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Blatche will draw interest

It's no shocker considering that the kid is 6-foot-11 and has flashed nice skills during his first two seasons but as you'll be reading in tomorrow's paper (Thursday morning) Wizards restricted free agent forward Andray "32 Cent" Blatche will be a wanted man when the free agency period opens July 1. According to my sources, the New Jersey Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers are prepared to offer Blatche five-year contracts with a first-year salary starting at around $4 million.

Now, the Wizards can and likely will match any offer made to Blatche, the team's second round pick in the 2005 draft, but unless president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld can clear some cap space with moves this summer, doing so could make it difficult to retain shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, who will opt out of the final year of his contract on July 1, or sign other free agents in what is shaping up to be a tight market.

Here's the deal: if the Wiz have the cap room, they can sign Blatche without using the mid-level exception (a first-year salary of just over $5 million). If they can't, and if teams make the kind of offers detailed above, they would have to use the ML on Blatche. Essentially, they could be put in the position of choosing between Blatche and Stevenson and as one smart basketball man I spoke with put it yesterday: "That's a no brainer. You pay 6-11 every time and don't think twice." Good point. Consider this: if Blatche were coming out of college this summer, where would he go in the draft? Lottery baby.

Another key will be what kind of offer DeShawn draws from other teams, most of whom have limited cap space. We all know that DeShawn turned down three-years, $10 million from the Magic last summer and at the very least, he would like to get that back this summer if not more. The thing is, not many teams have money to spend and one of them is Orlando. Hard to see DeShawn going back there. As one source said to me yesterday: "DeShawn is only going to walk if someone puts a better deal on the table and who is going to do that?"

You'll also read in tomorrow's paper that the Wiz have interviewed Tom Thibodeau for the assistant coaching spot that opened up by the retirement of Tom Young. Thibodeau was the lead assistant under Jeff Van Gundy in Houston the last four seasons but Van Gundy and that entire staff got blown out of town after yet another first round loss. Thibodeau makes sense because he does have a relationship with Ernie going back to their days with the Knicks when Ernie was the GM and Thibodeau an assistant under Van Gundy. Thibodeau has also interviewed for a spot on Mike D'Antoni's staff in Phoenix but a little birdie told me tonight that he may not get that offer. It's safe to assume that Thibodeau would be considered a "defensive minded" coach - the kind Ernie and Abe Pollin were talking about hiring last summer when Eddie chose Bill Berry.

One interesting thing about the current Wiz staff: Eddie Jordan's guys - Mike O'Koren, Phil Hubbard, Wes Unseld Jr., and Bill Berry are still working without extensions. Their contracts expire next month and to this point, Ernie has not offered new deals. Now, the draft is coming up and summer league begins July 10 in Las Vegas - the assistants coach the summer league squad - so something has to give. Eddie has made it clear that he wants to retain his guys but I don't know whether Thibodeau is Ernie's idea or Eddie's and I can say this for a fact: if Eddie isn't fully on board with a new coach there could be some serious tension between front office and coaching staff this season and we already know that some exists because of the Brendan Haywood/Jordan drama. Stay tuned.

With Susan O'Malley stepping down as President of Washington Sports and Entertainment, one name to consider as a possible replacement is Ed Tapscott, the former president of the Charlotte Bobcats before he got shoved aside by Bob Johnson in favor of No. 23. Before working in Charlotte, Tapscott was an executive with the Knicks when Ernie was GM and the two have a good relationship. Tapscott would seem to be logical because A) he lives in DC, loves DC and is said to be eager to get back into basketball, B) has a deep understanding of both the business and basketball side of managing a team and C) knows the Wizards pretty well because he worked as an analyst for Comcast's broadcasts last season.

Now, what to make of Susan's departure? She said she's leaving to pursue other things and after being in the business for 20 years, that's understandable but the timing is interesting. Does it mean that Abe Pollin is considering selling the team? He's always stated that he's not interested in doing that yet but then again, Caps owner Ted Leonsis is waiting to buy in the moment Abe says so. Is Susan leaving before a new group takes over? Does her departure give Ernie more power in the overall structure of the franchise and if that's the case, what does that mean for Eddie's future if the Wiz struggle early next season or otherwise fail to meet expectations? Yes, it must be repeated: Ernie did not hire Eddie. Abe Pollin did. Just throwing that out there.

Oleksiy Pecherov has only been in town since Sunday but the early word is that the kid is a gym rat. I hear that "Pesh" has been doing two workouts a day down at Verizon Center and won't leave a workout until, get this, he makes 500 jump shots. That vibes with everything I've heard about the kid. His presence could also have a major impact on Blatche because the two have hit if off. If Blatche sees his boy working that hard, you have to think that he'll do the same. Remember, they could be competing for minutes next season. I can't wait to see Pesh and this year's picks in Las Vegas for summer league.


By Ivan Carter  |  June 20, 2007; 9:53 PM ET
 
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Comments

Blatche was the team's only draft choice in 2005, and he was a 2nd round choice-- that is why he is a restricted free agent. He was on his original rookie deal.

Posted by: Mike in Las Vegas | June 20, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"Ernie did not hire Eddie. Abe Pollin did. Just throwing that out there."

Yup, said that all last season Ivan right on this blog. I think things get interesting after next season.

Mark my words, Jordan's job will be in trouble by season's end. And this will NOT help with things as far as Gilbert goes. I can see it coming already.

Personally I think it's the EG factor with O'Malley. Pollin gave her an awful lot of power in regards to decisions with the team, not only from a "business" perspective but in other areas also. I never liked it because I didn't really think she knew what she was doing so I'm not so sad to see her go.

I also really think Pollin wants to see the team compete for another championship before he sells. That's like his dying wish. Leonsis isn't going to get the team either, watch.

He's going to get outbid. :P

Could care less about Stevenson, they better match anything for Blatche. Hayes is going to start next season at the two(unfortunately), but I really wish they would get a PG and move Gil to the two.

Now can they do a sign and trade with Blatche, Ivan? Do you see anything like that happening?

Kind a silly to be over paying for Blatche if you have Pesh in a Wiz uni next year don't you think?

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | June 20, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ivan,

Is it possible they are going to fire Jordan?

Have you heard anything of the sorts or even close?

Doesn't make sense to not keep any of those assistants on board at all to me even if EG doesn't like them.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | June 20, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I think these next 7 days are going to be quite interesting. I'd be shocked if there is no trade brewing. If Pech is as good as it looks this opens up possibilities galore. I'd like to see the pick and Haywood and Hayes or Stevenson packaged. I think all these late first and second rounders that they are bringing in for workouts means that something is up. I am sure Ernie won't talk and leak out rumors. It will come seemingly out of the blue. That's his style and I am glad.

Posted by: BmoreRev | June 20, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Ray, how can you even ask if the Wiz are going to fire Jordan? He just got an extension before the beginning of last season and in my opinion the last thing they want to do is rock the boat right now...especially with Gil's recent declaration. Also, who the heck is out there to coach besides Jeff Van Gundy and Rick Carlisle?

If the team starts out badly, I can see coaching changes being made by midseason but certainly not before.

Posted by: Lisa | June 20, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!

Don'tcha just love controversy? As I predicted, AB, despite the team's attempt to hide him, will most likely get a fat contract. Goodbye Deshawn, never knew ya. Les BouleS sacrificed a chance at beating the Cavs by trying to hide AB, which may backfire if another team throws gobs of $$$ at him. DS, go be a defensive stopper ace elsewhere.

Although, I do not agree with Ivan that AB would have been a lottery pick. He hasn't shown enough yet, but has some nice skills. If Marion gets traded here, I see AB getting hindered again. This better be a breakout year for him, and I would bring AJ off the bench.

Also, as I said earlier, Abe is probably ready to sell. He's just recovering from hip surgery and is probably tired of the monkey on his back. Time to go, and probably gave word to O'Malley that her job is in jeopardy b/c Leonsis does his own marketing, not mom and pop marketing. Gone also may be Unseld Jr. and Matt Williams.

Also, I think EJ will be canned by mid season if Les BouleS do not bust out of the barn ablazing at the beginning of the season like last year. Grunfeld has not extended his assistant coaches yet maybe in hopes that EJ will leave without compensation from being fired.

Gilby, who hurt his little knee and at first said it was only a minor tweak is still nursing it. Last I heard, about a month ago, he said he was at 65%, although it's good enough for him to board a plane with his family to Tahiti.

Hmmmmmm....I thought Gilby said after the tragic season ended that he was not going on vacation this summer and was going to spend the summer at Verizon healing up and training for next season. I guess, as history has proven, professional athletes will say anything to fool the hero worshipping fans, as gullible as they are.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/19/AR2007061902606.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

This is like the perfect storm, but this could happen in the near future:

1. Abe sells.
2. Leonsis takes over and gives support to Grunfeld.
3. EJ quits or leaves, maybe to go back to NJ if NJ fires Frank.
4. Big bucks Ted hires Larry Brown, who's itchin' to come back.
5. Larry Brown, a supposedly great teacher of guards, meshes well with Gilby, and of course, meshes with Haywood, as UNC alums do.
6. Lisa reveals herself as Susan O'Malley or Laura Govan or maybe Gilby's estranged mom.

PS. #6 is the likeliest event

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 20, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, unless I'm mistaken, Blatche falls under the category of an early Bird exception. In that case, the Wizards do not need to use any of their MLE to re-sign him. It may impact other moves if they want to avoid paying the luxury tax in the next few years.

Posted by: Benjammin | June 20, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

It would be a huge setback for Les BouleS, after the time and effort they spent on AB, if he left for bigger money because Les BouleS could or did not match. Getting a pick as compensation is easily not equal value.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 21, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Again, I am a mere nove but I will stand by my previous posts - Get rid of the entire bench. Kiss Stevenson "goodbye" What a waste. None of the bench proved their worth in 40 games. Time to go.

Ernie is stackin the house with some of his own good ole boys. Jordan better get it together cuz folks will be looking over his shoulder. God help us - EJordan actually hired the sad sack defense coach -Bill Berry. Same way he picked that sad sack bench..another waste just takin money.

Posted by: robin | June 21, 2007 12:26 AM | Report abuse

I am a moron. After spending the entire year bagging AB, I feel he has value & skillz.

I've gotza be stupid or bipolar.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 21, 2007 1:20 AM | Report abuse

This is like the perfect storm, but this could happen in the near future:

1. Abe sells.
2. Leonsis takes over and gives support to Grunfeld.
3. EJ quits or leaves, maybe to go back to NJ if NJ fires Frank.
4. Big bucks Ted hires Larry Brown, who's itchin' to come back.
5. Larry Brown, a supposedly great teacher of guards, meshes well with Gilby, and of course, meshes with Haywood, as UNC alums do.
6. Lisa reveals herself as Susan O'Malley or Laura Govan or maybe Gilby's estranged mom.
Ooops forgot 1:
7. I am no Peter the Predictor so disregard everything above from the MD Twerp. Hee hee.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 21, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

how did gilbert bashing get thrown into this?

Posted by: hmmmmm | June 21, 2007 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Blatche isn't going anywhere unless someone offers the moon for him. And if Stevenson leaves great. Defensively he wasn't good as advertised and even though he improved offensively, he was a disaster once Gilbert and Caron went out.

Posted by: George Templeton | June 21, 2007 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, I hadn't heard "32 Cent" as a nick name for Blatche before, where does that come from?
Any rumblings at all about any interest out there for Jarvis from other teams? And if he doesn't get another offer that the Wiz have to match, are they leaning toward a one year qualifying offer? Or has there been talk about resigning for a longer deal?
If I'm figuring right a five year deal for Blatche starting out at 4m would work out to be somewhere around 28-30m. I think Ernie really is looking at Blatche and Pecherov playing together alot in the future. That's where the statement from Ernie that he now looks at Pecherov as a center comes from. Playing the two together at the 4 and 5 would give the team the option to use Jamison as a bench scorer more.
I'd say that Grunfeld is working on a something on the trade front, it appears that he's working out alot of guys that look to after our number one pick, but earlier than our second. Suns and Wiz might be talking, but Marion has nothing to do with it and never did.
O'Malley leaving would seem to signal Grunfeld is step by step strengthening his grip on the operation of the team. The assistant coach situation is interesting, Ernie might just be reminding Jordan who's in charge. If he doesn't retain Jordan's guys that is a clear sign EJ's days are numbered. But, I'd be surprised if that happened this offseason.
If Thibodeau is hired it will be interesting to see what title he's given, O'Koren was made Assistant Head Coach last year. Would a guy like Thibodeau that has been a number two guy for awhile come in to sit on the back bench? Could EJ do a Gibbs and have an Assistant Head Coach Offense and Defense?
There's been alot of speculation about the Wizards trading down on this site. It could happen, but I'm wondering if it's more likely the Grunfeld will move Haywood and pick up an extra pick in the move.

Posted by: GM | June 21, 2007 2:38 AM | Report abuse

some people have trouble sleeping unless they bash gilbert. i have that feeling sometimes about george dubya, lebron james, tony romo, etc.

Posted by: ngu | June 21, 2007 2:41 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, man you've really come back with a vengeance!

I gotta couple questions...

First, regarding Blatche. I thought a team did not have to use it's MLE to sign it's own restricted free agents. Don't the Bird rights apply to this situation? I know it used to be like that, which is how we got Gil from GS, because they could only offer their MLE because he had been a 2nd round pick. But I think they changed that rule because of Gil. I mean if he is a restricted FA, the Wizards should be able to match ANY offer. If they are confined to the restictions of the MLE, how could that be the case?

That said, I agree signing Blatche should be our top priority this offseason, regardless. Everything else, DeShawn included, is secondary.

Next, you bring up some thought provoking observations regarding Susan OMalley, and the assistant coaching situation. Considering Jeff Van Gundy is currently available, I wonder how tight are he and Ernie? JVG is considered one of the league's top coaches, and he and Ernie worked together in NY. If Ernie feels a defensive minded coach is needed to be a serious contender in the playoffs, could a change be at hand? Ernie seemed to disagree with Eddie's use of Haywood, and Blatche this past season. The timing is interesting in that with the rest of the staff off the books, the only thing that would need to be dealt with would be Eddie's contract buyout.

Also, you mentioned moving Etan was a possibility. Does that imply we're not looking to move Haywood? And does that tie in to the coaching situation? And just to mention, a deal that works salary-wise is Etan for Turkoglu. Orlando needs depth at center, and Etan had that monster game against them to start the season. Turk would be a nice addition to our bench at sf/sg.

About the draft, thanks for the info, or lack thereof, on Rudy Fernandez. Interesting, although I suspect Ernie has seen him play. I really like Belinelli. Watching video footage of him, he reminds me of Reggie Miller. But don't know if 16 is too high for him.

Do you know if we'll work out Center Kyrylo Fesenko? Been looking at him as possible 2nd rounder, but wonder now if he could be a possibility at 16. It would be a surprise, but so was Pecherov last year. He played against Pesh this past year in the Ukraine. Reading the scouting report on him at Draftexpress, he seems like a heck of a prospect! A future with him at center, and Pesh and "32 Cent" at the forwards could be the way to go. Maybe move up from 47 to get Belinelli in the 2nd also.

Posted by: Darnell | June 21, 2007 4:36 AM | Report abuse

Last I heard, Tahiti was a great vacation spot for relaxing....resting on the beach, etc. Perfect spot for resting ones knee.

Posted by: Santana | June 21, 2007 7:53 AM | Report abuse

The one thing I did notice last year was EG insistance on playing both Blatche and Haywood more. I too agree that there was maybe a little dissenion between the EJ and EG over Haywood. I would not be overly surprised if Haywood was still hear next season. Now, Hayes, I think should be shopped around if there are takers. I definitely hope they don't let Blatche slip away. The kid is good! EJ needed to play him more last year and let him make a mistake or two without fear of being yanked out of the game. I believe that was one of the reasons he did make mistakes. Anyway Ivan, good stuff! I was glad that you punctuated the fact that Gil will NOT BE traded. Maybe that will quiet down some of the trade gil pundits on the site. Can't wait for the draft and your next installment.

Posted by: WizFan4Life | June 21, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

My ideal upcoming offseason:

-None of the incompetent assistant coaches are retained, including that absolute JOKE Wes Unseld Jr.

-Blatche is re-signed, 5 years 25 mil

-Stevenson is either signed to a 2 year, 3-4 mil deal or something similar, or let go

-Pecherov shows that he may be able to make an impact this season

-Etan traded, NOT Brendan (Before the haters get on me, consider this: just because you swing your arms wildly when you get a rebound when no one is standing around you does not make you better than the other center)

-Wing player is drafted (Nick Young, Rudy Fernandez, Morris Almond, perhaps Bellinelli) that is able to come in, provide modest scoring off the bench this year (7-9 ppg) and ultimately reach 14-17 ppg in a couple of years

-Take an established college player with pick 47 who doesn't appear to have a high potential ceiling or projection (Taurean Green, Jared Dudley) and see if they can provide decent bench minutes

Last but not least, which of course will never happen, unfortunately:

-Eddie Jordan RESIGNS. Well, maybe we can hope that he grows some coaching brains, instead. Also very unlikely.

Posted by: AV | June 21, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Yo Ivan. Now this is some good stuff you are throwing up on the board. It seems like this board went "south" once the season was over. Glad to see you were able to put something up that we as Wiz fans have been clamoring for, "inside information".

As for the Blatche saga, I suspected the Wiz were doing a "stash" job for this season. But as DCMan mentioned earlier, not playing him in the Cav's series to hide him backfired on the Wiz in two ways. We lost the series and Blatche still is going to get "crazy contract" offers.

As for Pollin selling, say it isn't so Joe...???? I really hope so. If "Big Bucks" Ted can get his hands on the Wiz, you will see a major change to the whole organization. The Wizards will become the Dallas Mavaricks of the East when it comes to first class operations. Just watch and see.

Now that you have something good to talk about on the blog now, maybe it will cut down on all of the non-basketball stuff going back and forth on this blog. I have been reading a lot of the stuff, but not commenting, and all I could do is shake my head in amazement.

Anyway, lets keep this "basketball train" going and lets have some fun with "WIZARDS" talk again........

Posted by: mikie | June 21, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

I just wanna say, wheres the love for Songaila? The guys got the nicest mid-range shot. At least HE isnt going anywhere. Blatche will be retained and will be great, as will Pesh, but Haywood must go bc he's a Primadonna (WaAHHH I want more minutes even though I average 1.5 travels a game WAHHHHH)...Can't wait for next season!!!

Go Bullets!

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | June 21, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Great stuff Ivan. Keep it coming.

By the way, Blatche can be resigned with the Early Bird Exemption. He will not cost us any of the MLE. Blatche's contract will impact our flexibility as it relates to the luxury tax threshold, but it'll have no effect on our salary cap situation.

As it stands now, if we match a $4M offer for Blatche, sign Pecherov and the #16, our payroll will be $63.5M for 10 players: Arenas, Daniels, Butler, Jamison, Songaila, Blatche, Etan, Pecherov, Haywood, #16. The luxury tax threshold should be about $69-70M.

We'll should have full use of the $5.5M Mid-Level Exemption and perhaps some or all of the LLE to fill out the remaining 2 spots on our roster.

Posted by: nate33 | June 21, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM


Burg, I agree Songaila is a quality big who has the best jumper for our bigs except for Tawn (who's really not a big). Haywood cries way too much about his playing time, but he at least brings size to the rebounding and shotblocking equation that nobody on the Wiz can come close to duplicating except for Blatche. Until Blatche gets more playing time and does a better job playing defense, Haywood is still our best paint defender/blocker and rebounder vs. taller centers. At times, I am really disgusted by his crybaby views on his intensity level and minutes but it could very well be how he reacts to EJ's beef/treatment with him. Not an excuse, but it could explain his childish behavior.


DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM

Posted by: Wizzin' by Ya | June 21, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

i agree we should do whatever we can to retain blatche, the kid is ready for a breakout season if jordan will give him some time on the court. the way i see it, that's a no brainer, considering the age of jamison...give hiim more rest and shorter minutes the first month of the season and after the all-star break especially. that way he's fresh and healthy for the playoffs.

as for the draft i really wanted nick young, but it's looking like he's not going to fall to 16. if we can't land him my next vote would be for sean williams. while he's raw offensively, he really brings it physically on defense and on the boards. he alone could bring us what etan and heywood bring combined.

Posted by: JC | June 21, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Who would have thought there would be all of this news this week?

Thanks, Nate (and Darnell and Benjamin). The Early Bird Exception: "This is the lesser form of the Larry Bird Exception. Free agents who qualify for this exception are called "early qualifying veteran free agents," and qualify after playing two seasons without being waived or changing teams as a free agent. Using this exception, a team can re-sign its own free agent for either 175% of his salary the previous season, or the NBA's average salary, whichever is greater. Early Bird contracts must be for at least two seasons, but can last no longer than five seasons."

Is Blatche an restricted free agent? If not, then if a team offers Blatche more than the NBA's average salary (the MLE), then the Wizards couldn't beat that offer without clearing cap room.

Posted by: Sean | June 21, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

In response to above:

1) Jarivs starting at the 2? I just threw up in my mouth a little. First of all, these's no reason to re-sign him. I love the kid and his brother at UGA, but his shot just hasn't panned out.

2) AB WOULD be a lottery pick DC Man88. He hasn't shown enough yet because, "hello!", he's been on an NBA bench. You've got to imagine what this kid would've been doing in college.....AKA A Whole Lotta Sumthin'

3) Susan O'Malley was nothing more than a cheerleader who got her job via nepotism.

4) Stevenson....we just probably won't be able to afford him, but that all depends on the market I suppose.

Posted by: K-Dub | June 21, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

DCMAN88- DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM HE USES INAPPROPIATE LANGAUGE ON THIS FORUM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Ernie and Eddie "clashed" from day one just for the fact that Abe hired Eddie before Ernie got here. That situation never bodes well. Then Ernie sides with Gil, Brendan and players - against the Prince of Small Ball Eddie J.
(Nellie is "King" no doubt plus he kicked Dallas' behind. Kudos to him for that)

Not good. The fact that Jordan & Berry didn't get around to enforcing "D" til near end of season (from Arenas comments) that HAD to have inflamed Ernie G. Its a house of cards. EJ better quit bringin in old friends & sub par buddies(for their payday)cuz EG is stackin the deck.

On here at end of season - it was reasoned that Eddie J didn't play Blatche because he wanted to keep interest in him "down"
That was stupid, poor business decision.
According to Ivan & the headline - they will offer what they will regardless.
Poor coaching and wasted talent

Truth or fiction? It was reported repeatedly - Berry was brought in by Ernie G & Abe. Now suddenly he's Eddie's friend. That part alone is suspect.
Tapscott & Mitchell constantly reported that Bill Berry was bought in by Ernie & Abe to address the teams' lack of defense.

Is it they report it that way for news sake or is it just as Ivan reports it. Berry is Eddie's "friend" & choice?

For me bros..as a wiz fan...if thats the case - he's clueless. Neither would know defense even if it sat on their laps.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

also wanted to add something about the trade front....it would surprise me if we're not looking to see what we can get for jamison. as much as he showed me what he can do last season when he's the go-to guy, he's still in his last year of his contract, and we have to think about the possibility of paying a lot of money to resign a 33 year old player who relies on quickness or losing him for nothing.

with teams like portland (randolph), indiana (o'neil), memphis (gasol), minnesota (garnett), la (bynum, odom) obviously looking to deal, we should at least be talking to them.

with the exception of minn. each of the above teams should have a strong interest in jamison. of the above bunch, my order of preference would be garnett (duh), gasol, odom or oneil (i'm a little hesitant with oneil cuz he always gets injured, and odom would be a great pass first person and point forward for gil, and would allow us to draft a big man like williams), then randolph.

Posted by: JC | June 21, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

All this silliness that Blatche was being hidden on the bench needs to stop. Name one Second year or first year player getting major minutes in the playoffs this past year and making a major contribution??? The list would be one player out of 2 draft classes, Deron Williams. Who is a stud and the 3rd over all draft pick. Jordan did the right thing keeping the kid in the sandbox because the fact of the matter is he would have folded like a house of cards if he got any run during the playoffs at all.

And where is the credit for Coach Jordan who kept the team minus 2 ALL-STARS competitive in the whole series against the team that went on to win the East Conference Championship????

Jeff Van Gundy or Larry Brown, please all they would be doing is robbing the season ticket holders blind before they take off for their next advanture.

Thank GOD you all aren't running the team.

Posted by: dc | June 21, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Thats rediculous dc: Try: Boobie, Deron, Monte, ZAZA, Maxiell, Brown with Utah and a number of others. All had impact for their teams this year and specifically in beating the Wizards.

You and others don't know they're playing because you & others - unless an announcer brings attention to them - says their name - TELLING YOU they'e a rookie - or they do something spectacular - this is proof you wouldn't hae a clue.

Your statements are a load of crap. Folks on this blog all during the playoffs kept asking why wouldn't Jordan play Blatche. Reason that kept coming back - not to raise his interest.

Thank God you're not a coach or asst coach anywhere cuz you'd get caught short. You wouldn't know what talent you had on your team.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Thats rediculous dc: Try: Boobie, Deron, Monte, ZAZA, Maxiell, Brown with Utah and a number of others. All had impact for their teams this year and specifically in beating the Wizards.

You and others don't know they're playing because you & others - unless an announcer brings attention to them - says their name - TELLING YOU they'e a rookie - or they do something spectacular - this is proof you wouldn't hae a clue.

Your statements are a load of crap. Folks on this blog all during the playoffs kept asking why wouldn't Jordan play Blatche. Reason that kept coming back - not to raise his interest.

Thank God you're not a coach or asst coach anywhere cuz you'd get caught short. You wouldn't know what talent you had on your team.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Trading Etan (Jordan's preferred C) and keeping Haywood would be a shot across Eddie's bow by Ernie. Add to that the fact that none of Eddie's assistant coaches have been offered extensions with their contracts coming due in a month and It looks like Ernie and Eddie may be headed into something of a power struggle. Not what the Wiz need right now, more drama.

Posted by: kalorama | June 21, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

And add Paul Millsap to that list of rookies contributing in the playoffs.

That being said, I don't for one minute think Jordan's reluctance to play Blatche big minutes had anything to do with wanting to "hide him" from potential FA suitors. That would fly in the face of a coach's mandate, which is to win games.

Coaches play the guys they think will best help them win. Period. For most coaches, esp. on playoff caliber teams, that means playing the veterans and keeping the youngsters on a short leash. It's a simple fact of life in the NBA.

Posted by: kalorama | June 21, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

yeah i don't think not playing blatche had anything to do with hiding him. all season long it was pretty clear that jordan likes to play his starters (centers not included) for as many minutes as possible per game. my only issue is that once it was clear the series was lost, i would have gotten blatche in there to get him some minutes and experience. but perhaps he was still a little out of sorts after the injury late in the season.

as for trading etan over heywood being a shot at jordan, i would disagree. heywood has a smaller contract (by 1.5 mil) less serious injury history, is a legit 7' tall, and a better defender, and a year younger.

personally, i would try to trade both, but if i had to choose one, it would be etan. actually no, if i had to choose one, it would be whichever one gets us the most in return from another team.

Posted by: JC | June 21, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Also, who the heck is out there to coach besides Jeff Van Gundy..."

There you go Lisa, you just said it.

I don't like the guy personally but if you remember correctly the Wiz tried to hire him before they settled on Jordan.

If EG is hiring Thibodeau and not resigning Jordan's assistants it's a signal to me Jordan is being shown the writing on the wall.

Maybe not now, but definately after the season. I would hope sooner rather then later because of Arenas. If they fire Jordan after the season Arenas might be inclined to go somewhere else.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | June 21, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Ray, do you really want a coach who couldn't get out of the first round on multiple occasions with T-Mac and Yao on his team?
He did a fine job when they were hurt, but do you notice that was because the team that was left was more suited to his style, a lighter version of Riley's force basketball.
That is the only way that Van Gundy knows how to coach and he will not adjust to his roster. And he is certainly not the right coach for this roster.

Posted by: George Templeton | June 21, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about that, George. If you look at his two previous coaching stops, both times he had slow, nonathletic teams that weren't built for much offense. He really didn't have any choice but to implement crawl-ball, because the makeup of his roster was such that it was his best chance to win. It remains to be seen what he could do with an offensively talented squad that really needed a defensive guru.

(FYI, that is not in any way an endorsement for replacing Eddie Jordan.)

Posted by: kalorama | June 21, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Folks, less not forget Ernie's bringing in his former coaching associates - assistants and staff. All personnel from New York. Thiabeau former defensive coordinator - Houston. Van Gundy, Rick and Larry Brown. Anybody remember ? Practice!!What are we talkin about here? Practice? Iverson? For Van Gundy it was Stevie Franchise. Carlilse? The NBA rumble

What is the most interesting piece to this entire matter is: O'Malley announcing one of the reasons she retired: Abe got the $50 Mil from the city. 2) The team is in a great posture.

A great change is on the way.


Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

To the Blatche tin-foil hat crowd:

It's more likely that 32 cent didn't get PT because he is an atrocious defender even by Wizard standards. For every steal or block there were two or three sequences where he'd turn his head or not move his feet and get beat. More PT would have made that problem worse.

Notice how they hope AB spend time working on his game. If he even TRIED defensivly every possession his other skills would make him a star.

Posted by: Matador D | June 21, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

yeah i absolutely can't wait for the draft/ summer league
im constantly looking at mock drafts to see who we could get

I hope we get Nick/Thaddeus Young 1st round
and 2nd round Dominic McGuire or Stephane Lasme (dude had 5 games where he recorded 10+ blocks)

Posted by: Tyler | June 21, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

yeah i absolutely can't wait for the draft/ summer league
im constantly looking at mock drafts to see who we could get

I hope we get Nick/Thaddeus Young 1st round
and 2nd round Dominic McGuire or Stephane Lasme (dude had 5 games where he recorded 10+ blocks)

Posted by: Tyler | June 21, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

yeah i absolutely can't wait for the draft/ summer league
im constantly looking at mock drafts to see who we could get

I hope we get Nick/Thaddeus Young 1st round
and 2nd round Dominic McGuire or Stephane Lasme (dude had 5 games where he recorded 10+ blocks)

Posted by: Tyler | June 21, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

yeah i absolutely can't wait for the draft/ summer league
im constantly looking at mock drafts to see who we could get

I hope we get Nick/Thaddeus Young 1st round
and 2nd round Dominic McGuire or Stephane Lasme (dude had 5 games where he recorded 10+ blocks)

Posted by: Tyler | June 21, 2007 10:00 PM | Report abuse

"That being said, I don't for one minute think Jordan's reluctance to play Blatche big minutes had anything to do with wanting to "hide him" from potential FA suitors. That would fly in the face of a coach's mandate, which is to win games."

Yea, that's why Boston didn't tank their final games just to get more ping pong balls for the lottery this season. Nor did Seattle, Portland, and the Sixers put all their guys immediately on IR for the rest of the season when they saw Boston start their tanking. Yeah sure...

I'm sure an honest guy like Danny Ainge and a team like Bahhhston who's had so much luck in the draft that they didn't want extra ping pong balls. Who needed Tim Duncan anyway?

Mandates goes out the window when you have franchise players coming into the lottery.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 21, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Haywood is a 7' crybaby bum. Get rid of him. Etan is better.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 2:45 AM | Report abuse

I suck coock all day long and yearn for Gilby's but he won't let me! wahwahwah
He pisses me off, now I gonna get back at him here.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 22, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Grunfeld would only be stupid if he didn't consider any and all options to make this team better. No player is untouchable. I yearn to suck Gilby's coock. The last I checked, the 2nd half of the season was a sad story, and Les BouleS were eliminated the first round of the playoffs, after regressing the past 2 years. I yearn to suck Gilby's coock. That is no formula for any player to be deemed untouchable.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 22, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Where would you have played Blatche in the Cleveland series??

Jamison was playing his ass off in that series and eating up a majority of the minutes at 4 in the series. He was THE ONLY Offensive threat the team had. Darius had a pretty good series as well and got a ton of minutes. Right there is a majority of the minutes at the 4 for the series.

With Z, Gooden and Slideshow Bob playing the 4 and the 5th all are bigger physical presence the Blatche can handle on the defensive end for long minutes at a time before he would have been exposed. Hence why he used Daruis/Etan to bang against those guys. Blatche IS NOT A BANGER.

I guess your solution would have been to have him Guard LeBron.

And this speaks nothing that he would have been a turnover machine on the offensive end.

And for the record BOOBIE wouldn't have gotten any minutes this year if Larry Hughes didn't go down. Where was BOOBIE in the finals. Oh that's right he wasn't a factor at all. He had one big game against Detroit.

Here is the stat break down for the 2007 playoffs.

Rookies

http://www.nba.com/statistics/player/Scoring.jsp?league=00&season=42006&conf=OVERALL&position=0&splitType=9&splitScope=GAME&qualified=N&yearsExp=0&splitDD=

Seconds year guys

http://www.nba.com/statistics/player/Scoring.jsp?league=00&season=42006&conf=OVERALL&position=0&splitType=9&splitScope=GAME&qualified=N&yearsExp=1&splitDD=

As you can clearly see that from the teams that advance there is only one player that made consistent major contributions to their team success. And above any beyond that what major games has Blatche played in before this. The Conn. State Championship game? And AAU finals? He never played in the NCAA, never played in the Olympics.
HE has zero big game experince when everything is on the line in front of 20,000 idiots from Ohio.

Yet hey lets sit Jamison and Darius so we see that 20 year old deer in the headlights look. And of course we would have won the series as a result of Blatche playing.

Go back to playing video games.

Posted by: dc | June 22, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I think the wizards need to Ship Etan and or Haywood along with the 16th draft pick to trade down or for trade for a veteran big man. Ernie defintely has at least 10 different scenarios ligned up, depending on who's available at the 16th pick. It's going to be a quite storm for a little moment.

Interest has generated around AB, only give the Whiz another Chip to play with, in order to the right big man..

Anything can happen

Posted by: De Whiz | June 22, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

DCWoman doesn't play video games, he plays with Barbie dolls

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

dc, if you'd remember YOU were the video player who asked the question: "Name one Second year or first year player getting major minutes in the playoffs this past year and making a major contribution??? The list would be one player out of 2 draft classes, Deron Williams." Duh!!!!!

We answered your question. Don't ask a question you don't want to know the answer to; then get testy because you didn't know or are wrong.

"News Flash" - there's always somebody smarter than you. Besides, thats the fun of the blog. Everybody contributes -without rancor, venom and name calling.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"Where would you have played Blatche in the Cleveland series??

Jamison was playing his ass off in that series and eating up a majority of the minutes at 4 in the series. He was THE ONLY Offensive threat the team had. Darius had a pretty good series as well and got a ton of minutes. Right there is a majority of the minutes at the 4 for the series.

With Z, Gooden and Slideshow Bob playing the 4 and the 5th all are bigger physical presence the Blatche can handle on the defensive end for long minutes at a time before he would have been exposed. Hence why he used Daruis/Etan to bang against those guys. Blatche IS NOT A BANGER."

For the record, I did not make any posts today but someone obsessed with me copied some of my old posts and interjected some sentences that only reflect their personal desires.

In any regard, I would not have removed AJ in place of AB. I would instead have removed DS who made no impact during the playoffs and put AB in for him. For the little time that AB got off the bench, he clearly showed enough for Cleveland to want to pursue him in free agency.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 22, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

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