Monday , Jun , 14 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Washington Wizards 2004 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – The Wizards had a terrible season under first-year head
coach Eddie Jordan. Washington finished just 25-57 and missed the playoffs
for the seventh straight year.

Explosive point guard Gilbert Arenas, who signed a lucrative contract with the
Wizards last offseason, led the team in scoring (19.6 ppg) and assists (5.0
apg) in his first season with the club. He missed 27 contests during the
season due to various injuries.

Washington also has forward/center Kwame Brown, who was selected out of high
school by the Wizards in the first round (first pick overall) of the 2001 NBA
Draft. The 22-year-old Brown averaged career-highs in points (10.9 ppg) and
rebounds (7.4 rpg) in his third season in the league. The Wizards still have
hope that Brown will develop into a star.

The Wizards also have some offensive talent in guards Larry Hughes and Jerry
Stackhouse, both of whom were former first-round picks of the Philadelphia
76ers. Rookie forward Jarvis Hayes and second-year guard Juan Dixon look like
they have futures in the NBA as well.

Washington’s roster is full of guards, who can also play small forward. The
Wizards need to get stronger down low and could use some players who can
rebound and score in the low post.

With the fifth overall selection the Wizards will have a chance to get a
player that they think can have a bright future in the league for years to
come. This year’s draft is crucial for the direction of the Washington
franchise, as it cannot afford to make any mistakes.

Key Player(s): Gilbert Arenas (guard), Kwame Brown (forward/center), Juan
Dixon (guard), Jarvis Hayes (forward), Larry Hughes (guard), Jerry Stackhouse
(guard), Etan Thomas (center).

Team Needs: Toughness down low and depth up front.

Draft picks: 1st round (fifth overall), 2nd round (32nd overall).