Here's my take IF Ted is serious about turning this team around, and I think he is.
1. The team needs to be bad enough in 2011-2012 to get one of the first couple of picks in the draft to select a front court player to combo with John Wall. With the roster what it is now, I don't see these guys winning more than 15-16 games. Unfortunately, with the Timberwolves being a Development League team Washington is going to have some competition for that pick.
2. The team was hurt by the fact there was little available in free agency that was going to be of long-term help to the organization. The Wizards could have used the exemption for Rashard Lewis' contract and freed up $20M, but there was no one to chase. That money should and most probably WILL be used after the draft to sign a free agent to a long-term deal, a player with enough of a profile to attract fans to the Verizon Center when paired with Wall and the #1 pick.
3. In accord with Point #1, Ted is going to accept the fact the team has a number of immature, knuckleheaded players on it that are going to make this shortened season particularly painful to watch. The team might have been better if Jan Vesely as the #6 pick was the real deal and ready to play. The fact the team had to hire a shooting coach to work with him on getting his shot off in the NBA is not a good sign. It was simply a poor year to be drafting where the Wizards were drafting. Of the veterans:
Nick Young - placeholder who will score 16 points per game on a bad team and be gone next year in free agency. most likely will end up on someone else's bench as a role player.
Jordan Crawford - this guy isn't a piece to the puzzle. he isn't even a player you can keep around for depth purposes. he has poor habits which translate to a game which is at times uncontrolled on the floor. no one has ever taught Crawford the fundamentals of the half court offense or how to play defense. Atlanta drafted him with their first pick and he couldn't get off the bench there. They knew what they had.
Andray Blatche - easily the reason Ernie Grunfeld should be fired BEFORE it comes time to make that 2012 draft pick and go into a free agent class for a major signing. Grunfeld has extended Blatche TWICE since the end of his rookie deal and yet Blatche has paid the organization back with sporadic performances coming mostly near the end of the season in garbage time when the Wizards are 28 games out of a playoff spot. Blatche didn't even wait ONE GAME this seaon before the criticisms and complaints started. This was the same guy that was busted for alleged solicitation, for fighting outside a club, etc. Boston or Chicago or LA wouldn't keep a guy like this on their roster very long.
JaVale McGee - McGee to me is a role player. He is a guy that can come off the bench 8-10 minutes and give you some energy. He isn't physical enough to defend the basket for 48 minutes or anywhere close to that. His offensive game is akin to watching a caveman wielding a club at a sabertooth tiger. Painful.
Of the other players not named John Wall, you have an assortment of older vets on their last NBA stops (Evans, Lewis, Turiaf) and younger players that are very raw and need time to develop. Singleton and Booker may have NBA futures but I see them as role players as well. I don't see a guy who is going to be an NBA starter 3-4 years from now in this group. But again some high effort guys that may have a place on the squad.
Add it all up and this comes to a 15-16 win team.
In the NBA Leonsis knows you don't go anywhere without superior talent, and if the first moves as he has indicated are going to come via the draft and not via trade or free agency, then the Wizards need to be picking better than #6 next time around. He knows that.
But is he going to tell fans that? No.
Just like the Nationals didn't tell you that their organizational 'plan' included finishing dead last two years in a row to take Strasburg and Harper, the two best prospects at their positions in the past decade.
But that's what they did in essence by not adding free agents or bringing other players up 'too soon'.
It's all in the plan.