New coach added

The Wizards will announce soon that they have hired a new assistant coach: former Houston Rockets asst. Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau will effectively replace Bill Berry, who was not asked back, and Tom Young, who has retired. So far, I'm assuming that Thibodeau will be the lead assistant on a staff that will still include Eddie Jordan's guys: Mike O'Koren, Phil Hubbard and Wes Unseld Jr.

Their contracts were up late last week but Ernie Grunfeld has said that he was in the process of working on extensions for all of them. I've been told that Eddie was very involved with the interview process and signed off on the addition Thibodeau even though I know for a fact that Eddie liked his staff as it was. That said, Abe Pollin and Ernie have wanted a "defensive-minded" assistant on that staff since last summer and Thibodeau's background as a longtime assistant under Jeff Van Gundy would seem to fit the bill.

I'm waiting to speak with all of the parties involved and will have more details later. Oh, I have to clarify one thing: someone on the blog wrote a comment saying that Eddie was not at Verizon Center on draft night. He was. He didn't meet with reporters and he's been keeping a very low profile all summer but he was in the house and I hear that he liked the selection of Nick Young and Dominic McGuire.

Wait: more breaking news: I just received a call informing me that Juan Carlos Navarro has been cleared by his team in Barcelona to get out of his contract and negotiate a deal in the NBA. That would mean the Wizards, of course, because they hold Navarro's NBA rights. Don't have details on the money stuff yet and have no idea what Ernie's plan is but I'll find out more and update later.


By Ivan Carter |  July 3, 2007; 1:58 PM ET
Previous: Now it gets interesting | Next: The Elusive Juan Carlos Navarro

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I smell some spin here... "Ernie was involved in the process and signed off on it even though he liked his old staff" Read between the lines... ernie hasn't re-upped the other assistants yet.... I think EJs hand was forced here to "sign off" on the move.

Posted by: Dante | July 3, 2007 2:28 PM

Thanks for correcting that information on Jordan from USA Today, Ivan.
And that info on Navarro changes a lot!

Posted by: Henry | July 3, 2007 2:42 PM

I'll believe that info about Navarro when I see him at Verizon Center.

Posted by: Bart | July 3, 2007 2:50 PM

I regards to Navarro, with all the "highly unlikely" talk, I have just one thing to ask:

Who got bribed?

:)

Posted by: burd | July 3, 2007 2:51 PM

Oh sweet Baby Jesus YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

http://fcbarcelona.cat/web/castellano/noticies/basquet/temporada07-08/07/n070703101180.html

Posted by: The Owl Wizard | July 3, 2007 2:51 PM

How does FC Barcelona let this fly? Navarro is their franchise player...

as Bart says above, I'll believe it when I see Navarro running and gunning in preseason action...

...if this does happen, what are we to expect from him? Can he transfer his success at the PG spot to the NBA? He's looking like a stud in Euro ball.

Could be become the next team to go European? Wonder how that style of play will mesh with Gil's fast-paced game.

Posted by: Nick | July 3, 2007 3:04 PM

I can't wait to see the JCN vs. Gil three point shooting contest on youtube.

Posted by: Joe | July 3, 2007 3:11 PM

Both pieces of news are big for the Wiz. In Ernie I trust. He'll know whether to bring JCN in or to flip him as part of a larger trade. Love the coaching staff upgrade. Psyched to be a Wiz fan today!

Posted by: Ben | July 3, 2007 3:12 PM

One last thought: if this is the case, I wonder how much the Wiz could leverage Navarro to entice the Grizz to pass Gasol over to us in a trade. Navarro and Gasol are good friends, I believe...

Posted by: Nick | July 3, 2007 3:16 PM

If the Navarro news is legit, this is AS BIG OR BIGGER than the drafting of Nick Young or McGuire or Pecherov coming over from the Ukraine (?) to play this year. From everything that I've read, the guy is a stud over in Europe, and I think his addition, along with Young and Pecherov, would amount to adding the equivalent of three number one draft picks in the same year (although Navarro was actually picked in the second round). It would then fall to EJ to make all of the pieces fit. It also supports my view that if all of the key people can stay healthy, and with Songaila available for the whole year, the Wizards should be a 50-55 win outfit next year that can mount a serious challenge to Cleveland, Miami or Detroit for the conference championship.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 3:21 PM

Posted by: Nick | July 3, 2007 3:31 PM

OK, IF La Bomba comes to DC its a HUGE addition. Adding Thibodeau is another HUGE addition. It may take 40 games to sink in but better defense, even maringally better, is a big deal.

Navarro had been adamant with Barcelona that he didn't want to play anywhere but in the NBA, or for them. It was clear months ago that he was working on them to either lower his buyout or let him test himself in the NBA with their express approval. It looks like he was successful!

I wonder what Ernie knew when he let it fly that Daniels is available. We all wondered who would back up Arenas. Over a week later there is a new possible answer.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 3, 2007 3:31 PM

Wow- I've been gone a bit but it sounds like the Wiz may be very big contenders this year especially with Theiabodeau on board. They'll learn how to "block-out" or "defend" ..imagine that? No more matador defense?(to quote Tapscott)
GM and Henry - I think you already know my thoughts...yeah for a better bench.

I'm not on the conspiracy wagon just yet - but it is odd the conflicting stories about EJ. How soon will Ernie be President?
or is that not the premise?

Posted by: Robin | July 3, 2007 3:40 PM

Is there enough between the MLE and BAE for La Bomba and Deshawn?

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 3, 2007 3:45 PM

I"m loving the news about Navarro.

Now if EJ would just be more consistent with his rotations and take the high road with BH i see this team getting 50+ wins no problem

Posted by: Dante | July 3, 2007 3:45 PM

isn't ernie already president?

Posted by: hmmmmm | July 3, 2007 3:51 PM

Re: Thibodeau - one thing that hasn't changed here is that you still have to have players that WANT to play defense. Not sure we have that. Until some standard discipline is enforced for missed defensive assignments and the like, we're still a bunch of gunners flying up and down the floor.

Posted by: Wes Mantooth | July 3, 2007 3:55 PM

that FC Barcelona press release says that he's free! in the press release, he gave his thanks to barcelona for everything they have done for him, and barcelona says they are grateful for everything he has done for the club. barcelona agreed to rescind his contract and ludicrous buyout and they are going to negotiate a feasible one, but essentially they have cancelled his contract. he is free to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.

whether we sign him or use him as trade bait... this is huge! this guy is coming over with the same kind of resume that Manu had when he came to the spurs... spanish championships, euroleague titles, world championship, numerous mvp trophies...

Posted by: Bri-guy | July 3, 2007 4:04 PM

that FC Barcelona press release says that he's free! in the press release, he gave his thanks to barcelona for everything they have done for him, and barcelona says they are grateful for everything he has done for the club. barcelona agreed to rescind his contract and ludicrous buyout and they are going to negotiate a feasible one, but essentially they have cancelled his contract. he is free to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.

whether we sign him or use him as trade bait... this is huge! this guy is coming over with the same kind of resume that Manu had when he came to the spurs... spanish championships, euroleague titles, world championship, numerous mvp trophies...

Posted by: Bri-guy | July 3, 2007 4:04 PM

that FC Barcelona press release says that he's free! in the press release, he gave his thanks to barcelona for everything they have done for him, and barcelona says they are grateful for everything he has done for the club. barcelona agreed to rescind his contract and ludicrous buyout and they are going to negotiate a feasible one, but essentially they have cancelled his contract. he is free to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.

whether we sign him or use him as trade bait... this is huge! this guy is coming over with the same kind of resume that Manu had when he came to the spurs... spanish championships, euroleague titles, world championship, numerous mvp trophies...

Posted by: Bri-guy | July 3, 2007 4:04 PM

Caron, Deshawn, AD, Etan and Brendan play defense anywhere from above average to good depending on the assignment. Gilbert and AJ are something different entirely.

The only thing you need to play decent to good defense is willingness and the energy. If we have someone to give these guys a rest once and awhile without losing ground by the possession then they can give more at the defensive end of the court.

As long as they're putting in 38-40 minutes we'll have to live with how they choose to keep their game legs under them.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 3, 2007 4:06 PM

Get Juan Carlos Navarro over here ASAP! Can you imagine a backcourt with him starting and Arenas at the 2! It will be lethal. And if I am not mistaken doesn't Navarro get the standard two-year contract that a second-round gets since that is when he was picked? This is wonderful!

Posted by: George Templeton | July 3, 2007 4:08 PM

Interesting news (if accurate) about Navarro, but I think I'll hold off on boarding the bandwagon. As is the case with foreign news articles run through babel fish, we can never be sure how well international players will translate to the NBA.

Posted by: kalorama | July 3, 2007 4:15 PM

To: hmmmmmmmmmmm

Its my recollection Ernie Grunfeld is General Manager. Susan O'Malley, President as of until a couple of weeks ago at least thats what I thought. I could be mistaken.

As I said - no band wagon yet for me either.

Posted by: Robin | July 3, 2007 4:22 PM

team of the future:
twin towers: blatche and pecherov
floor leader: caron
backcourt studs: agent zero and jcn-the matador.

very exciting

Posted by: ngu | July 3, 2007 4:24 PM

team of the future:
twin towers: blatche and pecherov
floor leader: caron
backcourt studs: agent zero and jcn-the matador.

very exciting

Posted by: ngu | July 3, 2007 04:24 PM


Indeed it is! I'm pumped!!!

Posted by: Dante | July 3, 2007 4:26 PM

"Re: Thibodeau - one thing that hasn't changed here is that you still have to have players that WANT to play defense. Not sure we have that. Until some standard discipline is enforced for missed defensive assignments and the like, we're still a bunch of gunners flying up and down the floor."

as much as i agree with this sentiment, don't you think the end of the season and the playoffs showed that maybe a new commitment is there? i definitely saw an improvement on the defensive end after our studs went down, and maybe some of that will spill over into next season.

Posted by: RichBoy | July 3, 2007 4:29 PM

This Navarro news obviously is bad news for DeShawn. Navarro COULD accept the slotted amount for a second round pick, but why on earth would he come to the NBA if that is all he would make? His agent and Ernie must already have a number in mind. Navarro's contract thus must come from the MLE, which means less of it for DeShawn.
So does that mean that Jarvis will be staying? Did the Wizards make the qualifying offer to Jarvis so that his contract won't come from the MLE?

Posted by: Sean | July 3, 2007 4:34 PM

This Navarro news obviously is bad news for DeShawn. Navarro COULD accept the slotted amount for a second round pick, but why on earth would he come to the NBA if that is all he would make? His agent and Ernie must already have a number in mind. Navarro's contract thus must come from the MLE, which means less of it for DeShawn.
So does that mean that Jarvis will be staying? Did the Wizards make the qualifying offer to Jarvis so that his contract won't come from the MLE?

Posted by: Sean | July 3, 2007 04:34 PM


Sean,

Don't NBA draft picks have to accept the amount slotted for their position for their first contract?

Posted by: Dante | July 3, 2007 4:42 PM

he certainly could, sean. you bring up some good points. i wonder if there's a guarantee that we will bring back mr. 50. also, i wonder what navarro was making with barcelona? doesn't he HAVE to sign a rookie contract? this is interesting. either way, this is HUGE wiz news, and makes the idea of packaging AD with etan or brenda a much easier pill to swallow

Posted by: RichBoy | July 3, 2007 4:43 PM

Dante:
No, second round picks don't have to sign for the slotted amount. For example, prior to the draft there was talk that because Rudy Fernandez is so well paid in Europe, he likely wouldn't come over to the NBA if he was a late 1st round pick, where players ARE slotted. If he was a second round pick, however, he could negotiate a better deal that would make it worth his while to come to the NBA.

Posted by: Sean | July 3, 2007 4:55 PM

I believe you're right RichBoy. Navarro is slotted into a salary range by his draft position and doesn't have to option of negotiating outside of that.

Posted by: kalorama | July 3, 2007 4:55 PM

This is absurdly good news. Thank you thank you thank you Ernie Grunfeld for giving us a ridiculously deep, talented and athletic team.

Question is: Does JCN's arrival mean that one of DS or AD will not be here? Seems feasible.

Now the packaging of AD and ET would be incredible, since JCN, and OP would fill those spots at less than half the price.

EG for president....Oh, he already got that. Give him another raise.

Posted by: JJ | July 3, 2007 5:06 PM

What was JCN signed to make in Barcelona next year?

Posted by: Andy S | July 3, 2007 5:08 PM

How do you say Hibachi in Spanish?

Posted by: Red | July 3, 2007 5:10 PM

Encouraging news on both fronts, but I'm holding my euphoria in check to see how things all pan out.

If they can get a trade worked out with any two of AD/BH/Poet, it would be another good step. And if they can get Visser or Dowdell into summer league in Vegas, it'll be icing on the cake.

Posted by: iceberg | July 3, 2007 5:20 PM

iceberg, I read somewhere (can't remember) that dowdell agreed to play with the sonics summer league team.

And 2nd round picks aren't slotted salaries. In the past, Ivan has always said that JCN's salary would come from the MLE.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:32 PM

Actually I just checked the wiz's web site and they have the summer league roster and Visser is playing for us. http://www.nba.com/wizards/news/SL07_roster_070703.html

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 5:36 PM

Lets hold off on Navarro ever playing for the Wiz. Let's not forget that the organization that drafted JCN is far different than the existing organization. Word has it that today's Wiz don't think as highly of JCN as yesterday's did. If this is true, I think they would trade JCN's rights...

Now, the Kyle Visser news is not BIG, but it is at least interesting. He's the highest rated player NOT to be drafted and he's on our summer league team. Just something to watch...

Posted by: beyesn | July 3, 2007 5:39 PM

Lil' Wes will be here as long as I'm alive and owner of this team.

Posted by: Abe | July 3, 2007 5:43 PM

Holy cow! Hey if they need to give up the MLE for Navarro, so be it. So exciting. Wouldn't it be cool if he played on the summer league team? ...I know I'm a dreamer.

Nobody say a word about the bigs. Please.

Posted by: Patrick | July 3, 2007 5:45 PM

Navarro will get at least 3 million a year. I know they had planned on giving some or all of the BYE to Calvin Booth. Seemed like an extraordinary waste of 1.8 million to me when the vet minimum would do the job.

1.8 plus 5.6 in total exemptions means Deshawn could get his 4+ mil and Navarro would start around 3.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 3, 2007 5:45 PM

I think if Navarro is coming into town, why bother signing DS? And even if they could, where would the money come from unless they don't match AB's restricted offer?

Posted by: DC Man88 | July 3, 2007 5:52 PM

Robin, shortly after Susan O'Malley resigned, the Wiz announced that Ernie Grunfield will now become President as well as GM.

Posted by: Lisa | July 3, 2007 5:53 PM

I like the way Johnny Boy thinks.

Give that fan a contract.

Posted by: Patrick | July 3, 2007 5:57 PM

Posted by: Patrick | July 3, 2007 6:03 PM

My favorite player quote from the past season's blog, in response to an IC question:

G. Arenas: "Who is Juan Carlos Navarro?"

Posted by: Thor | July 3, 2007 6:03 PM

heart+high bball IQ+buckets+some decent D= JCN

From we've been expecting this for sooo long. Let's hope that sticks in DC

Posted by: makrau | July 3, 2007 6:11 PM

JCN ain't coming to DC. We may own his draft rights, but he's going to want to go to LA or Miami or New York--three cities that folks in Spain have heard of. He gives us a good trade bait, but I doubt we could convince him to come play here. I suspect EG and his people already have something worked out. I hope I'm wrong b/c I would love to see "la Bomba" and Mr. Sands (Arenas--Spanish for Sands) side by side. I guess we'll see...

Posted by: Wiz Fan | July 3, 2007 6:26 PM

Thank MJ for Navarro...as much as people get on him for his stint with the Wizardsas GM, his pick of Kwame, and him playing in his 40's. As a Gm, he gave EG a better palate to work with than MJ had when he replaced the guy who reveled in his own mediocrity, Unseld.

Not taking anything away from EG, and MJ was far from perfect, but he set it up and EG knocked it out of the park.

Posted by: Justin | July 3, 2007 6:29 PM

Wiz Fan, are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!?!? cuz I'm sure that NO ONE is Spain has ever heard of Washington D.C. It's only the capital of the most polarized nation in the World. Where do you think this is, Milwaukee?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 6:47 PM

Wiz Fan, are you freaking kidding me?!?!?!?!? cuz I'm sure that NO ONE in Spain has ever heard of Washington D.C. It's only the capital of the most polarized nation in the World. Where do you think this is, Milwaukee?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 3, 2007 6:47 PM

To the anonymous poster above, I was thinking the exact same thing! Wiz Fan, that made me laugh......you did Spain a disservice by stating they do not know where DC is.....

Posted by: Lisa | July 3, 2007 6:58 PM

I'm from Barcelona, spain. JCN is an incredible player he can do everything, except defense. It's more like a white iverson than a ginobili... and washington dc is in the west coast :P

Posted by: Helios | July 3, 2007 7:07 PM

Juan Carlos Navarro will be a very good player at the NBA,i´m sure.I wish he will play with his best friend,Pau Gasol.It will be a dream!!!

Posted by: spain | July 3, 2007 7:08 PM

Man I can't stop laughing!We're not retarded in Spain!This Wiz Fan...do you know Spain's in Europe?Cuz there are loads of people in the USA who think Spain is somewhere near Mexico!Navarro is a pro player!I'm sure he's been watching NBA games for ages,so don't worry,I'm sure he knows about D.C.

Regarding JCN, I'm not sure it will work out.No doubt he's a great player, but I think he may have trouble in defense. I don't see him as a pure PG and maybe he's not strong and tough enough to play the SG.Best wishes for him and the Wizards next season!

Posted by: spaniard | July 3, 2007 7:58 PM

"Juan Carlos Navarro has been cleared by his team in Barcelona to get out of his contract and negotiate a deal in the NBA."

OH $H*T!!!!

Huge news Ivan!

He could actually be the missing piece the Wizards sorely need.

Seriously. They can get a legit big man the Wizards are as good as in the Finals next year.

Henry man, we're going to the show! ;);)

I had posted about the Jordan thing, my bad. I was just posting what I had read elsewhere. :(

Ivan just brought a tear to my eye everyone. I was saying during the end of the season how amazing it would be to see Navarro here, and Gasol at center.

Now if EG can get him....maybe the Wizards stars are about to change.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | July 3, 2007 8:05 PM

Thank you Ivan.

Just had to say that again. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | July 3, 2007 8:18 PM

I say trade AJ and AD for Gasol. That would give us JCN, Gil, Caron, Jamison, and Gasol. We going to the show baby.

Posted by: Doug | July 3, 2007 8:44 PM

I say trade AD, ET, and BH for Gasol. Starting 5 : JCN, Gil, Caron, Jamison, and Gasol. Who in the East can compete. We going to the show Baby!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Doug | July 3, 2007 8:46 PM

only caron even plays lip service to defense in that group... we would give up 120 points a game

Posted by: dante | July 3, 2007 8:56 PM

I do not understand why so many people want to trade JCN. I have waited for years for this guy to come over. Most people probably did not know we drafted him but they want to trade him so he can play with his buddy Gasol. I really doubt Ernie is going to trade this guy because if he does come over and play we will have one of the deepest benches in the NBA. The one thing that makes me extremely mad is that people who post do not know what they are talking about. Everyone wants to trade for a big man. We already have OPEC Blatch Songolia Jamison Haywood and Thomas. This offense starts with the guard play not the big men and that is what has killed us in the past. We know have JCN Young Daniels and McGuire can all come off the bench and score. Add that with Arenas and Butler and we are a way better team. IF any team in the east is ready to make a push for the title it is going to be the Wizards

Posted by: Marshall | July 3, 2007 8:59 PM

I do not understand why so many people want to trade JCN. I have waited for years for this guy to come over. Most people probably did not know we drafted him but they want to trade him so he can play with his buddy Gasol. I really doubt Ernie is going to trade this guy because if he does come over and play we will have one of the deepest benches in the NBA. The one thing that makes me extremely mad is that people who post do not know what they are talking about. Everyone wants to trade for a big man. We already have OPEC Blatch Songolia Jamison Haywood and Thomas. This offense starts with the guard play not the big men and that is what has killed us in the past. We know have JCN Young Daniels and McGuire can all come off the bench and score. Add that with Arenas and Butler and we are a way better team. IF any team in the east is ready to make a push for the title it is going to be the Wizards

Posted by: Marshall | July 3, 2007 8:59 PM

Exactly Dante, but we would score 125 :)

Posted by: Doug | July 3, 2007 9:21 PM

"I do not understand why so many people want to trade JCN. Everyone wants to trade for a big man. We already have OPEC Blatch Songolia Jamison Haywood and Thomas."

Marshall, you answered your own question. Where in that list of bigs is the toughness and defense and protection of the paint that we so desperately need? Among those 6 the closest we have is Haywood and we all know his issues. You may as well add Lang and Booth and Ruffin to the list as well. I am glad to see the news about Navarro but don't know if Navarro is the one to go but I am even more convinced that Ernie has a solution in mind. I think there are a lot of options out there that are being discussed.

I am even more thrilled to see that we got a defensive minded assistent coach now who has a history of being on good defensive-minded staffs that play in June. With all the good stuff happenin' with the Wiz, we may look back and see that hiring of Thibideau (sp?) is the best news of the summer!

Posted by: BmoreRev | July 3, 2007 10:18 PM

We would be stupid if we did not try to keep JCN. He would be a great team player in the Wiz offense and would adjust defensively to the NBA. Trade him? please. But if we do, we better get a player that can start immediately...and play well. Don't give away premier talent for peanuts please.

Posted by: Centennial Park | July 3, 2007 10:49 PM

I loved it when the Wizards drafted Juan Carlos Navarro a few years ago, even knowing that he wouldn't come aboard for a few years due to the buyout clause in his contract with Barcelona. I don't know how they'll work the salaries, but if it means losing Antonio Daniels &/or Deshawn Stevenson, I think that's just a price the Wizards have to pay. As much as I like those players, I don't think comparing either of them to JCN is a fair contest. Between JCN and the USC pick Nick Young, the bench scoring problem from last season goes out the window. These guys can seriously score, and both show good defensive potential. Both of these players fit the Wizards' up-tempo style of play perfectly. I also have high hopes for Blatche and Pecherov this season.

I also really liked what I read in the interview that someone else posted a while ago, from draftexpress at http://www.draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=1961 . This is from a March '07 interview:

Juan Carlos Navarro: "I would love the opportunity to play for the Washington Wizards. Everyone grows up with the dream of playing in the NBA. I feel that they are a good young team with great guard play and I feel I could fit in great and really help the team get to the next level. That is a discussion that I hope will take place in the near future. As an athlete, I am always looking for new challenges and I feel that playing in the NBA for the Washington Wizards would be a great challenge. In past years I may not have been ready for the NBA and the style of play but I think that I have really developed as a player since I was drafted in 2002 and I think that I am ready to compete at the NBA level."

Posted by: Chris in Santa Fe | July 3, 2007 10:55 PM

haven't posted in a long time but have kept reading - good stuff as usual by the regulars and the free agents.

here is my read:

1) EG knew this was coming with Juan C.

2) Juan C. doesn't sound to me like a PG - thus having him and Young could be problematic, tho that is not a spot where having two good players playing fresh is a bad thing, but. . .

3) we have plenty of scorers - we don't have big men. my guess is that jcn is going to end up being the sugar that makes the BH or (hopefully) ET medicine go down on a trade.

That all being said, perhaps the Wiz stop pretending and just go for it - run and gun and see what happens.

Orlando is stronger now, but Rashard doesn't play defense. Varejo's exit from Cleveland (count on it) will hurt their D. Ditto Chicago and Nocioni. Boston won't play much D bc they won't have to. NY is going to be tough down low but will implode. The Pistons are old now.

Let's go for it. Shoot and score and score again. its like the old frog and scorpion parable - "its my nature" - not sure we can fight who we are.

End of the day, whatever we do, Gil needs to see progress this year, and JCN becoming available really enables that.

the secret weapon

Posted by: charles jones | July 3, 2007 11:00 PM

and i forgot to mention - ivan and michael (mike?) - the effort you guys put into this is TOTALLY appreciated. all of us are very very lucky that you guys are down with this, don't half ass this, and we notice and value it.

Posted by: charles jones | July 3, 2007 11:06 PM

charles jones, I tend to agree with you - let the Wizards do what they do well. There was a time I was disappointed with their inability to get the ball to their bigs on offense, but it's become apparent that EJ's offense doesn't really lend itself to that. You have to go with what works, and let your opponents react. It's a formula that has gotten them pretty far these last couple years. For the Wizards, it may mean going with smaller lineups to get up & down the floor, as they did in stretches this past season (Jamison at center, etc.).

But let me say also: if both Brendan and Etan are back next year, I think that's o.k. As someone else mentioned, they're both capable of good defense at times, and so long as they can contribute good minutes, get a few blocks, and fit into their respective roles, I see no real problem. So long as their rivalry doesn't poison the locker room, I don't have a problem with either one sticking around. Competition is good, and bigs aren't easy to come by.

Posted by: Chris in Santa Fe | July 3, 2007 11:28 PM

Ivan,

I like how you just sneaked that little tidbit about JCN....oh, btw, JCN is coming to DC.

1st team:gil, deshawn, caron, AJ, etan
2nd team:JCN, young, AB, songalia, pesh
Rest of the bench:AD, Booth, McGuire
(I see pesh finishing games at center)

I hope we don't trade JCN. People are moaning our bigs, but I think between ET,AB,Songalia,and Pesh we are pretty big (at least long) up front. Let's just get what we can for BH and move on.

This team will be an awesome scoring machine!!

Posted by: TOM | July 3, 2007 11:44 PM

Ivan,

I like how you just sneaked that little tidbit about JCN....oh, btw, JCN is coming to DC.

1st team:gil, deshawn, caron, AJ, etan
2nd team:JCN, young, AB, songalia, pesh
Rest of the bench:AD, Booth, McGuire
(I see pesh finishing games at center)

I hope we don't trade JCN. People are moaning our bigs, but I think between ET,AB,Songalia,and Pesh we are pretty big (at least long) up front. Let's just get what we can for BH and move on.

This team will be an awesome scoring machine!!

Posted by: TOM | July 3, 2007 11:44 PM

JCN isn't here yet. When the deal is done the deal is done. If it happens, it will make this a better team. So like everyone else here, I'm cautiously optimistic.

Btw, IF this deal happens this team could be a ton of fun to watch during the regular season. This team can compete in the East already. The low-post man though, and defense are what will make this team a true contender for the ultimate prize. Those needs may not be addressed this summer, still plaudits and encomium's for EG for more than holding up his end of the bargain so far.

Posted by: JPT | July 3, 2007 11:51 PM

"End of the day, whatever we do, Gil needs to see progress this year, and JCN becoming available really enables that."

Geeze, the Wiz would be pretty unstoppable.

Like I said get a decent big man and the Wiz will COMPETE for a championship.

This upcoming season could very well be the next season I was waiting for. :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | July 4, 2007 12:01 AM

Seems that a few people indirectly implied that EG was responsible for drafting JCN in '02, but I think it was MJ. Thought at least some credit ought to be given to him on that pick. I won't mention anything else on MJ's resume.

I've been waiting "patiently" since that draft for JCN to come over so I am quite pumped about what he brings to the Wizards.

Posted by: Humen8r | July 4, 2007 12:30 AM

http://www.draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=2160

Gave up $11.6 million to leave FC Barcelona. Looking for a 3 yr/$12 million deal.

So basically, Grunfeld has to choose between either Stevenson or Navarro. He'll choose Navarro if I had to guess.

We'll still have roughly $1.5 million of the MLE and roughly $1.7 million of the lower level exception.

Posted by: Raf | July 4, 2007 12:40 AM

Wow the Navarro news is HUGE! This is an exciting and experienced player who could really help us!

Not sure how we can sign him AND Stevenson? Plus what about minutes for them both plus AD and Young.

Agree Visser is a real nice pickup for summerleague.

Things are looking up!

Posted by: Darnell | July 4, 2007 12:43 AM

It's impossible to sign both, its either Stevenson or Navarro, and judging by how much Ernie has gushed about him in the past, the choice will be easy.

Posted by: Raf | July 4, 2007 12:49 AM

From DX:
"Our sources in Spain tell us that the Washington Wizards have scouted him extensively this past season, even sending Ernie Grunfeld over on more than one occasion to make contact with him. They consider him a perfect fit for their system, so it shouldn't be a surprise at all to see him end up in Washington DC... If the Wizards opt to keep Deshawn Stevenson over Navarro (they cannot feasibly sign both) then look for Gasol to put pressure on Chris Wallace and the Memphis front office to do whatever it takes to get him in a Grizzlies uniform."

Posted by: Darnell | July 4, 2007 12:52 AM

Like some1 has mentioned, EG wasn't responsible for JN's pick.

So how do we really know he likes this guy.
None of us has seen him played for real.

Lets see if we can package him & his hype for a low post guy. Sure wish Zach Randolph was still available.

Posted by: Victor | July 4, 2007 12:55 AM

http://www.draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=2160

Gave up $11.6 million to leave FC Barcelona. Looking for a 3 yr/$12 million deal.

So basically, Grunfeld has to choose between either Stevenson or Navarro. He'll choose Navarro if I had to guess.

We'll still have roughly $1.5 million of the MLE and roughly $1.7 million of the lower level exception.

Posted by: Raf | July 4, 2007 12:40 AM


1.5 mill + 1.7 mill = 3.2 mil = stevensons first year salary in a new deal... i think we have enough to keep both if we want to

Posted by: Dante | July 4, 2007 1:07 AM

I think EG will need to trade AD to keep deshawn and sign Navarro.

What does AD and BH get you? hopefully a serviceable big man w/ no baggage.

Posted by: TOM | July 4, 2007 1:29 AM

Dante, I don't think thats how it works. You can split them but you can't combine them. Anyway, why would we want to keep that many guards? Arenas, Daniels, Young, Stevenson and Navarro? How would you split the minutes? NBA teams keep 12 active players a game but they only play 8 or 9. What about Jamison, Butler, Pech, Songalia, Blatche, Maguire and the fighting centers. Arenas, Butler, Jamison are all locks to play plus if they are going to play Blatche all this money, he needs to play too. Unless they get rid of Daniels and one of the bigs, they don't need both Navarro and Stevenson.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 4, 2007 1:38 AM

true enough... i was just throwing it out there about the money... and i don't know how the exceptions work with combining them or not...

but yeah come to think of it if you figure young is taking hayes' spot and navarro is taking stevenson's spot then you are right we don't need any more guards... however if ernie manages to package daniels and etan or daniels and haywood off in a trade then i can see us trying to resign stevenson?

But again depends if you can split and combing the exceptions

Posted by: dante | July 4, 2007 1:59 AM

Yi for Navarro + Blatche!

Posted by: amalg | July 4, 2007 2:34 AM

amalg: I like how you're thinking, but I'm dreaming about something much better. Look at all of our assets from Tom's post above, particularly on the second team...

With one or two sign and trades, why couldn't we get Garnett? If possible, I'd be willing to part with top talent. I'm thinking Navarro, Blatche, Haywood, and Daniels would to get it done if we could make it work under the cap. The Wolves get a ton of talent, but we don't lose our core and we'd be the Eastern Conf favorites by far...

1st team - Gil, Deshawn, Butler, AJ, Garnett

2nd team - need pg (Knight?), Young, Pesh, Songaila, Etan

Others - McGuire, Booth, Taylor/Mason Jr.

If not, we could always remove Navarro and try a similar proposal for Gasol. We have big chips, let's use them.

Posted by: GHF? | July 4, 2007 6:45 AM

LA BOMBA NAVARRO(JUAN CARLOS NAVARRO) aka"the bomb" is possibly the best escort of Europe I I hope that I end up playing in DC because he is an unquestionable and not it holder likes to lose parties, does all the possible one to win. A form has a shot with own seal that is to say, to throw to basket is called just as as to they call "the bomb" to him ((I´m from spain )) NAVARRO for ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Posted by: Spanish boy | July 4, 2007 7:15 AM

Navarro will never have as much trade value as he does now. An unknown NBA commodity w/ lots of hype and potential. With Stevenson fitting in so well, and probably better defensively than Navarro, JCN plus other pieces can get the center we need to fill out the starting lineup. Pesh is really a 4, not a 5, with his game and would replace AJ next year, making Blatche available (again potential, not fact) in the right trade.

Garnett is terrific, but old and very "cap" unfriendly. Plus I doubt that he'd agree to come here. J. O'Neal (or even Gasol if you keep JCN) might be a better option and cost us less in talent. Or Tyson Chandler (or Brad Miller?) for even less since scoring will not be an issue. Some combo of Young, Blatche, AD, JCN and Haywood or Thomas should net you the missing piece in the starting lineup and still leave a good bench in place.

No matter what they do, Ernie has some "chips" to use to fill the gap to try to win now. Nice to be in this position for a change.

Posted by: Daydreamer | July 4, 2007 7:41 AM

From Spain.

Juan Carlos Navarro is a great player who can break all the defenses thanks to his "bombs" and his shoots. However he has a lot of skills, such as high IQ, hard work, and a good ethic.

Actually he is de best guard in europe. (Three of them are Rudy Fernández (Joventud), Louis Bullock (Real Madrid), and Navarro (FC. Barcelona))

I think that he could be (with Ginobily) the best not american guard.

I'm sorry if my english isn't good.

Posted by: Guzman | July 4, 2007 7:57 AM

Thanks Guzman, we can't wait to bring our "La Bomba" signs to the games.

Posted by: Wizzy | July 4, 2007 9:05 AM

I, for one, hope to see Navarro in the blue and bronze, or whatever hideous colors the Wizards will be wearing this year.

What were the problems of the team this year? Overdependence on the Big 3, such that when one of them went down, the team lost its mojo. Poor defense. Lack of scoring off the bench.

Navarro solves two of those three problems right away. The Wizards would have a Big 4. Gilbert, not nearly as dumb as he often portrays himself to be, noted recently that Juan Dixon used to provide the scoring punch off the bench, and the team needs that sort of guy. Navarro is a rich man's Juan Dixon. He is Leandro Barbosa, and opposing coaches will spend a lot of time figuring out how to stop him.

He doesn't solve the team's defensive problems, but Steve Nash doesn't solve Phoenix's defensive problems either. You solve that through other means, like better defensive players around him and coaching. You don't pass on the chance to date a drop-dead gorgeous woman because you're afraid she'll make you ugly by comparison, and you don't pass on the chance to add an offensive talent like Navarro because your other guys are inadequate defensively.

If Navarro had been in the draft last week, he would have been a top 5 pick. Yi, a guy who has experienced some success in a much inferior league, went 6th. Everyone on this blog is geeked about Pecherov, an ok player in an ok league in the Ukraine. Navarro is and has been one of the best players in Europe and in one of the best non-NBA leagues for years, and is a stud in International ball. The days of foreign players being consider JV, minor league players are over, guys. Our national team gets its butt kicked in international ball. Look at the last 6 first picks in the Draft: Oden, Bargnani, Bogut, Howard, LeBron and Yao -- half are international players. Look at Toronto -- they brought in Garbajoda and Calderon, unknown players to most, and they immediately had an impact.

I agree that there is a CHANCE that Navarro's trade value might be higher now than ever. The conservative, safe thing would be to trade him for a player whose abilities on the NBA level are known. Doing so might allow the Wizards to increase their win total by 4 or 5 games. But by doing so, you would be trading the chance that Navarro could be really good, with the ability to raise your win total by 10 games, and with the ability to hit clutch shots in the playoffs. We've watched this team for years, hoping they'd squeak into the playoffs. Why not take the chance that Navarro could be the guy that makes the Wizards a real contender?

Posted by: Henry | July 4, 2007 9:58 AM

"Navarro will never have as much trade value as he does now."

Umm, no.

If he comes here, and it seems like he is, he plays in a Wizzy uni. Stevenson can go somewhere else.

Thanks Guzman and everyone else from Spain for posting. :)

I think it's very cool that so many people from overseas are blogging here now. Don't worry about the "english" thing because many of the people who are regulars on this don't do it very well either. ;);)

Abe Pollin must be thinking of all the "LA BOMBA" jerseys he's going to be selling in Spain, lol!

Happy 4th everyone!

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | July 4, 2007 10:07 AM

"If Navarro had been in the draft last week, he would have been a top 5 pick."

Exactly what Henry said, lol. :)

It would be stuid to trade someone like that.

Possibly #3 right behind Durant and Oden.

Hey Doc, I'm excited now.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | July 4, 2007 10:14 AM

but i think the wiz should really make a move for Pau Gasol, considering that he is one of Juan Carlos Navarros best friends...maybe brendan or etan + AD + our two draft picks in next years draft...it would make this team unstoppable!!!

1st Team: Gil, DeShawn, Caron, Antwan, Pau Gasol
2nd Team: JCN, Young, Blatch, Pech, Whoever stays etan or brendan

Others: McGuire, Booth, Songaila, Visser

Pau Gasol has 5 years left on his contract starting at around 12 mil...this would be a good deal so that he can stick around for long

the trade would work!!!!!!

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=183~1000~996&teams=29~29~27

Posted by: Fulvio | July 4, 2007 10:23 AM

but i think the wiz should really make a move for Pau Gasol, considering that he is one of Juan Carlos Navarros best friends...maybe brendan or etan + AD + our two draft picks in next years draft...it would make this team unstoppable!!!

1st Team: Gil, DeShawn, Caron, Antwan, Pau Gasol
2nd Team: JCN, Young, Blatch, Pech, Whoever stays etan or brendan

Others: McGuire, Booth, Songaila, Visser

Pau Gasol has 5 years left on his contract starting at around 12 mil...this would be a good deal so that he can stick around for long

the trade would work!!!!!!

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=183~1000~996&teams=29~29~27

Posted by: Fulvio | July 4, 2007 10:24 AM

but i think the wiz should really make a move for Pau Gasol, considering that he is one of Juan Carlos Navarros best friends...maybe brendan or etan + AD + our two draft picks in next years draft...it would make this team unstoppable!!!

1st Team: Gil, DeShawn, Caron, Antwan, Pau Gasol
2nd Team: JCN, Young, Blatch, Pech, Whoever stays etan or brendan

Others: McGuire, Booth, Songaila, Visser

Pau Gasol has 5 years left on his contract starting at around 12 mil...this would be a good deal so that he can stick around for long

the trade would work!!!!!!

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=183~1000~996&teams=29~29~27

Posted by: Fulvio | July 4, 2007 10:24 AM

but i think the wiz should really make a move for Pau Gasol, considering that he is one of Juan Carlos Navarros best friends...maybe brendan or etan + AD + our two draft picks in next years draft...it would make this team unstoppable!!!

1st Team: Gil, DeShawn, Caron, Antwan, Pau Gasol
2nd Team: JCN, Young, Blatch, Pech, Whoever stays etan or brendan

Others: McGuire, Booth, Songaila, Visser

Pau Gasol has 5 years left on his contract starting at around 12 mil...this would be a good deal so that he can stick around for long

the trade would work!!!!!!

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=183~1000~996&teams=29~29~27

Posted by: Fulvio | July 4, 2007 10:24 AM

but i think the wiz should really make a move for Pau Gasol, considering that he is one of Juan Carlos Navarros best friends...maybe brendan or etan + AD + our two draft picks in next years draft...it would make this team unstoppable!!!

1st Team: Gil, DeShawn, Caron, Antwan, Pau Gasol
2nd Team: JCN, Young, Blatch, Pech, Whoever stays etan or brendan

Others: McGuire, Booth, Songaila, Visser

Pau Gasol has 5 years left on his contract starting at around 12 mil...this would be a good deal so that he can stick around for long

the trade would work!!!!!!

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=183~1000~996&teams=29~29~27

Posted by: Fulvio | July 4, 2007 10:24 AM

Guards Arenas, AD, Juan(I see him signing a one year deal), Nick, Either Stevenson or Hayes which ever sign a better(lower more flexible) deal, And last guard off the bench is JR Pinnock. If he can play some D during the summer league maybe he can develop into a defense stopper in Mason place.

Forwards Jamison, Tuff Juice, Darius, Blatche, Pesh, McGuire

Centers ET, Haywood(trade him and next year second to Dallas for Diop)Visser

That would be my 15 man roster for next year.

Posted by: dc | July 4, 2007 10:51 AM

Welcome to the posters from Spain!
I'd like to thank Antonio Daniels - lots of heart, great team player. In case you get shipped out as so many are speculating, I think last season you should have been the starting point guard with Gil the shooting guard. Except we know Gil likes the ball in his hands, so that may not have worked either.

Posted by: rgz | July 4, 2007 10:59 AM

JCN's pending arrival makes the selection of Young superfluous and one of them expendable. As good as JCN is, or will become, as a 2 guard, if the Wiz do not get an effective center for some D and rebounds, they will be a high scoring, exciting team that will get beat in the playoffs just like the Suns have been beaten each year. This roster, as presently set up with Haywood and Thomas in the middle, won't get the job done.

The Wiz need to trade some of their "extra" players off the bench to get the last piece of the puzzle. A deep bench, with young players with loads of potential (and some decent trade value), is not going to fill the hole this roster has right now. It will keep them from getting to the next level in a weak division that is ripe for the taking. Use some of them (plus picks?) to get a Camby, O'Neal, Gasol, or Chandler etal and round out the starting five. Then you'd have the roster to win now and still have some parts left for the future.

Posted by: Daydreamer | July 4, 2007 11:10 AM

It might be easier to take advantage of the Grizzlies now that Chris Wallace is the GM, although I still think it will take some package including Jamison to get Gasol here. Thanks to the Spanish fans for telling us about Navarro, I for one would certainly prefer hime to Stevenson who was not as good defensively as we hoped and even though he was Mr. 50 was an absolute bust without Butler and Arenas on the floor.
Can't wait to see this headline after a Wizards win next year: La Bomba blasts Heat!

Posted by: George Templeton | July 4, 2007 11:11 AM

Posted by: Da bomb | July 4, 2007 11:41 AM

It's funny how an idea of trading JCN takes off...for the record, I only mentioned him in a trade for Garnett. That man would solve more problems for the Wiz than JCN or anyone else not named Duncan.

Posted by: GHF? | July 4, 2007 12:08 PM

Fulvio,

You're living in a dream world. No WAY Memphis goes for that deal. Not even close. Won't happen. Zero chance. Teams simply do not give away 7-foot all-stars for the flotsam you mentioned.

To get Gasol, here's what we'd probably have to give up:

Blatche. Young. BH. Next year's #1. And maybe AD. That way they get young talent, loads of potential, a center who can give them some quality minutes and a solid backup PG.

Is it a lot to give up? You bet. Would I do it? In a New York minute. We don't lose any of the Big Three, we keep JCN, we get a terrific low-post scorer and rebounder. Everyone's happy.

Except our opponents.

Posted by: Keithinator | July 4, 2007 12:15 PM

Now that Navarro is coming, that means the Wizards can save money by not paying Gilbert his max player demands, trade Gilbert, and focus on the new core.

Posted by: GM | July 4, 2007 12:33 PM

Bad news, it looks like JCN will be headed to Memphis. Catch-up on the latest here:
http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=685732

Posted by: Wizzy | July 4, 2007 1:14 PM

This story has still not been reported by any major US news source (including Carter's own Washington Post), so let's make sure to wait a few more days to schedule our celebration parties.

And remember the Grizzlies rejected a very nice package (#9 pick, Ben Gordon, PJ's contract, Nocioni) for Pao last winter. The Wizards are NOT going to be able to trade him for Fulvio's garbage package, nor even for Keith's.

Posted by: Geoff | July 4, 2007 1:18 PM

We should just keep Navarro and let DeShawn walk.

IMO Caron should be the starting 2 anyway. He can certainly play D, handle and shoot as good as DeShawn can. Play Jamison at the 3, and we got a rotation at PF of Songaila, Blatche, and Pecherov.

When players need rest, and depending on matchups, we can slide Jamison to the 4 and Caron to the 3, and bring in Young or Navarro at SG. We can go for times with Gil and LaBomba together. We also got Dominic McGuire at backup sf, and we could possibly add Visser.

I'm looking at a general rotation something like this:

Haywood, Etan, Blatche at C
Songaila, Pecherov, Blatche at PF
Jamison, Butler, McGuire at SF
Butler, Navarro, Young at SG
Arenas, Navarro, AD at PG

That's an 12 man rotation

Posted by: Darnell | July 4, 2007 1:19 PM

The poster above does not sound remotely like GM.....GM is that really you?

Posted by: Lisa | July 4, 2007 1:27 PM

Yow! Trade Gilbert and "rebuild"? It seems like a number of people on this board have trade ideas that involve making major moves that completely change the core of the team. Me, I'd be happy if Ernie pulled off another trade akin to Kwame for Caron.

Daydreamer was saying that, without a post presence, the Wizards will be a team that loses in the playoffs every year, "just like the Suns". If the Wizards could put a team together as successful as the Suns, they'd dominate the East. I don't believe that trades ordinarily make championships. Team chemistry, discipline, fundamentals.. these are things that no trade can instill in a team. But losing a number of players in the offseason, and messing with the team's interpersonal dynamics, is a recipe for disaster. I'm hoping that Ernie Grunfeld is a cautious man.

Having said that: if they could somehow use JCN as bait for Pau, that's an intriguing idea. Pau's got to be frustrated playing for Memphis.


!!! VIVA ESPAÑA !!!

Posted by: Chris in Santa Fe | July 4, 2007 1:42 PM

but think about it the Griz just got a new GM and Pau may be pushing them to trade him to the Wiz...if we could get him i can put use automatically in the Finals...as long as we keep the Big 3 Young, JCN, Pech, and Blatche we can trade anyone

Posted by: Fulvio | July 4, 2007 2:08 PM

Chris, your theory about chemistry has merit but championships are won on talent mostly. The Lakers won 3 titles with lots of internal issues. Besides, the core of the Wiz would be intact. The big 3 plus Stevenson, if you keep him, means only the center would be new, as well as some bench players. JCN could be our super sub, like Ginobili.

"Dominating the East" doesn't win championships. Why shoot for just an Eastern title? The Wiz have to be able to beat the West teams to win it all and need a defensive presence in the middle to do that.

Some creativity and a little bit of guts by the front office to make the move can turn this team into the "real deal" and not just a wannabe.

Posted by: Daydreamer | July 4, 2007 2:21 PM

Lisa, I'm Gerome Monroe (GM), and new to this board. Is there another GM here?

Posted by: GM | July 4, 2007 6:40 PM

What about a trade with the Knicks? They have a lot of low post, rebounding players and after their trade with Portland they might need some guard help.

Posted by: Keyser Soze | July 6, 2007 11:09 AM

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