In offseason, Wizards hope to skew older

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NBA,Wizards,Craig Stouffer

The Wizards found out last week they will have the eighth-best odds (3.5 percent) to win next month's draft lottery after losing a tiebreaker with the Detroit Pistons. While they could leapfrog to the first, second or third pick, in an unlikely scenario they could fall as far as 11th.

Who should they choose? The current players seem to prefer no one at all.

"I think we have enough young players," John Wall said.

"We don't have time to develop guys," Martell Webster echoed. "We have great young guys already developing. We don't need to bring more in."

Even coach Randy Witt?man lobbied for moving on from the burden of turning projects into serviceable pros. He has too many from a process that at best has been hit or miss. While Kevin Seraphin moved into the rotation this year as a backup center, Trevor Booker was hampered by injuries again, Chris Singleton regressed and Jan Vesely looked like no less than the biggest bust of the 2011 draft.

"I think we could use another veteran," Wittman said. "Yeah, we're going to have a high draft pick, but also it's an important summer for a lot of our young guys now. It's time for them to step up and show me who we need to move forward with and who we don't."

While the circumstances aren't the same, the last time Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld bailed on a high first-round pick for veteran additions in 2009, he passed on Ricky Rubio and Stephen Curry and acquired Randy Foye and Mike Miller. He has been rebuilding ever since.

"We can get an old player any time," Grunfeld said Tuesday. "But if the older player doesn't help you on the court, that's not the kind of situation we want to get into."

Wall and Bradley Beal both prefer a stretch four -- a big man who can shoot -- and some backcourt scoring off the bench. Wall knows, however, if the Wizards won the top pick, he might no longer be the only Kentucky player on the roster.

"To tear an ACL, that's a tough injury, and to still be projected to still go No. 1, that lets you know how good you are," Wall said of Wildcats freshman Nerlens Noel. "I think if he comes in he'll be a shot-blocker type person and do a great job. He's just got to cut his flattop."

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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Craig Stouffer

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner