As the underachieving Wizards mull the possibility of making a trade or two to try to turn their season around, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News argues that the man entrusted with making those deals has worn out his welcome in D.C. The firing of GM Ernie Grunfeld is “past due” for the Wizards, according to Deveney, who suggests that the franchise has already kept Grunfeld for about a half-decade too long.
In addition to some questionable roster moves and contract decisions from Grunfeld, player development has also been an issue in Washington, Deveney opines. One rival front office executive suggested to Deveney that Bradley Beal has improved more because of the work he does on his own than his work with the team.
“Otto Porter does some nice things, good role player, but he has been the same player for the last three years, really. He could be better if he were somewhere else,” the executive said. “And [John] Wall, the game passed him by. He has had nine years to learn to shoot, and he still can’t shoot. I can’t go to my coach and tell him we are getting a starting point guard who can’t shoot. Not for $40MM a year.”
Here’s more on the Wizards from Deveney and others:
- The Wizards have had a tough time finding value for their players on the trade market, according to Deveney. One executive told Deveney that – outside of Beal – Markieff Morris might be the club’s most interesting trade chip, since many contenders could use a tough, versatile big man. However, that exec was skeptical that any team would be willing to part with a first-round pick for Morris, who is on an expiring deal.
- Speaking of Morris, his move to the bench has helped diversify the scoring ability of the Wizards’ second unit, says Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. It’s also an opportunity to get Morris a few more shot attempts, since he’s more of a focal point on offense for the second team than he would be when Wall and Beal are on the court.
- Offseason acquisition Austin Rivers believes he’s getting the hang of playing alongside Wall and Beal, as Hughes details in a separate story for NBC Sports Washington. “I have to be more aggressive,” Rivers said. “They actually like that, too, because it makes it easier for them because I will attack and then they get easy shots instead of having to work for every shot.”