Washington Wizards, Minnesota Timberwolves… on a Sunday afternoon when you will likely be watching playoff football, the Wizards will be trying to secure their first win of the season. For today’s 3-on-3, we have Benjamin Polk from the ESPN TrueHoop Network T-Wolves blog, A Wolf Among Wolves, along with TAI’s Sam Permutt and yours truly, Kyle Weidie. Three questions, three answers starts now…
#1) That David Kahn fellow… Can the future of the franchise be trusted in his hands? And with Ricky Rubio playing well, how much credit does he get for taking advantage of Ernie Grunfeld by sending him the always underachieving Mike Miller and Randy Foye for the pick that brought Rubio to Minnesota?
PERMUTT: I don’t pretend to know whether Kahn can be trusted… and that’s what makes him such an entertaining GM. He’s like the guy in your fantasy league who you secretly admire because he picks with no regard for predicted rank—except he has a real team! As for Grunfeld flipping the fifth pick into Miller and Foye, I still say that was a solid move for both teams. The fact that it turned into Rubio two years later is good for the T-Wolves (and Kahn), but Grunfeld shouldn’t be blamed.
POLK: You know, I really have no idea. Although Kahn has certainly made more than his share of personnel mistakes, I do feel like his rep as a bumbler has been exaggerated by his abrasive personality and the weird things he says. That said, the Rubio/Miller-Foye trade is, in my opinion, the best thing he’s ever done. Now if he’d just found some way to avoid taking Jonny Flynn at six…
A D.C. pic, bullets of Wizards links, and words with those links…
A man with a plan, and a pizza. [Meridian Hill Park, 16th St. NW - Washington, D.C. - photo: K. Weidie]
> John Wall, at his young age, understands how important it is to be an ambassador for the game of basketball and for professional athletes. He also seems to know that it’s part of his job, but in a sense where when he does good deeds, they don’t have to involve a big production or show. He just does them. He takes extra time to sign autographs, all the time… excessively. I’ve seen this. And now, I’m imagining that over time you’ll hear more and more great stories like this one relayed by Dan Steinberg.
[DC Sports Bog]
> Washington Post music writer David Malitz makes a good observation … should the ’04-’08 “Glory Years” Wizards be celebrated as the first team to reap benefit from the Internet age (partially thanks to the rise of blogs, prominently via Dan Steinberg and Gilbert Arenas)? I think so.
Hi there Internet. Why yes, this here site has doled a lot of criticism toward JaVale McGee in the past X amount of time. While some of it has certainly been flagrant, it is not baseless.
However, one might counter that we have not given young McGee enough praise. This may be true and to that we will say this, he is a keeper… despite all the basketball disruption that his alter ego, I’m assuming his name is “Pierre,” has caused to the playpen of team functionality and trust. He’s not a bad kid. He is young, after all, but many times disappointingly young in comparison to some contemporaries. Still, no one said an investment in youth is easy, but it’s usually always worth it, especially given McGee’s athletic parameters.
Over the past several years, NBA organizations have increasingly integrated advanced statistics into their decision-making. But exactly how teams employ these statistics in personnel decisions — that is privileged information. The NBA’s trend towards quantitative analysis is seemingly personified by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey. It is easy to see why Morey is a darling to stat nerds everywhere: he never played in the NBA, and he got his bachelor’s degree (in Computer Science) at Northwestern, and an MBA from MIT. Morey also serves as chair of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytic Conference. As NBA teams, and media (bloggers) seek new ways to evaluate players, attendance at the Sloan Conference has grown.
Dexter Pittman is a big body with soft hands. The Wizards could certainly use a post man who can take up space and Pittman, along with Derrick Caracter, might be options … perhaps not necessarily at 30 or 35, but a possibility should the Wizards acquire a late second round pick. Pittman worked out for the Wizards last Thursday, June 17th. Here’s a bullet point run-down on Dexter along with his post-workout media interview video:
Pittman says he left high school for Texas weighing 388, dropped that to 366 before enrolling in June 2006, and got his weight down to a listed 290 by his senior year.
Below I’ve embedded a video of a good ESPN feature that chronicles the transformation Pittman went through at UT, a school with a renowned strength and conditioning program.
Pittman weighed in at 303 in Chicago, said he was “probably around 300″ on his day working out with the Wizards, and that his ideal playing weight is around 270-280.
He had the highest percentage of body fat, 20.8%, of those measured in Chicago. DeMarcus Cousins was second at 16.4%.
The website of Pittman’s foundation, DexterPittman.org, says that he once weight 402 pounds.
Pittman measures 6’9.5″ without shoes with a 7’6″ wingspan, almost six inches longer than Caracter’s wingspan.
Pittman also had the biggest hands of the Chicago measurements with a length of 10.5 inches. Sure, these are just measurements, but I’m loving the new hand measurement stat. Some of the greatest players, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Rajon Rondo, and many that I’m surely missing, have had some of the biggest, strongest hands. Kwame Brown was said to have small hands. Enough said.
Pittman made Academic All-Big 12 his sophomore and junior years.
In an interview, he said one of his nicknames is “Sexy Dexy,” given to him by the Texas women’s basketball team his freshman year.
He also said that he “loves phones like women love shoes” and that he’s a big fan of Wal-mart.
In the scouting report video embedded below, I was impressed by Pittman’s footwork/agility when guarding the pick-and-roll on the perimeter.
Says he would’ve been disappointed if Texas went to the Pac-10 because the Big 12 stands for being “big and physical” while the Pac-10 is known for “premature point guards” who don’t want to get hit in the paint.
Foye started feeling uneasy when David Kahn refused to meet with him after taking over general manager, but he still was startled to get the call from agent and Ernie Grunfeld that he was headed to Washington in a multiplayer deal.
I don’t know David Kahn personally, but I do know this doesn’t sound good. Even worse when you consider that Randy Foye first learned of his trade to Washington via HoopsHype.
I understand professional basketball of the NBA is a business, but that shouldn’t cast aside the common courtesy of rational, reasonable, and humane behavior toward a fellow employee when changing cities and potentially moving family is concerned.
In fact, this sounds downright cowardly of Mr. Kahn.