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Blatche and JCN update

Don't be shocked if the Wizards wind up trading the rights to Juan Carlos Navarro to Memphis on Friday for a first round pick. Just letting you know.

As for Andray Blatche: the Wiz and Blatche were on the verge of finalizing a deal on Thursday. From the folks I talked with, the deal (five years worth around $12.5 million) would have been finished no later than the weekend. Now, who knows? I heard that Ernie Grunfeld is feeling a mixture of hurt and anger right now. I was told that Ernie pulled Andray aside recently and told him to be careful about where he went out and who he went out with. I know for a fact that Gilbert, Antawn, DeShawn, Caron and Roger Mason have had the same conversations with Andray.

When I spoke with one vet tonight, he couldn't believe the news: "Dude was about to sign a contract for millions and he got arrested for that? That's stupid! Everyone knows you aren't supposed to be out like that when a contract is getting done."

It's no secret in Verizon Center circles that Dre Day enjoys the night life - even after getting lucky two years ago when some crafty females suckered him and Peter John Ramos into getting jacked by two thugs in the early morning hours. Dre lived after getting shot but it's hard to tell whether he's really learned anything.

That said, Blatche is a 6-foot-11, 20-year old with no ceiling to his game. From my experience, he's also a good guy. If he were a true knucklehead, I'd say so. He's not. But he is extremely naive and he's displayed a stunning lack of judgement which is not all that amazing considering his age. He's rolled through money (I heard from a good source that the kid was sleeping at Verizon Center for several nights as rookie because he couldn't pay rent), he's out on every single road trip whether there's a game the next night or not and he obviously doesn't have a good read on females. There's a reason why the guy was the MVP of Michael Jordan's high school/prep school all star showcase but still fell to the second round, trust me.

I'm reminded of an episode from last season. We were in Miami. Pregame. Jamison walks into the lockeroom fresh from a round of lifting weights and getting up extra shots. He spots Andray sitting in front of his locker stall munching down a plate of nachos and generally sporting the look of a guy getting ready to watch a game rather than play in one.

Antawn, looking down at Andray: "You have a $16 million contract already or did I miss something?"
Andray offers a blank expression but knows where this is going.
Antawn: "You came over on the second bus right? I've never come over on the second bus. I'm a vet but I always come over on the first bus, don't I?"
(Translation: Teams typically roll from the team hotel to the arena in two groups. The first group usually consists of guys who want to get settled early, take extra shots when the court isn't so full and lift weights. Jamison is always on the first bus)
Andray: "I got extra shots up at shootaround."
Antawn just shook his head and started getting ready for the game.

Bottom line: every person in that lockeroom and every person in that front office understands that Andray Blatche has the potential to be a terrific basketball player. At the same time, they all have questions about his desire, work ethic, maturity level and overall approach to the opportunity that is sitting right in front of his face. I had a conversation about Andray with a player recently and the player nailed it: "He's wild with the money he has now so what's going to happen if you give that guy millions? I have no idea what's going to happen but it's gonna be interesting because someone is going to pay him. God don't make 6-11 with those skills too often."
Exactly.


By Ivan Carter  |  August 3, 2007; 1:22 AM ET
 
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Next: JCN deadline lifted?

Comments

Thanks for the update Ivan. Blatche, that was just retarded.

Posted by: Jesse | August 3, 2007 2:10 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, good read. Thanks

Posted by: Andy S | August 3, 2007 2:16 AM | Report abuse

People who are constantly getting into trouble and are running around all night are usually involved with drugs. Nobody can be this stupid without a little help from his "friends." It sound like our veterans have tried to reach out to him but he knows better. It is a sad truth of life that talent and potential are frequently wasted because it takes effort and perseverance to develop it. Those two qualities have always been much rarer to find than talent. I hope and pray he grows up before it is too late.

Posted by: bjustice | August 3, 2007 2:20 AM | Report abuse

I hope that "someone" is still the Wizards. Cant give up on the kid so easly but still by the sounds of it there's just as much risk as there is reward. Being a GM is harder then just some fantasy squad huh. I have complete faith in Grunfeld so I know one way or another we'll be fine regardless

Posted by: DjB | August 3, 2007 2:23 AM | Report abuse

I think they should lower their offer off of principle alone. An incident like this is sure to scare off other teams, and it is a good way for him to learn that there are repercussions for his actions. Blatche is slowly becoming a habitual line stepper.

Posted by: MDBaller1 | August 3, 2007 2:38 AM | Report abuse

The fellow Wizard who said that God doesn't make 6'11" men with those skills every day was undoubtedly right... but whatever gifts God gives us,(1)it is up to us to use them wisely and(2)He usually balances off our gifts with a flaw or two.

Also, the Wiz should certainly not settle for less than a first round pick (1-2-3 protected) from the Grizzlies for JC Navarro.

Even if JC and Pau do well together, the Grizz are going to get a pick in the 5-10 range this year... which I can only hope Ernie Grunfeld will not need to use to pick up another 6'11" power forward to replace the self-destructive Blatche.

Posted by: khrabb | August 3, 2007 3:26 AM | Report abuse

Maybe EG has a handshake deal to get Darko for Etan and the return of Memphis' first round pick after Darko's December 15th trade restriction.

Posted by: Marcy Holmes | August 3, 2007 5:16 AM | Report abuse

If i guy doesn't turn his life around after havin a bullet in his chest... than what the !@#*? the kid is about to turn 21, and he is only going to party harder... watch out!

I can't believe the guy is going broke, living paycheck to paycheck on a six/seven figure income!

*****************

As for JCN, a 1st pick is nice, but you gotta ship Etan for Swift.

what's more improtant
-dumping Etan ?
you get Swift and his expiring contract
-1st round pick?
possibily a top 10 pick (we already have more youth than what we know what to do with... )

EG, needs to get both?

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 3, 2007 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, great blog! Excellent read, some serious info, at 1:22 AM even! Thank you.

I would be VERY happy if we get a 1st round pick for JNC.

Now back to the important subject... the uniforms! If they insist on keeping the lame smurf blue, now with "gold" trim, PLEASE tell me we will have some kick A Bullets retros this year, like 67 navy blues or 73 red white and blues!

Posted by: Darnell | August 3, 2007 5:37 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, great blog! Excellent read, some serious info, at 1:22 AM even! Thank you.

I would be VERY happy if we get a 1st round pick for JNC.

Now back to the important subject... the uniforms! If they insist on keeping the lame smurf blue, now with "gold" trim, PLEASE tell me we will have some kick A Bullets retros this year, like 67 navy blues or 73 red white and blues!

Posted by: Darnell | August 3, 2007 5:37 AM | Report abuse

You think Swift is better than a top 10 pick!

Memphis is not making the playoffs in a stacked West, so we're basically talking about trading JCN for a lottery pick, why would we not want to do that?

I like Blatche, but the red flags are too hard to ignore, let's give him another chance, but sign him to a short 3 year deal, 5 years is too long.

Posted by: juandixonformvp | August 3, 2007 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Swift was a top 10 pick...

there are no guarantees, even lottery picks are a bust.

We get Swift in a contract year. he'll be a free agent. He's gonna play well for us this year. whether he walks are not it doesn't matter.

He'll be off the books next year... with Swift and Jamison's contract, that's 24 million!!! We won't have a problem signing Arenas, Jamison and perhaps another big free agent.

-The Offseason of 2008, is gonna be HUGE. we're going to need all the cap space and young studs.

Im all about giving up young players and getting some Vets in the house. Look what Boston did, the dumped all these young guys, who have lot's of potential to be a STAR or a BUST. Boston got guys with Character and of course talent.

We're stocked piled with youth... im ready to a do a Boston type of deal next year... we really need a bruiser down low.. hopefully Elton Brand., or some guy like him.

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 3, 2007 6:44 AM | Report abuse

Great info. A 1st round pick from a team like Memphis would be worth it for JCN. As far as Andray goes, I can't believe he would risk so much. Maybe Eddie didn't play him because he was always hungover, not because he wasn't a favorite.

Posted by: CurtisLee | August 3, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

So, figuring that JCN and Blatche were our best bargaining chips to get rid of either Haywood or Thomas as part of a package, we trade one for a draft pick, albeit a possible lottery pick, and probably sign the other even though he makes Kwame look mature at his age.

We go into the season with 2 centers that cannot play the position well, or even coexist on the same roster, and no leverage to move either one of them any more. Where is the logic or have I missed something in EG's master plan?

Posted by: Daydreamer | August 3, 2007 6:48 AM | Report abuse

I am sure EG has tried but if some other "stiffs" around the league can get moved in trades, one of these two should be movable. "Addition by subtraction" for the upcoming season. Maybe, hopefully, EG figures he can parlay the Memphis pick with one of them into a better center.

A link to the Memphis version of the JCN story
http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/grizzlies/article/0,1426,MCA_475_5657316,00.html

Posted by: Daydreamer | August 3, 2007 7:04 AM | Report abuse

bjustice, that was a wild remark if I ever heard one...to automatically assume Blatche is involved in drugs because he parties a lot....geez...he is 21....21 year old guys PARTY. Does not mean they are doing drugs.

Posted by: Lisa | August 3, 2007 7:34 AM | Report abuse

bravo, ivan, for balanced opinions backed up with relevant,fresh details.


Posted by: zengomi | August 3, 2007 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh boy. Somebody needs to call his mama

Posted by: Bart | August 3, 2007 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Blatche making that kind of money and sometimes can't pay rent? So he has to sleep at VC? If that's true, wow! He got the benefit of the doubt after the shooting but I doubt he will get it nearly as easily this time....I've really heard more than enough about the JCN situation, so if the Griz and Wiz are ready to do business, then get on with it. The proposed deal (JCN for a 1st round pick) sounds fair.

Posted by: low | August 3, 2007 7:58 AM | Report abuse

Great, Great article. One of the best reads I have seen this year. This kid has been lucky twice. What if he was sucessful in having a "situation" with an prositute infected with AIDS? Big decision to be made on should this kid be given the kind of contract his playing potential my suggest, but at the same time he has the maturity of a 15 year old. Great great article.

Posted by: BulletRaider | August 3, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Bring in Darko. He's our best chance for a complete team.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Great reporting Ivan! You have taken us behind the scenes man...I have been in the U street area a lot and seen Andray partying with young girls. He seems very naive and friends that know him back that up...He needs to shadow Jamison as everyone in the league marvels at him being a TRUE PRO.

Posted by: Brandon | August 3, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

At last, a really good post here. These are the kind of details players like Blatche need aired out a lot sooner, though, if it's gonna help them.

As for the Navarro trade; I still cannot believe the infatuation of fans with draft picks. I can understand why GMs love trading for them, because they clear cap space--but let's get real. Just how many Wizards draft picks are starters for the team? Or for any team anywhere? The key to drafts is great scouting and superior player development--the Wizards haven't had the latter since the 80s, as this stuff with Blatche proves. But it's not totally their fault, either--the kids coming out these days are too young, poorly prepared, and have a really bad grasp of fundamentals. Gone are the days when an unheralded rookie can walk in and take over the game like Earl Monroe did.

Anybody remember a Maryland player named Earnie Graham? On a good night, when he wasn't too stoned, he played as well as Arenas, hitting every shot he put up from anywhere on the court. He would have blown Nick Young away in summer league--his skill set and court sense were twice as good after four full years in college, but he lasted exactly 5 minutes in the NBA.

Like most draft choices. Make Memphis take Etan or let Navarro go back home.

Posted by: KTV | August 3, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

It almost sounds like Kwame Brown redux. A kid who probably has never had anyone tell him "no" or had to do things on his own, thrown into the NBA with no (or limited) support. And he probably is a good kid, after all, I can remember some of the stupid things I did at 20, but unless he figures it out or hires someone to keep him out of trouble, he may never reach his potential.

I'm sure this is the type of situation David Stern was thinking of when he instituted the age minimum. I wonder how much even a year of college would have helped him.

Posted by: TG | August 3, 2007 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Great post Ivan, but the question still swirling around my head is, "Is Blatche a knucklehead or not?"

You make the point that the guy is just naive. To me it sounds like he's more than naive, he's at least a junior knucklehead. But I do agree with the sentiment that he could potentially outgrow it. I still say we sign him and have responsible adults like Jamison continue to ride him with the hopes that he gets it one day.

Then again, if I got shot while being suckered, after that I might, just might, get a clue...

Posted by: sfam | August 3, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Here's what I think some folks are missing... a lottery pick, plus our current #1 pick is trade bait. We could package them together, add Jamison and sign and trade Blatche to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett. Oh wait, nevermind.

Posted by: KD | August 3, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Ivan, where are we gonna get better coverage? That is the second dumbest thing I heard this week. Of course, AB is the dumbest by a country mile...

Posted by: Antony | August 3, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Does the name Darius Miles ring any bells? For all you guys that like to think you know everything about how to do Ernie's job, and were on here yesterday complaining about the insulting offer that Grunfeld had made to Blatche, have some crow with your morning coffee. There was a reason that not one other team stepped up to make him an offer, these teams all hire PI's and do background checks before throwing around millions of dollars these days. NBA teams have gotten alot smarter about throwing money at knuckleheads that can ball a little, even if they are 7'0".
Reminds me of the guy from NC State back in the 70's that was 7'0" and about 280lbs. that stole a stereo out of a dorm room and was "shocked" when he got picked out of a lineup cause he was wearing a disguise and didn't think anybody would know him.
I'm a 50 yr old white guy that lives out here in the hills of PA and I've heard Andray likes the night life, I'm sure it's pretty well circulated in NBA circles. Doesn't make him a bad guy, just one that needs to grow up a little before you build your team's future around him. Just glad we don't have Strickland around to be mentoring him like we did when Webber was a young pup.
We'll go ahead and sign the knucklehead, Grunfeld may slip in a few clauses to protect Abe's money if the kid goes completely stupid with some real money. Lets just hope some maturity, a little humble pie, and a lockerroom with some solid vets that will ride him "like a rented mule" will bring the guy around.
Sounds like Ernie is working the Navarro thing right down to the imposed deadline. Don't be surprised if things are close but not done that there might be an extension. In the end it's not surprising that Memphis is the team that steps up to keep their Superstar happy. If this Navarro thing doesn't work out Gasol will be gone from Memphis, it looks like for now their GM Wallace wants to try and build around Gasol which is a change of course from what the owner, Heisley, was saying earlier.
If Ernie manages to move Etan for for Swift as part of the deal as has been speculated, I wouldn't be surprised to see another deal involving Haywood, Daniels, and a future #1 for a center before the summer's out. But these other moves have to fall in place before that can happen.

Posted by: GM | August 3, 2007 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow..... Ivan that was some great stuff you "let us in on". Just to think I was on here yesterday arguing that the Wiz gave AB a lowball offer. Man, if I knew all of this behind the scene stuff with his work ethic and his nightlife, I would not even had said anything.

AB is still my boy, but he will have to pay for not just this transgression, but all the other ones you just mentioned about his work ethic and commentment.

Clauses should be now put in his contract that if he has any kind of "off the court" problems again he will lose 10% of his salary for that year. Or the 5 year 12.5 mill contract should be lowered to 5 years and 10 million with an opt out year in the 3rd year only if he has no other incidents off of the court.

AB needs a 24 hour mentor. He is heading down a path of destruction, and I hope he realizes it before it is to late. Lets pray that the light bulb comes on for this young boy........

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 3, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

JCN/Etan for Swift AND a '08 lottery protected pick sounds about right. If they are in the lottery this year, it should revert to an unprotected '09 pick. That's a fair deal for both teams. We get cap relief for next year and we get Swift in a contract year. They get JCN, lottery protection for '08 and a backup to Darko/Pau. Both fan bases should be ok with that arrangement, too. Though I would have preferred to keep JCN, it ain't happening.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The pick from Memphis will be "protected". You can stop yammering about a top 10 pick. I can guarantee that if it falls in the lottery Memphis keeps it. If its 15+ the Wiz get it. the following year might have less restriction but they still aren't going to hand us a lottery pick when no other team is offering more than a batch of second rounders.

These protected picks are a gamble. Depending on how the lottery shook out the Hawks could have had zero picks. because they got #3 instead of 4, they kept it. Phoenix gets it next year regardless, no protections.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | August 3, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Im assuming Memphis would top 5 protect this pick? Because otherwise, Derrick Rose here we come baby!!


Roy Hibbert maybe a seasoned Haseem Thabeet could come out of this deal. If EG can pull this one off itll be a show.

Posted by: Jason | August 3, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

mark, obviously my comments weren't meant as a response to you.

I doubt 09 is unprotected. The new guys in Memphis are rebuilding and can't afford to give away lottery picks. Even in 09 I bet its top10 protected.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | August 3, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

That was an awesome post Ivan. If Blatche is like other 20 yr olds I remember, he resents the fatherly/tough-love advice from Jamison (and I assume AD and EJ). If fact many kids his age simply hope to weather their verbal barages until they're free to go their "comfort place." For Blatche that may be on the court or out to the clubs.

Then there is Blatche's developing big-brother connection with Haywood, a malcontent and team-chemestry cancer. EJ (like all coaches) has to wrestle with the issue of, "Do I play hard-practicing, well-prepared, but sometimes-limited guys like etan, AD, Jamison, Ruffin, Booth - or do I roll the dice and see what the unprepared, bad-attitude, and unpredictable-but quite capable guys like Blatch & Haywood do?" If you were the coach and it was a tight game in the 4th, would you play guys who display their characteristic bad attitudes even in during a timeout to call a play?

I always wondered why Haywood was never in the game in the 4th Q, but Ruffin and Thomas were always in - despite their stone hands. Thanks to Ivan's post and all the blogging here, I get it. EJ won't play guys he doesn't trust - no matter how good they might be.

Despite all the calls on the blogs for EJ's head, I'm starting to side with him. And I think Abe will always respect him for his old-school ways.

Too bad we can't option AB to Georgetown, and let him grow up in a more natural environment for a 20-yr old.

Posted by: Cballer | August 3, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

as a Grizzly fan, I would be ecstatic to trade Swift for Etan Thomas!

Posted by: freedarkonow | August 3, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

GM - Yes I am eating crow this morning with my green tea. I do not drink coffee. As I said in the last blog, I can man up and say when I am wrong. Although again I was making my arguement off of play on the court not off of it.

I guess I need to apoligize to Eddie J.too. I was on his grill pretty hard at the end of the last season about not playing AB. After reading Ivan's "inside stuff" blog I could see why he was not playing him. I thought they were "stashing him" to keep the bids on him down. Wrong again I guess.

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 3, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

re: Blatche... I bet there are 5 teens don't succeed in this league for every 1 who does. Young dudes rarely become stars for the teams that drafted them. Kobe, Garnett, Howard are the exceptions. We drafted him knowing that he was an immature kid. We should stick with him now since his transgressions are not major. The key here is that Ivan points out that he's not a bad guy. He just needs guidance. If he was a bad apple, I'd say get rid of him now. How about his mom coming to live with him for a year or so? She's been mentioned in previous articles about him. I bet she could keep him straight. Hopefully, this embarrassment will be the final lesson to keep his nose clean. For the first time, I am siding with the kid. The Wiz as well as his agent can see what's going on. If I were the Wiz or his agent and the dude was sleeping at VC last year, that's a clear warning sign that he's immature. I'd get him a financial advisor to pay his bills as well as a mentor and it can't be someone like Jamison who's much older. he needs someone his own age who has their head on straight. The responsibility belongs to the Wiz and his agent. We drafted the guy knowing he needed help with life and not just ball. Give him help !

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

There is more than one way to teach Andray. His habits remind me of some high school friends. When our coach suspected guys had been drinking or caught us eating garbage he wouldn't sit us, he'd run the hell out of us.

The best way to teach a kid not to eat garbage before a game is to show him what it feels like to play a game with that anchor in your gut.

btw, Barca removed the 'deadline' provision:
http://www.sport.es/default.asp?idpublicacio_PK=44&idioma=CAS&idnoticia_PK=429823&idseccio_PK=808'

Posted by: Stringer | August 3, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Ivan: great post - thank you. They should sign Blatche on the cheap. Then, if he turns out to be a bust like Kwame, trade him in a year or two to some other team that is mesmerized by his skills but is willing to give up a Caron type of player, just like Ernie swindled the Lakers. By the way, for all you D. Stevenson haters out there, check out this post from Charley Rosen from Fox, which is right on target:

DeShawn Stevenson -- Washington
An acrobatic scorer in the lane with an improving jump shot, Stevenson is also an excellent defender -- one of the precious few semi-stoppers the Wizards have. Indeed, he's one of the league's most underrated players.
Grade: B+

Posted by: Fat Lady | August 3, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Ivan: I know this will sound like a criticism, but it really is a question. It's pretty clear from your post that you knew a lot of this information about Blatche before yesterday. Why haven't you reported it before? How do reporters decide what and when to publish information like that? How do you determine whether to store up negative info like that and just use it if a negative situation arises? Thanks.

Posted by: Sean | August 3, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Gotcha Johnny Boy.
One thing is that Memphis has to look at the message they're sending their fans. If they lottery protect for 2 years, that's like telling Memphis fans that they don't expect to improve. Personally, I think a team with Lowry, Darko, Pau, Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick, Mike Conley and JCN shouldn't be in the lottery. BTW, JCN plays the point for Spain, doesn't he? If they don't want Etan, how about AD and JCN for Lowry and a pick? Lowry may not make enough so the dollars might not match up...not sure. They could use a veteran point and AD would be the perfect mentor for Conley.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

swift is terrible he will do no more than etan or haywood does now. The only advantage Swift has over Etan is that his contract is up at the end of the year and he will give us cap space. I will take the 1st round draft pick lottery protected or not. They can keep swift

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

mark the lakers didnt draft kobe

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I forgot about Mike Miller. No way that team should be in the lottery especially if Pau is healthy. I think we can get an unprotected pick from them. We should at least try..hard.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I like th fact that Blatche will now have guys closer to his age, McGuire and Young, to socialize with. His workout buddy Pesh too... now whether thats guys to keep him out of trouble or to join him, we'll see.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | August 3, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I am a big Detroit Pistons fan, but I read this blog religously everyday because it is some of the best NBA coverage around. Ivan, if you dont feel wanted here, come cover the Pistons, your better than the writers here by a mile. We'll treat you like a king in Detroit.

First off, that was a very interesting look into Blatche, Ivan. Every team in the league has 1 maybe 2 guys like that, and its a shame. I agree with what someone here said earlier, the Wizards should shorten their offer a bit, maybe down to $11 million or so as a matter of principle/punishment. Blatche and Amir Johnson of the Pistons are eerily similiar, the big difference is that Amir Johnson has a good head on his shoulders and is in the gym all day a la Gilbert Arenas working to get better. As part of his new contract, the Wizards should put in writing something about his partying, and that he gets counseling or something too.

I also have an idea for you guys. A Swift for Thomas/Navarro trade is being discussed here. I also know that Haywood has to be moved basically because of the feud between him and Eddie. If that happens, what would you guys think of a swap of a Nazr Mohammed and Flip Murray for Haywood trade. Both centers need a change of scenery, and Murray is in the last year of his deal at only $1.8 million, and would give you guys a good backup for your depleted bench.

Posted by: Steve | August 3, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

yeah the grizzlies have talent if they stay healthy they have a shot at 7 or 8 seed. Especially if Navarro is as good as Pau and everyone makes him out to be.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

flip murray is a bum

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow. That's all I can say right now - just wow.
Andray, Andray, Andray. (shaking my head)

Posted by: Jeff Ruland | August 3, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Bullets Fever,
Blatche personally owes you and his agent an apology. As soon as you post something good about him, we get the news on this blog. LOL. Perfect timing. I know his agent (who probably gets a percentage of the deal) feels like kicking him in the azz). I'm sure he cost himself a couple million.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I wish we would go after Hakim warrick instead of swift. Warrick has upside...he started playing much better the 2nd half of the year last season. Swift is a hyped up never was

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Long time frustrated Zards fan... Why don't we sign and keep JNC?? It is STUPID to even think about trading him before he plays in the NBA. If he is as good as people think, why would we not give him the chance. I don't care if we need and PF.. I know it's a need but you still don't give up talent!!! Look at Pheonix, they play 4 guards.. Talent works.. This is what's wrong with the Wizards always giving up people.. Rip, Rasheed, Webber, Wallace shall I go on??? SIGN NAVARRO!!!!

Posted by: Greg | August 3, 2007 9:55 AM | Report abuse

while i'd prefer to give up etan for swift in the JCN deal, i'm perfectly happen with getting memphis' 1st round pick. for starters, let's get real here - it'll be at the very least, top 10 protected for next season. but even so, if no one wants to take etan with jcn, there are probably teams willing to take etan after the season with one of our two first round picks.

Posted by: JC | August 3, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous, I don't think anyone here actually likes Swift. It's the salary match and the expiring contract that works for us. I would actually expect that he would play well for us in limited minutes in a contract year, though. This could turn out to be interesting for us if we could pull it off.
forgot about Kobe. He was traded for Divac, right? whew. talk about bad deals.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Ivan,

Let me talk through this so I understand where you are coming from on Blatche:

-has an inconsistent and unfocused work ethic
-is dreadful with money
-got shot up at a nightclub after being duped by some women and STILL lives the night-life with no conscience
-soliciting prostitution during contract negotiations
-has apparently rebuffed alot of outreach from vet teammates and the organization

What exactly does it take to become a "Knucklehead" in your book?

Posted by: pfunk | August 3, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

yes the hornets traded kobe for Divac what a trade

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

pfunk don't you know that "potential" overrides all of those extenuating circumstances

Posted by: Jeff Ruland | August 3, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I think that Eddie does need to get some credit for trying to teach Blatche that playing time isn't a right it's earned. Solid pros like Ruffin and Booth that have a fraction of Blatche's talent are going to play if they showup take care of business and Eddie knows what to expect every night.
Until Blatche shows up with a consistant work ethic and shows his coach he can be a pro, he'll continue to earn some pine time. He's still plenty young, guys like him should have really gone to school and got some of that stuff out of his system before basketball became a job.
I still really like the guy and think we really do have a diamond in the rough there. But he's not a Garnett until he adopts a pro's work ethic, people that keep hanging that tag on him have never got to the Arena early and saw who's out working and who's not.
For all of the crap heaped on him here, Haywood was out most every night working an hour before game time even when he was starting. Booth always is out working on his shot, Blatche would come out and put up three's dribble behind his back and fool around alot. You could tell Harvey and Wes Jr. were trying to get him to work on his lowpost game and rebounding but he wasn't nearly as interested in that.
Time will tell if he becomes a rotation guy or another one of these guys that just keeps teasing us with flashes. But for now he's not a guy to build your future around.
Bullets Fever, I've never been able to do the Green Tea thing, to old to change morning habits. And I make mistakes every day, just ask the people that work for me! They never miss a one!

Posted by: GM | August 3, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Potential means nothing.. Go with what you know.. You probably think Kwame still has potential...

Posted by: Greg | August 3, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Actually I think Kwame is/was/always will be garbage. I was being sarcastic regarding "potential".

Posted by: Jeff Ruland | August 3, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Make them take Etan!!! I would rather play hardball and force a hard decision for them whether to take Etan, even if we end up with nothing, than end up with a draft pick and have not done everything possible to get rid of Etan.
How AWKWARD will it be next year now that the Wizards have tried DESPERATELY to get rid of Etan, for him to come back and have to play for us for the next two years. He MUST go, now that we have shown him the door we can't expect him to happily come back inside and sit down for tea and crumpets.
EG, hold on, make them blink first. Make them piss off Gasol by not trading for Navarro, because frankly I think they'll take Etan at the last minute to avoid the Navarro trade failing and living with a disgruntled Gasol as their "franchise player".
I think no Etan helps us more than a draft pick anyway. And it helps us this year, Gil's decision year, and that's more important than a draft pick helping us four or five years down the road.

Posted by: Emmet | August 3, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It would have to be Muhammed and a First for Etan/JCN.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

emmet to pass up a 1st round pick trying to get rid of etan would be stupid. If we can get rid of him great if we can't take the 1st round pick and run b/c that is a steal for a 2nd round pick who has never played in the league. Even though i do love Navarro and wish we would keep him its obvious he is gone.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Ivan,

What about Harvey Grant?

What's the story and background behind the Wizards letting him go? Wasn't he the head of player development? Is his departure connected somehow with Blatche's behavioral problems?

Posted by: BR | August 3, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

what we should be pushing for is either JCN and etan for a 1st and swift or JCN and haywood for a 1st and swift or replace swift with hakim warrick in either trade. Also I think no matter what we are going to have to take back a player from memphis b/c their GM wallace said that he only plans on keeping 13 players on the roster this year. Jacobsen was the 13th player under contract so if he is going to stick by his word we will be taking someone back in this trade besides just the 1st rounder.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think the smartest move Abe can make from now until he sells the team is to get Grunfeld to get Charles Oakley on the line and get him hired as an assistant coach. Oakley would not only put the kibosh on AB's antics, but he'd toughen up BTH and end this sissy argument he has with ET. Also, he'd make OPech tougher.

Here's an area outside of the much ballyhooed "luxury tax/salary cap" where Abe can spend some money to ensure his investments produce the results that are expected. You can throw a 20 year old millions of dollars and expect him to act like a professional. Kwame didn't even know how to do his own laundry when he got here.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 3, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Is Blatche the reason Harvey Grant is now gone?

Posted by: BKD | August 3, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Is Blatche the reason Harvey Grant is now gone?

Posted by: BKD | August 3, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I thought I saw somewhere that Oak Tree was talking about a comeback. He could be a good asset as a player/coach.
And GM, I think a contract loaded with those morality clauses you were talking about is the perfect way to go.
And think about what Ernie offered Blatche --- 5 yrs., $12.5 mill. In this NBA that really isn't much and even with this latest problem, Blatche's risk/reward is very skewed in the reward direction. If this guy continues to be a problem 3-4 years from now, paying him to go away won't hurt at all. Lets not forget what a knucklehead Rasheed was when he was here and while he is still crazy (on the court), he is still a damn good player that the Wizards wished that they hung onto.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 3, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Now that I think about it, most 1st round picks that are not in the lottery take years to develop if they develop at all. I'm looking at the past few drafts at NBA.com only at picks 15-30. This is what I see...
2003 - All stars so far -NONE
2003 decent players -Diaw, Barbosa, Josh Howard
2004 - All Stars - NONE
2004 decent players - H.Warrick, J. Maxiell, David Lee, Jarrett Jack, Nate Robinson
2005 - All Stars - NONE
2005 decent players - Al Jefferson, Jr Smith, Josh Smith,Jameer Nelson, Nate Robinson, Jarrett Jack
2006 All Stars - NONE
2006 decent players - too soon to tell, really but no standouts.

I guess my point here is that I think that we overvalue 1st round picks. It's not like in football where a #1 is expected to be an impact player. If you have a choice between a pick and a player, I'd take the player because #1's miss more often in bball than you'd think...and I was being generous with some of the 'decent player' calls above. Bottom line for me: We ned to start playing for now because if we draft these young guys and expect to groom them and reap the benefit in 3-4 years, it'll likely not happen. Dan Snyder's approach would probably actually work in bball. Get a guy who's been in the league a few years and has proven that he can play a little. If we get a pick from Memphis, it had better be a potential lottery pick or we've wasted JCN.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Another idea (pretty far-fetched though). If Gasol wants to play with JCN, why not play with him as a Wizard? Sign JCN and then Gasol once his contract is up.

Posted by: BT | August 3, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Greg, have you been reading the blog? We don't have enough $$$$ to sign Navarro. Everyone needs to just get over it.

Posted by: Lisa | August 3, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Josh Howard was actually an all star replacement. Still, not a good track record for late first rounders overall

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Mark, Josh Howard was an all-star

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

If you know what you are doing like the spurs. It doesn't matter where you pick you almost always get quality guys.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I think Josh Howard was an All Star and Al Jef and Josh Smith are franchise type players IMO so its a crap shoot but worth it!!! And Ivan good work bro and you cant keep everyone happy :)

Posted by: Greekbilly | August 3, 2007 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Emmet

The idea that Etan is going to have hurt feelings and a broken heart next season because the Wiz tried to trade him is bit of a reach. Players get put on the trading block all the time and end up not moving. It's a simple fact of life in pro sports. If we were talking about Haywood I mught be worried, given his tendency to pout when he doesn't get his way. But we heard not a squawk from Etan when he didn't get his starting job back when he came back from injury. He just went out and did his job and kept his mouth shut. I don't see why that would change.

Besides, the Wiz are not in a position to force another team to do anything.

Posted by: kalorama | August 3, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

What pfunk said.

Posted by: Mitch | August 3, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

just dump blatche
he's an idiot
bring back Kevin Duckworth

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

This is why they have the college rule now; but doubt Dre had the maturity for even 3rd division school. I would let him know that his poor decision skills just cost him $2.5M.

Posted by: Gareth | August 3, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Great blog, Ivan. To all those Blatche haters out there: Look, he's just a young guy who needs to grow up a bit. James Worthy got busted for the same thing, back in the day, and he's a hall of famer now. Gilbert did some stupid stuff when he was AB's age--remember the handgun-in-the-car bust?--and look at the sort of player and person he's become. Blatche hasn't done anything to hurt or endanger anyone, which to me would be the line to draw.

Posted by: Patrick | August 3, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

mark, pretty sure jack and robinson weren't drafted in consecutive years....

ivan, probably the best thing i've read on here since i starting reading a year ago. informative and informal, what a blog by a sports writer should be. and the fans need to know this because instead of jeering eddie to put him in more, we can support blatche by telling him not to go out. good wiz fans dont let wiz players sleep in VC. what kind of support system (or lack thereof) do the wizards have for their young players? if none, isn't it time to get a life coach or something for these guys? as blatche may not have learned from his pj ramos incident, maybe the wiz administration didn't learn from kwame?

Posted by: CreditZard | August 3, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Hurt feelings with a 15% trade kicker? I don't think so ! He has to know EG prefers Haywood by now. Kaloroma's right in that we can't force anything. Our top 7-8 rotation players are all locked up and ready to anyway. All this JCN and Etan talk is icing. With Jamison coming off the books, I don't think we really need to clear cap space to resign Gilbert. Can't we use Bird rights on him and pay him more than anyone else, anyway ? Let's say we move Etan or Daniels and have tons of space next year. What next? Sign a big name FA? Do we need that? We need a blue collar rebound/defense guy. Jayson Williams, Buck Williams, Dennis Rodman, Oakley, Bobby Jones, Horace Grant, Steve Stipanovich, even Rick Mahorn.

PS. Just kidding about Stipanovich

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

After reading this disparaging article about Andray Blathce, I would not be mad at all if the Wizards were to let him walk. As a fan I can see why I would be upset to see him leave, as a businessman I understand that outlook of potentially wasting valuable money on someone who appears to be very, very immature..............

Posted by: Wizzzard_99 | August 3, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

according to http://www.nba.com/history/draft_round1_2000s.html

Jarrett and Jack were consecutive picks in 2005.
Good point about Josh Smith, Greekbilly. Why have we never tried to get him? Isn't Knight the GM in Atlanta? We could easily rip him off I would think. Don't we still owe them one for giving us Dan Roundfield ? Payback is a b$tch.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Do you guys enjoy kicking the Sun's butt everyday? Cause' I sure do.

Posted by: ScottVanPeltStyle.com | August 3, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

We need Blatche to play D on Garnett. He's going to be a good player, let him redeem himself on the court. He's going to be cheap at 2million a year. If he's a bust, he'll be a chip that will be tradable.

JCN n Swift for Etan n 2nd Round Draft Pick

that's fair

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 3, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Really down on Andray because of this incident. The guy has the maturity leve of a 14 year old.

Posted by: V | August 3, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Using my logic above, freeing up cap space to get a FA is a better move than getting a pick outside the lottery. send 'em etan and jcn for swift and next years #2 and call it a day. In effect we're buying financial freedom for next year's FA market.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Elton Brand is a free agent next year we need to clear all the cap possible so we can sign him and gilby. Then if we have extra money from moving etan or AD then we can try to keep jamison as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

also emeka okafor will be a restricted free agent but find it hard to believe he won't extend his contract with the bobcats

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Also Shawn Marion will be an option

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse


Re: JCN

We have Memphis with their backs against the walls.

Not dumping Etan would be a great dissappointment. We don't need any more draft picks. The time is NOW to win.

If we want to have a shot at a guy like Brand, we're gonna need the $$$$.

Next year's FA market we have a bunch of young guys that we could package to get other proven players as well.

I really like AD, his contract isn't so bad. He know how to lead on the backcourt. His assist-turnover ratio is one of the best.

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 3, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I don't think that just because Memphis 'should' be better that they'll fail to do their duty and protect the pick. They are a Gasol ankle away from the lottery at all times IMO. They are in a tough division too.

Screw the message to the fans. Protecting that pick tells the fans that I, as Memphis GM, am not so much of an idiot that I'd fail to protect a pick that could be in the lottery. Its a CYA move that says JCN isn't worth a lottery pick. its my job to improve the team without gambling on everyone staying healthy. Top 15 protected in year 1, top 10 protected in year 2, top 5 in year 3, no protection in year 4.

I'm open to Nazr, the guy can defend. But adding Flip to the deal means we're taking on WAY more money, that ain't happening. I'd trade Etan for Nazr, not Haywood.

I'd trade AD and Etan for Nazr, Lindsey Hunter and Flip.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | August 3, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for some candid, honest insight Ivan.

Posted by: Kev | August 3, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I would HATE to see Antonio Daniels go, that guy is our bench, he spells Arenas perfectly, sometimes you have to live with what youve got, if we cant get Etan off the books we have to live with our mistake of matching the offer sheet. Moving AD just to save money is a terrible move

Posted by: Jason | August 3, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I like your thinking on the Pistons trade Johnny Boy, but I can't think Dumars would go for swallowing the Wizards' two worst contracts. How long is Nazr Muhammad signed for anyway?

Posted by: George Templeton | August 3, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Wizards put in some sort of contingency in the contract so when he messes up again they can cancel the contract.

Posted by: michael | August 3, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

We don't need to move people to make room for Arenas' new deal. He's only adding 2 or 3 million in NEW salary in year one, from 12 to 15 mil. People act like we are adding a MAX contract. We're adding a few mil.

I'd prefer Warrick too, but so do the Griz. They see him as the perfect 4 in Ivaroni's running system.

Just say no to Nazr.

Posted by: Stringer | August 3, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Picks are assets. No one said that because you get a pick you have to draft someone with it. You can combine it with our First to move up or add it to a trade to get a deal done. Since we're going to be over the cap for awhile the only way to add players is the MLE, draft and trades.

I don't think Dumars does those deals either, but its worth babbling about on a hazy Friday in August. Nazr is pretty much Etan without the dreds anyway. Not sure paying him for that long is a good idea but trading a crap contract usually brings back one too.

Posted by: Johnny Boy | August 3, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I know you'll post as soon as you hear, but i'm dying to find out if Big Ern can pull off something sweet for JCN!

Posted by: Tanner | August 3, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Stringer, memphis obviously doesn't see Hakim warrick as the perfect 4 in Ivaroni's system. If they did they wouldn't have signed Darko to start in front of him.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

make the trade already the suspense is killing me.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

per your previous post, not to beat a dead horse but its friday...

2004 decent players - H.Warrick, J. Maxiell, David Lee, Jarrett Jack, Nate Robinson
2005 - All Stars - NONE
2005 decent players - Al Jefferson, Jr Smith, Josh Smith,Jameer Nelson, Nate Robinson, Jarrett Jack

Posted by: for mark on jarrett and jack | August 3, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Nazr Mohammed is signed for another 4 years at an average, and makes $5.6 million next year. Flip Murray has only 1 year left on his deal, at $1.8 million. This trade would work out well for Washington by dumping one of our centers on Detroit for this package. Murray is really streaky, but he isnt paid much and is worth the risk. And when hes on, he could drop 20+ on someone. Mohammed aint bad either, Detroit buried him for no reason last year, and is a great guy and hard worker. Eddie would love him.

Posted by: Champ | August 3, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

It's Friday night at 7:08 p.m. in Barcelona. You gotta figure something's gonna give soon....

Posted by: Prazak | August 3, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Darko is a Center, Gasol starts at the 4. They have a better 4 in front of Warrick, so?

He runs like a 3. When in doubt they will go small and Warrick creates matchup problems but rebounds at a rate that keep him on the floor. He's their Marion in some respects.

here's their GM saying it:
http://www.hoopsworld.com/article_22921.shtml
(Warrick averaged 12.7 points per game and became a full-time starter for the Grizzlies.)

"Hakim's also going to fit in very well in this new regime because this is going to be an up-tempo system and he's an up-tempo player," beams Wallace. "Hakim can get up and down the court, he has tremendous length and athleticism. Late last season he put several double-doubles together, I'm really excited about seeing him up close, now that I'm with the Grizzlies. I think he's going to thrive with Marc."

Posted by: Stringer | August 3, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Ivan, I agree with the post above that raised a good journalistic point: if you knew some of the stuff Andre was into why no mention on WaPo live or on this blog? Maybe back in the day white house reporters kept quiet about JFK and Marilyn Monroe, but these days isn't that stuff considered newsworthy?

Posted by: Prazak | August 3, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The article linked above said Barca came off the "deadline" schtik.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Stringer you are wrong Gasol starts at the 5 and Darko is the 4. Gasol has always been the 5 in memphis

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't want tabloid BS in the Washington post. No, its not newsworthy that he ate some nachos before a game, or goes out a lot. You want that, follow the Yankees and know everything about A Rod's women.

they don't tell any stories like those because if they do the players shut them out for obvious reasons.

Posted by: Monte | August 3, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Darko!

He's our best shot at a complete team. He could explode for us. He just needs the right system, and maybe we're it. The skill set certainly looks to be a perfect match for our needs. If he can put it together, he'll be worth way more than his contract. Darko is definitely our best shot at winning a title.

If Darko pans out, we will be really, really good, and Jamison might be willing to play for us at a steep discount after his contract runs out next year. He's already been paid big bucks; next, he's going to want to win. Better here than anywhere else. He's a good guy, and we've bought some good will by paying his giant salary for the last several years.

Wizards dynasty '08-'12!

Posted by: Marcy Holmes | August 3, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

anonymous, you're too hung up on the numbers. Gasol is a 4-5, so is Darko.

Warrick is a 3-4 who fits for all the reasons THEIR GM just told you. Argue with him.

Posted by: Stringer | August 3, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Good thought, DCMan88. If Ernie could actually interest Oak in coming to a team he was never,ever, kind to, that would be more of an improvement than most of the suggestions made here in the last couple of days.

Posted by: Bill Carr | August 3, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

huh? Memphis signed Darko because they want him to play in Memphis. Not so they can trade him for Etan and JCN, a deal that couldn't be done until December anyway.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Here is last years depth chart

Darko and Gasol should both be 4's Im just saying thats how they play gasol. What are u talking about hung up on the numbers? Also Hakim Warrick can't play the 3. You have to be able to hit more than a 12 footer to play the 3 in this league.
Memphis Grizzlies
POS STARTER 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Point Guard Damon Stoudamire Chucky Atkins Kyle Lowry
Shooting Guard Dahntay Jones Will Conroy
Small Forward Mike Miller Rudy Gay
Power Forward Stromile Swift Hakim Warrick Brian Cardinal Lawrence Roberts
Center Pau Gasol Jake Tsakalidis Alexander Johnson
View Full NBA Depth Chart

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Monte, I don't want tabloid trash in the WaPo either. But it does seem newsworthy that Andre had a brush with the law in October. And Ivan shares all kinds of locker room trash talk without players cutting him off. Why not something about Andre's work habits?

Posted by: Prazak | August 3, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Im not arguing Im stating facts

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah i guess a guy can't get drafted twice. LOL.
Monte, you're right. If Ivan were to say something bad about Blatche, he might never see the inside of the locker room again. I'm looking at it like this...Ivan said what he said about Blatche with the most positive spin he could put on it to protect his interests. If it looks this bad with a positive spin, how bad is it really with this kid? I'm leery of signing him long term unless he's really cheap and we can eat the contract in a year or 2 without hurting ourselves. Gotta give him a chance, though.We can't continue to get rid of guys with promise. I still remember a game where Ben Wallace blocked Rik Smit's shot 3 or 4 times yet we still gave up on him. (was this the Ike Austin deal?) Give AB a chance to redeem himself on the court.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Monte.

Being a Wizards fan does not give me unlimited access to every minute detail of a players personal life and habits off the court. While I don't doubt that such information is relevant and has a definite affect on teammates, coaches and owners to me as a fan I don't want to hear updates each week about what Oleksiy Pecherov had for dinner and how many holes of golf Caron Butler played over the weekend etc. If its not a distraction or an ongoing behavioral problem causing a direct detriment to their play I couldn't care less. In Andray's case he's young and naive and hanging out having fun is to be expected. To prematurely report such information about his off-court activities, attitudes and less than enthusiastic practice habits would only cause more disruption from fans calling for his head and would create discension and distrust in the locker room creating a rift between players and media. There's a big difference between eating nachos and soliciting prostitution. Let's not get carried away exaggerating every single story into news.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

new article

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

You're hung up on 4 versus 5 when neither guy is just a 4 or just a 5. Gasol plays C but they also look for a big man to play with him, thus Darko. Why? because Warrick can't defend the top 4/5's.

Last year's depth chart wasn't put together by Wallace and Ivaroni. You intimated that they signed Darko as a slight to Warrick. thats not the case. They've had lots of interest in him and won't give him up. I'm only stating what their new GM and new Coach already have.

Posted by: Stringer | August 3, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Ivan didn't mention Blatche's problems earlier because there was no news peg. That's journalism 101.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 3, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Trade JCN for a first round draft pick now, with the understanding that we do Etan and the pick for Darko in December. Net effect is JCN+Etan for Darko. JCN gets to come to the NBA, Pau gets to play with his buddy, we get rid of Etan's contract, Darko fits better here than Memphis.

Posted by: Marcy Holmes | August 3, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Why would Memphis trade Darko for Etan? For a chance at the Wiz's coveted late first round pick?

Posted by: kalorama | August 3, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

as rest said after monte, ivans doing a great job.
the wiz administration? you've got to keep your assets happy and stable. it's like if i was sleeping in my cubicle for a couple weeks, would people care? how about if my boss came in and im using the bathroom like its my own?
now they have one foreign player coming in, and maybe vermeenko next year/in a couple.
do the wiz have a support system for these young/foreign players past the old methods of locker room sitdowns? get him one of em life coaches i keep seeing on 60 minutes!

Posted by: CreditZard | August 3, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

mark,

All-Star appearances are not the final word on players' value, esp. when you're talking about players who have only been in the league 4 seasons or fewer. The fact that there are no all stars from the late first round of the 2005 draft (yet) is meaningless in determining how good the draft was.

Posted by: kalorama | August 3, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

CreditZard, I'm pretty sure if you were in the bathroom at work in your underwear at 9PM washing up in the sink, your boss would notice. LOL. My point exactly. This is the responsibility of Wiz management and his agent. They can talk about him being a legal adult all they want. Point is, if you foresee a problem, you should get the guy some help. A lecture by a 80 year old guy isn't the answer (no offense but Abe probably doesn't know the difference between 50 CENT and Prince). Locker room talks help but the dude needs his mama. If I was 20 and a millionaire in a foreign city, you can best believe mom would be either in my spare bedroom or (more likely) next door.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

(no offense but Abe probably doesn't know the difference between 50 CENT and Prince).

Abe doesn't know the difference between Prince and Sly Stone. He MIGHT be familiar with James Brown.

Posted by: reispace | August 3, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

A short contract for Blatche 1 or 2yr. to find out where is his head's at. They should move E. Thomas as part of a deal w/Memphis.

Posted by: Naldo | August 3, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

do that and he's a free agent next year, aka gone. A long cheap deal is actually in the Wizards best interest.

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

Andray clearly is 20 years of age and totally unprepared for the life he now faces. This is reflective of his upbringing - parental guidance. I doubt he had any. But, I'm sure he's got "family" now all with their hands in his pocket. Its a sad state of affairs.

If Harvey Grant, Mitchellville, Maryland.(article on him in WaPost w/his sons)was did not afford this kid any better guidance than that - he should go. We're talking about a 20 yr old prob w/ a 17-18 yr old mentality. He's lost.

The judge in his case is pretty compassionate. A dad himself.
Kids this age can screw up..
sometimes more than once.

Sadly - Mr. Eddie Jordan(another "Dad" of a teenager)couldn't see Dre's vulnerability & potential for getting in trouble?

This is a case where the person is drowning while all around him - folks with the ability to save him - watch.

Yes, I read what Gilbert, Mason & Jamison warned or said - but did anybody offer to walk along side this brother a bit til he grows up? Gilbert attached himself to Nick Young and Stevenson..who on this team will cover this brother until he grows.

Nobody in court thought it funny. It was sad because he's so young & so lost.

Posted by: Robin | August 3, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

He's 20 years old, not 30. He's also a kid.

I made SEVERAL mistakes at that age. Not quite what he did but some mistakes.

Mom needs to pull him aside IMHO.

"Don't be shocked if the Wizards wind up trading the rights to Juan Carlos Navarro to Memphis on Friday for a first round pick. "

Sweet, hopefully it's a lottery pick!

Thanks Ivan.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 3, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The deal that appears to be in-place is Juan for Memphis' 2009 1st-round pick, it is lottery protected. 2010 is 1,2,3 protected and if it goes that far, 2011 is unprotected.

Washington is raping Memphis.

Posted by: Heath | August 3, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the scoop on Dre. Have been looking regularly and this was great.

Posted by: Pat | August 3, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

You were in court for Blatche's appearance? What was the tone there?

Also, I don't think Ivan's take that Blatche isn't a knucklehead was necessarily off-base. I think the point is that he's a good kid. A lot of these guys are jerks. While Blatche may not have his head screwed on tight enough and might be in the streets more than is desirable, the impression is that he's a guy with manners, polite and nice to talk to, etc. That's not always a given.

Posted by: replying to Robin | August 3, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Blatche is young. Yes, he needs guidance. But he's also a legal adult who is responsible for his own actions and not obligated to listen to anyone. As for Jordan, Grant, Jamison et al, they're not his parents. They're his employers and coworkers. Sure they can offer him guidance and advice, and I'm sure they did. But they can't force him to listen or obey, impose a curfew on him in the summer, ground him, or sleep outside his bedroom door with a string tied from the doorknob to their wrists.

Laying this at the feet of the coaching staff is simply scapegoating.

Posted by: kalorama | August 3, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

That's a GREAT anecdote about Jamison's leadership qualities. Nuggets like that are why I think local beat writers will always have a role in sports reporting. Kudos, Ivan.

Posted by: Jake H. | August 3, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Kalorama, i was just trying to underscore the fact that getting a #1 pick isn't always all it's cracked up to be. That's why I tried to put out some 'decent players' out there. Just seems to me that unless you're in the lottery and pretty high up, we should be angling for a vet or FA that can contribute. Windows of opportunity don't stay open too long in this league. We need to make a championship run within the next 2-3 years and I don't see many rooks/first on 2nd year players coming in and contributing on our team.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't surprised to hear about AB. He's young and still has a lot to learn. He has to fall and bump his head just like a lot of us did at his age. But he will be all right. Who knows after this his Mom may come and stay with him for a while..

Posted by: Wiz034 | August 3, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

First round pick for JNC would be great because personally, I dont think Memphis will have a lot of success this year. But who knows...

Posted by: Alex | August 3, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Blatche is 20. Certain states or locals he's not an adult til 21.

What I suggested isn't scapegoating at all. Might I suggest you read 40 Million Dollar Slaves by Wm. Rhoden. The NBA is full of them being made merchanise of.

Yes, I was in court. Its seen as "typical."
Young back kid finally gets some cash and doesn't know what to do with it.

Most of the black males were very sad. A) They didn't want the negative news about the Wizards, B)shocked it was solicitation and c) Worried what it would do to Wiz season.

All said it was telling as Ivan said -the guy is so young and green - doesn't appear "bad" just clueless and no self-discipline.

A personal example: Chris Wilcox entered at same age 19 or 20. But his mother stayed in his "environment" as much as possible - coraling him in as best she could til he was steady enough to manage. Sad to say - he's done better than Juan who now has 2 kids out of wedlock coast to coast. So foolishness isn't reserved only for the very young.

He should be ok for the season

Posted by: Robin | August 3, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

well alot of "U" people got upset when i said we don't need blatche, but now it seems that im looking pretty bright! the first round draft pick was cool, we are gaurenteed to get a top 10 but, that is just to ensure talent knowing that gilbert or twan may leave next summer. secondly it does not help us now! make some trades ernie. deshawn is going to have a breakthrough season like caron did, only he won't make the all star team. but we be just talking about the big three we will have to give him props! and andray............. u don't have to pay for everything! they say the best things in life are free!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

"Blatche is 20. Certain states or locals he's not an adult til 21."

In some states he can't drink until he's 21, but drinking age is not the demarcation line for adulthood.

The age of consent (the age in which a person is legally recognized as being able to enter contractual agreements and be held legally responsible for them) is 18 (or younger) in every state. Also, the age at which a person can be tried in criminal court is 18 (or younger) in every state. Both of those markers are more relevant to Blatche's current situation than the drinking age.

"Might I suggest you read 40 Million Dollar Slaves by Wm. Rhoden. The NBA is full of them being made merchanise of."

Might I suggest that such absurd rhetoric not only devalues the horror of actual slavery in this country's history but is an insult and a slap in the face to those people still held in slavery around the world? The NBA is full of H.S. grads and college dropouts being paid millions of dollars to run around in their underwear and play a silly children's games while teachers, firemen, nurses, soldiers and many, many other people whose jobs actually have some value in society are barely scraping by. The average annual salary in the U.S. is about $35 mill. The average annual salary in the NBA is about $5 mill (not including endorsements).

$40 million dollar slaves? Please.

Posted by: kalorama | August 4, 2007 1:19 AM | Report abuse

CORRECTION

What I meant to write was:

The average annual salary in the U.S. is about $35 thousand.

Posted by: kalorama | August 4, 2007 2:29 AM | Report abuse

the kids is from my home town of syracuse. He grew up on the east side, yes the hood. Someone was killed at his party before he got drafted, although that had nothing to do with him. He wasnt a trouble maker or anything. But this is new money to him and who can he really ask for help that he trust. Family dont have lots of money they in the same boat as him. its sad but really the players need to show him since they have finances that he can only dream of. question is can they get him to trust them and to listen

Posted by: hotadef | August 4, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

and if the wizard sign him id say show the boy the money. but please do so with incentives and stiff fines for violations. his agent should make sure it is incentive based as to help insure this young man a brighter future. incentives for games playe point rebounds and a new wrinkle incentive for increases in weight training and shoot arounds with jamison just joking

Posted by: hotadef | August 4, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Swift doesn't have an expiring contract, unless you think he's going to opt out next summer and give up $6.2 million.

Anyway, it looks like Ernie wised up and realized that getting a first rounder for a second rounder who was never going to play for the Wiz was a good deal.

Posted by: Correction Dept | August 4, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I've personally seen him at K Street Lounge drinking a bottle of Patron...not a cup, or mixed drink...straight from the bottle, walkin around, by himself...in the DC area certain guys are seen all the time at K St or Love and known as regular dudes-Caron, Antwan, Roger Mason,Portis, Shawn Merriman, Iverson...and then there are dudes that get it in...Dashawn Stevenson(he's the worst lol), Lamont Jordan, Fred Smoot (somtimes), and Blatche

Posted by: joe | August 4, 2007 8:00 PM | Report abuse

well let me be the first to say, i just saw that they are saying the charges for solicitation are false! the media throws negative images of atheletes for us to dog em out, blatche i apologize!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

EJ should do something similar to what P Jackson did with MJ early in their relationship. MJ would visibly show his disgust with PJ when he would give MJ a breather. The next time MJ would ask to be taken out PJ would leave him in the game, never calling any time outs until MJ's tongue hung down to the floor. EJ should do this with AB to show him his conditioning is no good. Start him in two consecutive pre-season games and keep him in 45 minutes/game until his tongue drags.

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