2011 NBA Draft Grades: What Washington Wizards Must Do Next After Big Draft
The Washington Wizards couldn't have done much better in the 2011 NBA draft. Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack will all make an instant impact in year one. They filled their three biggest needs by adding a small forward, a backup point guard and three-point shooting without having to reach once for a player.
Scratch that: they couldn't possibly have done better.
The first order of business the Wizards must take care of this offseason is to re-sign Nick Young. Sure, he's not big on defense, but he's Washington's best scoring threat. He and Jordan Crawford could form one of the best two-guard tandems in the entire league for the next half-dozen years if they get a deal done.
If the Wizards re-sign Young, all of a sudden they are set in their backcourt. The addition of Shelvin Mack really solidifies Washington's young guard rotation.
Secondly, they must fix their front court. Washington definitely has the pieces and the trade value to turn their little mess into a legit contender. They just have to make all the right moves.
At least at small forward they are set with the veteran Rashard Lewis and future starter Chris Singleton. The selection of Singleton was absolutely huge because the Wizards didn't have any lock-down defender last season, and it showed as they had one of the worst defenses in the league.
Andray Blatche should be traded, no questions asked. The Wizards must jump at any little value because he has to be gone by the beginning of the season. He's a talented scorer and rebounder, but you can't have someone who isn't committed to winning on a young, up-and-coming team.
There will be interest in Blatche because he's talented and some coach will believe that he can handle his attitude. With Vesely, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin developing, they're set at the four without Blatche. Plus, they have Yi Jianlian as another possible trading piece that they could package.
Now the question that may ultimately determine the Wizards fate of if they will ever contend for an NBA title: What do they do with JaVale McGee? He's obviously a freak athlete with loads of potential, but he's been criticized for his overall skill set and fundamentals. One can make an argument that there isn't anything special about McGee's game besides his few SportsCenter top 10-like plays every night.
Washington doesn't look like they are going to trade McGee because they most likely could've swapped him for the No. 2 pick in the draft. If they do indeed keep him, they must find at least one, if not two defensive specialists to put around him. Nazr Mohammed would be a nice cheap pickup that could really help protect the rim with the Wizards current shaky defense.
If the Wizards make the right trades with Blatche and Yi and sign a quality defensive-minded big man, dare I say they could be playoff bound? We see teams who were supposed to be one year away make the jump to being a playoff contender every year. Washington could be the Thunder, Bulls or Grizzlies of the past few years, especially if John Wall blows up.
David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a Syndicated Writer. Follow him on Twitter.
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