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The Official Washington Wizards Thread: The BEAL & BRODIE ERA


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Morris was no hot commodity at the deadline. If we hadn't made the trade, he'd probably still be in Phoenix right now.

Clearly Ernie overpaid. And clearly the reason he did it was because he wanted to get the deal done before the deadline. And clearly the reason he was desperate to make that happen is because he was trying to get this team into the playoffs and save some jobs.

That was part of the cost of the trade and it failed. Ernie got had.

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It's a fact because grunfield was the only one to offer a pick and Phoenix was desperate to move Morris. We had leverage. When you have leverage you don't offer stuff to sweeten the deal. You don't need to, because you aren't the one with the toxic player you need to get out the locker room. How is this a discussion? It's negotiations 101.

 

I know PHX wanted to move him, but how do we specifically know we were the only team to offer a pick + players?  That's all I'm asking. 

 

Also, how much leverage can teams have if you aren't doing anything to sweeten the deal?  If everyone is offering the same thing (players and no picks), why would PHX bite? 

Edited by RonArtest15
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To be clear, Keef is a solid player on a good contract. The trade wasn't a failure. But it was such an Ernie Grunfeld move. It had all the two big hallmarks of an Ernie move:

- Made out of desperation to put out an immediate fire on the roster--a fire that was predictable ahead of time, and was started because of sketchy decision making in the offseason.

- Lack of vision: Ernie hones in on a target and excludes any other option and thus usually ends up overpaying for fear of losing his one option--"bidding against himself."

So the result is a somewhat unsatisfying move where, yet again, Ernie failed to maximize the value of a team-building asset.

Look at the major moves he's made during this build and you see that same pattern of mediocrity in almost every one of them. And now we're far enough in that we can start assessing the opportunity cost of many of them.

2010

1.) Picking John Wall - this was the only move where Ernie did the best thing possible with a draft pick, and it was a #1/#1 in a year where there was a fair consensus about the top pick.

2.) Picking Booker and Seraphin with our other two first rounders. Two guys who didn't contribute much and didn't make it past their rookie deals. Not to quibble too much about failed choices at a mid first and late first selection, but Ernie could have drafted Eric Bledsoe or Avery Bradley at the Seraphin choice, and Greivis Vasquez, Hassan Whiteside, or Lance Stephenson at the Booker choice. It's an example of Ernie failing to exceed expectations and hit a home run with a decision--or even just get extra base hits--something he has almost never done in his entire history as a GM.

3.) Traded Gil's contract for Shard's. This trade was a win because it advanced max money on a useless player to an expiring by one season. Also got Gil out of the building, which needed to happen. Shard's contract also became a real asset in the summer of 2012, which I'll get to later. It also put the final nail in the Dwight Howard build in Orlando and took down a division rival. This is probably Ernie's finest trade.

4.) Traded Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong for Jordan Crawford and the 18th pick in 2011 and a five million dollar buy out. This was a great trade on paper at the time. Didn't end up making any sort of positive impact in the end. We did have serious issues filling our back up PG spot for the next four years, A position that could have been stabilized by keeping Hinrich for that span. That would have helped Wall's early career development too. There is your opportunity cost paid. Jordan Crawford ended up sucking but he was worth a taking a flier on. Despite all of that, the trade would have easily been a win if we hadn't misspent the 2011 draft pick. Speaking of that...

2011

The season of disastrous personnel decisions that we've never truly recovered from. First off, from that summer:

1.) The Vesely pick at 6... a disaster. An example of Ernie getting laser focused on a single option to the exclusion of any other. Ernie tipped his hand well in advance that he'd be taking Vesely. The home run options at this pick were Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard. The opportunity cost of missing on them is devastating. But hell, I'd even settle for the singles: Bismack Biyombo, Nikola Vucevic, Kemba Walker, Markieff Morris, etc.

2.) The Chris Singleton pick at 18 (the return from the Hinrich trade). Another total bust. The home run option there was Jimmy Butler. The extra base hits were Kenneth Faried or Nikola Mirotic. The singles were Tobias Harris, Donatas Montiejunas, Reggie Jackson, and Cory Joseph.

The result of completely ****ing up this draft meant we utterly wasted the first two years of John's career and we failed to acquire one single other player in those first two years that would be a part of the core surrounding him. He spent his first one and a half seasons with Trevor Booker as the second best player on his team. And by the time we let Seraphin walk last summer, Nene was the only player left whom we acquired before the 2012 offseason aside from Wall. Nearly 100% roster turnover.

3.) Speaking of Nene, this is another Ernie Grunfeld classic. Made out of desperation, JaVale was terrible and we were afraid of having to pay him, and the rebuild was failing. And the end result is unsatisfying--Ernie failed to find the best option, the one that would have been genuinely transformative. In this case, it would have been letting JaVale walk in the summer and offering max money for Marc Gasol. Memphis signed Gasol to a bargain, sub max deal where no one even offered him a contract they had to match. That's ****ing crazy. Another option would have been signing DeAndre Jordan, who was another RFA that signed a favorable contract.

Our fate is much happier if we'd gotten one of those two guys instead of Nene. But we should never, ever expect Ernie to hit a home run.

4.) Firing Flip and replacing him with Randy. Flip needed to go, Randy was a terrible choice to replace him. When Randy got the HC gig that summer, we didn't interview or consider any other candidates. Classic Grunfeld, honing in on one target, zero vision for finding the best option. The results were three seasons of mediocrity until the wheels came off this season and we finally paid the piper for this move. Hire the right coach and we'd be in the ****ing conference finals this season. Ugh.

2012

1.) Picking Beal at 3. Not a bad move, but not the best one. I'd say he hit a double. The home runs were Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond. But Beal was better than hitting the single on Harrison Barnes. And at least he didn't strike out on TRob or Waiters. Once again, Ernie was totally honed in on one guy at this pick and didn't have the vision to make the truly transformative move in picking Drummond or Lillard.

2.) Trading Shard's max level expiring for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. We all hated this deal at the time, but it was a good trade in hindsight. The ultimate problem with it is that we failed to secure any long term assets from it. Okafor was done two seasons later, and Ariza (who had majorly rehabilitated his value with us) walked for almost nothing in return. So we traded a max level expiring in a time when teams were tight against the cap and didn't get anything long term out of it. Disappointing opportunity cost.

2013

1.) Eric Maynor. Normally a BAE signing wouldn't be worth discussing, but this was such a classic Ernie move that it needs to be highlighted. Bid against himself to get his guy and overpaid for a player that was done. The back up PG need wasn't addressed either, so we had to make yet another desperation deadline move and trade our 2011 #6 overall pick for a one and a half season band-aid at the position. Blegh.

2.) Otto Porter at 3. Again, not a bad move, but not the best move. A single. It's still a little early to say who the home runs would have been, but I think we can consider Greek Freak one. CJ McCollum looks like he might be another. Rudy Gobert too, obviously, but few considered him a serious option in the top 10. It's looking like the doubles would have been Nerlens Noel or Alex Len. We got a major gift from the Basketball Gods in jumping from 8th to 3rd in that lottery, and we failed to get the most out of the asset by making the choice that would change our fortunes.

3.) Signing Webster to a longer term full MLE contract. Bad move. Why did we do this after spending a #3 overall pick on the position? Farting around with Webster and Ariza at the position + Randy's lack of ability to develop young players meant we utterly wasted the first one and a half seasons of Otto's career.

4.) Wall max extension. Good, necessary, and obvious move. People griped about signing him to a max deal a year early (and before he'd made his first AS game), but you never, ever let your franchise cornerstone hit the market if you can help it. As an unforseeable bonus value to the deal, the max contracts from this draft class signed by Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Paul George ended up being awesome value because of the huge cap increase that was coming.

5.) And then at the start of the '13.'14 season, trading Okafor's expiring and our first round pick for Marcin Gortat. Another somewhat disatisfying outcome from an Ernie trade. It wasn't terrible value, but we definitely paid full price. We gave up a fairly large expiring contract and a draft pick for a one year rental. It saved our season, but the fact that we needed it to save our season is on Ernie. We went into the season knowing Okafor was aging and had a history of back issues and we had no other viable option at C without creating a huge hole at PF in moving Nene. Desperation move? Check. Paid full price? Check.

2014

1.) Signed Gortat to a long term deal. Ernie's best FA signing of the Wall era. By far. Looked like we overpaid for Gortat the day it was made, but the deal has ended up being a bargain because of the unforseen explosion in the salary cap. Ernie got lucky with Gortat. The deal to trade for him and the deal to extend him could have so easily been a failure if he'd signed in Miami or San Antonio in 2014, or if the cap hadn't increased by 40% two years into the deal.

2.) S&T'd Ariza for some cap money that helped us get Pierce for the year. Made some lemonade here. Ariza was valuable, but couldn't realistically be retained because of the Otto pick. Pierce was excellent value as an MLE signing and he gave us the one final good year he had left in him. But you can hardly call this situation a big hit for Ernie since we only got one year of value from losing Ariza.

3.) Signed Humphries and Blair. Blair was a bust but Humphries had a positive impact for the first season he was here. And both were part of the package that eventually got us Keef.

4.) Traded Miller for Sessions. An excellent deal. Arguably Ernie's best trade when you talk about outbound value versus inbound. We gave up an asset with essentially zero value to buy Sessions for bottom dollar, and he ended up being the back up PG we've been flailing around trying to find since we traded Hinrich. But a season and a half of good back up PG play is hardly a home run move.

2015

1.) Kelly Oubre at 15. Too early to tell with him. I think this was the one time Ernie's swung for the fences to try and hit the home run with the highest upside choice available. We'll see if Oubre pans out that way. I think this pick shocked us. He wasn't on our radar at the time. I know for a fact nobody on RealGM really expected the pick because I had tried to start a discussion about him and Rondae Hollis Jefferson a few weeks before the draft and got crickets. Feels like the typical Ernie Grunfeld singles would have been Bobby Portis or Jerian Grant. So until we have enough hindsight to grade this pick, I'm going to consider it Ernie's best draft choice.

2.) Dudley, Anderson, and Neal acquisitions in the offseason. Neal was meh, Anderson was a bust, Dudley was an excellent trade that significantly softened the blow of whiffing on Webster, losing Ariza and Pierce for nothing in return, and not seeing a fast enough return on the Porter selection to fill the void at SF. But if he walks this summer, it was only a one year patch.

Every observant fan should note the depressing modesty in our FA acquisitions during the Wall era outside of signing Gortat. Not a single other contract above the full MLE has been signed other than the extensions for Wall and Gortat--players who were already here.

And this is despite the fact that:

- DC is a pretty good sized market with a world class city where you get to ****ing meet and play in front of the first black president in American history. The likes of Milwaukee have signed big ticket guys.

- We play in the East.

- We've got a stud pass first PG who has pretty much been the second best player in the conference the past two years.

The reasons we can't do anything in FA without first giving up draft picks to get a guy in the house?

- Ernie has no vision. He locks in on one target and doesn't even consider any other options. We've been honed in on Durant for two years and have, as such, let many quality FA opportunities pass (Patrick Patterson, Bismack Biyombo, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson, Corey Joseph, etc) because we simply refused to consider signing anyone to a multiyear commitment, despite the fact that we could have done so and still made room to offer Durant a deal the next summer.

- We failed to fully leverage all of the cap space that came with blowing a roster up and starting from scratch. We created boatloads of cap room early in the Wall era by not committing money to Javale and pushing Arenas's expiring up one year. And then we promptly committed all of that money to the underwhelming options of Nene, Okafor, and Ariza rather than doing something truly smart like at least forcing Memphis to match a max offer on Marc Gasol. And then we sign Gortat and that was that for our cap space.

So no we arrive at our two most recent Ernie Grunfeld specials:

- Bidding against himself to overpay for Markieff Morris because he was desperate to fill a hole created by his failures to adequately address the PF position through free agency or the draft

- Signing Scott Brooks without considering any other options. Brooks is a nice coach. I like him. But he wasn't the best option. Take a look at what Sacramento did for comparison. They were interviewing terrifying options like Vinny Del Negro and Mark Jackson early on in their search. But they didn't settle for them, rationalizing the move by saying "these are the guys that turned the Clippers and the Warriors around by helping to their young guys become stars." Instead they held off on hiring the position and the ended up with the best option: Joerger, after he suddenly became available following Memphis's exit from the postseason. ****.

Even though I certainly would have preferred Joerger, I'm pretty happy with Brooks. The selling point that he can help Wall, Beal, and Otto take the next step in their careers is very compelling. But let's take a moment to consider how ****ing stupid it is that we finally made the kind of move to do this SIX MOTHER****ING YEARS INTO WALL'S CAREER.

We should have done this years ago. Wall should have been an MVP caliber player by now. Beal should already be an All Star and Otto should have been one of the best three and D wings in the league. We should already have the coach that can lead us to contention, or have hired him this offseason. Not talking about something that smart franchises do within a year of getting their franchise building block in the draft.

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I didn't even mention what he's done with his second round draft picks over that span because it felt like piling on. But it's worth pointing out how he hasn't gotten a single one to pan out. And that things like picking Sato over Draymond Green, or selling Jordan Clarkson for cash when we needed a back up PG were damaging moves.

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for all of Grunfeld's faults, the lack of vision is by far the most damning, which makes it all the more absurd he's lasted this long

 

but I guess its easier to survive when fans start to buy into the bull**** notion that the draft doesn't matter because you suck at it. Couple that with the fact that there is no real basketball media to hold his feet to the fire, and you have a lifetime appointment

 

Ernie has the greatest job in the world

Edited by StillUnknown
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Damn, SM...this was the first thing that came to mind after reading your post:

 

 

I honestly don't know what to think going forward.  My biggest fear is EG having SO much money to spend coupled with no plan outside of trying for Durant in the works.  This summer will ultimately seal the deal on Wall's future with the franchise.  IF Wall decides to bolt when his contract expires, I highly doubt I'll blame him for doing so.  Time is now to figure out how to stop wasting his prime years.  This past season was a classic example of a waste. 

 

This fanbase isn't stupid.  We all know the end game for the roster that was put together.  It's all about KD.  As I mentioned way back, I just wished the local media would stop treating EG with kid gloves and actually take him to task for being the epitome of mediocrity. 

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All you need to know about Ernie's draft record is this. How many players currently under contract, that were drafted by the Wizards, are not on rookie deals?

I'm trying to think... are Wall and Blatche the only Ernie draft picks that got second deals?

OMG I think they are.

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I'm pretty sure part of Ernie's wikipedia page was written by a RealGM poster. It mentions the awful Eric Maynor signing :lol:.

I'm trying to think of another GM or Team President who kept his job as long as Ernie has, gotten as little from his draft picks as Ernie has, and is as universally loathed by his fanbase as Ernie is. He should have been fired in 2009. He lost the final remnants of fan support in 2012. He still has his job in 2016.

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I would have run this team into the ground. These would be my draft picks if I had been in charge:

2011

6th - Bismack Biyombo

18th - Kenneth Faried or maybe still Chris Singleton

35th - Tyler Honeycutt

2012

3rd - Probably Beal, but I was 50/50 between him and Thomas Robinson

38th - Quincy Miller

2013

3rd - Nerlens Noel

38th - Jeff Withey

2014

46th - Russ Smith

2015

19th - Bobby Portis I guess. Didn't really have a strong opinion this time.

49th - no idea.

But I'm just some layman who doesn't know anything. Our GM should be way better at this than some random person on the internet. And TBH I'm not sure that my team would be that much worse...

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in 2011 I wanted Kanter and Derrick Williams.  They were drafted before us though, so I think I like Kawhi behind those guys.  Can't really remember to be honest.  I do remember not liking the Vesely pick at all.  I think that was when I was raging about drafting skilled players because we were constantly hoping someone would learn how to shoot or dribble. 

 

2012 I wanted Andre Drummond which would have been great, but I was also high on Austin Rivers.  Not high enough to want the Wizards to draft him, but enough to shake my head and laugh at myself. 

 

2013 Alex Len!  :unsure: I think Otto has been clearly the better of the two... though in Len's defense, Phoenix has been a sinking ship that players couldn't wait to get away from. 

 

2015 Bobby Portis.  I'm still not in love with the Oubre pick.  This team needed bigs. 

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Morris was coming off a 35+ point thrashing of Toronto around the deadline. His play was getting better, and he was a hot commodity at the deadline. He was in talks of being traded to serious contenders in Cleveland and Toronto. Our only shot was to offer a pick to sweeten the pot in our favor. It sucks that it was a first, but if we had Morris about a month earlier, we might still be watching them play right now, and randy might still have a job. He did increase all his numbers across the board after the trade as well. And that's coming from a team where he was the no.1 option.

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It kills me. We would have crushed them. That should be us in the ECF. That's what I meant about finally paying the piper on the stupid Randy Wittman extension in 2012. If we hire the right coach in 2012, we make at least one ECF by now for sure. Maybe more...

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Morris was coming off a 35+ point thrashing of Toronto around the deadline. His play was getting better, and he was a hot commodity at the deadline. He was in talks of being traded to serious contenders in Cleveland and Toronto. Our only shot was to offer a pick to sweeten the pot in our favor. It sucks that it was a first, but if we had Morris about a month earlier, we might still be watching them play right now, and randy might still have a job. He did increase all his numbers across the board after the trade as well. And that's coming from a team where he was the no.1 option.

 

Ok, Ernie. 

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I'm pretty sure I've spent the last 7(+?) years ****ting on EG and Witt here.... Anyways, I just think this isn't a bad move even if it is but a blip in a career of suck. This might be the only move he's made that I agreed with now that I think about it.

I will probably grab my pitchfork outta the closet after I hear what plan B turns into.

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  • BRAVEONAWARPATH changed the title to The Official Washington Wizards Thread: The JOHN WALL ERA
  • Destino changed the title to The Official Washington Wizards Thread: The BEAL & BRODIE ERA

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