Washington Wizards Backcourt Set, Rebuilding Process Full Steam Ahead

Greg StarddardContributor IIIApril 7, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards dribbles against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half at the Verizon Center on March 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. 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 Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Nick Young, John Wall and newcomer Jordan Crawford have developed into one of the most exciting NBA backcourt combinations in a long time for the Washington Wizards.  All three are dangerous from numerous positions on the floor, and have the youth to blow by you at a moments notice. 

They're tough to guard and have the quickness and speed to score, and score quickly.

We all know what Wall can do. We've seen it in college, NBA All-Star competitions and as the starting point guard for the Wiz. He's too fast for himself to be quite honest. His age, maturity and playing time should help him develop very, very quickly—learning on the job so speak. 

This summer, he'll no doubt work on his outside shot, and expect that same drive and ethic to improve his game during coming offseason. In short, we are seeing but the start of an amazing career, and John Wall should continue to polish his game and come back each year better than before.

Averaging 16 points and 8 assists per game, he's already looking like one of the best Wizards' draft choices in many, many years.

Wall is under the gun so speak in D.C., but I've never seen a kid handle it better that him so far. Remember, he was named the face of the franchise fresh from his college campus in Lexington, Kentucky where he starred for the legendary Kentucky Wildcats. He stays out of the news, works hard and calls his mother. I like that. It shows respect for family, elders and his hometown.

Nick Young came out of his shell this year. Although that may not totally be his fault, because in previous seasons with the Wizards, his playing time was erratic. He got some serious minutes this year and is dropping 17 points a game. 

He has even single-handedly taken over a few games for Washington this season. His acrobatic, high flying game is exciting to watch and something long overdue in the District of Columbia. 

The guy simply brings you out of your seat.  

This year, the former USC star finally got his shot. Moving Gilbert Arenas to Orlando was key, but quite frankly, Young should have been playing more last year. But, now he's in the lineup when healthy, and that's a powerful backcourt weapon for Washington. 

Like Wall, Young possesses the youth, explosiveness and raw talent that make him tough to guard. From where I sit, he seems to be more focused this year, and that likely comes from being named a starter and asked to be one of the leaders. He forms a young, but legitimate backcourt in the National Basketball Association.

The new kid on the block, Jordan Crawford, is making quite an impression. He's the stud who dunked on Lebron at one of his basketball camps in Ohio. Crawford was a great player at Xavier, and a promising player for the Atlanta Hawks before he landed in D.C. as part of the Bibby trade. 

He's energetic, court savvy and not afraid to pull up from beyond the arc. He's a good player coming off the bench and compliments Wall and Young. As he gains more NBA experience and works hard in the offseason, the sky is the limit for a young player like him.

Give President of Basketball Operations Ernie Grunfeld credit. I know he doesn't get much these days, but he's on the right track with this youthful backcourt.  The challenge remains in the frontcourt.  As part of the rebuilding process, he needs bigs and he needs them now.

I'm not gonna trash Andray Blatche because he hasn't developed into the dominant player drafted out of high school in Connecticut. WashingtonPost.Com suggested it might be time to cut ties with him, and rehashed some of the incidents and legal issues he faced since arriving in the Nation's Capitol. 

No need to go there. 

The most important issue is whether he fits into the rebuilding process organized by owner Ted Leonsis. Do they see the same future in him that the late owner Abe Polin saw? Can they move forward with him as they try to compete in the Eastern Conference?

More questions are swirling around Rashard Lewis and Josh Howard. Both will end the 2010-2011 season sitting at the end of the bench in nice suits on the injured list. Lewis is a vet and Howard is younger, but has been hampered by injuries dating back to his finals days as a member of the Dallas Mavericks

Is the front office still willing to wait for both of them to get back to 100 percent?

Anyone who can dunk three basketballs will make my final roster, and Javelle McGee will probably become a huge part of the Wizards' future. How much? Good question. He doesn't possess the NBA body to challenge Andrew Bynum, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan, but he's developing minute by minute. 

McGee's upside is scary. If he ever gets there, look out!  But for now, the Wizards need more than him if they want to mix it up in the paint with the big boys in the East.

Free Agents, college draft, trades?  All of that can help Grunfeld and Leonsis bulk up the roster. If they can swing a Kendrick Perkins-type trade, that would shore up the front line. 

Throw out Lewis' 19 million dollar salary, and the Wizards have a lot to spend in the offseason. After Lewis' salary, the highest player salaries drop to five million a year and lower. They've got the cash.  Now it's time to find the players. Leonsis recently said he'll reevaluate everyone once the season ends. 

Question is: Is he satisfied with the rebuilding process as it currently stands?