Wizards Happy with Foye and Miller
Courtesy of the Associated Press | 6/29/2009, 10:05 a.m.
Washington Wizards Introduce Randy Foye and Mike Miller
The Washington Wizards spent NBA draft night celebrating two players they acquired instead of the one they might have selected.
On Thursday, they introduced Randy Foye and Mike Miller, obtained from Minnesota for the No. 5 pick in the draft and three substitutes: center Etan Thomas and forwards Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov.
"By acquiring these players, we feel we have outstanding depth and outstanding versatility," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said.
On Wednesday, Grunfeld said he felt Foye and Miller were superior to the players who might be available with the fifth pick. Spain guard Ricky Rubio was chosen by Minnesota with that spot.
The 25-year-old Foye averaged 16.3 points and 4.3 assists for the Timberwolves. Miller, who's 29, averaged a career-low 9.9 points.
"I know what they can do -- and what they can't do," Washington coach Flip Saunders said.
Saunders, hired in April, spent last season at home in suburban Minneapolis, and said he watched the pair play countless times.
While Saunders was idle, his new team was riddled with injuries and finished 19-63. The Wizards were without two starters for nearly the entire season.
Gilbert Arenas, who last summer signed a six-year, $111 million contract, played just two late-season games after the third surgery on his left knee. Starting center Brendan Haywood had wrist surgery and didn't return until the season's final weeks. Guard DeShawn Stevenson played just 32 games and had season-ending back surgery.
With Arenas healthy, along with Haywood, Stevenson, Foye, Miller and returning leading scorers Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, the Wizards feel they'll be dramatically improved.
"It's like bringing five free agents," Saunders said.
The predraft hours were filled with lots of deals in the NBA, with Eastern Conference finalists Orlando and Cleveland particularly busy. Saunders feels Washington can now better compete with the Magic and Cavaliers.
"We think we made a drastic improvement on our roster," Saunders said. "It's going to be more difficult for teams like that to beat us."
There are lots of big names on this team, but the two newest Wizards claim they aren't intimidated about playing with Arenas and the others.
"I want to play alongside him and get him his fair amount of shots," Foye said. "There are definitely no negatives."
Foye played three seasons in Minnesota. Miller is a veteran of nine seasons in Orlando, Memphis and with the Timberwolves. He's never won a playoff series, and says he's eager to fit in.
"It's going to be easy for me because I already no whose show it is," Miller said. "It's their show. I just want to make them better, and I want them to make me better."
With the 32nd selection in the second round, Washington chose Jermaine Taylor, a 6-4 guard from Central Florida, and immediately traded him to Houston for cash.