Wizards' Ernie Grunfeld On The 2011 NBA Season

It's been a little over three months since the NBA lockout began, and earlier this week the clouds gave way to sun when it was found out that fans would indeed have a 2011-2012 NBA season. Starting on Christmas Day.

In a press conference with the media today, Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld spoke about the start of the NBA season for his team.

"We're excited about having basketball back and getting started", he said.

The Wizards will start training camp on December 9th before hosting the Philadelphia 76ers on December 16th in preseason action. It will be first of two such meetings between the two teams, with the second meeting in Philadelphia on December 20th, with little practice time in between.

"And when you have a young group like we have, you want as much [practice] time as possible", Grunfeld said. "But we have to make due with the amount of time we currently have."

Previously the team would have played an opponent four times during a season, but with the shortened 66 game season, teams may only see an opponent two or three times.

Trips for the Wizards to play their West Coast opponents will also be reduced on the year.

Grunfeld also addressed the team's needs saying the team could use some veteran leadership.

"We started rebuilding last year with four 1st Round [draft] picks, adding more young players ... needed now are veterans to show leadership in the locker room."

But don't expect the organization to spend a lot of money in free agency to bring in big named talent.

"If you look at the Free Agent list, there's not a great free agent market out there and you don't want to tie up a lot of money now, explained Grundfeld. "You want to wait."

Speculation that Wizards' guard Nick Young may be traded prompted the question of whether there are any offers on the table for 17 point-per-game guard.

"There is an offer", Grunfeld said, but chose not to delve into specifics and did not specifically say if Young would be making Chicago his new home, as many have speculated.

Other Wizard FAs include guard Maurice 'Moe' Evans and foward Josh Howard.

Wizards' Oopen House is December 8th. Visit www.washingtonwizards.com for season schedule and info.


Wizards head coach, Flip Saunders will address the media on Friday, December 2nd.