Zach Lowe and Woj talk ‘pathetic’ Wizards on Lowe podcast
Posted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:02 am
Didn’t transcribe their entire convo on the wiz but this is the gist of it. Zach knows his sh*t. Enjoy.
Lowe: That brings us to the other topic that I wanted to talk about which is the 1-5 Washington Wizards who took a collective dump on the court again last night. I watched half of that game last night and the other half this morning and it was pathetic and their team is playing patheticly. So here we are with the wizards again. It took 5 games.
Woj: and here comes Dwight...
Lowe: and here comes Dwight baby...it took 5 games for the wizards to start sniping at each other in public...if I have one regret this season it’s that in my predictions column I chickened out on the wizards missing the playoffs...cause I just don’t like this team.
Woj: you know Washington is a lot like Minnesota in this way, where you said, OK, we know the chemistry is screwed up we know these guys all generally don’t like each other. But you know what, they’ve gotten through it in other seasons and it’s gonna manifest itself at some point in the playoffs...and then all of sudden the season starts and you go, OK this can’t go on anymore. They’ve hit a breaking point.
Lowe: there next game is at Memphis, I believe it’s their last game of this road trip. They need to have a come to Jesus moment now. This is ugly and it’s terrible. If they lose against Memphis. I mean I don’t what you’ve heard, have you heard anything about Scotty? The buzz is that he’s actually safe, partly because he has so much money left of his contract.
Woj: yeah it was a 5 year 35 million dollar deal. 7 a year. By the way Scott Brooks' 7 million a year became a benchmark, a starting point for a lot of coaches negotiations. But anyway, you never say never, but...for the most part Ted Leonsis has had tremendous patience with people in Washington, he's been very loyal. Listen, no one can keep taking on water like that. No matter who the coach is, or management, you can't just keep getting blasted every night. You have to stabilize it. If this just keeps happening, it might feel different in 10 days or 2 weeks or a month. But you have to assume it can't keep going like this but so far it has.
Lowe: They are towards the bottom of the league in both offense and defense. They're switching more this season except they're terrible at it, because they don't talk to each other and part of their switching is just laziness. They just project as a very unhappy team...I thought last night against the Clippers they took a lot of hoggy shots. Like right at the beginning Otto Porter took a terrible baseline fade-away out of nothing, early in the shot clock too. Like why is he taking that shot? And then you remember all these guys were talking about shots and who wants shots. If you watch John wall when he doesn’t have the ball...there was a possession last night where the set called for him to get the ball to Porter at the top of the arc and then go to the corner, and boy, he went to the corner slower than I did when my parents asked me to take out the garbage. And then he puts his hands on his knees cause that’s what he does when he doesn’t have the ball. And then Ian Mahinmi, who’s make 16 million a year for some reason, was late going up to set a screen for Otto, so the timing of the play was screwed up, and John wall in the corner just throws his hands up, rolls his eyes and looks at the bench. And there were multiple things by other players like that. When you see stuff like that, it’s like this is a miserable, miserable team that needs to get wins now.
So if Scott Brooks is safe...
Woj: it’s all relative, I mean Ty Lue was safe Saturday.
Lowe: what can happen then? They’re trapped. They have 3 guys that between them are gonna make 100 mil starting next year. I don’t know what they can do.
Woj: here’s a question, who do you think you can get back more for, which guard?
Lowe: Beal, it’s not even close. As soon as wall signed the super max that became true. I wrote this in one of my preview columns, teams should be sniffing around Brad Beal now. They should be talking illegally to his agent, they should be talking to the wizards, because if this thing breaks apart, John walls trade value is at an all time low because the super max kicks in next year and the numbers are almost literally eye popping. There are questions about his knees and his conditioning. Otto Porter’s fine, he’s a little overpaid, fine, he’s a good player, a lot of teams would be happy to have him. Beal is really really good and on a contract that is very fair and a position if high value in the nba.
Woj: if they could just develop, like if there was one guy, like if kelly Oubre really developed after Otto, you would’ve thought that Otto and one other pretty good young player could’ve got them a third star. Whether it be hypothetically a jimmy butler...
Lowe: they should be trying to get jimmy butler.
Woj: yeah I know.
Lowe: I actually thought that they would.
Woj: yeah I did too.
Lowe: they are a really interesting study of team building. They can’t pay Oubre, he didn’t get an extension cause they can’t pay him. They just have too much money on the books. If you look at all there transactions since they picked Wall at number 1, cause you look at them now and you think oh my god they’re just trapped into this team that isn’t good, they’re trapped, they can’t do anything. How did they get here? Where are the support players? And it’s kinda like death by a thousand cuts. There are a couple of things that are abysmally terrible, like Ian Mahinmi’s contract is abysmally terrible and they had Gortat on the books when they signed him. Here are some of the things they’ve done. They miss on Vesely, that hurts. They trade what ends up being the 18th pick for Gortat, that pick could’ve been Gary Harris or jokic. They trade the 13th pick for Morris which could be levert or Siakim. They trade the 22nd pick for Bogdonovic’s expiring deal to Brooklyn. They also dumped Andrew Nicholson who was part of that deal.
Woj: how did they acquire Andrew Nicholson?
Lowe: by signing him to lots and lots of money. Where is Andrew Nicholson?
Woj: he’s in China
Lowe: so all these deals, like Morris on his contract has been fine and all those picks are what they are. Bogdonovic I think they knew he was gonna leave, that one hurts cause that pick’s in the range of OG Anunoby, Derrick White, Kuzma, josh hart, that hurts. They spin Gortat into Austin rivers, fine. Remember way back when they traded rashard lewis’s Non guaranteed contract which was allegedly one of the great trade chips in the league for Ariza and Okafor? everyone laughed at them. Turned out alright. They spin okafor for Gortat from Phoenix along with a pick. Ariza was great for them and then they let Ariza go. Why? Cause they were obsessed with hoarding room for Kevin Durant and then they didn’t get a meeting with Kevin Durant. My point is that all of these moves individually are like no harm no foul, but there’s just some sort of culmative opportunity cost of all the picks out the door and all the cap space used up in ways that are sub optimal...and then you throw in one contract like Mahinmi...
Woj: some of those mistakes have come..when free agency has emptied out and this is who’s left. Detroit signs Jon Leuer, they don’t get Leuer and then they get Nicholson. Another one, remember this one, they came pretty close to signing Luol Deng to a big contract.
Lowe: they offered him 3 years for 50 something
Woj: and that’s when lakers went to 4 years. And so think of that...
Lowe: if you look at some of there stats, I think they were third in assist rate last year. They’re 28th or 29th now. That’s an indication that the ball is not moving. And one thing I’ll give Dwight credit for is he’s a good rebounder and the wizards are dead last in rebounding with a defensive rebounding rate that would be the worst in 7 or 8 years. We’ll see. They should be, on raw talent, even if you think the wall Beal porter core is overrated which I think it’s being exposed as, but it’s the east, on raw talent you cannot miss the playoffs with those two guards on your team