|The Lottery Results|
Michael Jordan won the lottery, but it doesn't look like the Wizards want the
pick. They're thinking seriously about trading. Actually, Rod Higgins has
said that they'd like a trade and also that they'd likely keep it. Who
knows? But if they market the pick, what do the Wizards need?
They're likely to build around Corey Alexander and Richard
Hamilton. You'd think their immediate need would be size, and they
could use a reasonable point guard. So will they trade for a young,
established player? Or take a flyer on an Eddy Curry, Kwame Brown, Eddy
Griffin, or Tyson Chandler? Out of that four we'd go Brown, Chandler, Curry, and
Griffin. Griffin has just been too disruptive on his high school and
This draft has a lot of talent, but no one player who really jumps out at you
and says Tim Duncan or Shaquille O' Neal. Chances are there will be some
pretty complicated deals struck.
Being a Duke site, our main interest is in what happens with Shane
Battier. You have to figure if he goes to a team like the Clippers (God
Forbid) or some other train wreck, he'll have to take on a bigger role than
ideal as a rookie. Don't take that the wrong way: he's certainly capable, and
the Clippers aren't as forlorn as they usually are.
But ideally, with his polished defensive game, he'd move into either a 6th man
role or a starting position with an established team - say the Lakers, Blazers,
Spurs or Sixers, and be on a contender.
There's an excellent chance the Blazers will want to move Rasheed Wallace
after the season, but it's hard to see how he would go back to the
Wizards. And since the Wizards have also managed to get rid of Rod
Strickland, also to the Blazers, maybe they're a little wary now.
The Blazers would probably like to get rid of Shawn Kemp, who ended the
season in rehab for cocaine, but that's a hard sell.
Otherwise, they have Dale Davis, Antonio Harvey, Bonzi Wells, and possibly
Erick Barkley to work with. No one would go after Sabonis now, and if
Stoudamire is happy, he's a sharp point guard.
The Lakers are not a particularly deep team, actually, but after Shaq and
Kobe, how deep do you need to be? They don't actually have a whole lot to offer
in a trade. Robert Horry, Rick Fox maybe. That's about
The Spurs have a similar problem: they have 7 guys on their team in their
30s, and Duncan's going nowhere. Derek Anderson and Antonio Daniels also seem
Another team with some serious trade potential is the Grizzlies.
With Abdur-Rahim, Stromile Swift, and Mike Bibby, they could
theoretically work a deal.
And while it seems unlikely that Jordan would deal with the Bulls, they have
Elton Brand and Marcus Fizer, who essentially play the same position.
We can't get away from the idea of the Lakers scheming to get Battier,
particularly after someone - Jerry West? - talked about how they liked players
from places like Duke and UNC and pointed to Shane as an example of a winner.
Who knows? That's the fun of the draft - the deal-cutting and gamesmanship. Our bet is there is going to be some amazing wheeling and dealing going before the big day.