Thoughts on Wizards
By Guest Blogger Geoff Nelowet:
Andray Blatche Should Be Traded:
There was a point last season when I was ecstatic about Blatche’s progression as a long and dynamic power forward who could kill a team in a multitude of ways. Blatche was putting up something like 22 and 9 over the last 30 games or so of last season, and he looked like a major part of the Wizards’ future.
Well, things have changed this season, and Blatche has become a black hole on offense with his horrendous shot selection, and coupled with his lazy, indifferent collective attempt at playing defense, he has undoubtedly become the archetype for a “stats guy”. People like to gawk at his size and skills, and when they see he’s only 24, they peg him as a future star. These would be shrewd observations, but when taking into account just how effortless Blatche’s play really is, it’s evident that he’ll never be more than an inefficient jump-shooting seven-footer who has an aptitude for avoiding contact on defense. I think the Wizards should trade him before the deadline. He hold some value and he currently has decent numbers (16 and 8), and I think a contender along the lines of the Oklahoma City Thunder might consider him a good option off the bench.
The Wizards Need To Be Careful With Nick Young:
Nick Young is having a career year averaging nearly 17 points per game, and this is not discounting his time on the bench behind Arenas. Young has essentially been scoring well over 20 a game since he’s taken over as a starter, and all signs point to a pretty big payday – whether it’s justified or not – come this off season.
My fear is that the Wizards will overpay as they historically have done. Obviously, the Wizards are operating under new ownership, but the Gilbert Arenas contract still burns, and Antawn Jamison’s contract was clearly a mistake considering his age and his value to his team. Young is looking like an efficient scorer – but not much more than that. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Young because of his age and the perceived potential that he ostensibly hasn’t unleashed, but the reality is that he’ll never be more than a good scorer in the NBA, and the last time I checked, guys that can put up 20 a night aren’t that uncommon in this league. I see Nick Young in the J.R. Smith vein, and that doesn’t amount to more than a very good role player. I think they should let Nick Young walk. They’ll likely have to overpay for a guy whose stock couldn’t be higher right now.
John Wall Looks Good, But Has Work To Do:
Wall has been mostly impressive in his rookie season thus far averaging 15 points and 9 assists. I believe his assist numbers, assuming he’ll keep them up, will be the highest for a rookie since Mark Jackson’s 10.5 in 1987-88. Aside from that, Wall has been shooting poorly of late, and he hasn’t had much success with his jump shot.
There have been countless comparisons between him and Derrick Rose, and I think at this point, Wall is actually farther along. Rose is having an MVP-caliber season, but prior to this year, he had a number of issues with his game. Mainly, he wasn’t getting to the free throw line nearly enough to be considered an elite point guard, and what made things worse was that his jump shot was slightly worse than Wall’s is now. Rose’s free throw numbers have gone from 3.1 attempts per game, to 4.3 in year two, to now 6.2 thus far this season. On top of that, his three point percentage has gone from 26% last year to 37% this year. Both his free throws and jump shooting have drastically improved.
Wall, on the other hand, is putting up better overall numbers than Rose did his rookie year. He’s shooting 30% from three, and he’s averaging 4.8 free throw attempts per game. More importantly, he’s averaging three more assists each night than Rose did during his rookie campaign (6). The fact remains that if Wall puts the work in, he’ll be at least the player Rose is today, and in my opinion, he has a higher ceiling as he’s a better passer.