It's an old adage, one often repeated: The night is always darkest just before the dawn. It's an axiom the Washington Wizards now fully understand. An '09-'10 season that began with championship aspirations was shaken by the untimely death of longtime owner
On Tuesday night, Washington got their first look at the light when the Wizards -- with just a 10.3 percent chance -- landed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft.
"It's the end of an era and the beginning of a new [one]," said Wizards President
Indeed, the new era in Washington -- which will include a new owner in
The addition of Wall not only adds a high level talent to the roster, it could also make the team more appealing to other players. After signing Wall, the Wizards will have about $17-$19 million in available cap space to sign free agents. While elite stars like
"We've done our due diligence already on a lot of players," said Grunfeld. "We'll continue to do so all the way up through the draft."
One obvious question that was brought up on Tuesday -- and will continue to be asked for weeks to come -- is how the addition of Wall affects Arenas. Grunfeld said that the results of the lottery had no impact on Arenas's future with the team, adding that Arenas has been a regular at the team's facility since the season ended.
"The more good players you have, the better," Grunfeld said.
Still, Grunfeld will likely listen to -- and perhaps even make a few -- calls about Arenas this summer. Depending on where James, Wade and Bosh land, there will be several teams (New York, New Jersey among others) with available cap space and a strong desire to add an All-Star caliber player like Arenas to their roster. And with the Wizards owing Arenas $80 million over the next four seasons, it makes fiscal (and basketball) sense to at least consider a solid offer.
If Arenas stays, the onus will be on Wizards coach
That system probably needs a few tinkers, if not a complete overhaul. Wall is a one-man fast break who is most effective with the ball in his hands in the open floor. With two explosive guards in Wall and Arenas, Saunders may consider a more up-tempo offense that maximizes possessions (the Wizards were 21st in possessions per 48 minutes last season) and creates opportunities for Wall to make plays.