Ernie Grunfeld just finished his pre-draft press conference a bit ago, and nothing really earth shattering out of it. As expected, Grunfeld said the Wizards will do what’s best for their situation in regards to the draft.
“We have to do what’s best for this team both short-term and long-term,” Grunfeld said. “It’s not a one-year proposition. If the best possibility that arises for us is to take the No. 5 pick, then we’ll select a player that’s going to be with us for a very long time. At the same time, if we think we can turn this pick into something that could help us today and help us down the road, then we’ll have to look at that. Nothing is etched in stone. We’re having a lot of conversations, and there are a lot of possibilities out there for us.”
Grunfeld did say that the Wizards remain committed to building as solid a team as possible around Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood.
The Wizards remain in talks with a lot of teams, but my feeling is that they won’t pull a trigger on a trade until draft night — if they make a trade. According to a league source, the Wizards pulling off that Larry Hughes/Jarred Jeffries for No. 5, Etan Thomas and Mike James is “pretty unlikely.” The teams did have some talks, but the Wizards, I’m told, have no interest in Jeffries, and that Hughes for 5, Thomas and James is “just chatter.” I think the Wizards probably are sitting on a few offers, and then they’ll see who’s on the board by the time they’re on the clock, make a phone call or two and work for as sweet a deal as possible.
One player we know won’t be coming to Washington in a trade is Richard Jefferson, who was just traded from Milwaukee to the Spurs for a bag of rocks (Bowen, Oberto and Thomas) in a salary-dump move by the Bucks.
In other news, Antawn Jamison just got his walking boot off of his right ankle, which had bone spurs removed from it. And DeShawn Stevenson is working regularly with the Wizards’ trainers, but isn’t moving full-speed yet, Grunfeld said.