Ernie Grunfeld's NBA Draft Presser | Wizards Blog Truth About

Ernie Grunfeld’s NBA Draft Presser

Updated: June 23, 2009

Ernie Grunfeld held a 2 pm presser this afternoon …. nothing ground-breaking. It can basically be summed up by:

“Hello press, we will be potentially drafting a player on Thursday and I’m not tipping my hat, but we’re going to do what’s best for the team.”

However, in the spirit of providing those who could not afford to listen to the streaming video-cast of the presser, I’m providing a bulleted account (before the video and sound cut off for me with about two minutes left).

Oh, and the ‘reporters’ asking questions didn’t have mics …. so that was kind of annoying. If only Dave Johnson were around to eloquently work the room like he did for Flip Saunders’ meet-n-greet night.

Some of these are quotes, and some are paraphrased thoughts/ideas/statements of Grunfeld. Evidently the Wizards website will have a complete video posted later today. Until then ….

  • On preparing for the draft: “You always have to assume you’re going to [keep the pick].”
  • The Wizards are still having conversations on what the pick can bring them in a trade.
  • 5 or 6 players will be available the draft … they really like 3 or 4.
  • Grunfeld seen Rubio twice in person and has a “real good handle” on his ability, but doesn’t want to get into any specifics about him (or any other particular player in the draft).
  • On workouts: “Bringing players into your own building is just a process … if one doesn’t come in, it doesn’t meant you’re not going to take him, or you’re not familiar with him.” (Grunfeld cited that JaVale McGee did not work out last year.)
  • Grunfeld doesn’t put much stock in workouts (especially in terms of if a player works out against others or not). He sees them as an extra opportunity to see the players’ skills and meet them.
  • On the quality of the draft: “[This is] one of the strongest PG drafts in a long time … [they] could makeup half the lottery.”
  • Teams that are ready to complete now are in a different mode (as far as cutting salary via trades around draft time) … the Wizards are obviously in a ‘compete now’ mode.
  • Grunfeld likes his core, he’s trying to put a solid team around Gilbert, Caron, Antawn, and Brendan.
  • On the team he has: “We’re a pretty deep team and we feel like at the 5 spot, we can get a pretty solid player.”
  • On the salary cap: “We’ve been over the cap … the pick is slotted in, we’ve had it in our budget for years already.” (thought this was a curious statement – he could have misspoke, I could have misheard)
  • On if he and Flip are on the same page in terms of what they want to do: “Exactly on page 1.”
  • Antawn Jamison is out of his cast from ankle surgery and will begin running next week.
  • DeShawn Stevenson is still not full speed from back surgery but he’s been working with trainers on a daily basis.
  • On ‘The Plan’: “I’m going to do what’s best for this team short term and long term.”
  • Grunfeld doesn’t know why rumors that the Wizards looking to cut salary are out there, and says “that’s not the case.” He then referred to the opportunity the Wiz had to shed salary at the trade deadline.
  • On roster size: “When I played we had 11 players on the roster and we did okay.” Grunfeld doesn’t know how many players the Wizard will have on the roster.
  • On moving up in the draft: “We’ve had some conversations about the possibility of moving up in the draft.” (among every other scenario, of course).
  • On his mood this week: “Usually I’m in a pretty good mood [around draft time] because this is all about preparation.” Grunfeld went on to say that there won’t be any arguments on who to take in the waning minutes. They have their order pretty much figured out and will go with the best available.

That’s it folks.

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.