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Update from Vegas

If you read today's Post (and once again, I know you did) you'll see that I had an item mentioning that talks between DeShawn Stevenson and the Wiz had reached an impasse as of last night. According to my sources, the Wiz have offered a four-year deal worth $15 and DeShawn wants something closer to four-years, $18 mill or five years, $20 mill.

Neither side has said anything crazy about the other and it's obviously possible that a meeting of the minds can take place. The wild card in all of this is DeShawn's leverage via talks with other teams. So far, he's had nibbles but I think everyone is waiting to see what goes on with the Wizards because it's been no secret that Ernie's priority has been to keep DeShawn. Stay tuned.

Something to chew on: I saw free agent shooting guard Devin Brown out here yesterday. His agent, Derrick Powell, has a bunch of guys playing in the summer league, including Wiz pg Brian Chase. I hear that Powell and Ernie rapped last night but I can't say for sure that the team has serious intentions for Brown, who put up 11.6 points per game on 42 percent shooting in 58 games with the Hornets last season. Again, I'll keep you posted.

I've also had several conversations with agent Alex Saratsis, who represents the suddenly not so elusive Juan Carlos Navarro. Saratsis has made it clear that Navarro is itching to get a contract done so he can get ready for the upcoming NBA season but as we all know by now, Ernie control's Navarro's fate and has been taking trade proposals for the Spanish star all week. Word is that Ernie is asking for "the moon" and that's why nobody has jumped on a deal (as of this morning. I guess something could happen at any time.)

I asked a bunch of NBA types for their take on Navarro as a player over the last two days and the general consensus is that he's a legit NBA player but one who would most likely fill a sixth man type roll on a playoff quality team. He's a shooter more than a pure scorer but has also been described as the crafty type who can get his shot off in traffic. One front office exec who has seen Navarro extensively told me that JCN has the best runner he's ever seen.

I've also been asking about what went down with Tom Thibodeau (and a few folks have come to me asking me what the heck happened) and the feeling I get is that Thibodeau had some reservations about the overall vibe that exists between the front office and coaching staff right now. We all know there have been tensions between Ernie and Eddie regarding A) Gilbert particularly after Gilbert threw Eddie under the bus last season by complaining about Eddie trying to make them play defense. If you remember, Ernie came out the next day and said something to the effect of "Gilbert has won a lot of games for us and he will continue to win a lot of games for us." No mention of Eddie. B) Brendan Haywood and C) Eddie's coaching staff, which had to wait all summer before getting one-year contract extensions.

Again, I can't report any of this as pure fact because I don't have it sourced that way but folks who know Thibodeau feel that he may have gone in there and felt uncomfortable as the new guy on Eddie's staff particularly when that staff will be under so much pressure this season due to the one-year contracts they received.

As one NBA type put it to me: "How would it have been if Eddie went down to Houston last year on Van Gundy's staff as the "offensive coach?" You telling me Eddie and Van Gundy's guys would have been comfortable with that? Right now, that's just a tough situation."

As for the summer league squad, I'm anxious to see how the fellas respond today against Detroit after getting their feet wet yesterday. They looked like a bunch of guys playing their first game together after only three or four days of practice. Also, Sacramento had already played a game.

The interesting matchup will be Nick Young against the player drafted directly ahead of him by Detroit, SG Rodney Stuckey. From what I saw of Stuckey on Monday, the dude has no problem getting shots up. He likes to shoot it. Also, I want to see how Olekisy Pecherov physically approaches his encounters with Detroit's Jason Maxiell after getting pushed arond some yesterday by Sacremento's Justin Williams.

I asked Sacramento's Francisco Garcia, who is going into his third NBA season, for his take on Nick Young and Garcia is a fan. "Oh, he's going to be good. You can see that he has real good quickness and he has long arms so he's going to be able to get his shot off in this league. The main thing for young guys like that is figuring out how to play at the NBA pace. He was out there (yesterday) playing at full speed and that's what all young guys do their first year. Once he slows down a little and figures out when to go and when not to, he'll be fine. I like him though. He's going to be good with Gilbert and those guys in Washington."

-Former Maryland player and former Wiz LaRon Profit is playing for the Detroit summer leaguers. It's good to see LaRon bounce back from that nasty achilles injury he suffered with the Lakers two years ago. Also, former Wiz Billy Thomas (remember him bailing the Wiz out in that late season game at Sacramento two years ago with some timely three point shooting?) and Awvee Storey (one of my favorites. Just a really good dude) are playing on Milwaukee's team.

By Ivan Carter  |  July 11, 2007; 12:30 PM ET
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Next: Introducing D McGuire


But does DS have any leverage to use here with EG? And does the new cap and MLE level have an effect on getting either DS or JCN?

Sounds like we'll get DS locked up and JCN for relatively peanuts unless another GM decides they want him and Poet.

Posted by: iceberg | July 11, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yes, IC, mad props to you and ML for keeping us hoop heads informed through this summer... stay on the case!

Posted by: iceberg | July 11, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Ivan????? Still no AB news??????? You have had about 5 blogs now and have not even mentioned what is going on with him once?????? Although thanks for the Thidodeau news.

Is it that bad that you don't want us finding out we are about to lose him, or is it a good thing we are not hearing "ANYTHING" at all??????

As Bill Walton would say "Come Onnnnnnnnn" whats going on???? AB, AB,AB,AB,AB,AB.....................

Posted by: mikie | July 11, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Ernie also said keeping Larry Hughes was a top priority and we all know how that turned out. Right now I'm not putting much stock into Ernie's priorities.

I'm also looking forward to seeing how Nick Young stacks up against Rodney Stuckley. I hope Nick drops 30 on him!

Posted by: jansjay | July 11, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Devin Brown, now where have I seen his name in print before? :)

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 11, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Was there any ever serious talk of a Ratliff/Etan+AD trade or was that just wishful thinking on our part? Could Boston even make that work financially? I don't know their cap situation.

It seems to me that such a trade would be beneficial to both sides. Wiz for cap reasons (i.e. DS, JCN, and AB), Boston so they get a capable big man and pg. Also, I know Ratliff has underwhelmed as of late, but he is in a contract year, and we all know how players can be motivated when signing time is near.

Posted by: GBH | July 11, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I think 4 yr 18 mil should be the max for DS. If he refuses, Wizards should go the other route.

Navarro, 6th man on a playoff team, isn't that what Wizards need?

Even though Pecherov has reportedly "bulked up," he was still pushed around too easily in last night's game. McGuire played well, and I will be patient with Young.

Posted by: Sagaliba | July 11, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Good info. I would be interested to see what other teams are looking at DS if talks continue to stall. I think the young guys will look better today. Not sure about Pech, but Young and McGuire had not played in a game situation since March. Hopefully those shots start falling.

Posted by: CurtisLee | July 11, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Someone help me please, did I miss something last season? I can't believe that Deshawn wants that much money and is willing to leave 3.75mil per year on the table. This same situation occurred with Orlando last year in the same way and he was left with nadda. Is he really worth that much? He did not play well at all offensively during the playoffs. Stunk up the place with his shooting averages. Had he played better when the pressure was on to perform, I might see his position but I think he or his agent may be pushing the envelope just a tad to far to the right.

I agree with the above poster. What is up with Andray and why is he not being mentioned by any of the sportswriters? Is he staying or going?

I watched a bit of the game last night too and McGuire is McReal! He is the real deal and I too wonder how he slipped so far in the draft. Anyway.......our gain.

Posted by: WizFANatic | July 11, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

mikie wins the award for most obnoxious post imaginable

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Watching the game last night, McGuire looked like a steal for us in the 2nd round... Pecherov seemed to play with some energy eventhough he got pushed around... Young showed flashes, let's see if he can take a step forward today.

I think DeShawn may do the wizards a huge favor and make himself to expensive... I can't see signing him for more than 2 years or he'll just make money to watch Young from the bench.

Posted by: Peter | July 11, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Mikie don't worry about the Blatche situation. He's a restricted free agent, so we can let him talk to some other teams, get some an offer, and then match it. It's what we SHOULD be doing with DeShawn - letting the market determine his value.

Posted by: Geoff | July 11, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I think one or two years from now this team will be great. Gil, Young, Butler, McGuire, Pecherov, Blatche, JCN... If WE RESIGN BLATCHE AND SIGN JCN-

Posted by: trade BTH | July 11, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Wait ... "Awvee Storey, one of my favorites. Just a really good dude."

Um, after that incident in D-League, will this guy ever make a team again??

Posted by: Joe | July 11, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I hate the coach and that d*mned poet, Etan Thomas. However, I love the GM. So what if I play uninspired ball 4 games out of 6, and pout when I don't get my way, I'm SEVEN FEET!

Posted by: Brenda | July 11, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Why not let Stevenson walk and go with Young and JCN. Much better than over paying for DS and giving up JCN? Stevenson did not impress in the playoffs even without Gil dominating the ball and JCN could be the next Ginobli.

Posted by: Dave | July 11, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Why not let Stevenson walk and go with Young and JCN? That's much better than over paying for DS and giving up on JCN. Stevenson did not impress in the playoffs even without Gil dominating the ball and JCN could be the next Ginobli.

Posted by: Dave | July 11, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Ernie has shown that he wont overpay for talent. He let Hughes and Jefferies walk and we are much better off without them. I mean look at Cleveland Hughe's contract is killing them. We should be glad that isnt us. Also the fact that Ernie is not making a move w/ JCN is very good. Hopefully some dumb GM (and we know there are a bunch of them out there) will give us the MOON (JCN/Etan for 1st round pick/swingman or Big). If no team does then we just sign him ourselves. Its win win people.

Posted by: Outoftwnfan | July 11, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Wait ... "Awvee Storey, one of my favorites. Just a really good dude."

Isn't this the same guy who "sucker punched" his teammate and did so much damage the guy is out for a year and his basketball career might be in jeopardy?

Isn't he the same one "cutting up" in Florida not listening to the police and then Gilbert arrested to for coming to his defense? Good dude, huh??????

Posted by: mikie | July 11, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Wait ... "Awvee Storey, one of my favorites. Just a really good dude."

Isn't this the same guy who "sucker punched" his teammate and did so much damage the guy is out for a year and his basketball career might be in jeopardy?

Isn't he the same one "cutting up" in Florida not listening to the police and then got Gilbert arrested too for coming to his defense? Good dude, huh??????

Posted by: mikie | July 11, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What does everyone think the odds are that we end up keeping Navarro? I think I'd rather have him than Deshawn, and it sounds like he'll cost less and be less years. I'm not convinced we couldn't get a suitable replacement for Deshawn at way less cost. Isn't that how we got Deshawn to replace Jeffries? Sign an overlooked free agent for a one year make-good contract and let Young develop. Having Deshawn for four years is definitely going to stunt Young's growth. Wow, lots of tangents in that post.

Posted by: TP | July 11, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like we'll get DS locked up and JCN for relatively peanuts unless another GM decides they want him and Poet."

I'm hoping for "peanuts" personally. :)

Stevenson is an idiot. He should be thanking God that someone wants to pay him millions of dollars to be a 4/5th option on a playoff team that can win without him. Totally selfish.

That's funny about the Thibodeau thing. Looks like many of the bloggers were guessing right on the money with that.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | July 11, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

JCN is "one who would most likely fill a sixth man type roll on a playoff quality team."

DS is a serviceable starter on our Playoff Team. He doesn't get hurt, and he isn't a major liability.

If it's a choice of DS vs. JCN...isn't it obvious that we take DS?

Posted by: Cballer | July 11, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Based on Ivan's salary cap and luxury tax numbers this morning ($55.63 million for the salary cap, $67.8 million for the luxury tax threshold), let me update my post from over the weekend:

Wizards salary this year (so far):
Antawn Jamison $16,360,095
Gilbert Arenas $11,946,667
Caron Butler $8,218,990
Etan Thomas $6,370,000
Antonio Daniels $5,800,000
Brendan Haywood $5,000,000
Darius Songaila $3,942,000
Nick Young $1,491,240
Oleksiy Pecherov $1,345,800
TOTALS: $60,474,792

You'll see that $7.4 million more puts the team at the luxury tax threshold. For example, add $3.5 million for Stevenson and $3.9 million for Blatche, that brings the total to $67.8 million, right at the luxury tax threshold. So signing Navarro (or giving Stevenson and Blatche a total of $7.5 million or more) would cause the Wizards to exceed the threshold. Note that even signing a couple of other players to the minimum, including McGuire, threatens to push the team over the threshold. So that is why Ernie appears determined to move one other guy (Etan or Daniels), just so he can fill out the roster.

Wizards salaries next summer:
Antawn Jamison $0
Gilbert Arenas $12,800,000
Caron Butler $8,999,980
Etan Thomas $6,860,000
Antonio Daniels $6,200,000
Brendan Haywood $5,500,000
Darius Songaila $4,234,000
Nick Young $1,602,960
Oleksiy Pecherov $1,446,720
TOTALS: $47,643,660

Add about $8 million from the Stevenson and Blatche deals (due to increases each year), and you get $55.6 million. Gil is going to opt out, so that will raise his salary by about $3 million more, so that's $58.6 million. Assuming the luxury tax threshold is set next summer at around $70 million, that means Jamison and any other free agents (including Navarro) would need to be resigned for less than a total of $11.4 million to avoid the tax.

So, the reason for not signing Navarro this year is because the Wizards would pay the luxury tax unless they don't resign Stevenson or Blatche. The reason to trade Navarro along with Etan or someone is because Ernie has got himself in a bit of a bind with the salaries and luxury tax. Judging by Pech's first game, maybe he should have kept him overseas for another year to help alleviate the problem. This is all about the luxury tax, not about Navarro's abilities.

Posted by: Henry | July 11, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Great post Ray,

I didn't want to go there with Stevenson but I feel the same way. My word would be greedy. And, I thought I remember him stating he wouldn't do that again. Who knows, maybe his agent is doing the pushing and prodding.

Posted by: WizFanatic | July 11, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Great post Ray,

I didn't want to go there with Stevenson but I feel the same way. My word would be greedy. And, I thought I remember him stating he wouldn't do that again. Who knows, maybe his agent is doing the pushing and prodding.

Posted by: WizFanatic | July 11, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Awvee Storey is not just a pretty good dude, he is transcendent! Thanks for the Billy Thomas update, too.

Any news on James Lang, Andrew Gaze, or Rod Grizzard?

Posted by: Lamont Trellington | July 11, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Henry thanks for posting all the salaries... in looking over them though there is no way i see blatche signing for less than 5mil starting salary... which means that we are in even more of a bind which explains the no news front in regards to AB. Ernie needs to make a deal this year and move etan or AD to clear extra space... once that's done everything will fall in place.

After seeing these numbers I'm 99% that there is going to be some sort of a trade. Lets hope Ernie can pull off another kwame for caron trade

Posted by: Dante | July 11, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Seems like DS does not mind rollin the dice. He's taking a risk since no one else is really trying to sign him. It could be a big break for JCN. I don't think the Wiz are going to let both of them go. Irony: the Wiz were forced to wait on JCN all these years and now that JCN is finally ready to go, the Wiz are now making him wait....interesting.

Posted by: low | July 11, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Devin Brown = Checkmate. Listen up Deshawn, Gil likes you, you've been in the system for a year, and we know what you bring to the table. Because of that we're making a generous offer of 4yr/15mil. But please do not take kindness for a weakness, because much like we let Larry and Jared walk, you can be right out the door behind them. Let me introduce you to Mr. Devin Brown. Devin you see, has almost the exact PER you do and is younger. He is also willing to play for a lot less money. You see Deshawn, this is our final offer. I'll give you till tomorrow at noon for your decision. Thank you.

Posted by: Ernie Grunfeld | July 11, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

A nice dude? Awvee Storey? Awvee "One-Hitta-Quitta" Storey? The League let that Bama back in?

Posted by: C.Bell | July 11, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Great analysis from Henry. Past contract mistakes with Etan and AD are coming back to haunt the Wiz. This probably means no Navarro next year.

Although, I am still in awe of why we would pay Stevenson more than 2 million a year. Plain and simple, he is garbage. I could not have been happier when I found out that contract talks "hit an impasse." I was getting tired of seeing his contract offers get raised, considering we are pretty much outbidding ourselves.

Posted by: AV | July 11, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Devin is actually two years older, but he does have the higher PER.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I'm curious too how you say Awvee is a really great guy when he paralyzed that guy in the D-League and reportedly never apologized.

Posted by: Kenny | July 11, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping for "peanuts" personally. :)

You and me both, Ray, you and me both!!

I also don't understand why DS is pushing this with his contract, but I guess things will be clear(er) in the next 48-72 hours.

Posted by: iceberg | July 11, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Sme additional thoughts to the cap situation. I don't understand what Stevenson's agent is doing. Here is the risk.

Grunfeld, while waiting for Stevenson to agree to the 4 year/$15 million offer, gets Blatche to commit to a 5 year agreement that starts at $4.2 million per year, for example. That means Stevenson can only get a starting salary of $3.2 million this year without the Wizards hitting the luxury tax. The most a 4 year contract can be with a starting salary of $3.2 million (and cap problems, which the Wizards have) is I believe less than $15 million. So, by waiting and not accepting the Wizards' offer, Stevenson is running the risk not only that the Wizards decide to sign another SG, including, not incidentally, the best SG in Europe, but that the Wizards sign Blatche to a contract that lowers the money available to Blatche.

Now, perhaps Stevenson's agent got Ernie to agree to hold that 4 year/$15 million offer open for a specific period of time. That would be the smart thing to do, as it would allow the agent to shop around a bit.

Posted by: Henry | July 11, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hi Brenda,

Stop whining because I make more money than you do even though I do not have numbers to show for. So waht if I like to box with you than boxing out the opponents in rebounds during games.

You like to know my secret? 1st, get buddy-buddy with the coach. 2nd, whenever you get a rebound, wave the ball around your head a couple of times, so those fans who don't know how to read stats will think that you got two or three rebounds, and praise your "effort."

I know Ernie won't buy that, but guess what? Even if I got traded, I still make more money than you do! Bla bla bla...

Posted by: Poet | July 11, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

A point I never see anyone bring up... if we trade Etan away, who are we going to have to backup Haywood at center? Not even Booth is signed. I'm all for keeping JCN and/or Navarro and Blatche, but we don't have a true low-post banger at C/PF even though some of our guys have size. What are we going to do to replace that if we trade Etan? He's overpaid, but he's at a tough position to fill.

Posted by: VC115 | July 11, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I believe both the luxury tax & Agent 0 have an effect in this DS offer and that's also part of EG's delimma. The Wiz want him around because he co-exists with Gil, plain and simple. When both were healthy, they executed nicely. Same with BH when he started. If EJ had a say, EG would be shopping BH. That in itself along with the relationship between EG & EH will be interesting to watch. The more viable option if Agent 0 approves is to tender Jarvis an offer and let DS be outbid & walk. Then the focus should be to move Etan. I don't like losing Daniels but his NBA guaranteed contract can't be restructured like the Skins would do in football. And yes, as a restricted FA the Wiz also have the right to match any offer AB gets and add 1 more yr to the deal so lets not worry about him going to a rival unless its a sign and trade.

Posted by: 25th Place NE G$ | July 11, 2007 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Are the Wizards certain to keep Jamison? And what is the reasoning behind keeping him? Will the Wizards be willing to pay him Vince Carter dollars over four or five years when he is already a year past his prime?

Posted by: Emmet | July 11, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, that should be, "that the Wizards sign Blatche to a contract that lowers the money available to Stevenson."

Posted by: Henry | July 11, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Are the Wizards certain to keep Jamison? And what is the reasoning behind keeping him? Will the Wizards want to resign him next summer for Vince Carter money over four years? If they don't, they'll lose him for nothing whereas they could have traded him this offseason for Zebo and could still possibly get somebody.

Posted by: Emmet | July 11, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Why does Blatche get $5 million? For being tall? Please.

Notice nothing ever came from those whispers about big contracts for him? Wanna know why? His agent was the one doing the talking. Then NJ came out and said they aren't interested.

He'll either play for the tender or a nice 3 year deal worth 3 mil or so. (Jarvis, pass that cash to Andray please).

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 11, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I meant 4yr 15 mil should be the max for DS, my bad.

I don't think we will hear AB signing contract until his agent get other team to offer him a deal so that Wizards can match.

His agent is afraid signing a contract too soon will undersell his client. It is the off-season, they are in no hurry.

Posted by: Sgaliba | July 11, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Henry, Do your numbers take Gil opting out into account ? I hear a lot of talk about releasing AD and Etan to get their money off the books. Frankly, all freeing money up does is get teams caught up in a cycle of continuing to try to bring in big name free agents to appease fans. We need to start looking at what needs to be done to win. From that perspective, we need to sign and keep JCN because of what he could bring us. I've never seen the guy play but he has started for years for a gold winning team. (one that kicked our butts). He's not a rookie and he should know how to conduct himself on and off the court. Why not explore starting him? Can he possibly be any worse than Jarvis? NO. DS? (defensively, maybe but offensively much superior probably). This is the perfect situation for the Wiz. You have a guy who's ready to step in and won't be nervous because he's succeeded on an international stage. We should either get for and get 'the moon' as Ernie is doing or we should sign him and let him compete for a starting spot. Let's not just put this dude on the bench or on Memphis just yet !!

Posted by: mark | July 11, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse


Booth can be probably signed with the Veteran's exception, something over 1 mil I think, a lot cheaper than Etan.

Besides, EJ like to play the lineups without traditional centers. Look at last year, how often does he has both Wood and Etan (and Booth as well) sitting on the bench?

Posted by: Sagaliba | July 11, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

deshawn for president!

Posted by: nuntiwat vannasaeng | July 11, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"mikie wins the award for most obnoxious post imaginable

Posted by: | July 11, 2007 01:33 PM"

Oh god yes. Stop his insanity.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The "Gil Effect" is bigtime in this DS saga. I do not know about the rest of you but just image when Nick Young gets comfortable.

The young boy can take it to the rack with either hand with "no problem". He has some real "showtime" to his game. I love it. Can DS do any of that stuff at Nick's price? Heck no.....

Everyone keeps talking about Nicks lack of defense, but I did not see his man blowing past him like Gilbert's and DS's does sometime.

No I am not a Gil hater. Gilbert is the man, I am never mad at him. Although, I can not believe we are spending this much "blog time" on DS and his contract. The dude is crazy if he thinks he is going to get more than 15 million (which is way to much as it is).

The best offer he will get other then the Wizards offer will probably be someone's $1.7 exemption over two years. My only worry is if he walks, we will have to keep Navarro (I'm not mad at that); but that would also mean Etan would then be staying.

As I have said before, Ruffin, Booth, and Etan need to go. Eddie will use them way to much at the expense of AB and Haywood's minutes and I do not want to see that again this year.

Don't get me wrong, all three of those guys are great guys off of the court and so is Jarvis. But they are all so limited on the court and Eddie gives them way to many minutes.

If they do not resign Ruffin, I hope they can find some place for him on the coaching staff to where he can teach the guys about lateral movement and getting rebounds. He is very good at that. I don't want to see him in the street not making any cheese.

Etan has guaranteed money for three years so he will be alright. Booth is a veteran plus he is still living off of that very fat contract he had with the Sonics I believe.

As for Jarvis, you want to wish for good things to happen to the guy. I say a 1 year tender if DS walks and see how it goes form there.

Posted by: mikie | July 11, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Jamison won't get Vince Carter money. his deal will be more like Stackhouse. Stack made around 9 mil last season but will play for 6 or 7 this year. No one is going to pay Jamison even 10 mil next year at 33. But Ernie will offer him something decent to stick around and/or offer to help him get a better deal elsewhere.

The Sonics will get a trade exception from the Lewis deal. They are going to love Etan in Seattle.

Posted by: JJ | July 11, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"mikie wins the award for most obnoxious post imaginable

Posted by: | July 11, 2007 01:33 PM"

Oh god yes. Stop his insanity.

Posted by: | July 11, 2007 03:27 PM

Yo, Unknown Posters. Give me a little something about AB and I will be glad to "stop the insanity"...............

Now, I hope that was not too obnoxious; because I do not need another award. The trophy case is already full.......

Posted by: mikie | July 11, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Mikie, you're my hero. I thought i was the only one who wanted Ruffi Etan,and Booth outta here. EJ plays them too much. I guess that's what happens when you have a coach who has to win now to keep his job. He's playing the vets too many minutes and is not trying to develop players. It's not his fault, really. If I was mandated to win as many games as possible NOW, I might do the same. We still oughtta get rid of his crutches, though and force him to play the young guys. It might be time for a new coach just so the new guy can justify playing youngsters.

Posted by: mark | July 11, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

AD and ET are both overpaid, but they're not grossly overpaid. And like somebody else said, who is going to fill ET's position? OPec doesn't have the body and Blatche, but he isn't a banger like ET. So I say keep him and JNC and let Deshawn walk.

Posted by: kenny green | July 11, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"As for Jarvis, you want to wish for good things to happen to the guy. I say a 1 year tender if DS walks and see how it goes form there.

I'll go one better and say give Jarvis the offer now and wave DeShawn bye-bye. Aside from the obvious insanity of him thinking he's worth even more than what the Wiz are offering (which is already more than he's worth) you have to wonder if his ego issues will bleed into his on-court/game behavior next season. Maybe he was just playing the good soldier last season to polish up his market value with some "good teammate" PR. But start paying him like a legit starting SG, and he might start thinking that he should be treated like one, with the requisite number of shots given and plays called for him, as opposed to the offensive afterthought he is.

Posted by: kalorama | July 11, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This is shaping up to be a defining off season for Ernie. I can't remember when a Bullets/Wizards front office had as many balls to juggle and as many key decisions to make. What is fascinating is that none of these immediate decisions involve the 3 most important players but all seem crucial to the future of the team. While Stevenson is somewhat of a known quantity- a complementary player who meshed very well with Arenas, Butler & Jamison but cannot shoulder a major role- the other players we seem so vested in are basically major question marks. Blatche has shown flashes of real promise...but we've all seen dozens of young players show promise over the years without ever becoming a consistent major contributor. He is certainly worth keeping to see what kind of player he becomes but at what cost? Navarro might be terrific, but until we see him play against quality veteran NBA shooting guards for 82 games a year, none of us really know how good he'll be and therefore evaluating his worth today in a trade or signing is difficult. And the new draftees, Pech, Young & McGwire, while we can be optimistic, is it realistic to expect them to have a real impact this year while experiencing the fast pace and fatigue of a long NBA season for the first time? Having 3 places on your 15 man roster taken by players who have never played in the NBA seems risky but necessary for the future. And at the position most people would say the Wiz are weakest- center- it seems obvious there is a conflict between Ernie and Eddie as to who to keep. Since he arrived Ernie has made many more smart moves than dumb ones but the sheer quantity of decisions this off season will reverberate for years and once the season starts, it will be Eddie's defining season as well.

Posted by: Arnie | July 11, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

If Grunfeld is determined to package ET & JCN, Stro Swift would be a good back up center. Something like: JCN/ET for Mike Miller & Stro. Somebody mentioned this deal on a post a couple days ago, and I think it makes sense. I don't think Stro is going to be great, but he is younger, taller, more athletic, and has a shorter contract. I am not sure if the money equals out though.

Posted by: CurtisLee | July 11, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Is today's game at 4 again?

Posted by: Dustin | July 11, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it Wiz fan while other teams attempt to fit under the salary cap our most generous owner refuses to go ONE dollar over the luxury tax threshold. Even if it means making a run at an NBA title. We all learned from last year that the window for NBA success( NBA title) is small and can close anytime. Ernie can make us competetive but as long as Polin owns the team we will never be great.

Posted by: Outoftwnfan | July 11, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm still burned by memories of the last few weeks of the season... when the Wiz battled back from deficits only to see DS take undisciplined, "me first" shots/drives at the end of games that were horrible and cost them the game(s). As bad as EJ's sub patterns are, I don't think he is capable of calling such poor plays. All of this seems to be a precursor of what they will get if they sign DS to a long-term deal. Let the man go, he is completely replaceable.

Posted by: Eric | July 11, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Give 4/15 to Jarvis? Wtf? We're almost out from under his lottery pick contract and now we want to give him MORE money? good laugh at that one.

Now, give 11 over 4 to Devin Brown? You're in the ballpark.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 11, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Give 4/15 to Jarvis? Wtf? We're almost out from under his lottery pick contract and now we want to give him MORE money? good laugh at that one"

It's especially funny since absolutely no one suggested giving Jarvis 4/15.

Posted by: kalorama | July 11, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

About the game vs Kings, McGuire looked real good! I thought Young looked good also, tried too hard it seemed but you can definately see the talent. Pecherov did not shoot well, shot alot from long range, and got pushed around. No way he is a center, at least not yet. He seriously needs to hit the weight room and work on his upper body and shoulders!! Dude has the some seriously narrow shoulders.

As far as DeShawn, I say let him go. I'd rather get Young in the starting rotation as quickly as possible, and have Navarro off the bench. I really don't think Stevenson is much better than Mason. I just really was not that impressed.

Oh and I want to say, Sacramento had some players I really wish we had picked up on! Darryl Watkins and Mustafa Shakur. I'd love to get those two in our training camp.

Posted by: Darnell | July 11, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"This is all about the luxury tax, not about Navarro's abilities."

Yeah but if he is what everyone is saying why put him on another team?

I guess the way I look at it is you let Stevenson go, sign Navarro, and then keep trying to get rid of Etan and AD(if he's that much of a burden to them).

I'm positive Navarro can score 11.2 points a game in this offense.

What if he's BETTER then advertised?

I just don't see Stevenson getting any better playing wise in the NBA.

Get rid of Etan or AD this year, and the other the next. Give Navarro a year to see what he can do and then NEXT year sign someone to the two spot.

The only thing about next year is Gilbert. What he is going to demand for next year? You know he's going to want a max contract. :(

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | July 11, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Very funny, but I can beat you up which I have proved on more than one occasion. I'm the heavyweight champ of the wiz, fool? AND lets's not overlook my blossoming career as an Eastern Motors spokesperson. Matter of fact, you make a good salary, come on down! Your job's your credit!!

Posted by: Brenda | July 11, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

A smart post by Arnie above.

I think we need to start a "Bring Back Jarvis" movement. Perhaps as her last duty, Susan O'Malley can arrange something a la the highly effective street party she organized for Juwan prior to his signing with the Heat. Who on this blog wants to lead the Jarvis movement? Ray, I assume you would.

Posted by: Sean | July 11, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

getting both miller (7 mil) and swift (5 mil) would mean we'd have to ship at least 10 mil in salaries to memphis. so it would only work really if we did a sign and trade of jcn packaged with etan.

i don't know what memphis' plans are: to just go with gay, or keep him and miller.

but maybe if we threw in a draft choice for next year, they'd be into it more. we wouldn't have to bother signing DS anymore, and swift comes off the books after the season. miller would be at the 2. it would put us right at the luxury cap area though, so resigning blatche would be difficult.

that's why i also like the idea of jcn's rights and etan for just miller. that would really alleviate are cap problems, and give us more than enough to sign blatche.

Posted by: JC | July 11, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Doubt the Grizzlies are not going to let Stro Swift & Mike Miller both go in a trade and I don't think that $ would work for Etan and JCN.

Posted by: G$ | July 11, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I would be annoyed if DeShawn even accepts the $15 million offer. Go away DeShawn!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Well, the good news today is that Orlando signed Rashard Lewis, not as a free agent, where his salary would be high but not ungodly, but via a sign and trade for a ridiculous amount. Seriously, who would you rather have on your squad -- Rashard Lewis or Caron Butler? Maybe a close call, but I think Butler wins out. And Lewis is making almost twice as much.

Great cap management, Orlando. Thanks for making the Southeast a little easier for us Wizards fans!

Posted by: Joe | July 11, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Also why not keep Daniels and let him start with JCN coming off the bench rather than have the Wizards financially crippled because of DESHAWN STEVENSON.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Read the Ivan psot closley "One front office exec who has seen Navarro extensively told me that JCN has the best runner he's ever seen.".....Need I say more....Sign this guy or we will regret it big time....for years. Remember I am the Surfing wizard fan and I will stand by this post. Navaro is the man.

Posted by: Surfer | July 11, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Devin Brown replace DS. Sign JCN as your 6th-7th man, Trade ET (EJ doesn't use traditional Centers) or AD (JCN on board) for a versatile scoring big man with D (are there any left?), and let Jarvis Hayes go (disappointment). Remember, Gil Zero is waiting and seeing how it all pans out. However you want to say it, it's what fits best with EJ and Agent Zero's style that will ultimately be seen.

Posted by: Antonio A. | July 11, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"I'll go one better and say give Jarvis the offer now and wave DeShawn bye-bye."

So you meant give Jarvis 3.6 million... which is a good idea how?

mikie, watching Young play defense is painful. He's not even on a Gilbert scale yet. Its not always about the guy directly in front of him. He almost got run over by an opponent driving up his back. Why? because his head was turned to his man who didn't have the ball. He was following him through the lane like a 6 year old following a school yard crush. The kid is oblivious.

And its not like he is going to get world class instruction either, unless mayeb Dwayne Casey is brought in.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | July 11, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Not a problem Mark. I agree with most of your posts also. Lets just hope EG can start forcing Eddie's hand a little bit with his bench.

I still think Eddie was playing these guys extended minutes just to get at EG. Who knows, maybe Eddie was mad they did not resign Larry Hughes last year and did not do anything to upgrade talent on his bench last year.

It seems like Eddie can be a little vendictive (i.e. Haywood) when he is not happy with someone. EG is setting him up with a real good looking bench this year.

There should not be any excuses for Eddie this year. If those three guys (Ruffin, Thomas and Booth)are gone, we should see better rotational calls from Eddie. Lets hope.....

Posted by: mikie | July 11, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

So outoftwnfan, how is it that the Spurs can win three championships this decade without paying a single luxury tax dollar?

This has nothing to do with Abe. Teams like San Antone and Detroit have won w/o big salaries. We're on the right track after that ridiculous "Jordan Experiment". Methinks that if Ernie and Eddie can get on the same page, we'll be in the Finals sooner rather than later.

And for everything that Abe has done for my hometown, I hope we do win one for him before he steps down -- WITHOUT paying the luxury tax.

Posted by: JD | July 11, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It might help if you actually read before replying. mikie suggested giving Jarvis a 1 year tender offer. That is the deal to which I was referring. Sign him for 1 year. If he shakes off the slump and plays with the promise he showed before the injuries, consider signing him to a long-term deal or cut him loose and play the FA field.

We can pay Jarvis 3.6 mill for 1 year to barely average double-digits in 30 mpg, or we can pay Stevenson $15 mill over 4 years to do the same thing (for as long as it takes for someone, Young, next year's draft pick, whoever, to take his starting spot). Hmmm... What to do? What to do?

Posted by: kalorama | July 11, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Kalorama, I agree, a Jarvis return is looking better and better everyday.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse


mcguire is going to be a great steal for us. looks pretty damn good. just real active (something we sorely need)

Posted by: hmmmmm | July 11, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Kalorama - Thanks for clearing that up for me. If Jarvis finds it, then we give him a long term deal. If not, Young is then ready and we are not handcuffed by DS 4 year deal.

Posted by: mikie | July 11, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Could the wizards pick up Chris Mihm, maybe ditching Haywood in the process? Seems like either Haywood or Jordan has to go. And if it is the coach, the next guy will have to be a little fiercer, maybe not ideal with all these Californians.

Posted by: Ben | July 11, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Deshawn is trying to make up for lost time.Shame.

Posted by: hsdropout | July 11, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

damn. eddie's kid looks exactly like him. it's like his mini-him

(no word though if his kid employs small ball like his dad)

Posted by: hmmmmm | July 11, 2007 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I may be just repeating something that has been said over and over, but what is up with the time stamps. 8:12

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I am with some of the previous posters, why do some many people think Blatche is going to get big money? I don't think that you will pay big money for flashes of potential. Maybe you give him 1.5-2M per year, but not more than that.

Posted by: BT | July 11, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young = the next TMac?

Posted by: Hopeful | July 11, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

""I hear a lot of talk about releasing AD and Etan to get their money off the books.""

That is about the silliest thing I have ever heard.

So to avoid matching dollar for dollar the amount they go over the luxury they are going to eat 13 million in contract from cut players???

This is not the NFL all contract in the NBA are guaranteed.

Posted by: pg posse | July 11, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching the tape delay game right now. If I were DS, I'd be afraid, very afraid. If he has a brain between those ears, he should sign that contract right away. The young bucks on this summer league team look really good. I think Nick almost hit his head on the backboard when he dunked on that 7-footer. Mike Hall is also showing us something. DMac of course will be kept.

Deshawn, sign or the offer will be withdrawn. You have zero leverage.

Posted by: DC Man88 | July 11, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Heck, if DS doesn't resign, we could always sign Laron Profit. He was doing good in LA before he tore his achilles.

Posted by: DC Man88 | July 11, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

McGuire = Complete Stud

Pecherov = poor man's Brad Lohaus.....I haven't seen 1 way in which he will help this team.

Young = Should be good in time

Visser = White man's Michael Ruffin

Miles = May take Donnell Taylor's job (hopefully)

Hall = Decent 11th or 12th man

Eveyone else....Not good

Posted by: Anonymous | July 11, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

McGuire looked extremely good and comfortable - most impressive Wiz. Made lots of good plays not just scoring but passing, rebounds, blocks, defense, slashing, and very active. Outside jumper is OK even though the stroke isn't that smooth but can be effective. He just has a very good basketball IQ out there and already so well rounded in his game. Big time keeper and ready to play some minutes more than any other player playing SL. In certain matchups, he and Caron can switch off on SG/SF positions and contribute 20-25 minutes/game. What a steal Ernie!

Young is very talented but a little raw. He does a few things well, but needs to work on some of the small details and refining his game more. Very athletic, good shot, nice first step, a little disinterested on defense. Some 15+ mins/gm this year.

Pecherov has a pretty good shot even though he has very little arc on his shot. Still a little too mechanical out there on offense. On defense and rebounding, he's way too soft and not active enough. No intensity at all on the boards and gets pushed around cause he doesn't establish a low enough base. Doesn't explode towards the ball on rebounds like he should, just reaches for them most of the time. Decent athlete but not great quickness. Hedges pretty well on picks. Still much of a project but at least he works hard on his game - what he needs is not the shooting or drills as much as live contact and practice to improve his instincts and intensity around the ball. I really hope it's that leg? injury that Ivan mentioned is bothering him cause I'm a little disappointed with his game right now. Spot minutes only this year unless that injury is indeed slowing him down.

Even though we wish he was playing in SL, Blatche is actually further along in skills and his shot is almost as good as Pecherov's. He rebounds much better and blocks many more as well. Much better athlete, strength, and springs on his jumps. Blatche also has pretty good court sense similar to McGuire but not quite. Definitely could be our best young big and PF of the future. I really hope his work ethic is even half that of Pecherov's because if it is, his talent will make him that special. Another absolute gem in the 2nd but he needs a little bit of time and serious hunger to be great.

Posted by: Wizzin' By Ya | July 11, 2007 9:40 PM | Report abuse

I am with some of the previous posters, why do some many people think Blatche is going to get big money? I don't think that you will pay big money for flashes of potential. Maybe you give him 1.5-2M per year, but not more than that.

Posted by: BT | July 11, 2007 08:15 PM"

Depends on what you mean by "big money." The Pistons are working on a deal for Amir Johnson, a 2nd year, out of HS, 2nd round pick who's very similar to Blatche in a number of respects, that's reportedly $10 mill/3 yrs. I would expect Blatche's deal to be in the same neighborhood, but likely a little higher.

Posted by: kalorama | July 11, 2007 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Pesh is a mesh right now... but you can definitely see the potential with Nick Young. He has the talent, but his decision making and mental toughness are certainly not there. He looks like a guy that just needs to marinate in a veteran locker room for a while. Dmic looks like a vet already, leading a bunch of kids around the playground.

Posted by: mikem | July 11, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Put away those Darko dreams (and whatever Gasol dreams you may be deluded enough to still be harboring). Milicic signs with Memphis.

Posted by: kalorama | July 11, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I was just about to post that link myself kalorama... more importantly that should end all those talks of us sending Etan to memphis

Posted by: Dante | July 11, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

What about dealing Jamison for Jermaine O'Neal? Since the Pacers are rebuilding, this would clear 16 mill of cap space after next season which would be huge for them. Maybe for the deal to go through we would have to add additional players ie AD, Navarro, Etan, or Haywood but it seems that we can afford a better combo than the Lakers Odom&Bynum or the Nets Richard Jefferson.

JO makes 3.4 million more than AJ. Since we are right below 60 mill, we have about 7 mill to go before the luxury tax. We'd have 3.6 mill cap space. Trade Etan, gain some cap space. Forget about Deshawn. Sign Mike Hall and Calvin Booth with Minimum-level Exceptions. Sign Blatche with the Early Bird or Non-Bird Exception, and Navarro with the Mid-level Exception.
Starters: Arenas, Young, Butler, Blatche, O'Neal
Bench: AD, Navarro, McGuire/Songaila, Pech/Songaila, Haywood/Booth
Inactive List: Mike Hall

Posted by: Emmet | July 11, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Also, an article today on a guy that nearly made the team last year, Kevinn Pinkney and his hopes to get on the Wizards roster the second time around.
"In Vegas: Celtics Made Lasting Impression on Pinkney"

Posted by: Emmet | July 11, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse


Jermaine O'Neal is hurt all the least it seems that way to me.

Don't understand why people keep mentioning trading Jamison as I have not heard anything from the Wiz camp remotely resembling that as an option. He placed the team on his back during the playoffs and is very much a leader. Think that counts for something.

Posted by: Lisa | July 11, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm lovin' Mcguire - his game is much more mature than Young's. How long before the all blog lineup depth charts project Mcguire ahead of young at the 2?

Posted by: Cballer | July 11, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

the following is posted by ESPN's Henry Abbott

I'm watching the Wizards' first-round pick from last year, Oleksiy Pecherov. I was pretty eager to see him, I've heard good things. And he has a pretty looking outside shot. But man, he simply does not look comfortable in the scrum under the hoop. His attempts to score in the paint were almost all fruitless, and when jostled his fine touch was suddenly nowhere to be found. He also had trouble keeping athletic players off the board. Again, you don't want to read too much into summer league ... but I'm not holding my breath. It only gets more physical from here.

Posted by: tmac | July 11, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Jamisons 31. We are not going to win a championship this year. Therefore the value of the players on our team is what they can put together in 08/09 and 09/10. If we keep Jamison, then next summer he will be a free agent. Next year we owe him 16.3 million dollars. Given the 20 pts, 8 rbds he averaged during the season and especially the 32 pts, 9 rbds he averaged in the first round of the playoffs, he will be commanding a large salary in free agency. He will be 32 then and past his prime so in all likelihood the Wizards will watch while some foolish team overpays him, like they did with Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries.
We will have lost Jamison for nothing.
If we trade for Jermaine O'Neal, he will be 29 this season and 30 next season. He will still be at his prime when our other guys ie Blatche, Young, McGuire, Butler, Arenas, and possibly Navarro are all in their peak years. That gives us a better chance at a championship than we will have if we keep Jamison whose last great year will be this year, a year when nobody in their wildest dreams would mention the Wizards as title contenders.

Posted by: Emmet | July 12, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

O'Neal is one of the most overrated "superstars" in the NBA. Big numbers that don't have big impact. And he'd be a terrible fit on an uptempo offensive team like the Wiz. They don't need a throw it into the post 25 times a game C. They need a big, physical, athletic big who works hard on the boards and defense, runs hard in transition and can score in a complementary role.

Jamison won't be traded, and odds are pretty good he gets re-signed when his deal is up.

Posted by: kalorama | July 12, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Emmet, Indiana would be foolish to consider a straight up O'Neal for Jamison swap when they could potentially extract Lamar Odom AND Andrew Bynum from the Lakers.

Cap space and expiring contracts are losing their value in NBA circles today, probably because free agent contracts are exploding.

If that offer was on the table for the Wizards, there's no doubt they should take it, but it definitely won't be. As such, it's really not worth considering.

Posted by: Pradamaster | July 12, 2007 2:54 AM | Report abuse

"LA appears to be unwilling to trade Bynum and Odom for the Indiana Pacer"
"Lakers officials are reluctant to give away both for O'Neal"
"The Pacers want forward Lamar Odom and center Andrew Bynum in return, a price the Lakers have deemed too steep"

Given the Pacers rebuilding phase, it makes sense to gain over 20 million dollars in cap space for the 2007-08 free agent class which will include: Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Elton Brand, Shawn Marion, Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Corey Maggette, and Ron Artest

For the Wizards, it doesn't make sense to wait for next summer because we have to make a move this summer in order to please Gilbert Arenas and keep him in DC.

Posted by: Emmet | July 12, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

That's "sixth man type role", not "roll".
Where do they get these clowns?

Posted by: Mr Brain | July 12, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

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