ESPN Grantland Breaks Down the Wizards Upcoming Season

Posted on October 13, 2013 by Adam Bradley

As part of the ESPN's Grantland NBA preview series Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose spent 15 minutes (minus the 5-minutes Jalen talked about partying at Club Love with Juwan Howard and C-Webb during their DC days) previewing the upcoming Wizards season.

You can watch the video here: 

Some interesting thoughts were shared by Rose and Simmons.  Its hard to disregard their comments as both are basketball heads with a much higher basketball IQ then us.  Lets go through some of the highlights:

  • Both are very nervous about Otto Porters "bust" potential.

It's hard to argue with them even though they didn't give any substance to their reasoning.  That makes it even scarier.  They just have a "feeling."  Both of them think Porter won't play much of a factor this year and I tend to agree.  After an up and down summer league, a hamstring issue, a current hip flexor and no training camp for a guy who REALLY needed it, typically doesn't equal success.  In addition, with Ariza and Webster already slotted at the 3, Porter will have to prove he's worth the minutes, its not like we're thin at that position. 

This scares me when you take into consideration the lack of production from our other top-10 pick two years ago Jan Vesely.  You can do things right and build through the draft but we can't afford misses, we NEED the production.  Lets wait and see.  

  • On two different occasions they referenced the Wizards trading the expiring contract of Emeka Okafor.  

This is an interesting one.  First off, probably because I grew up in a Fantasy sports world, but I love trades.  They're exciting.  The thought of trading Okafor, Im not too excited about though. 

A couple things here: I understand if the front office has no plans to resign Okafor at years end then its better to get rid of him now and get something back in return.  My concern is I think we need Okafor to make the playoffs and if we trade him what will that mean about our current season?  I stressed this in our last show, the season hinges so heavily on Kevin Seraphin which doesn't make me sleep well.  If Seraphin performs, Okafor trade could be possible.  If he doesn't, then it'll be tough to trade Okafor unless the season is shot. 

  • Simmons brought up DC being a Rudy Gay trade destination.

We're going to run this through the trade machine again?  I just don't see it happening unless Toronto believes in Otto Porter and our front office doesn't and maybe we work a Porter (and a lot more) for Gay trade.  We're just so deep at the 3-spot Gay seems like it doesn't make sense.  Am I wrong here? 

  • They LOVE John Wall right now.

He's got a chip on a shoulder.  A "i'm going to show the NBA whats up" type of game right now.  They see it.  I see it. 

  • Jalen isn't concerned one bit that John Wall can't shoot the three. 

This was my favorite part of the 15-minute video. Jalen referenced some of the great point guards in NBA history that werent strong 3-point shooters: Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Kevin Johnson.  He reminded us that Magic Johnson in 82-83 didnt make one 3-pointer the entire season.  

He still thinks Wall can be dominate with his slashing ability, his athleticism, his mid-range game and free throw shooting.  

  • They both picked the Wizards to make the playoffs.


next up:

Countdown To Wizards Season Opener: 17 Days

October 13, 2013

The Wizards' regular season kicks off on October 30th at 7:30 PM in Detroit. Countdown to regular season action is 17 days.


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