So it was announced tonight that Ernie Grunfeld will remain with as president of your Washington Wizards. As much as I thought there MAY be a change, and as surprised as I am that Ted Leonsis apparently not only didn't interview other candidates but TURNED DOWN requests to interview others, I cannot say that I am terribly shocked by this happening.
Surely the Nenê trade was a clue that Ernie being back was more than a possibility to occur. I would have been on board with a new GM, but I'm not broken up over it. He’s DEFINITELY made his share of mistakes, but I’d almost bet that many of them were under not too subtle orders from Abe Pollin (To be specific, I'm talking about re-signing Gilbert and Antawn, and trading the #5 pick in the 2009 Draft). I’m not even about defending the bad decisions but let’s just look at now.
You guys do know that these players that everyone’s excited about now were also brought in under his watch, right? Let’s not be completely one-sided here. All I’m saying is that while we’re quick to bash all of the mistakes, let’s remember that this 2010 draft class that we’re suddenly so amped about (Wall, Seraphin, Booker, and Crawford, who was also from that class) and the cap flexibility that we now have was his too. Many can and will discredit the John Wall pick as luck of the draw. Cool. Luck happens. As much as everybody slurps Sam Presti, he was still a tad lucky that he was left with Durant instead Oden in 2007. I just think we’ve gotten so enamored with hating Ernie that we COMPLETELY discredit any good that he’s done.
I said all of that to say here’s to a little more luck with the top pick in the lotto. Even if not the number one pick, a top five pick gives us the opportunity to bring in a long-term stud. Two second round picks, if used wisely, may also be helpful either by actually using them on useful players or by using the picks in trade (maybe to get back into the first round?). Blatche can be amnestied. The remainder of Rashard’s contract ($13.7M last I checked) can be paid off or it could be an asset in a trade. We have cap room. We, hopefully, can look forward to development in a legitimate offseason for Wall, Seraphin, Booker, Crawford, and Vesely. Things are looking up! And these positive vibes have also occurred under the watch of Ernest F. Grunfeld (I made the 'F' up. I used to love when Tony K did that with Donovan McNabb).
OK, I'm done. Back to your regularly scheduled Wizards-bashing.