Washington Wizards Need to Retool

ROB YOUNG SRContributor IFebruary 11, 2009

The Washington Wizards' owner, Abe Pollin, has emphasized that a sense of urgency is needed.

He is not getting any younger, and he also has some health issues that are now part of the equation.

Ernie Grunfeld is in a position that I doubt many NBA GMs envy.

His roster's core is an uncertainty.

Gilbert Arenas, the team's franchise player, is recovering from his third knee surgery, and there is no way of knowing if he'll be anything close to "Agent Zero" in his prime when he does return.

Antawn Jamison, though steady, is not getting any younger and can be a defensive liability.

Caron Butler is a warrior and I believe he is as important as Arenas, but he is just one man.

The "Big Three", as they have been called, have been enough (when healthy) to make NBA basketball exciting in Washington once again. But the early-round losses to LeBron and Co. the last few years should signal there is still work to do.

Beyond the three, there is not much to get excited about. Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson round out the projected starters and Nick Young, Darius Songaila, Andray Blatche, Etan Thomas and Mike James get the bulk of the reserve minutes. JaVale McGee, Dominic McGuire, Javaris Crittenton, Oleksiy Pecherov, and Juan Dixon round out the roster.

Now, injuries have caused things to be quite difficult this season, but honestly, does anyone believe this roster would have done any better than last season? Almost every other team in the East improved its roster except the Wizards. This team and its front office must remember that, a couple of years ago, they were the hottest team in the Eastern Conference.

But the group has changed too little since. They still need rebounding, better team defense, and a true point guard. The thing that is even more concerning is with the current state of the roster, and Pollin determined to not pay the luxury tax, it may be difficult to sign the potential lottery pick they will receive this year.

Ivan Carter of the Washington Post stated recently that if they are unable or unwilling to trade one or more of the current contracts, they may have to package the pick and a player for some veteran help and salary cap relief.

Now, as it stands, the player most enticing to other teams is Jamison. He is still playing well enough to possibly allow the Wizards to get their trade partner to take Thomas's contract off their hands at the same time.

The "Big Three" experiment was good enough for a while, but now we need to add a nice attacking PG. Crittenton might be that player, if he allows Gilbert to play more at the two-guard.

The Wizards still need to figure out what there are going to do with Pecherov.  They really need a "junkyard dog"-type PF in here to rebound and deter some of the constant penetration. This could put them right back in the mix in the East.

So Ernie, it's time for another one of those savvy moves you get so much credit for. Mr. Pollin and the fans are waiting...