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OT - Mini-Wiz update.


Zen-like Todd

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First, there's an article in the Post talking about how there are 6 other teams, including the Lakers, who want a piece of Popeye. Popeye would be a great fit at the 4 spot for the Lakers, but I expect him to stay here.

The Summer League starts next Monday, and here is the link to the rosterfrom the wiz site. Don't blame me, I'm not the one who alphabetized the list based on FIRST name. :rolleyes:

http://www.nba.com/wizards/news/2002_Summer_League_Roster-48417-56.html

All of our young guns will be out there in force. Things that caught my eye.

Brendan Haywood at ~270 pounds. Was he that big last year? Only another 50 pounds to go! :D

Mike Mardesich is on our summer league roster. How funny is that?

Bobby Simmons is 235 at 6-7. Sounds pretty solidly built. Again, I don't remember him being that thick last year.

Even though it never hit the Post, Mouton is indeed on our Summer League roster.

ALL of our young big men (I don't count Jahidi, he's trade bait) are representing in the summer league. Etan, Kwame, Brendan, Jared, etc.

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Also, I found this article on the Wiz site. It's a little old, but its pretty good.

2002 Post-Draft Breakdown

By Brian James, Washington Wizards Assistant Coach

June 27, 2002

James

The draft process is very stressful.

A member of our staff was talking to me the other day about the draft process and said how excited he is and how he just loves this time of year. But it's pretty stressful for me because I know that the player who you are really hoping will get to your spot, wherever that may be, may or may not get there. It's almost like a close basketball game in the playoffs, you either get the thrill of victory or a tough, tough loss.

When things started falling the way they did for us, it made all the work worthwhile. With all the workouts that we had, meeting 12 to 16 hours a day, watching tape and arguing behind closed doors on which player should be our guy, we really came together at the end and said this is our first choice at 11, this would probably be our first choice at 17, and we had a list of guys for 39 and 40. And they all came true, which doesn't happen often.

We're extremely excited, and I think that Doug pointed out in the press conference that these guys truly wanted to be here in Washington, so it's really a two-way street. We wanted people who were going to be committed to the team and who are used to winning and do what it takes to win.

Juan Dixon is obviously going to get minutes at both positions; he's going to play the one (point guard) and the two (shooting guard). In the summer league we are going to give him plenty of minutes at the point guard; we want him to play about half the time at the point guard and hopefully have him adjusted to pushing that ball up the floor and making plays for other people.

Jared Jeffries we know can play the four spot (power forward). We'd like to think of him a little bit as a point-forward or a swing forward where he can also put the ball on the floor and do some things. He's going to split time in the summer league at the three (small forward) and the four.

We don’t know yet if Rod is going to be able to play for us in the summer league, and we do not want to push him. From what we heard last night, it may not be until August 1 that he is 100 percent, which is ok by us. We were not going to not take him just because he wasn’t going to be able to play for us in the summer league. We want him to be a Wizard for a long, long time. We feel that he could definitely play the two and three spots, and I'm excited about that.

We got guys that, we feel, can do a lot of different things for us instead of just labeling them at one position. Doug has always believed in getting good basketball players regardless of position, and it will all fall into place.

Things of note... Juan Dixon will be splitting his time at the 1 and 2 spots, and Jeffries at the 3 and 4. Not surprising, but nice to see that the Wizards are going to determine where they can best utilize their players. I hadn't heard anyone saying Grizzard can play the 2-spot until now, and we probably won't find out if that's the case for awhile.

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Not much here that's too surprising.

By Jeff Passan

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 10, 2002; Page D04

Washington Wizards first-round draft pick Jared Jeffries will sign a three-year contract today, and Juan Dixon, the Wizards' other first-rounder, is close to signing his contract, the players' agents said yesterday.

Jeffries's agent, Andy Miller, said he traded phone calls with Wizards General Manager Wes Unseld yesterday to hammer out details on the contract. Under the rookie scale in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, the contract for the No. 11 overall pick is worth between $4.1 million and $5 million. The Wizards hold an option for the fourth year that would cost a little more than $2 million. Last year's 11th selection, Kedrick Brown, signed with Boston for four years at $7.26 million.

Jeffries, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound forward out of Indiana, hoped to enter minicamp, which will start Thursday, under contract, Miller said.

"It's working out very smoothly now," Miller said. "There have been no holdups. Wes and I are on the same page with everything."

Jeffries has worked out with Dixon as well as second-year players Kwame Brown, Etan Thomas, Brendan Haywood and Bobby Simmons at the Wizards' practice facility in Washington in preparation for the four-day minicamp. On Sunday, the 18 players expected in Wizards camp head to Shaw's Pro Summer League in Boston.

By that time, Dixon should have agreed to his deal, agent Nate Peak said.

"Everything is going to be done within a couple of days," he said. "It's not complicated."

As the 17th overall pick, Dixon, a Maryland alum transitioning from shooting guard to point guard, will earn between $3.1 and $4 million.

Right now, though, the contract isn't on Dixon's mind. He flew to Los Angeles yesterday to attend the ESPY Awards ceremony, where he is a candidate for Best Male College Athlete. His competition includes Duke point guard Jay Williams, Iowa State wrestler Cael Sanderson, Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch and Duke forward Shane Battier, who last played a college game April 2, 2001.

"It's going to be a good time," Dixon said. "I'm looking forward to meeting people and having fun before we start minicamp."

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Kwame still doesnt have NBA conditioning yet so it can only help him.

Jared can play small forward and power forward then eventually bulk up to play center too and Kwame has the skillz to play power forward and did do a little time at center but will probably be able to do some small forward.

Shame Rip ball handling skillz havent improved but Juan at 6'3 if he can make the move to PG will give us two slasher types in the backcourt with a nice touch.

Haywood,Kwame,Jared, Hamilton and Dixon.

Haywood can block shots and all five can run only Dixon has man to man press ability though.

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