Chris Jackson, later Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, was the third overall pick in 1990. Where will the Washington Wizards go with the No. 3 overall pick in 2012?
Over the weekend reports surfaced from news outlets in both North Carolina (The Charlotte Observer) and Ohio (The News-Herald) that the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold the fourth overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, will trade up with the Charlotte Bobcats, who own the second overall pick. Charlotte would reportedly get the 24th pick from the Cleveland as part of the deal. Such a move by Michael Jordan’s Bobcats could screw the draft hopes of the Washington Wizards.
Coming off last week’s trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, Washington’s camp may have revealed a preference for Bradley Beal out of the University of Florida, leading their old nemesis, the Cavs (who are targeting Beal themselves), to believe that they’ll have to sacrifice an asset to get their man. And there’s nothing the Wizards can really do about it other than settle for what’s left.
People, myself included, might make something out of Washington’s draft preference — a pick that, if chosen wrongly, could significantly setback rebuilding — resting in the hands of former Wizard Jordan, but it would be a smart move by the Bobcats. Charlotte GM Rich Cho, as well as the team’s vice chairman, Curtis Polk — who used to be an agent for David Falk, a former rival of the Washington franchise and Abe Pollin — are smart people. They know that Charlotte needs just about everything, and if this means trading down to settle for two out of three prospects being available between North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Kansas’ Thomas Robinson (along with getting the 24th pick, which comes with more value to a team like Charlotte), then the move is a no-brainer. If Wizards fans want to be irked at someone screwing them, it should be directed toward Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert and not necessarily Jordan. Both are easy targets in any case.
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