Here’s Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld speaking to reporters today:

On the depth of talent available in Thursday’s NBA Draft: “I think it’s going to be a pretty deep draft.  You never know who is going to be available to you, because it all depends on who goes in front of you, but it’s going to be interesting.  There is a lot of conversation going on right now around the league.  We’ve had a lot of conversations and this is always a very exciting time of year.”

More on the depth of talent in the draft: “It’s a deep draft, but it’s also an uncertain draft, because of the youth in it.  The talent level is pretty good.  You can maybe get someone in the 20’s or in the second round that can develop for you but you’re probably not going to get someone that is going to come in and contribute right away.”

On the players that worked out for the Wizards: “We had a good group in.  A lot of the players we brought in are not only for that first round pick (18th overall), but we also have a 2nd round pick (47th overall), so there were a lot of prospects for that position…and also free agent type players that we might want to take a look at down the road.  Bringing players in is just a small part of the whole evaluation process.  The thing that I get the most out of this process is being able to talk to the players and see what type of people they really are and how they handle themselves.  It’s important to get an opportunity to talk to some of these players and really find out about who they are as people.”

On trade talks around the NBA: “There have been a lot of conversations about moving up and moving back and maybe even getting out of the draft.  Some things are contingent on who’s out there for us and who’s available.  You never know what is going to happen, but there have been a lot of conversations (amongst NBA teams), probably more than in years past.”

On the Wizards’ needs: “We are pretty deep at all positions so I’ve always had a theory to take the best available player regardless of position.”

On Washington’s young players selected in recent drafts: “Andray (Blatche) has played now for three years, and played a lot of minutes last year.  Nick (Young) got some significant minutes last year even though he was a rookie.  He got a lot experience because of the injuries we had, and had the opportunity to play and see some valuable game action.  Dom (McGuire) got some good opportunities too, and this is going to be a big summer for Pech (Oleksiy Pecherov) because he did not play that much last year because of the injury.  He had a very good preseason for us, but about five days before the season started he broke his ankle and missed about two months.  Because of that he was pretty far behind.  We are young, but I think we have a good combination of veteran players, players in their prime and young up-and-coming players that still have a lot of room for growth.”

On the Wizards: “I think this group has shown that we can compete on a very high level.  We had some great wins last year and we didn’t even have the full group together.  The last time we had the full group together we had the best record in the Eastern Conference and I think we are an improved team since then.  Our bench has gotten better.  Our young guys have gotten some valuable experience.  I think we feel comfortable if we get everybody back and everybody together I think that this team can be a very competitive ball club.”