ended because I got a basketball coach that let me do what I wanted to do… Me and (Wall) have talked a lot on the phone. He has called me about the situation, the same situation (I was in) to learn about things, and I’ve been talking to him about things and I’ve been talking to him a lot.”

Reports also mention Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard will be a part of the workouts.

In addition to improving his jumpshot, Wall apparently watched enough of the playoffs this year to warrant some other refinements.

“Footwork also, just like catching the ball and working on pivots and stuff,” Wall said. “Floaters. Watched a lot of Tony Parker throughout the playoffs and I see how Mike Conley added to his game after I went to two of his playoff series.”

“Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to post up this year,” he added.

This is good news for Wall, and for fans, for obvious reasons. Payton didn’t earn the nickname “The Glove” for his slouch defense, and he was a taller ( 6’4″ ) point guard who struggled with his shot early on ( much like Wall ) before ending his 17-year career shooting 46 percent from the field and nearly 32 percent from beyond the arc.

While many continue to bicker over whether or not Wall can become a “max-player”, he appears to be taking all the right steps.

 

Wizards Sign John Wall, and It’s a Valuable Move

Courtesy of FOX Sports

Courtesy of FOX Sports

 

Done deal.

John Wall has signed the Washington Wizards’ five-year maximum-extension offer worth approximately $80 million. 1 The deal will begin in the 2014-2015 season.

Although I’m not one of them, there are plenty of people that don’t seem to believe John Wall is worthy of a max-offer. They’re not convinced that a guy yet to see 30 wins in a season, with zero all-star appearances and a nonexistent playoff record deserves the same type of contract structure as guys like Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose.

While I’ll admit the last paragraph does a good job of grabbing your attention, I’ve set out to acknowledge the criticism and debunk the argument against John Wall and his next half-decade in the District.

That’s not to say I’m unwilling to listen to debate, but rather in favor of the Wizards’ most recent hefty financial decision. And as any Wizards fan will tell you, that sudden urge to defend Ernie Grunfeld and the front office doesn’t occur very often.

He’s Not Worth It

Despite being one of the most lopsided arguments, it’s probably the most common when you ask people what they think of Wall’s new deal.

“He’s not worth $16 million a year, MAN!” Or, “Stephen Curry is only making $11 million a year, MAN!” 2

The entire discussion surrounding salaries in the NBA and everything that comes with them is a discussion for another day. Why a player like LeBron James can’t make an annual salary closer to what he’s actually worth is also for another day. But the most entertaining aspect of the whole thing that most people don’t seem to take into account is the fact the Wizards have nowhere else to spend the money.

If the NBA worked in such a way where any team could take their money and lure any player they wanted, then perhaps the argument would come off a little more solid. But that’s not the case. It’s a rarity to see a player on Wall’s tier hit the market, as their respective team usually locks them up before free agency sets in.

Therefore, the comparison of, say, Curry’s most recent deal and Wall’s most recent deal isn’t apples to apples.

In a vacuum, Stephen Curry ( or any other reasonable comparison ) being worth more than John Wall as a basketball player is for healthy debate. But in reality, Wall is worth every penny of the $80 million deal to ( specifically ) the Washington Wizards franchise.

Happy Player, Happy Production

Put basketball, money and statistics to the side for a second and discover your inner Jennifer Melfi. 3

Forget field goal percentages, assist-to-turnover ratio and perimeter defense.

Think about a relationship between a 22-year-old budding basketball player with superstar upside and a basketball business franchise with a desire to build something great.

 

Courtesy of Evan Vucci / AP

Wall with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis – Courtesy of Evan Vucci

 

Not to say that it would have, but is waiting to pull the trigger on Wall’s deal for the sake of a couple million dollars per season 4 worth any sort of breakdown in relationship between player and team, resulting in lost confidence, questionable loyalty, etc?

The couple million per season may seem like a lot — the $10-15 million over the length of the deal even more so — but given how valuable Wall is to the Wizards ( see above ), it’s not a chance worth taking.

Let’s Talk About Beal, baby.

Most people want to pull Bradley Beal into discussion, and it’s certainly relevant when talking contracts. But the Wizards don’t face Beal’s qualifying offer until the 2016/17 season.

Yes, Wall has become the Wizards’ designated player. Yes, NBA teams are only allowed one on their roster. But is Beal going to squawk about a decent four-year deal when it comes time?

If Wall is commanding the beautiful ship that Wizards ownership and the front office so envision, it would seem as though Beal signing his four-year extension in Washington should be his best option in four years anyway. 

Beal signing the four-year extension in Washington should be his best option in four years anyway.

I’ll get into it briefly in a couple paragraphs, but isn’t that what Wall’s deal is suppose to do? Wall gets paid, Wall wins, Wall attracts free agents, Wall helps keep Beal in Washington as part of a promising ( maybe even accomplished ) young backcourt?

Aw hell, just put it to bed for now. We’ll talk about Brad’s contract when we need to talk about Brad’s contract.

Let the Stats Speak 

And it’s easy to see how much better the Wizards are when John Wall was in the lineup.

In order to avoid throwing out all kinds of numbers proving the Wizards were better with Wall in the game ( as if you needed convincing ), just know that he averaged 20.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game in his 49 appearances last season following his return from a stress fracture in his knee.

Also, know this: Wall, Beal, Webster, Nene and Okafor formed one of the most productive lineups in the league last season. No joke.

Here’s to good health ( Nene ), growth ( Beal ) and progress ( Wall ).

Who Else Are You Going To Get?

That probably makes the extension sound more like a handcuff on the organization, and you could argue the point. But again, it’s not like the Wizards could’ve taken their money and just thrown it at any ol’ body.

More specifically, without a guy like John Wall there to help attract and gauge interest from potential free agents, how does anyone plan on landing a decent offseason buy in Washington?

I suppose — at least for me — it goes back to John Wall the professional just as much as it does John Wall the point guard.

For a guy still a month shy of his 23rd birthday, Wall establishes a sense of stability within the Wizards organization. He’s positive proof of a team that can draft talent, develop it and retain it, which in turn you hope to see lead to notable success.

And not to put his maturation on the back burner — since being drafted first-overall in 2010 — Wall’s growth off the court had just as much to do with this extension as basketball itself.

There once was a time when Wall brushed off the idea of tattoos, acknowledging that it posed a threat to his image and marketability. 5 But he has tattoos now. Tattoos purposefully left off of his arms and strategically placed on “just his hiding spots.” 6

 

John Wall - Courtesy of Instagram

Courtesy of Wall’s Instagram

 

How about Wall teaming up with renowned trainer Robert McClanaghan over the summer? The same Robert McClanaghan who has helped the likes of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love fine-tune their games.

Remember earlier in Wall’s career when he always talked about junk food and candy, never looking quite as toned as he probably should? All of that now long gone since hiring his own personal chef.

Anyone happen to watch Wall’s press conference on Thursday afternoon? If so, you probably remember the part when he talked about the loss of his father at a young age and the struggles he and his family went through in order to get where they are today. With his mother, grandmother and other family members in attendance, Wall emitted raw emotion and tears during arguably the highest point in his young life, recalling the early promise to his family that money would never change who he really was.

And perhaps taking another page out of hometown hero Kevin Durant’s playbook, Wall mentioned his plan to donate $1 million to a number of local charities with the help of the Wizards organization.

Remind yourself this is all coming from a 22-year-old.

This may not seem like anything more than temporary feel-good stuff for right now. But in the future — in two years or so — this is the kind of player you want leading your team, representing your franchise, attracting other high-character guys and eventually hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Money Well Spent?

Absolutely.

As owner Ted Leonsis mentioned in so many words during the team’s press conference on Thursday, this deal wasn’t about the money. It was about commitment. It was about loyalty. It was about trusting and believing in John Wall to lead this franchise — both on and off the court — to prominence in the NBA.

And who can argue? Wall has shown progress on the court ( jumpshot, vision, pace ), off the court ( maturity, attitude, work ethic ) and he’s a reliable professional in terms of representing a sports franchise.

Although this extension is based more off potential, it’s not to be confused with an unsafe bet.

Will the guy be under a lot of pressure to live up to the $80 million deal? Without question. But he’s a young man with the poise to handle it and the growing talent to succeed.

“I am both proud and humbled by the belief that the Wizards organization, the fans and my teammates have shown in me since I arrived here three years ago,” Wall said in a statement. “I can promise all of them that I will repay that belief by representing the city of Washington and doing everything I can to get this team back where it belongs.”

And there’s your promise.

 

2013 NBA Draft: Wizards Score Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. Amongst Crazy Backdrop

 

Glen Rice Jr.

Glen Rice Jr.

 

The smoke has settled, the Brooklyn Nets look foolish and the Washington Wizards escaped draft night unscathed.

Somehow or another, general manager Ernie Grunfeld couldn’t find a way to screw things up, and the Wiz came away with a decent haul of small forward Otto Porter ( first round ) and shooting guard Glen Rice Jr. ( second round / via trade ).

To quickly touch on the two major stories of the night:

The Brooklyn Nets decided to make their push for the 2014 playoffs last night by trading three future first-round picks ( 2014, 2016, 2018 ), Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, Tornike Shengelia, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans and the expiring contract of Kris Humphries to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry.

Call me crazy, but bringing in veteran personalities like Garnett and Pierce to join Deron Williams and Joe Johnson 1 under rookie head coach Jason Kidd in Brooklyn seems a bit hasty.

Oh, and in the meantime, you trade away THREE first-round picks that would otherwise help you to continue building.

Also, keep in mind that Garnett is 37 and only signed through 2015, while Pierce is soon to turn 36 and in the last year of his deal.

The other big move of the night went to Philadelphia, as they sent away Jrue Holiday and a second-round pick in exchange for Nerlens Noel and a top-five protected pick in next year’s draft.

Perhaps not as wild as the Celtics/Nets trade, but it’s still shocking to see a team trade away a budding point guard like Holiday ( 23 ) and bring on a project with health concerns like Noel.

Moving on to the Wizards, however, and it’s hard to find any negativity surrounding their Thursday night.

With the first pick in the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers made things a little easier on the Wizards when they selected UNLV forward Anthony Bennett. As a rumored interest of the Wizards front office, Bennett was off the board first and suddenly an impossible choice for Washington.

The Orlando Magic picked next, selecting Indiana guard — and Maryland native — Victor Oladipo.

No suspense. No questions. No real second guessing. Otto Porter — the guy the Wizards likely coveted all along — fell right into Washington’s lap at No. 3.

Just a day after the draft, there’s two questions surrounding the Wizards and their pick.

1.) Was Porter the Wizards’ target all along? Or did Anthony Bennett going No. 1 force them to default to their second option?

2.) Was it a mistake passing on athletic big man Nerlens Noel, and instead selecting Porter?

You may never get a true answer to the first one, and we won’t be able to answer the second one for another three years or so. But they’re both intriguing, and they form entertaining what-if scenarios. We all like that stuff.

Despite holding two picks in the second round, we were all pretty certain that Ernie Grunfeld wasn’t coming away with three new players.

And after picking South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters at 38 and Oregon power forward Arsalan Kazemi at 54, Grunfeld shipped them both to the Philadelphia 76er’s in exchange for Glen Rice Jr. — the son of former NBA star Glen Rice and the reigning finals MVP of the 2013 D-League.

Due to the lack of pure excitement surrounding the Wizards’ first pick — albeit a solid one — the trade for Rice really served as icing on the cake.

After multiple run-ins during his short college career at Georgia Tech, Rice left school and joined the NBDL rather than transferring and sitting out the full year enforced by NCAA rule.  He eventually joined the Rio Grande Valley Vipers as the No. 55-overall pick of the Houston Rockets’ affiliate.

As a player, the Wizards are getting an athletic and aggressive scorer that can effectively fill the hoop. 

He has a stroke like his pops, but with better hops and more attitude.

As long as he keeps his nose clean — which he appears to be doing since leaving college — the Wizards come away with great value and lots of potential by way of the 22-year-old 6’6″ swingman.

It didn’t take much to notice the Wizards needed scoring. They’re 92.3 points per game last season were good for just 28th in the league. A healthy John Wall for ( hopefully ) a full season will certainly help things, but you can never have too many efficient shooters, and Rice is just that.

For the first time in a while, fans should feel good about a Wizards draft night. Obviously 2010 was a great year to land John Wall with the first-overall pick, but that pick was made in general agreement. Grunfeld really didn’t have much choice.

This summer, though, not only did the team fill a huge need at the three-spot, but they did so by way of a smart young man with a superb work ethic and great attitude in Otto Porter. Truly a breath of fresh air.

And then, to add to it, the front office made moves to acquire a scorer — also addressing a need — with high upside. A move that’s low risk and high reward.

I’m not about to flip on Ernie Grunfeld yet again and call him a genius. But the dude deserves credit for last night.

We’ll be talking about this 2013 draft for quite some time. Hopefully it’s in the positive sense.

 

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