JUNKIES: Josh Robbins on Wizards' GM search, bad lottery luck


The Wizards did not win, or even move up, in the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night, so they will select eighth in the draft next month – and when Josh Robbins, the Wizards beat writer for The Athletic, joined the Junkies Wednesday morning, he had a simple summation of the night.

“Another mediocre lottery choice…unbelievable. If they didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all,” Robbins said.

Robbins explained how the Wizards had a 54 percent chance of winning the lottery before the last of four balls in the sequence were drawn, holding six of the 11 possible remaining combos. Of course, one of the other five came out, and here we are.

We could ask who the Wizards might be looking at with the No. 8 pick – but they don’t have anyone in place to make that pick, so will it matter?

“There may be some difference-makers at No. 8, and there have been good players drafted tenth or lower, so maybe they’ll find a diamond in the rough – but it depends on what the new head of basketball operations wants to do in terms of rebuilding the team, and what Ted Leonsis wants to give that person in terms of autonomy,” Robbins said. “If the new GM wants to rebuild but doesn’t have the authority, it’s all moot, and if Bradley Beal refuses to be traded anywhere, they can’t move him.”

Robbins seemed high on Arkansas PG Anthony Black, who is “a smart player that can defend, but needs to work on his shooting – and that’s the downfall of drafting eighth: people on the board typically have more question marks, otherwise they’d be in the Top 2 or 3.”

The problem with the Wizards’ draft, and their situation in general, is this:

“They’re not good enough to contend and not bad enough to land a No. 1 or No. 2 pick in most years, so a rebuild will require a lot of patience,” Robbins said.

When it comes to the GM spot, they are the only team with a vacancy at that role, so what’s taking so long? Trajan Langdon, the current GM of the Pelicans, has had a formal interview, and “is clearly one of the front-runners” to Robbins – but is it possible they’re waiting to see if the architect of a recent dynasty decides to leave that building?

“Is it possible they’re waiting on Bob Myers? Maybe,” Robbins said. “He didn’t draft Steph Curry, but he brought in everyone else, and he is the architect of the Golden State dynasty. He’s going to take a couple weeks to decide his future after they were eliminated, but he may want to sit out a year.”

There’s nothing solid to say the Wizards have interviewed anyone else, according to Robbins, so if Myers is the guy they want, that seems to be the likeliest reason they’re waiting…but as Robbins also said, “I’m not sure he’d want to go to the East Coast unless it’s New York, and I don’t think the Wizards could pay him what he would want on the open market.”

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