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Washington Wizards: An Upgrade and a Question Mark

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Bradley Beal of the Florida Gators walks off stage after he was selected number three overall by the Washington Wizards during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Manny GeraldoCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2016

Last night, in a city that will soon join Seattle in the ex-wives club, the Wizards significantly upgraded their roster and their chances at making the playoffs (8th seed, of course) by drafting Florida guard Bradley Beal.

Drafting Beal was the right choice.

The Wizards needed a scorer in a bad way, and the team got just that. The Wizards now have a young, dynamic back court with John Wall and Bradley Beal. At best, the duo becomes Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars. At worst, the duo becomes Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton (forgive my affection for Pistons backcourts). I can live with either duo, because both are NBA champions.

Jordan Crawford, though an erratic scorer, is only 23 and provides instant offense off the bench. His shot selection has less standards than a freshman on spring break (Cancun '03!), but he is the Wizards best scorer off the bench. If Whitman goes "small ball," the run-and-gun of Wall, Beal and Crawford will be fun to watch.

In typical Grunfeld fashion, he made a decision that is nothing but a question mark. Grunfeld really missed an opportunity to add valuable depth in the second round by drafting Tomas Satoransky, a 6'7" guard out of the Czech Republic, with pick No. 32. In a draft this deep, the Wizards would have served themselves better by adding a player that contribute this season, especially since Satoransky will likely stay in Europe.

The Wizards passed on a number of polished and NBA-ready scorers in the second round, such as Jae Crowder, Orlando Johnson, Will Barton, Kim English and Kevin Murphy. With Nene's age and injury history, adding a big man such as Kyle O'Quinn, Justin Hamilton or Robert Sacre would have been much more productive in the short term and in the long run.

While Grunfeld made the right choice in drafting Beal, he made a questionable choice in the second round by drafting Satoransky. Beal is enough of a significant upgrade to make the draft a successful one, especially if the Wizards contend for a playoff spot.


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