A forward move, if MJ returns


If Michael Jordan does return as a player next season, look for him to play a new position. “I could see him playing a lot of small forward,” Washington Wizards coach Doug Collins said Friday. “He’s going to do a lot of posting up. “I don’t see him necessarily playing the same style as before. He’s so physically strong now. … Who better to reinvent themselves than him?” Collins said he based his opinion on Jordan’s workouts, but the move would also solve a big Wizards dilemma: The only position where the team doesn’t need help is shooting guard, Jordan’s old spot. In any case, the comeback attempt is on hold after Jordan cracked two ribs during a workout last week. Collins said it will be at least another three weeks before Jordan is back on the court. That complicates matters somewhat as the Wizards prepare for Wednesday’s NBA draft. Washington has the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since the franchise’s first season in 1961. “Whether he plays or not does not factor into what we’re doing,” said Collins, who quoted Jordan as saying: “We are building this team with the idea that I’m not going to play.” The Wizards have been working out the top prospects, and some got court time with Jordan himself. Collins listed five who have stood out from the rest: Eddy Curry, Eddie Griffin, Tyson Chandler, Kwane Brown and Shane Battier. Curry, Chandler and Brown entered the draft straight from high school, and Collins admitted he’s dealing with an “inexact science” of background checks and character judgement to decide which of the teen agers might pan out down the road. “I didn’t expect these high school players to be as good as they are,” Collins said. “That’s a pleasant surprise for us.” Collins said he’s received many calls concerning possible trades for the No. 1 pick. The Wizards have been working out lower-rated players in case they trade down on draft day. Collins said he will not trade Richard Hamilton, and he indicated Courtney Alexander was also not available. Both are shooting guards, but Collins said he will give Hamilton some work at point guard from the first day of training camp. Collins also tried to put to rest the notion that the Wizards would add every aging big name from Charles Barkely to Patrick Ewing to play alongside Jordan if Jordan does return. “People have said Michael was going to put together a ‘92 Dream Team revisited,” Collins said. “That’s not going to happen.”