- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 13, 2001

An Eastern Conference general manager said the Washington Wizards, not convinced that any player in this month's NBA Draft can step in and provide the impact the team needs, are trying to trade the top pick.
"They're trying to move it," said the general manager, speaking under the condition of anonymity. "They're not sold on any of the guys coming out as being worth committing the top pick to. They'd like to trade down."
According to the general manager, the Wizards like many of the players they have worked out. He added that high school center Tyson Chandler had a particularly impressive workout with the Wizards and other teams. However, Chandler, and other high school big men such as Eddie Curry, Kwame Brown and DeSagana Diop, would need time to develop as a player.
The source added that he didn't think the Wizards felt that Duke forward Shane Battier was worthy of the top pick. In fact, he said that there simply wasn't a player who was "clearly a standout No. 1 like Tim Duncan."
Washington Wizards president of basketball operations Michael Jordan did not return calls last night. However, Jordan has addressed the topic of trading or keeping the top pick. The Wizards won the right to the top pick in the May 20th Draft Lottery.
"If I had my druthers I'd keep the pick," Jordan said. "We're obviously going to look at the players that are out there long and hard. The good thing is this gives us some leverage.
"We are looking for anybody that has star qualities that can add to this team. Who is that? I don't know. That's something that we're obviously still trying to evaluate."
The Wizards' front office people have spoken highly of some of the players coming out of high school, but there seems to be a feeling in the organization that they would prefer not to bring in a player with a multi-year contract. Drafted players, including the top pick in the draft, receive a slotted salary that can potentially run for five years with 12 percent increases.
The Wizards, however, have made it a goal to get as far below the salary cap as possible next summer, when such talented free agents as Paul Pierce, Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter might be available. The Wizards are approximately $4 million to $6 million below the projected $44 million to $46 million salary cap this summer. Next summer the team could be $10 million to $15 million below the salary cap.

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