These Wizards 2013 NBA Draft Ratings Are Very Important and You Must Read Them | Wizards Blog Truth About

These Wizards 2013 NBA Draft Ratings Are Very Important and You Must Read Them

Updated: June 29, 2013

[We’re not teachers, but we give grades!]

Hey gang, let’s grade/rate/measure a function of the American professional game of basketball that doesn’t actually involve the playing of basketball: the NBA Draft.

It can be the worst, most irreverent prognostication of pre-future assessments.

Mr. Theodore Leonsis, a blogger who happens to own the Washington Wizards, published the equivalent of a “provided with no comment” post on his blog Friday, titled “Draft Grades Summary.” The full text:

Here you go – a summary of our draft grades from around the web. Click here to review.

And said linked site, “In the Capital,” did an excellent job of aggregating the results. The SEO was ‘almost’ perfect. And the SEO must be perfect. But alas, their headline wasn’t:

“How Tebow, LeBron, WAGS & Aaron Hernandez Might Grade The Wizards’ NBA Draft, a Slideshow”


Otherwise, In the Capital writes:

The feedback for the Wizards’ draft has been overwhelmingly positive thus far, though, and with good reason: Porter, who played his home games at the Verizon Center at college, might not even have to move lockers as he transitions to the NBA.

Spoiler Alert: Otto will have to move lockers, lest the chemistry will never develop with him dressing by himself down the hall.

Another spoiler alert: In the equivalent of rating your food at a restaurant before you eat it, many gave the Wizards an ‘A’.

Before we continue, let’s travel back in time for a second… to the land of 2011 NBA Draft, to the land of Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Shelvin Mack. Grades please.

CBS Sports (Matt Moore and Ben Golliver): A+

The Wizards got two of the best steals of the draft. Vesely will bring aggression and athleticism. Singleton, defense and versatility. They knocked this out of the park.

Yahoo!’s Ball Don’t Lie (Kelly Dwyer): A+

Vesely fawning aside, this was a terrific draft. Vesely will be must-watch TV for those of us who dread pulling up Wizards games on a Tuesday at 7 at night, Singleton is a needed lockdown defender who might allow Flip Saunders to bust out his zone defense once again, and I don’t understand why other teams underrated Shelvin Mack.

Sam Amick (Sports Illustrated): A+

In grabbing the athletic, exciting small forward in Jan Vesely (No. 6), they now have a get-up-and-go talent to run the break with their franchise centerpiece. Vesely has been the apple of the Wizards’ eye for quite some time and that’s precisely why. In Singleton (No. 18), they get a lockdown defender player who claims he can guard all five positions. Shelvin Mack (No. 34) is a nice pickup at the point. Washington’s only backup for Wall before the draft was journeyman Mustafa Shakur.

Chad Ford ( A

This was a critical summer for the Wizards. Drafting John Wall last year was easy. This year, the challenge was to surround him with players who complement his talents. Mission accomplished.

Tom Ziller (SB Nation): A

The only two above-average players on the Wizards each got something to love on draft night. Point guard John Wall picked up a brilliant running mate in Vesely, a flyer who will no doubt find himself on the business end of a number of open court alley-oops. JaVale McGee, the team’s quixotic center, found a partner in defensive crime in Singleton.

[Ed. Note: I’m pretty sure that “JaVale McGee,” “defensive,” and “crime” used in the same sentence, in a positive manner, has never been done before, or since. Also, in case you didn’t know, ‘quixotic’ is a fancy word for ‘asshole’.]

Mike Misek ( B

Washington came away last summer with a star in John Wall, and went into this draft looking for players who can help him out. Vesely is an ideal 3 in today’s NBA because he will have the length and athleticism to handle the oversized small forwards defensively. While his shot is not great at this point of his development, he has the form to where it should come with time and work. Singleton is in many ways a similar player to Vesely. He has a tremendous ability to defend, but needs to stay out of foul trouble and work on his offense.

[Ed. Note: Jan Vesely… an ideal THREE? No, my friends, the Wizards have converted him to a weak and basketball-aloof 4. Get with the times…]

The funny thing is that it’s still almost too early to grade Washington’s 2011 draft, despite Shelvin Mack being a member of the Atlanta Hawks now. [Note to self: try to avoid smirking the next time you type something like that.] Feel free to consider the above bullshit, and the following bullshit, with a grain of salt that will raise your pixel cholesterol.

With that wonderful intro, the TAI Crew presents their 2013 NBA Draft Ratings for the Washington Wizards. Apologies that we did not get this posted while David Stern was still at the podium, because about a million things have changed since. And it could very well, in fact, be the case that what you are reading now is already out-of-date, tomorrow.

On the scale of 1-to-5, 5 being “very happy” and 1 being “not at all happy,” we rate our feelings … pixel trust-falls, Internet Kumbayas, and the what-not.

Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)
—> 4.366666 out of 5

I think I’ve said enough already, so I’ll add the following:


Sean Fagan (@McCarrick)
—> 5 out of 5

Sometimes there is a benefit to being the least crazy person in the room. As Bill Simmons nearly had a heart attack on stage due to his Boston Celtics putting C-4 to his team, the draft played out as a cavalcade of weirdness. Cody Zeller fourth overall? The Pelicans trading a presumed number one pick, a pick in 2014, and a slightly damaged Nerlens Noel for Jrue Holiday? Amidst the chaos, reporters were furiously attempting to keep up with all the weirdness and general disorganization of the draft. Perhaps the Barclay’s Center should take a lesson from the Prudential Center in Newark (the site of the previous two drafts), because suddenly hallways that were open would magically be blocked off, you would be grabbed by the scruff of your neck by a red-cloaked security guy, and that dude from New Zealand just kept wandering the halls endlessly without any handlers.

The Wizards were a sea of calm on a night of stupid. We may wring our hands about Noel in a few years (I personally doubt it), but the Wizards got the guy who fits team needs and will sell the jerseys. Combine that with Ernie Grunfeld getting some of his mojo back by swinging a truly astute trade for Glen Rice, Jr., who, despite his rap sheet, is exactly what the Wizards need from a second round pick as the team is currently comprised. He can score, he can rebound, and he can immediately give you 10 minutes a night. You could never say that about Hamady N’diaye or the last few second round picks. So, as shocked as I am to say this, I give the Wizards a 5 out of 5 on the night. Dependent on what they do with Martell Webster and their crowded frontcourt, they may even earn a 5 for the offseason.

Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)
—> 4.25 out of 5

Rating a draft is never easy in the days after the draft. In 2011, as seen above, most people who rate drafts gave the Wizards grades that my parents would have considered giving me $1 for in middle school (really, though, Mom and Dad? $1 per A?).  Two years later that draft looks like an absolute disaster. The 2013 draft looks good right now. Are you ecstatic? Probably not, but anticlimactic comfort will sustain you far longer than railing Jan Vesely off a toilet seat at 2 a.m. in a dive bar.

To put it in the context of Lionel Richie songs, I’m not “Dancing on the Ceiling,” but on the other hand, neither am I “Easy Like Sunday Morning.” I’ve got more of a “Penny Lover” vibe about Otto Porter’s future with the Wizards. I’m not sure how the Wizards got to a place where they need Otto Porter as badly as they do (especially after drafting several SFs in the past few years), but make no mistake, having an eventual replacement for Ariza (and an eventual starter) on a rookie contract will absolutely help the Wizards improve the team through free agency after this coming season, when Ariza’s $7.7 million comes off of the books. Look for the Wizards to re-sign Martell Webster if they can, and give Webster and Ariza additional minutes at shooting guard to compensate for the lost time at small forward. The Glen Rice, Jr. pick? Almost worth an additional star via the Nailin’ Palin blogging gold on a team that is becoming increasingly less idiosyncratic (hooray?) and more professional as the years roll on. Additionally, Glen “Sticky” Rice (I am so sorry) has a legitimate chance to stick with the team beyond the first year, something that Wizards second-rounders (excepting Andray Blatche) haven’t been able to do. Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Adam Rubin (@LedellsPlace)
—> 3.5 out of 5

On a night full of surprises, the 3rd pick certainly was not one of them. It’s hard to get excited about Otto Porter because his selection has been seemingly preordained for over a month. That’s not to say Otto was a bad pick, just a boring and predictable one. You can’t blame Ernie for picking the hometown star who fits an immediate need. But you can’t praise him either. With Bradley Beal, Jan Vesely and now Porter, Ernie has a history of locking in on a pick weeks in advance. It would be interesting to learn whether Ernie & Co. contemplated grabbing Nerlens Noel as he slid by—either as trade bait or the future anchor in the front court. Time will tell whether Ernie made the right basketball decision, but he certainly took the suspense out of the draft. Not that suspense is always a good thing.

Ernie’s second round pick bumps the grade up 0.5. Grabbing Glenn Rice, Jr. with the 35th pick (via trade) was basically the equivalent of making a D-League call-up. Usually Ernie waits until February to raid the minor leagues but this year he started early. Garrett Temple and Cartier Martin should be nervous. Rice tore up the D-league in his final two months and was the MVP of the Finals. At only 22, Rice would have been a senior this year, and he excelled against D-League competition that exceeds the level of play in the NCAA. As far as second round picks go, he is arguably the most NBA-ready. A strong selection for a team that is in need of immediate scoring help. Draft Grade: 3.5

John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)
—> 4.5 out of 5

What’s there to say about Otto Porter? Quite a bit, evidently. And yet not much at all.

It’s hard for me to get too excited about the rookie out of Georgetown. It doesn’t help that he’s just not a very exciting guy. At Porter’s official introductory press conference this afternoon, the attending media failed to get a great quote about his experience on draft night, but not for lack of trying. Highlights, few and far between, included, “The bus to the Barclays Center, I felt like that was the longest ride ever,” and “I can’t wait to play.” You could tell that the paid pixel generators were left wanting.

His public persona, at least that seen through live video feeds on the Internet, is similar to his persona on the hardwood. Porter gets attention, but doesn’t command it. He plays below the rim. He’s a little flat. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t the right guy for the franchise, and that doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid rotation player in the pros.

Porter can be the complimentary relish, perhaps some extra mustard, on the Wizards’ half-smoked roster. A much-needed kick of flavor, certainly, but without the main attraction (John Wall and Bradley Beal), you’d be left asking, “Where’s the beef?”

As for Glen Rice, Jr. … well, in some ways he’s everything that Porter is not. He’s volatile and unpredictable. He breaks the rules. He’s a guard with a post game. He’s a right-handed player who loves to drive left. He can shoot off the dribble. He’s a hyper-talented could-be, not a safe, do-it-all glue-guy.

I’ll rate the draft a 4.5, a reflection of “Bubba” Porter and Rice’s college and D-League careers, not a prediction of their NBA futures. The Wizards are asking a lot of tough questions—only time will tell if either player provides a good enough answer.

Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)

The usually contained Randy Wittman was unable to hold back his jubilation at the press conference to introduce Porter in D.C. on Friday. Ernie Grufneld’s normally parsed words had a sharper, believable edge. Otto Porter was their guy from the jump, and they got him. Publicly and privately, the Wizards’ front office is genuinely overjoyed at their selection of the 6-foot-8 swingman from a town of 260 people in southeast Missouri. You cannot blame them because there is much to like in the Georgetown standout.

Porter is able to defend multiple positions with his lanky frame and sneaky athleticism. His monster 2012-13 season was a product of hard work instilled in him by a humble family and manifested by gradual improvement throughout his young basketball career. His college resume is on par with other past Hoyas who are having a good run in the NBA: Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green and Greg Monroe.

The situation is perfect for Porter, as he can mesh with Washington’s system almost pressure-free since the weight of the franchise still resides on John Wall’s shoulders. His low-key personality will also fit nicely into the organization’s newfound move toward high-character and low-maintenance individuals. And the social life adjustment could not be any smoother with Porter already living in D.C. for the past two years. Anthony Bennett was my first choice, and passing on Nerlens Noel could come back to bite the franchise down the road if the young bigs on current roster never pan out.

But it is hard to argue that Otto and the Wiz Kids are not a perfect match.

Oh, Porter just turned 20 years old too—he’s a mere three weeks older than Bradley Beal. Now, we just got to figure out a cool nickname for the three young building block of the future: Wall, Beal and Porter. My first vote is for “Triple Trouble.”

For inspiration, lyrics from a Beastie Boys tune:

“If you (if you)
Wanna know (wanna know)
The real deal about the three
Well, let me tell you we’re triple trouble, ya’ll
We’re gonna bring you up to speed (check it out)”

During the recent era, Washington’s choices in the second-round has caused quite a bit of angst. It is an annual rite of passage for Wiz followers to get upset at team decisions. Do other fan bases act this way? (Probably, to some extent.) It began with the selling of Bill Walker to Boston in 2008. Then it was further incited with passing on DeJuan Blair in 2009 and instead selling the pick (Jermaine Taylor) to Houston for cash considerations. In 2010, they traded pick Nos. 30 and 35 to move up seven spots to nab Trevor Booker (whom some thought would be available at 35 anyway), also getting pick No. 56 in the deal. In the following draft, Chandler Parsons fit a shooting need and Wizards went with Shelvin Mack instead. Last season, the Tomas Satoransky decision caused a mini-meltdown in various comments sections.

… Sorry for all of that, but with this context, I can get behind Glen Rice, Jr. Randy Wittman told me after Wizards took Otto that he was not looking to add three rookies to training camp. So those roster constraints made a trade likely.

I would have preferred a young combo guard, or a sweet-shooting stretch 4, but Rice can fill it up. The team could always use more long-range shooters and bench scoring. Rice possibly could provide both and looks like an intriguing wing prospect for the future.

Washington didn’t sell its picks or acquire a Euro-stash, so this has to be a win. Rating: 4.5


After the Porter pick and before the trade to get Glen Rice, Jr., the denizens of Twitter were polled on their feelings surrounding the Wizards and the draft on the scale of 1-to-5 in the same manner; 5 good, 1 bad. The results:


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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.