The Wizards Said WHAT? Randy Wittman Is Searching Too | Truth About It.net

The Wizards Said WHAT? Randy Wittman Is Searching Too

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Updated: February 5, 2012

The Washington Wizards are a mess. They can team worse than they are, but the only one is the Charlotte Bobcats. They’ve, in brief times, competed against good teams, but always lose. They’ve given the Oklahoma City Thunder an anomaly to everyone’s surprise. They’ve gotten demoralized by teams very good, good, and mediocre, the LA Clippers working to migrate from good to very good status in their 107-81 blowout win over Randy Wittman’s team on Saturday night.

Washington has youth making lesson-learning mistakes, but they also have youngish mid-range veterans who continue to not “get it.” JaVale McGee, for instance, has more minutes of on-court development over his career than the likes of Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka and DeAndre Jordan. Yet those players, picked after McGee’s 18th position in the 2008 draft (21, 24 and 35 respectively), have developed into more indexed team intelligence for their franchises.

Jordan Crawford, age 23, is in the second year of a career that could go in a number of directions. Right now on a team like the Wizards, most of those don’t show a ton of promise, but there are glimmers. Nick Young, age 26, continues to show why he’s just another in a long line of capable NBA scorers who can’t do much else. In his fifth NBA season, he helps his team embody this quote said by Wittman after the loss to the Clippers:

“You have to read the situation and what they’re doing and not just play the play that’s supposed to be… they take this away, we’ve gotta do that. I don’t think we did the second part of it. They took this away and we just went ahead and tried to do it anyway.”

Sounds like mumbo-jumbo, but its essence conveys that the Wizards are still a first offensive option, me-first team; they have those kind of players. These efforts are led by the no longer fresh-faced players brought in by Ernie Grunfeld who were supposed to help establish new traditions — the McGees, Youngs and Andray Blatches of the scene – long before it became a catch-phrase motto for this season under Ted Leonsis.

Then there are the so-called veterans. Who, exactly, we don’t know. Rashard Lewis, Roger Mason, Mo Evans and Ronny Turiaf are on the roster, we know this. The first is a shell of his former self; the second is not a popcorn shooter who can’t play a lick of defense; the third was hastily signed into camp, out of shape due to his lockout involvement and a bad knee; and the last is ironically the veteran who could help the Wizards the most, but has been out since January 2 with, you guessed it, an injury.

Then there’s this other post-game quote from Wittman:

“Maybe I have to play another veteran guy, other than Rashard. It’s one thing to put the young guys out there, but they also have to learn to compete at this level of competition. And to me, I didn’t think we were ready for that. Maybe I got to sprinkle another veteran in there that knows what that game is all about before it starts. I think once that game started and they saw how hard they came at us, it was a ‘holy smoke’… I don’t know, I’m searching too.”

A veteran in addition to Rashard Lewis (even though Wittman said ‘other than’)? A veteran aside from Lewis (because he does bring needed veteran traits, aside from playing so poorly)? There are no other veteran options. Searching for… no one really knows. Leonsis and Grunfeld have a stated plan, but neither knows where that really leads the franchise, aside from proving dedication to staying a course. What does the plan say about future tough decisions? Amnesty Andray Blatche? Buy-out Rashard Lewis? Let Nick Young walk? Think long and hard about matching another team’s offer for JaVale McGee, if there are any?

Determining the fate of under-developed dead weight versus who needs more time, it won’t be easy. But then where will the Wizards be? With some damn fine career role players such as Trevor Booker, Shelvin Mack, Jan Vesely, maybe Kevin Seraphin… alongside John Wall, a pronounced as a game changer who clearly doesn’t have the answers. A player who is clearly more of a point guard to complement a star or two who just happened to be the best option in a weak 2010 draft.

The Wizards said WHAT? Well, I think everyone is still trying to figure that out. But they are going somewhere, even if that somewhere is still very far away. Because if you can’t improve past the 27 wins and 79 losses thus far in the Wall era, then you might have to adjust the plan.


  • larry smith

    They can’t do any thing to Nick Young , he is a free agent. Young have never wanted to be apart of this mass! here at washington. Young is free.

  • elvena

    Yes, “larry smith,” it’s a mass of a mess, and Nick’s been a part of making it such although his play definitely improved under Saunders and seems to have regressed since Flip left. It’ll be interesting to see where Nick winds up and at what price.

  • nich

    If Young didn’t want to be a part of this “mass” why did he sign his qualifying offer this year?

    Oh yeah, because there wasn’t a single team out there willing to take him on, even though they’d only have to pay about $4 million a year to get him out of this situation which you think he hates so much.

    I don’t know why he wouldn’t be happy here though, he clearly isn’t bothered by losing and loves being the #1 offensive option by default on one of very few teams in the NBA where he can get 30 minutes a night.

    Now that teams have dumped a lot of their bad contracts, I’m sure somebody will pay him more to be a solid 6th man. I wish Nick the best but the fact that he still hasn’t grasped the concept that he’d get better looks if he was a threat to drive or pass after this many years in the NBA makes me proud of the Wizards for not taking the bait and giving him a long term deal.

    Jordan Crawford can give you the exact same things Nick does up until 2014/2015 for a *total* less than what Nick thinks he’s worth for a single season. And that doesn’t even account for the possibility of Crawford improving over time, something which Nick Young never did as his FG% and True Shooting% are both career lows. Crawford- at this stage of his career is just as much of a gunner as well as being less efficient with his gunning, but he at least grasps the simple concept that players who don’t pass or drive make life easy for the players defending them.

  • Michael

    @nich- He signed the qualifying offer because he thought he could get a better deal as an unrestricted free agent.

    And no, there wasn’t a single team in the league that could pay him $4 million a year to take him from Washington. The Wizards have a ton of cap space and would have matched such an offer.

    And no, Jordan Crawford can’t give you anything close to what Nick Young can give you. He is a significantly worse shooter of the basketball and a significantly worse defender. Even if you were to believe Young’s percentages are career lows (which I can’t be bothered to look up), they are still higher than Crawford’s.