Wiz play wait and see

I haven't blogged yet today because I was on the phone late last night and this morning making sure my people back in Minneapolis are okay after that bridge situation. I lived a few blocks away from where it went down on the U of M side. So far, it appears that my folks are all fine. That's a sad, sad, deal and if it's true that they knew about structural damage for a long time and did nothing about it, heads had better roll. (Hope that note isn't too "personal" for some of you on this blog)

The schedule is about to come out: the Wiz open at Indiana on Wed, Oct. 31. They will then get their first look at KG and the Celtics by playing at Boston on Friday, Nov. 2. That game will be on ESPN. Hibachi anyone? The home opener is against Orlando on Saturday, Nov. 3. If you're wondering why the Wiz always tend to open on the road it's because the team prefers to play it's home opener on a weekend.

If you read today's paper, you know I reported that the Wiz have agreed to contract terms with second round pick Dominic McGuire. From what I can gather, it's a three-year deal. The first two years are guaranteed and the Wiz will hold an option for the third year. Giving McGuire a guaranteed deal is obviously a sign that the Wiz have a high opinion of the young man. He certainly played well in summer league.

I also reported that the Wiz have made the following offer to Andray Blatche: a five-year deal with a first-year salary of around $2.5 million. The total value is in the neighborhood of $12.5 million but I don't know about team or player option years, bonus money etc. The offer makes sense for the Wiz when you consider that it keeps them under the luxury tax threshold and locks Blatche up for five years. I hear that Andray is looking for something like a three-year deal worth at least $11 million. The issue is that he has not been able to gain any leverage by attracting that kind of offer elsewhere. He could sign a one-year deal somewhere, have the Wiz match (they would) and then walk next summer. Stay tuned.

Nothing new to report on Juan Carlos Navarro. Some of you have been a little overboard ripping me for not "reporting" some of the rumors that are out there. Let me break it down for you: when an agent is getting frustrated at seeing their client stuck as JNC is now, they call reporters at other papers (Boston for instance) and float out scenerios that wind up being "reported." Doesn't make them true. Trust me. Ernie's position on this has never changed. He feels he has leverage and he's going to work from that position. If some of you want to rip him for that, go ahead. I'm just reporting.

Now, if some of you feel that you can get better, more accurate Wiz coverage elsewhere, I suggest you do so but you may be surprised. And for the fool (or fools) who wrote in calling for my job, be a man or women and put your name to it. That way, I can actually respect your opinion. I put my name on everything I write. (Yes, I'm a little cranky but I think you can understand)

By Ivan Carter |  August 2, 2007; 11:30 AM ET
Previous: Say what? | Next: Blatche Arrested


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I completely agree with Ernie on this one. Don't settle for the first deal that comes along. That's how you get in trouble

Posted by: MDBaller1 | August 2, 2007 11:53 AM

Don't let the fools get you down, Ivan! Blog commenting is a murky swamp of ignorance and crankiness. Your updates here are appreciated -- vital snacks to get us through the long hungry summer months. Problem is, once we get a taste we just want more more more.

Posted by: neck of eackles | August 2, 2007 11:57 AM


Thank for everything you do for us Wiz fans, your insightful blogs, articles, radio/tv appearances. I'd rather wait longer for solid information rather than read an article/blog about every new rumor. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: Ali Zinat | August 2, 2007 11:59 AM

LET EM HAVE IT IVAN. What do you think of all the ESPN analyst's not even MENTIONING us in playoff conversation now that KG is a celtic and rashard lewis (yawn) is a magic...player...i guess?

Posted by: POC | August 2, 2007 12:01 PM

LET EM HAVE IT IVAN. What do you think of all the ESPN analyst's not even MENTIONING us in playoff conversation now that KG is a celtic and rashard lewis (yawn) is a magic...player...i guess?

Posted by: POC | August 2, 2007 12:01 PM

LET EM HAVE IT IVAN. What do you think of all the ESPN analyst's not even MENTIONING us in playoff conversation now that KG is a celtic and rashard lewis (yawn) is a magic...player...i guess?

Posted by: POC | August 2, 2007 12:01 PM

LET EM HAVE IT IVAN. What do you think of all the ESPN analyst's not even MENTIONING us in playoff conversation now that KG is a celtic and rashard lewis (yawn) is a magic...player...i guess?

Posted by: POC | August 2, 2007 12:01 PM

LET EM HAVE IT IVAN. What do you think of all the ESPN analyst's not even MENTIONING us in playoff conversation now that KG is a celtic and rashard lewis (yawn) is a magic...player...i guess?

Posted by: POC | August 2, 2007 12:01 PM

I'm sorry Ivan Carter, I was having too much fun. I offer you a truce...

Seriously, I know we all can't get enough info on les boulez, but we want accurate info from the local beat, so you're the man, Ivan.

Posted by: Rick James | August 2, 2007 12:02 PM

can you tell more media types to write us off. seriously, not being facetious. if anything gilbert would revel in seeing about 5-6 big newspapers, magazines, pundits, drop the wiz to the 8th spot, maybe a couple say we're the team that's left out.

Posted by: CreditZard | August 2, 2007 12:04 PM

Damn Ivan.... thanks for the update. I guess you have to deal with crazy fans just like the pro athletes.

But don't worry, they just represent a very small, insignificant portion of the population.


Posted by: k-dub | August 2, 2007 12:07 PM

And I agree...the media can all write the Wizards off as far as I am concerned.

Things like that just promote team unitiy, much less creating motivation for Gils Zero.....we need an "us against the world" attitude.


Posted by: k-dub | August 2, 2007 12:10 PM

First off I have gleaned more info about the wizards from this blog than from ever reading the post's sports page. Secondly I love the fact that the wuzards have completely fallen out of the PLay Off picture. ALL the media outlets (espacially the WWL) are stuck on the celtics and whatever other team they can conjure up about the wizards. Its like the wizards havent made the playoffs three years running. Well once again Gilbert and the rest of the wizards will have a chip to use as they pummell the East for 50+.

Posted by: Outoftwnfan | August 2, 2007 12:16 PM

Ivan, keep up the good work bro! No, your not perfect or infallable, but your blog has been a blessing to alot of Wizards fans who prior to your arrival, rarely got any Wizards news at all.

Some folks are so unappreciative, but let be one that says thank you for all the work that you do.

Posted by: Dat2U @ realgm.com | August 2, 2007 12:21 PM

I can't imagine Blatche's agent is happy with 5-years/$12.5 mill when Amir Johnson, who hasn't played a nanosecond of meaningful NBA ball, got 3 years/$11 mill from Detroit. As to Blatche's lack of leverage because he's not getting better offers from other teams is interesting--How many teams were offering Stevens $15 mill over 4 years?

It seems to me that the Wiz chose the wrong player to take the fiscal hard line on.

Posted by: kalorama | August 2, 2007 12:22 PM

Is it sad I check the blogs out for all the Skins, Wizards, and Caps news and never the actual main sports page? Thanks for the info on McGuire's contract.

Posted by: Larry | August 2, 2007 12:27 PM

Ivan, a little remains unsaid on the JCN situation. Sure, the Wiz believe they have the leverage, but what if they find no acceptable trades? What are the possible results and what is the most likely outcome in that situation?

Posted by: Chris | August 2, 2007 12:28 PM

ivan you have done a great job so far with all the updates with the whole offseason. i guess people want you to update us every single day. but i thank you you are the best beat writer the wizards ever had

thanks ivan

Posted by: brandon | August 2, 2007 12:29 PM

Ivan, WE LOVE YOU!!!!

Don't listen to these morons. You're the greatest.

Posted by: Zonker | August 2, 2007 12:29 PM

Ivan, Keep up the good work! Take no heed to someone living in their parents basement. I really enjoy your insight.


Posted by: Eric | August 2, 2007 12:30 PM

I do appreciate your hard work and agree that knuckleheads calling for your job without posting their own names are fools.

That said, I have two constructive critcisms that may help you improve:

1) Learn the Collective Bargaining Agreement better. For instance, the one-year deal scenario that you discuss today for Blatche is not allowed under the CBA. You would certainly distinguish yourself from many of your NBA-beat colleagues if you were more familiar with the CBA.

2) Time permitting, scan the message boards. I'm not saying you should spend hours sifting through bogus trade scenarios and "fire the coach" rants. But check in once or twice a day. The Randy Ayers hiring was reported by a poster on RealGM a full day and a half before it hit the Post. If you had seen it, I'm sure you could have confirmed it with a phone call and blogged it right away.

Keep up the good, hard work.


Posted by: Ben | August 2, 2007 12:30 PM

I def. know where to get my news from. If I don't see an update on this blog I know that nothing is going on.

Anyway, my opinion of this JNC thing is that Ernie should just continue to wait it out. I bet this Aug. 3rd deadline is just a bluff.

I am sure teams there are teams that will start looking at picking up a player like him when players start falling off the market.

Posted by: ZardFan | August 2, 2007 12:31 PM

I seem to remember a rule that allows a team to release one player to get under the luxury cap (they still have to pay the guy, but he can sign elsewhere). Why don't they try to trade Etan for draft picks and a player they could then release to stay under the cap? That would free up enough to give Blatche a decent payday.

Posted by: Patrick | August 2, 2007 12:34 PM

Ivan: Don't get worn down by wacko critics. We like yor blog as is: adding texture to the daily sports section Wiz news. People calling for your head probably didn't add their name because their thumbs get tired-- they only can type with one fuinger. I agree that other East teams improved while Wiz stood pat. Other posters may be right: Wiz best hope is to be dissed by everyone else and sneak up on other teams. FYI: As a Portlander who has seen Zach Randolph get his 20 regularly, you Eastern Conf folks will be amazed at how he will get many of his Knick points-- his nickname shuold be "junkman," as he gets lots of close in shots that look pretty easy. Nothing showy, few dunks, no style points-- he just gets those junk shots and putbacks. Anyway, keep up the good reporting, Ivan, and understand that your readers don't want someone who just types up the latest ESPN rumor of the hour.

Posted by: West Coaster, Ex DC Guy | August 2, 2007 12:38 PM

Ivan: Don't get worn down by wacko critics. We like yor blog as is: adding texture to the daily sports section Wiz news. People calling for your head probably didn't add their name because their thumbs get tired-- they only can type with one fuinger. I agree that other East teams improved while Wiz stood pat. Other posters may be right: Wiz best hope is to be dissed by everyone else and sneak up on other teams. FYI: As a Portlander who has seen Zach Randolph get his 20 regularly, you Eastern Conf folks will be amazed at how he will get many of his Knick points-- his nickname shuold be "junkman," as he gets lots of close in shots that look pretty easy. Nothing showy, few dunks, no style points-- he just gets those junk shots and putbacks. Anyway, keep up the good reporting, Ivan, and understand that your readers don't want someone who just types up the latest ESPN rumor of the hour.

Posted by: West Coaster, Ex DC Guy | August 2, 2007 12:38 PM

I echo many others, keep up the good work. And Kalorama you are exactly right, but I am betting the reason Ernie is taking this line is figuring that if Blatche develops, then he will be a huge bargain when they get to later in that contract. I'd love to have Blatche in the fold for the next 5 years.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 2, 2007 12:39 PM

Ivan, your my boy I love your work, keep it up anybody calling for your job is just a jealous punk who envies your life and career opportunity. Dont sweat it man, thanks for the good stuff, keep it up.

Posted by: Jason | August 2, 2007 12:46 PM

You're the man, Ivan. I check my link here everyday hoping to hear some new information about the Wiz. Oct. 31st is a long way away, and the lack of coverage in the Post's sports page doesn't help. Keep up the good work.

And I can't believe how easily everyone has fallen with the Celtics... their supporting cast, outside of the New big three, makes Lebron's cast last year look like an NBA all first team squad. And Orlando making the playoffs above the Wiz? That's ridiculous... we were no. 1 in the conference before the injuries.

Posted by: Matt Carr | August 2, 2007 12:48 PM

Good move to lock McGuire up to a 3-year deal (as opposed to the more common 2-year contract for second rounders). This will give them his full Bird rights and the right to match any deal (no matter what their cap situation) when he becomes a FA.


First of all, they have to find a team willing to trade for Etan, which obviously is not as easy as some would think/like. Seond, the luxury tax amnesty rule you mention was a one-time thing. It's not something like the MLE that teams can do every year. And even if it were, why would a team trade a player and a pick to get Etan when they know the Wiz are looking to dump him? They'd just wait for the Wiz to cut him then pick him up off the scrap heap.

Posted by: kalorama | August 2, 2007 12:55 PM

That would suck if we couldn't lock up Blatche for a couple of years. Love that kid

Posted by: AndNone | August 2, 2007 12:59 PM

crank on Ivan.

Posted by: sam | August 2, 2007 1:07 PM

I'm really happy with the signing ... i rather see them sign blatche to a multi year contract and i'm not sure how but if possible have him be a restricted free agent when he is....(how does that work is it only off a rookie contract or what?) I hope celtics go down big time neither ray allen or paul pierce are known for winning so I hope that continues as much as I like KG and respect him I cant wish him any luck b/c I am and im sure everyone else here is too a hardcore wiz fan!!

and your blogging is much appreciated IVAN, I dont know what more people want from this blog ... maybe they should sign up for ESPN INSIDER where they get 0 news on the wizards

Posted by: Sean | August 2, 2007 1:10 PM


Man, and you thought the Chiefs fans in KC were nuts, huh? Did you see the footage of Herm yelling at a fan in training camp who was telling a rookie D-lineman to go after it and fight? You don't know what you're missing... Anyway, you're doing a great job with the Wiz coverage. As others have mentioned, we get better and more accurate news from you in your blog than we can from any other official outlets, so don't let the idiots get you down.

Posted by: Braden | August 2, 2007 1:13 PM


I understand the thinking behind Grunfeld's approach, I just question the logic of it, esp. in the wake of the Stevenson deal.

They offered Stevenson more (by a good margin, I'd wager) than any other team would have considered offering him because they wanted him to feel like they wanted him and to be comfortable with his place on the team. But then they turn around and lowball Blatche, a guy with considerably more upside than Stevenson and the potential to be a much more important player for the Wizards' future. Of the two of them, it seems to me Blatch is they guy you want to stroke. Sure, they may be able to strongarm him into taking a lesser deal, because they have all the leverage. But that will most likely result in him (and, more significantly, his agent) starting to nurse a grudge against the organization because they feel like they were treated unfairly. The very thing Ernie appears to have bent over backwards to avoid with Stevenson.

Posted by: kalorama | August 2, 2007 1:15 PM

If the Wizards can just cut ties with Etan w/o salary cap implications I say do it, even if you have to pay his salary for nothing (always easy to say when you are talking about OTHER people having to spend money). Sometimes it is better to just cut your losses. Then they should sign Blatche and JCN and move forward.

Posted by: BT | August 2, 2007 1:18 PM

Ben--if I were Carter or Lee I wouldn't go near the RealGM boards, considering how little love they get there. Makes some of the 'fire Ivan' comments here look pretty good. And while it's true that the Randy Ayers news was leaked by someone in Orlando early on a board, what they said was unusable in the Post or any other newspaper (except maybe the LA Times), because it was based on 'he's my mom's best friend'. When the Wizards front office confirmed it, then it could be used.

Personally, I wouldn't want to mention a guy being 'my mom's best friend' on any website--but then again I'm pretty old school. So's my dad. ;)

Posted by: KTV | August 2, 2007 1:18 PM

Also, regarding the Celtics, they have three GREAT (but aging) players and nothing else because they traded thier entire bench and all of their other, even semi-decent, players. Last time I checked, you have to play with at least five at any time (I don't see teams agreeing to play 3 on 3).

Granted, they may turn out to be good, but things are a little over-hyped right now. Especially considering they were HORRID last year.

Posted by: BT | August 2, 2007 1:22 PM

Big Up, Ivan!

Don't let the negativity get you down. There will always be haters out there, regardless of the amount of info you provide.

Can everyone just remember that we are still 90 days away from training camp and this man just produced a 1,000 word article in the middle of the summer!!

Ivan, keep up the great reporting and much respect to all the Minnesotans and anyone else who was affected by the bridge disaster.

Go Lez Boulez!

Posted by: Wiz Love in Blazer Land | August 2, 2007 1:24 PM


Everyone knows that the clock is ticking for JCN and there is NO NEWS...

EG works in stealth mode... perhaps you could provide a little of "what is going on?" - even your speculations, could help...

We've got a lot of chips to work with, 11 guys under contract + JCN... there's gotta be something big coming up...


Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 2, 2007 1:26 PM


Re: Blatche -- hopefully, Ernie's telling him at the same time "Hey kid, give me every reason to tear up this contract in the next few years and pay you like the star you've become."

I don't mind making sure Andray develops into a good to very good player before spending the big bucks on him. How Amir Johnson got that contract is a mystery.

Ivan, don't sweat the idiots. They're not worth the effort. Reporting and blogging is a tremendous amount of work (I do the same thing you do, only in a different field), and I'm sure most of the folks who frequent this board appreciate what you do. You can see a lot of that just from this thread.

Posted by: Keithinator | August 2, 2007 1:26 PM

The difference between Blatche and Stevenson is that one was an unrestricted FA. Grunfeld can afford to take his time on the Blatche deal as he knows he's not going anywhere.

Once Blatche becomes an unrestricted FA, and proves himself, he'll get the more lucrative deals. The question for AB is if he should take that chance and sign the 1-Year qualifying offer, knowing that he'll only have 1-year as a part-timeplayer to show his worth to the league. Or should AB take a below-market multi-year deal that Grunfeld has offered so that he can have some security while he works on his to actually get that big paycheck.

Stevenson has already shown his worth as a non-disruptive member of one of the best offensive teams in the league. His willingness to defer to the Big 3 with high efficiency offense and decent defense got him his contract. And whose to say that no other team had a similar offer for Stevenson on the table that his agent didn't take right to the media? Afterall, Stevenson's actual contract he signed is actually below market value for what other similar NBA players at his position receive.

Posted by: Mike | August 2, 2007 1:32 PM

I don't know why the Wizards are always overlooked nationally. It seems they over rate certain teams all the time. A team like NJ for instance hasn't done anything in years yet people still think they are a dangerous team. I mean they're ok but I just don't think they are that much better than the Wiz. I guess because they have Jason Kidd they are given the benefit of doubt. I say let them sleep. I think the Wiz will surprise this year.

Posted by: D Wiz | August 2, 2007 1:34 PM

Call me stupid, but isn't this a low ball offer to one of our "stud" young players? 2.5 million for 5 years?????????? Come onnnnnnnn!!!!

This is the contract that should have been offered to Stevenson, for crying out loud. And guess what, the contract Stevenson got should be the one AB should be getting. Am I right or wrong here??????? AB should at least be getting 3 million a year, with a player option on his 4th year.

Man, EG is taking the chance of really ticking off the young boy. They are so busy trying to stay under that luxury tax and making Gilbert happy that they are low balling the wrong players.

Again the order of the day for the offseason should have been 1/ 2.7 million for 3 years to Stevenson, take it or leave it offer for two weeks at beginning of July. 2/ 12 million dollar contract for 4 years, with player option on 4th to AB.

If Stevenson walked, sign Navaro. If Stevenson signed, and trade is unsuccessful for Navaro; sign Navarro anyway and pay the luxury tax for one year, will that "cripple" Abe to do???? Next year you have Jamison's contract coming off of the books to cover for the one luxury tax year.

At least now you have Navarro under contract and if he happens to blow up, you have even a bigger trading chip or you just keep him. Either way, that is better than letting the man just walk and go back to Spain without us getting "NOTHING" for him at all. Where is Ted Leosis when you need him.

Abe you are great as a man, but as a owner it is time to give over the ship to a guy with deeper pockets and way more marketing savvy. This is another one of our problems, old school and "mom and pop" store owner leadership.......

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 2, 2007 10:08 AM

Kalorama - I mentioned just about the same thing you said in the blog before this one this morning and I agree with you all of the way. The same love has not been shown to AB as was Stevenson.

Ivan - Keep your head up. Wizards/Bullets fan since 1978 and we have never had this much coverage. I ain't mad at ya, bro......
When you give me something, I will take it and be happy with it. I hope all is fine with your family at home in Minnie.

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 2, 2007 1:37 PM

Ivan, you are my source for the wiz. I know i speak for some saying that you and the other beat reporters for the post are second to none. Keep on keepin on.

Posted by: EGGIT | August 2, 2007 1:45 PM

Ivan...I know you are cranky, but don't even give the haters the respect of being addressed on your blog...it only fuels their fire.

People who think the Celtics are getting too much hype are ridiculously crazy. They just locked up the East for the next 3 years. Seriously...last year LeBron James single-handedly carried the Cavs to the Finals. The C's have 3 legit top flight All-stars...yes, they could play 5-on-3 with half the teams in the East and still make the playoffs...when Ray Allen is your 3rd scoring option you are for real.

And I don't understand why suddenly all those former Celtics have become so valuable?? Except for Al Jefferson, you could sign 6 guys from the D-league and they would give you about as much production as Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, THeo Ratliff, and whatever other schlubs they sent to Minny.

Posted by: pfunk | August 2, 2007 1:48 PM

Your reporting is great. Everyone is just anxious for an update... we're going through Wiz withdrawal.

We're not desperate enough to start getting into the Skins just yet

Posted by: gidge | August 2, 2007 1:50 PM

Re. the message board criticism...I don't know about Real GM, but I know for a fact that Ivan's been to Bullets Forever before. I think he scans the internet enough, honestly.

And thanks to Mike for injecting some sense into the Stevenson vs. Blatche. This isn't about talent necessarily, it's about restricted vs. unrestricted. If Stevenson felt dissed, he could have easily jumped ship and we would have lost him. If Blatche is pissed, he has to wait for someone to make an offer, and even then, the Wizards can match. We can afford to lowball Blatche, because even if he doesn't accept and someone else swoops in, we have seven days to match the contract. With Stevenson, if someone else swooped in, he was gone.

Now, it's fair to suggest that perhaps it would have been better to sign Navarro than Stevenson, but I don't think the Stevenson vs. Blatche argument has all that much merit, if you think about it.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 2, 2007 1:53 PM

Agree with you on the Celts. It's rather ironic that people on a Wizards board are dismissing the Celts as just a 3-man team.

Posted by: kalorama | August 2, 2007 1:53 PM

Thank you, Ivan, for putting the haters on BLAST. (This former journalist remembers how difficult it is to separate the game from The Truth.)

Let 'em throw mud, a playa gon' shine anyhow, right?

I got ya back...

Posted by: iceberg | August 2, 2007 1:54 PM

Three thoughts:

1. Ivan, Keep up the great work. This is one of the few blogs (on any subject) I check daily.

2. I would prefer to get nothing (now) for JCN than to give up a player (to help some other team) who could be somewhere between a good and very good NBA player--from day one--in exchange for a gamble (low draft pick or low combination of picks).

3. The team had better not somehow lose Blatche... He obviously has only shown flashes so far, but guys like Jermaine O'Neal were in the league a couple of years before they started to live up to their potential. As badly as this team needs bigs who can actually play on both ends of the floor, I'm HOPING that one of the reasons they made no deal this offseason was because they see things in Blatche and OP that give them great confidence that our front court play will be improved this coming season. Otherwise, this offseason will have been a step backward for us--despite the gains we will see due to another year in the system (stability is good, but we need bigs. Badly. Really badly.)

Bottom line though, I have am a huge EG fan and am a bigtime EJ fan as well. Only critique of either is that I wish EJ had given Blatche more PT when our season went down the tubes last year b/c of injuries. I would have loved to have seen him get 30-40 minutes a night to get him acclimated even moreso to the league and for the FO to see what he is capable of when given consistent minutes.

Posted by: PDiddy | August 2, 2007 1:54 PM

Nov 2nd. For those of us who share season ticket plans....let the negotiating begin!

How many Wednesday night Atlanta and Indiana games do you think I'll have to attend just to get the Nov 2nd Boston tickets?

I agree with the posts about Bos being a tad overated though. NJ and WAS have had a big three for a few years, and we're all painfully aware that the play of the rest of the team actually matters when it comes to winning over 40-45 games.

Posted by: Cballer | August 2, 2007 1:56 PM


What on earth do you have against the Wizards?

February is quite brutal...9 out of 14 on the road? And 3 of the 5 games at home involve the Lakers, Spurs and Jazz.

And damn, 7 out of 8 on the road to end March (the Pistons being the one home game) will be straight Michael Ruffin.

Nevertheless...GO WIZARDS!

Ya'll better have your shyte together at the beginning of the season. Can't afford any slow starts.


Posted by: k-dub | August 2, 2007 1:56 PM

First of all, I am sure I speak for everyone who reads your work when I say we are thankful that all of your "people in Minneapolis" are okay following the terrible bridge collapse on Wednesday evening.

Secondly, please don't pay any attention to the minuscule group of haters/bashers who post their ill-conceived and misinformed rants on this or any blog. Your insight is much appreciated; evident by the 40 or so posts preceding this one offering you praise and support.

I do have a question about JNC: Assuming Ernie doesn't move him, and he returns to Barcelona, when does his contract run out with them, making him available to come to the NBA without having to pay that ridiculous buy-out?

Also: how does Gil feel about the team? Having announced that he'll opt out after this season, he'll be on the floor with essentially the same group of players as last year. Do you know if he feels that the FO has done everything it could to make the team better, and therefore, persuade him to re-sign a year from now.

Posted by: MiamiWizFan | August 2, 2007 1:56 PM

What is the worst case scenario with Navarro if Ernie does nothing? He goes back to Spain and his team doesn't let him try again for, is it two more years?
Maybe by then we decide, oh what the hell let's be nice guys and let him be a FA, but by that time he won't be helping Riley and Shaq win a title. If he goes to back to Europe and trys again next summer, we'll have a little more flexibility ourselves to sign him or he's still worth as much as the lowball offers we're getting this summer. So I can't really see how we've really lost in this.
He picked a bad summer to get himself free, the combined effects of the luxury tax with no amnysty available to write off contracts and the effects of the cap in a year when many teams are looking toward next summer make for a tight market right now.
Blatche does have the option of signing a one year tender with the Wizards and trying for full FA next summer. Other teams aren't going to jump in and overpay for a longterm deal because Ernie has shown that he will wisely let them swallow their own poison pills. Cleveland is choking on the Hughes deal this summer, and only in NY would they be able to swallow Jeffries contract for a guy that struggles to stay in the rotation.
Grunfeld effectively got Stevenson for 16m for 5 yrs., not a bad deal for a decent starter that complements the big three. All of the sign Navarro let Stevenson walk posts ignore the fact that we wouldn't have had a starting two without Stevenson. We already tried that with Daniels and Navarro would get torched by guys like D Wade and Hamilton at the 2. And if you guys think Arenas can defend the 2 just recall the torching that Gordon from Chicago got in the playoffs.
With the last 1.8m of the MLE Navarro could sign the same two deal Stevenson signed last year, opt out next summer and be a full FA. We'd have more cap flexibility to work with next year and if he's really the Spanish Micheal Jordan he'd be rich next summer after proving it in the league. If he flames out what's the worst that could happen, go back to Europe and sign a deal to payoff his buyout.
Navarro's agent thought he could force Ernie's hand and bluff his way where he wants to go, we all see how that one turned out.
Ivan, my suggestion would be that like some other sites there be a time delay in postings. Postings that have no name or are posted using someone else's name are just deleted. It works for other papers and cuts down on the crap.
Would be interested to know what the scuttle butt about Grant is, is Ernie just clearing out all of the old gaurd one by one?

Posted by: GM | August 2, 2007 1:59 PM

As for Stevenson and Blatche:

Where was Stevenson going to go? No one was offering him the kind of money the Wiz were (and yes, the fact that there were absolutely no reports of competing offers from other teams is indicative of a lack of interest). His only option was to leave money on the table and look for a better deal elsewhere. That didn't exactly work out too well for him last time, did it?

No one's questioning Grunfeld's right to lowball Blatche, just the wisdom of the decision to do so, esp. in the wake of giving Stevenson more than he had to to keep him around. And it's not like $11 mil/3 years is bank breaking money for a young player with Blatche's skill and upside.

Posted by: kalorama | August 2, 2007 2:02 PM

Shoot - that's AT boston. Darn

Posted by: Cballer | August 2, 2007 2:02 PM

Not dismissing the Celtics, just don't see how they are suddenly a lock for the finals. Other than the big three, below is the remainder of thier roster:

Tony Allen
Glen Davis
Michael Olowokandi (FA
Kendrick Perkins
Leon Powe
Gabe Pruitt
Rajon Rondo
Brian Scalabrine
Brandon Wallace

Also, I do not see anything ironic about my statement. Please fill be in on the irony.

Posted by: BT | August 2, 2007 2:09 PM

Kalorama, I disagree...the very threat of him leaving is enough to justify Ernie's decision.

The free agent market is a funny thing. Just because someone's not receiving offers right away doesn't mean he won't in the future. A team that missed out on Morris Peterson (not Utah, because of their history with DS2) could easily float an offer to Stevenson, and he could sign with them right away. We saw with the KG scenerio that things can happen out of nowhere, and they can happen really, really quickly. (Yes, Boston and Minnesota had been talking, but the deal had been dead).

Once another team throws their hat into the race with a UFA, it's too late. Ernie's only options are to overpay to entice Stevenson to return or risk losing DeShawn. Again, if he felt JCN was a better fit, that's one thing, but he could have very easily been caught with no shooting guard. Adding another bidder to the situation doesn't help the Wizards in any way.

And I totally agree with GM...continuity is so important with this team after going through so many shooting guards in the past few years.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 2, 2007 2:10 PM

Glad Ivan called out the anonymous posters. Now all we need to do is find a way to make people register so they can only post using their real name. I'm with EG all the way on this one. We have the rights and therefore the leverage. If he stays in Spain for another year, the demand will STILL be there and he will STILL want to get out of his contract and get to the US. Point is, he'll make more in the NBA than in Spain, probably. Once he gets a payday here, he can pay his Spanish team for letting him out. They want him in the NBA, they need him in the NBA. Don't panic, folks. I think we're about to get paid. Though I wouldn't want to send him to Miami, they're about to fall off the table. With all of this Donaghy scrutiny, those phantom calls that Wade got 2 years ago to give Miami the title are gone. In 2008, they win 35 games.

Posted by: mark | August 2, 2007 2:13 PM


I've been a Bullets/Wiz fan for over 25 years (and a Post reader for all that time), and I can honestly say that you have been one of the best beat writers of all times. People are damn spoiled. I remember the years when there was virtually no summer reporting to speak of. I think you've done a good job of keeping us posted whenever there actually is news to report of. And you've given us some great inside scoops. So, forget the haters...

Meanwhile, it will be very, very interesting to see how things go down with the Wiz, regarding Blatche and JCN!

Posted by: Eric | August 2, 2007 2:13 PM

After just posting a comment on your blog, I read the other comments and saw that another Eric posted before me... can't even get first dibs on my own name. Man!

Posted by: Eric | August 2, 2007 2:17 PM

For weeks I was PO's about Stevenson's deal. I don't think he's that good and certainly not worth a lot of money. But when I think about what this team needs at the 2, it's a guy who makes shots when open and tries to play some defense. Well, he was at fitty % for most of the year and tried to play D. I guess we can't ask for more than that. On this team, the 2 shouldn't get more than 5 or 6 shots a game. Had we not drafted Young, I think a different scenario might have played out. We would have probably been more eager to sign JNC/JCN since we'd be short on depth at the position. JCN waited too late, we have our 2 off the bench. The Gilbert factor also plays into signing DS. Though I feel 100% sure Zero is resigning with us, it's still a good idea to keep him happy. BTW, did anyone else read the story about Gil at Barry Farms and feel a little dismayed at the reports of Gil still favoring his knee?

Posted by: mark | August 2, 2007 2:24 PM


I enjoy your blog more than anyone else who writes for the Post. Anyone that does not like you can deal with it. I would not even mention the haters in your blog.

Posted by: D-Bonics | August 2, 2007 2:25 PM

harvey grant is gone? did they give any reasoning why?

i wonder how o-pec feels about that one. him and harvey seemed to be real tight (per the sportsbog from summerleague)

Posted by: hmmmmm | August 2, 2007 2:30 PM

Good reporting, Ivan! I don't know what more can be said about the JCN situation. It really has been beaten to death. I think the signing of D-Mac was the final nail in Ruffin's coffin if that coffin was not already closed. As for Blatche, well we'll see. He has every right to mull the offer and weigh all his options which takes time and I think EG (who also plays the patience card) respects that.

Posted by: low | August 2, 2007 2:30 PM

I am pretty new to the blog, but it has become my favorite place to get Wiz news. Keep up the good work. I agree with the people that think that Boston is not overhyped. I don't think they need to overplay the big 3 in the regular season, they should be going for a top 4 stop in the playoffs (which should not be too hard in the East), and then let those guys carry them in the playoffs. Garnett dosn't automatically put them in the Finals, but the are definately a contender. It seems like the biggest need they have is a slashing point guard who can dish to Pierce and Allen. I can't believe that the ESPN writers like the Heat and Magic to make the playoffs over the Wiz. Orlando and Miami will struggle to make the playoffs this year.

Posted by: CurtisLee | August 2, 2007 2:40 PM


We as a nation need to spend more on road/transit infrastructure, a good way to do this would be to increase gas taxes (with an added benefit of letting the market create more fuel efficiency).

I enjoy the personal info on the blogs, something not allowed in the paper.

Thanks for your work, and ignore the no names who post, they are just trying to kick up some dust.

Posted by: Brandon (in PA) | August 2, 2007 2:40 PM

Regarding Stevenson...

I don't know why everyone is bashing this guy, he deserves every penny of the contract he got. He played solid defense and willing submitted his ego to the BIG 3. For Stevenson... This is going to be the LAST big contract for him, we'll deserved... he earned it, took a risk by taking a 1 year contract of 800k.. He's really good for this team.

As for Blatche, the guy produces very little im sure it thas a lot to do with EJ not really playing him and not allowing him to make mistakes. The deal on the table of 11 mil over 3 years is not so bad. He'll be an UF by the age 23, his skills, scoring and PlayingT should all increase, setting him for a big pay day. The guys is only 20..

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 2, 2007 2:42 PM


Posted by: Bobtimist | August 2, 2007 2:43 PM

Ivan, thanks for the update. I love your blog man, and I'm know we all appreciate it. I am very glad about the McGuire deal, I really like this guy! He is just the type of player we need.

As far as the Navarro situation, the only thing I wonder is have we offered him any kind of contract at all?? Even just the bi-level 1.8 mil for 1 yr, and given him the option of signing with us for less than he wants then being a FA next summer. I assume that no mention of this means we have not, and thus have given him no option of playing in the NBA. His only option is to play in Europe. Is that correct?

Can't wait til training camp! Hope we bring in some undrafted FAs like Darryl Watkins, Zabian Dowdell, JR Reynolds, in addition to Aaron Miles who I thought looked real good running the summer Wiz.


Posted by: Darnell | August 2, 2007 2:43 PM

Still debating the DS contract? It's a reasonable fair contract for a starting 2 guard. There really is nothing to debate.

Blatche is a good talent with a nice upside, but he is still in the developing stage. He can improve into a fine NBA player or he may not improve much at all. The fact that other teams aren't clamoring for his services speaks volumes. Many players show flashes of being very good players without becoming one. Just playing devil's advocate bc I really like Blatche, but EG is running the business as he should.

From a psychological perspective, if Blatche becomes a key cog on a playoff team, then he can get his deal redone. AJ is off the books after this season, thank god!

Posted by: Rob P | August 2, 2007 2:46 PM

Hello all,

i really don't know JCN as a player, from what i've read and what people have described him i have imagined a player like PHX's Leandro Barbosa. 6'3", super quick, great shooter, awesome 6th Man. TELL me, if this sounds like JCN.. How many teams can use a "Barbosa"?

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 2, 2007 2:58 PM

Kalorama and Mark. I agree again with your posts. A 11 million dollar deal over 3 years comes out to about 3.6 mill a year. I think that might be a "little" high but I think it would still be a steal in a year. Something around 3 million a year for 4 years is more fair to me for both sides.

AB's upside is off the charts. What would he be in college right now a junior and possibly a top 5 pick in the draft?

Also trying to lock him into a 5 year deal at 2.5 a year is a "slap in the face". What idiot agent would let his client sign a crazy deal like that? I am hoping Ernie's is just offering this as an "opening bid". If not, "NO RESPECT"...

Yea, Yea, Yea, I know. Why bid against yourself right? Well, guess what? As Kalorma has said numerous times we did it with Stevenson, didn't we? If anything it should be done for a homegrown. I hope the Wiz don't start acting like the Redskins and letting their homegrowns walk because they did not want to pay them fair market value, but then go out and overpay for outsiders coming in.

There is a thing called respect that is not being practiced here with EG and AB. 3 years at 11 million is very,very, fair for a young dude with AB's upside. Offering 5 years at 2.5 is an insult offer and it has the looks of something shady and disrespectful. AB and his agent know that and this very thing might make for a potential relationship riff in the future.

If EJ ever decides to give him major minutes look the heck out. By this time next year that 11 million dollar contract for 3 years will look like a complete "steal".

AB should have been boys with Gilbert and he would have probably got the contract he deserved. When Gil (still my boy) speaks, people (oops. Management) listen. Just ask Stevenson and EJ...........

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 2, 2007 3:00 PM

I like the mention of the Hughes and Jefferies deals. This is exactly why in EG I trust. He ain't perfect, but he is one of the best.

Posted by: Rob P | August 2, 2007 3:00 PM

Ivan, if you need daps, you got 'em.

Wolves also got Gomes and Green...don't undervalue those two guys.

EG is getting closer with Blatche's numbers. That's why it's called negotiating.

And, he'll get something for the Navarro rights..which will promptly be second-guessed by all the bigmouths.

For me, the question is down the middle...how will the Thomas/Heywood stuff finally be resolved by November?

Thanks again, Ivan, for doing a fine and responsible job.

Posted by: joe c | August 2, 2007 3:01 PM

Harvey was Pecherov's tutor. Maybe someone popped in an old Bullets video in the Betamax and realized that a Harvey Grant clone is NOT what we need on this team. We need rebounding and Harvey's best 2 years were at 7.2 and 6.8 per game. His best year in blocked shots was .8 per game. Horace, on the other hand, averaged 8.4 and 10.0 over those same 2 seasons and over 1 blocked shot per game over 17 seasons. We should have traded Grants.

Posted by: mark | August 2, 2007 3:08 PM

Again, Bullets Fever, as mentioned above, this is an unrestricted vs. restricted free agent issue. It has nothing to do with the guy's talents.

Play the respect card all you want, but I guarantee you that if Blatche was unrestricted, you wouldn't be seeing this.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 2, 2007 3:10 PM

Why can't we AB sign a one year contract to get Full Bird Rights next season?

Why can't we just buyout Thomas contract, save about $2 mil a year over his final 3 years and sign JCN.

Posted by: Two questions | August 2, 2007 3:11 PM

Is it possible for the Wiz to sign JC Navarro and pay the luxury tax? I'm thinking it would be just one year, since Antawn's huge contract goes off the books after the upcoming season, and he is getting to old to sign for huge amounts.

If so, how much luxury tax for 2007-2008 season are we talking about?

JCN would be the only shooting guard who can shoot. Young might be OK (not great) from mid-range, but AD and Stevenson are not true shooters.

Posted by: Ed | August 2, 2007 3:12 PM

We are over the cap so we can only sign JCN for all part of an exception. Thats why they are called exceptions

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 3:15 PM

Keep on Truckin man!

Posted by: BigCarter | August 2, 2007 3:17 PM

Two questions:

1. They have full Bird Rights on Blatche already, thanks to the Gilbert Arenas rule.

2. Probably because Abe doesn't want to pay it out of his own pocket. Also, I doubt it would save that much, and it would leave us even thinner up front.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 2, 2007 3:18 PM

"Two Answers" for "Two questions"

1) Wizards already basically have Blatche's Full Bird Rights. They can match any offer using the Early Bird Exception and can pay him any amount they wish without regards to the MLE.

AB can take the 1-year qualifying offer and yes the Wizards would have full bird rights to him so they can offer a bigger contract than any other team. The biggest drawback of course is that he's no longer restricted and EG doesn't have the ability match other team's offers anymore.

There is no way EG is offering a bigger 1 year deal then the minimal qualifying offer, as it makes no sense for the team.

2) Etan has to agree to any sort of buyout. And it would have to be an extermely generous offer in order for Etan to tear up his current deal. Hell, Etan is probably lookng forward to that raise he's going get because of his trade kicker.

No way Etan is going to agree to a buyout that costs him and saves the Wizards millions.

Posted by: Mike | August 2, 2007 3:21 PM

Ivan...Praying for your family man and the city after that tradgedy...As far as the Wiz are concerned...

1. Give Blatche the 3 year 11 million (They gave Etan more than that without nearly as much upside)
2. Trade Etan/AD in a package to Minnesota for Rashard McCants to save money
(That gives them a scoring guard off the bench and cap relief)
3. Sign Navarro to replace AD
(Daniels couldn't hit a jumper if you paid him...Navarro can and he is several years younger)
4. Sign Calvin Booth to Backup (Brenda...AKA...Pillow)

*Boston will not be that good because they have no dept...Teams that are deep will run those wrong side over 30 guys off the floor in 4 quarters!

Posted by: Brandon | August 2, 2007 3:26 PM

It's an Ivan Carter love fest up in here.

Now if we could just teach IC about the salary cap to make his blogs more accurate.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 3:27 PM

Play the respect card all you want, but I guarantee you that if Blatche was unrestricted, you wouldn't be seeing this.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 2, 2007 03:10 PM

Pradamaster, I went on your website the other day, and I liked what I saw. Very good analysis and I pretty much agreed with you on your analysis of the players.

Now, can I ask a question? Why wait for it to get to the point of AB becoming a UFA by taking a 1 year tender because of this disrespectful offer for 5 years? You take the chance of him "blowing up" off a 1 year tender and just leave because of spite towards the Wiz and no love be shown. Why take that chance over an additional $500,000.00 added to that 2.5 mill right now??

Are the Wizards that "capped out" where they can not pay on a $500,000.00 dollar for dollar luxary tax? It would only be for a year until Jamison's salary came off of the books. Again, where is Ted Leonis when we need him.

"Again, Bullets Fever, as mentioned above, this is an unrestricted vs. restricted free agent issue. It has nothing to do with the guy's talents".

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 2, 2007 03:10 PM

Pradamaster - this is also true. But you have to remember these are "people" first then players. By that I mean, they want their supervisors and their company to respect them and show them some love sometimes to. This is all I am saying. Why would it hurt to increase 2.5 million to 3.0 million to salvage a "potential burned bridge"?

Why am I having flasebacks to the drafting of Juwan Howard when Abe P. decided he was going to change the "draft slotting system" and have Nash offer a contract that was lower than the guy "drafted behind" Juwan????? Can someone please tell me how that all turned out?? (105 million for a average player that handcuffed the club for years).

Remember, AB is boys with Haywood. He has seen first hand how if you are not a "favorite" on that team what could happen to you and your minutes. The kid is seeing alot of stuff that is negative and now he is becoming part of it........

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 2, 2007 3:34 PM

AD is the only true PG we have... He isn't going anywhere...

This year's theme is Defense and JCN doesn't play D.. nor does he pass that well. the guy is a scoring machine.. could be great off the bench.. We just gotta trade some over our Scrubs...

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 2, 2007 3:34 PM

Darnell, I'm wondering the same thing, we could offer him the 1.8m we have left as the first yr. of a two yr. deal like Stevenson got with an opt out. If he's the real deal he could prove it here and be a FA next yr.
The advantage of that deal to me would be we'd have the ability to make a move at the trade deadline to get some frontline help if we had a surplus of good guards. The other thing it would do would allow for Arenas to start out slow if the knee was a little slow coming around.
We might have to go over the Luxury Cap to bring Navarro here on a 1.8m deal, but the flexibility that it would give Grunfeld could be worth it.
Stevenson was going to go to any team that offered him a fair deal if we didn't. That's why they call it Free agency, if Blatche plays one year under a tender offer he will earn the same right. If he blows out a knee in that yr. he's...well you know. It's happened before, guys playing for the big payday are back on the street with a bad knee and not much to show for it.
12.5m or play a year for the tender, in the end what do you think his agent will advise? Ernie's not lowballing anybody, he's just building a solid team with the depth to contend. Blatche should be smart enough to know this is a business and he's not going to get a payday til he's shown that he can become a rotation player. He's not that consistant yet, for ever flash of brillance there's been some times he's looked really raw. His time will come, this league is not doling out big money to guys that flash it like they did a few years ago.
Sure we'd love to move Etan's contract along with Navarro(our biggest chip). But if that doesn't work out hold your chips for another hand. It's summer, there's still alot of time, no matter what Navarro's agent thinks.

Posted by: GM | August 2, 2007 3:34 PM

1st: Ivan and Mike are the best.
Seriously, we get great reporting and insight here. Way more than in years past. Haters can bite.

2. Fever you must be seriously running a temperature if you think AB deserves 3mil+ a year. He is a sprout, I'm not saying he would be severely overpaid, but he hasn't done anything to really deserve 3mil a year. You need to get some rest, get your temperature down. People around here sound like they are part of AB's family. I like the kid and all, but we can't afford to over pay for potential around here. People need to get real.

DS got a fair deal, he is not overpriced, and he will be a good value for his money.

How many games do you see AB starting this year? DS? yeah? exactly.

Posted by: greg | August 2, 2007 3:39 PM

To be clear, Bullets Fever, I'm not advocating the one year tender either. It's bad news all around -- Blatche doesn't get paid right away, and the Wizards have to deal with him being a UFA next offseason. I just don't agree with those that say we should have signed Blatche right away.

Ernie can and should be patient here. Worse comes to worse, Blatche gets another offer, and Ernie matches. I see no scenario where Blatche isn't here next year.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 2, 2007 3:43 PM

Blatche and Stevenson are completely different situations!

One is a solid veteran that has been a key member of the team. The other is a kid trying to get there. One is a 2 guard where there is no depth on the team. The other is the 5th/6th best forward on the team at this time. One was a unrestricted FA. The other is a restricted FA. One was a starter. The other barely got off the bench at times.

Hell, let the kid earn it! Paying for potential is dangerious and it's not like we are completely lowballing him. Kwame anyone?

Posted by: Rob P | August 2, 2007 3:48 PM

Can you imagine what would happen if the Celtics picked up JCN? That would be a beast of a team and they would definitely be able to compete not just the Eastern conf title but for the NBA title.

I hope Ernie is smart enough not to deal JCN to a conference foe like the Celts, otherwise it's another 7 or 8 seed for the Zards.

Posted by: hibachi | August 2, 2007 4:03 PM

I think I've probably posted this before but... We seem to be spending a lot of time debating the contract status of a guy who is at best the 7th man on this team. I like AB but we all know that EJ is gonna play Songaila first off the bench before AB sees any minutes. I'm not saying he's the 7th best ( he may or may not be..it's debatable) but in EJ's eyes, he's still not dependable. Based on EJ's summer league comments about McGuire (reminds him of kenyon Martin) I wouldn't be surprised if McGuire gets off the bench first.

Posted by: mark | August 2, 2007 4:06 PM

oh man fever i didn't even read your comment about respect?

Your are sooo confused. This is a business. Paying somebody doesn't show them respect or love. And making a qualifying offer doesn't mean you insulted them. BUSINESS. Jeeze, you sound like a member of his entourage. For real, what in the name of god is insulting about offering a young player with some potential? 2.5 mil a year? How about 200K? Is that insulting? I mean how twisted is your sense of self worth if you worry about insults in a business deal? Negotiators make offers, and counter offers are made, a general region of value is determined and if the parties can come to arrangements a deal is made. No insult is taken from either side if a deal cannot be made.

The LAST THING ON EARTH we want a GM doing is throwing money at guys to 'show them love'. That is so ridiculous. You can root for that team it's called the Knicks.

And if someone wants to whine, 'well they showed DS some love' they are negotiating from completely DIFFERENT stand points.

AB = Restricted. still learning / potential
DS = Unrestricted. competent starter

These two players have precedents in the league for their value, and neither offer was outside of the market value for a similar player in that situation.

Also, people say that DS wasn't getting other offers, but we don't know how much pressure he was putting on that. Frankly, his deal got done fairly early into free agency, and it is entirely feasible that he could have garnered other similar offers by waiting.


Posted by: greg | August 2, 2007 4:08 PM

Heard something on the radio about Andray getting arrested...how is that going to affect his negotiations?

Posted by: jamesm | August 2, 2007 4:09 PM

Fever wrote - "Call me stupid, but isn't this a low ball offer to one of our "stud" young players? 2.5 million for 5 years?????????? Come onnnnnnnn!!!!"

OK man, here it is... stoopid.

yeah, dood, in your dreams he is a stud. He hasn't put up stud numbers yet. Is that EJ? Who knows, but the fact is he is a young player with potential, and I like his game, but he is not yet a young stud. 12.5 million guaranteed is not a lowball offer.

Posted by: greg | August 2, 2007 4:12 PM

This just in blog friends.

Our own "Andre Blatche" arrested today for solicitation.

Currently down in cell block as D.C. Superior Court as I write this waiting to be arraigned.

If he was driving....his car now belongs to D.C.'s finest.

Was he the one that entertained a bullet before? can't remember..

This time he went after the bootay!!


Posted by: Robin | August 2, 2007 4:12 PM

on the other hand i completely agree with you that EG recognizes JCN has some issues. So yo u can't be all bad ;)

Posted by: greg | August 2, 2007 4:14 PM

I'll walk downstairs to see what the outcome will be to keep you updated.

They actually could have just let him go but uh looks like they want to make an example of this guy for whatever reason.

Not sure who judge is in C-10 today.

I'll get back to you.

Posted by: Robin | August 2, 2007 4:16 PM

Hey Ivan, believe me, as a left coast Wizards fan, I need....NEED your blog to get my Wizards fix. I don't have the luxury of local news, etc. Keep doing what you're doing, you get me through each day with my Wizards fix.

anyways, I think EG is right for holding out on JCN. he holds all the cards. he could always say that he didn't get a good offer and let JCN go back to the Euroleague. I'd rather that than see JCN go somewhere in the NBA for peanuts.

Posted by: RT in LA | August 2, 2007 4:19 PM

Great news !! He's definitely accepting our offer now. I may sound facetious but it really may be one of the best things to happen. It wasn't for drugs or anything major and it definitely drives his price down. There shouldn't be a public backlash for signing him because the charge isn't really all that bad. One question, though...Why does a young dude in the NBA have to pay for ...??? He must have NO GAME.

Posted by: mark | August 2, 2007 4:19 PM

Ivan you are great. Just because some people are rude, insensitive, disrespectful and full of themselves, don't think they represent more than a bare minority of people blogging here. The vast majority of us know you are a terrific journalist and reporter. Many of these people need to "get a life" and recognize that Wizards basketball is just sports -- entertainment pure and simple. The horrific bridge collapse in MN again makes us all realize how insignificant pro basketball is in the big picture. Fun, escapism, great to debate and discuss, a joy to watch -- but nothing compared to our family and friends.

Posted by: Rockville | August 2, 2007 4:21 PM

We offered Blatche more money than any other team in the league. The same people who said we shouldn't bid against ourselves for DS now want to do exactly that for Andray.

BTW, we're NEGOTIATING. Its an ongoing process. It takes nerve that seems to be absent in many around here.

Posted by: Monte | August 2, 2007 4:27 PM

man, now there is a problem.

I didn't mention it before, but I am a little worried about where this kid's head is at. I mean his old nickname Bullet Proof, was about being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Rumors about him and PJ Ramos (are you looking up to that guy) partying too much were common last year. And then there was some tidbit about him and Haywood being extra chummy, which IMO shouldn't mean too much, but haywood is a bit of a head-case. You add this latest bit about an NBA player trolling for solicitation in his car? Man that is not only illegal, but stunningly dumb. I honestly think this has to hurt his value.

He has loads of potential, but potential cuts both ways. Potential means you could be a big stud or a big bust.

Posted by: greg | August 2, 2007 4:27 PM

Blatche needs to watch where he gets his "stuff" from, he doesn't want to end up infected like Mike Vick.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 4:29 PM

Another burning question...Where do you 'solicit' in broad daylight at 3 in the afternoon? Sounds like they were trying to make an example out of him for sure. So, now that he accepts our offer (and he surely will now) what's left? We have JCN/JNC and 2 centers that hate each other. We can now return our attention to that. It appears that the only thing we need to do now is trade NJC for a pick/picks since we would be unwilling to take on a bad contract to get rid of a bad contract (Etan). We may be stuck with BTH/Etan for another year. I vote we tell CJN to chill til '08 and get something decent for him. We waited for him, now he waits for us.

Posted by: mark | August 2, 2007 4:31 PM

On the other hand, maybe Carter should read RealGM. Reports are breaking there now with more details of Blatche's arrest last night for solicitation of a prostitute.

Not kidding. And that story would be worth an update to this post like right about now. I remember when Blatche was shot it took the Post two days to report it--even though it happened here! They only found out from reading the Syracuse newspapers.

Posted by: KTV | August 2, 2007 4:32 PM

First. Let me clairfy my stance Greg and Rob P. I am in no way saying Stevenson is a "scrub" or anything like that. I like Stevenson's game and the way it fits here with our present unit.

Is his contract fair for a starting "2", yes it is? Should we be paying on "potential" as some of you stated for AB, heck no?

I agree with all of your points, but the reason I am stating my posts in this nature is because it looks like, because of salary cap problems, we have been forced to choose between Stevenson and AB because Abe does not want to pay any luxary tax this year. Can I blame him, heck no again.

However, you have a timing issue here. As a good owner and manager you have to look at the future. Like Etan, Stevenson is what he is. Steady and not flashy. That is what we need to complement the big three.

Now, this is what I am worried about and why I was so adament about the Wiz not paying Stevenson what they paid him. I know Abe is worried about that dang luxuary tax and he is crazy enough to let someone walk (i.e. AB and Navarro) in order not to pay it.

Seeing that I know that, it looked to me like we had to make a "salary choice" between AB and Stevenson because of Abe's attempt at not paying any luxuary tax (Ted Leonsis where are you).

You can find replacement "2's" a whole lot easier then 6 foot 11 power forwards who can handle the pill, play defense and REBOUND (unlike his boy Haywood). I bring the respect issue up because that is an important element in any negotiation.

When it comes time to AB making a decision on this lowball offer Abe had EG offer to AB, I am afraid AB's agent is going to tell AB to sign a 1 year offer and test the UFA market next year.

Guess what, if the boy blows up, like most of us know he is very well cabable of doing, 3 million dollars a year is not going to keep him here. Now it will cost like 6 to 7 million a year over 7 years to keep him. You do the math.

Plus, he will want to leave regardless because of the original lowball offer they made him. I just want to protect our "investment" at all cost, that's all. Gil's contract will be up and his new salary is going to "hurt" the cap too.

If all this means I had some negative things to say about Stevenson, so be it. It is nothing against Stevenson, because again I think he is great here, but if it means his contract meant AB is going to be forced to sign a 1 year offer then I am not pleased with that. Feel me on my stance now....??

I hope this clarifies my position, since so many people feel I am riding AB's jock. I am around basketball a lot and I know when I see some talent and this young boy has not even scratched the surface yet. 3 million a year for 4 years will be a steal for this kind of talent if Eddie ever puts him on the floor.........

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 2, 2007 4:33 PM

just seeing the entry about AB's arrest.

Oh well, there goes my arguement for the young fella. He better take the 5 year 2.5 offer now. Nothing I say now in his defense. He just blew himself some dough.

Man, I hope this is the beginning of something negative starting to start.....

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 2, 2007 4:39 PM

typo's on first post. sorry.

just seeing the entry about AB's arrest.

Oh well, there goes my arguement for the young fella. He better take the 5 year 2.5 offer now. Nothing I can say now in his defense. He just blew himself some dough.

Man, I hope this is not the beginning of something negative starting with him.

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 2, 2007 4:41 PM

Bullets Fever, I understand where you're coming from but I'm wondering ..does your stance on AB change now that he has been arrested? It should scare off other teams and in hindsight it appears that it worked out. I'm assuming that his arrest will facilitate our signing him. For the record, I have wondered all year why he didn't get more minutes. He was infinitely better than some of the guys who played in front of him, mistakes and all.

Posted by: mark | August 2, 2007 4:44 PM

I was (and still am) under the belief that the "1 year qualifying offer" only applies to unrestricted FAs taken in the first round following the end of their 4th season of their guaranteed deals (Jarvis Hayes, for example). I don't believe it applies to second round picks after two years making the league minimum (although I wouldn't swear to it in court).

As for news of the arrest ... "Innocent until proven guilty" I always say.

Posted by: kalorama | August 2, 2007 4:49 PM

After reading some of the posts on this board a couple ideas / thoughts popped into my head.

Any chance that Eddie has intentionally set a way too high price for a JCN trade because he doesn't want any takers unless he can rip them off. BC in reality he wants JCN. But by going this route he can then offer (as someone else stated) JCN the rest of the MLE in a two year deal similar to stevens last year and say listen if you want to play in the nba as you claim take it or leave it and wink wink we'll pay you more next year if you opt out.

Secondly this line of reasoning makes sense in regards to the latest offer to Blatche. Correct me if i'm wrong but if we only pay blatche 2.5 mil this year and JCn 1.8 mil this year we can get both of them and still avoid the luxury tax? We would then get both of them and would have the space next year to pay JCN more and max out Gilbert.

Regardless if we can get blatche locked up long term on the cheap that would be amazing. We could give him an opt out after year 3 if he's reached certain ppg or other incentives or something.

Posted by: Dante | August 2, 2007 4:49 PM

"This just in blog friends.

Our own "Andre Blatche" arrested today for solicitation."

Lol, sounds like a typical Wiz/Bullets player. Too funny.

Thanks Robin.

- Ray

PS - Sorry about back home Mr. Cranky-pants. That's a terrible, terrible thing to have happen. It's hard for me to watch the coverage. Anyway, I rib you a lot on here but I expect it back in return. Just let it go man.

Posted by: Ray | August 2, 2007 4:56 PM

kalorama, here's some reading for your enjoyment...

From that CBA FAQ...
Restricted free agency exists only on a limited basis. It is allowed following the fourth year of rookie "scale" contracts for first-round draft picks. It is also allowed for all veteran free agents who have been in the league three or fewer seasons.


In order to make their free agent a restricted free agent, a team must submit a qualifying offer to the player by June 30. The amount of the qualifying offer for players on rookie "scale" contracts is based on the player's draft position. The qualifying offer for all other players must be for 125% of the player's previous salary, or the player's minimum salary plus $175,000, whichever is greater. The qualifying offer must be for one season. A player can elect to accept his qualifying offer (the qualifying offer must be accepted by March 1) and play the following season under its terms. This is sometimes done in order to become an unrestricted free agent the following summer.

Posted by: Mike | August 2, 2007 5:03 PM

Actually, Andray might need some "guidance" it appears.
He's here on a solicitation charge but is also a bench warrant return for failure to appear in Oct. 06.

Who are his "people?" This shouldn't be happening. He's starting out like Kwame
lost and one incident after the other.

Eddie Jordan...get with it.

After watching and listening to the 49er players talking about Bill Walsh -he's involvment with each of them...

Eddie & his staff could take some lessons.

Posted by: Robin | August 2, 2007 5:14 PM

I know what you are saying with regards to AB potentially leaving, but i think the mistake is to assume anyone has been insulted. I def agree he should take either the qualifying offer or the 12.5 now.

We shall see what will be. AB definitely has upside, and I too wondered about why his minutes seemed to come and go. The easy out is to say that was EJ just messing up, but the possibility remains that AB may have some trouble with the game at times. Obviously to look at him (or kwame) it isn't a physical thing. He is in good shape, and very athletic. But I think we are starting to see a picture of a guy with some head problems, possibly lack of focus. And you know what if he deserves a larger contract he needs to prove it ASAP. I would be surprised if any teams matched what we offered now. He is negotiating against the risk of accepting the 1yr qualifying offer.

Posted by: greg | August 2, 2007 5:18 PM

In all fairness to the young fella, it's not like he was doing something REALLY bad. It's not like he was out trying to buy crack ....uhhh...never mind.

Posted by: Mark | August 2, 2007 5:27 PM


Blatche finished.
Status Hearing - August 31, 07.

Not making an example of him really. Simple solicitation charge. But he did fail to return in Oct for something basic...driving without a permit.

judge prob hoping "someone will step to offer some guidance"

There are lots of "athletes" here quite a bit. Rod Strickland was a regular.

Posted by: Robin | August 2, 2007 5:31 PM

Posting late in the game here, but can you blame me? Working off of dial-up on vacation in Europe. Just want to add my support and praise to Ivan.

Considering how dreadful dial-up is, Ivan, you should know that the two sites I check are my email site and the wizards insider. keep up the good work!

Posted by: Nick | August 2, 2007 5:33 PM

Marm, not the usual DC crack, just the different type of crack...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 5:35 PM

Mark me down as pro Ivan and Michael too. I think some people complain because they can. Start your own blog if you don't like it.

As far as Blatche, I have been under the assumption that his maket value was higher than his talent level because that's the way it is with young players. It's the dreaded P(otential) word. I'd be shocked if he signed for less than $3 mil. Ivan has brought up Amir Johnson's contract a million times. Is anyone listenting?

Posted by: Patrick | August 2, 2007 5:42 PM

Eddie Jordan isn't Blatche's father or legal guardian. He's his boss. It's really not his job to make sure Andray keeps his nose clean (any more than it's the job of the 29 other NBA coaches with young players who get into (much more and much bigger) trouble.

Posted by: kalorama | August 2, 2007 5:56 PM

Keep up the good work, Ivan (with your cute self).

This is the only basketball column I read because you always keep me coming back for me more!!!

Posted by: sports fan | August 2, 2007 6:42 PM

anytime you want to hook me up with your job, i´ll take it. there are always haters but that´s just cause their jealous! you got a great gig.

Posted by: Nobcentral | August 2, 2007 6:58 PM

Hey Ivan:

I only believe in my local sports reporters so you have my votes.

If it's coming from you or Michael it's legit, there is no doubt about it.

Posted by: William | August 2, 2007 9:18 PM

Poor JNC. His rights were on the worst hands... And that has completely ruined his jump to the NBA.
But who cares, haha! Go Home!

Posted by: JNC | August 3, 2007 6:09 AM

Come on boys:

Manos arriba, esto es un atraco!*
Manos arriba, esto es un atraco!

*(Put you hands up, this is a holdup)

Lots of thanks Earnie, you are destroying the dreams of a special player.

Greetings from barcelona.

Posted by: FREE NAVARRO | August 3, 2007 8:06 AM

Come on boys:

¡Manos arriba, esto es un atraco!*
¡Manos arriba, esto es un atraco!

*(Put you hands up, this is a holdup)

Lots of thanks Earnie, you are destroying the dreams of a special player.

Greetings from Barcelona (where is Woody Allen filming, Hahahah).

Posted by: FREE NAVARRO | August 3, 2007 8:09 AM

it's = it is
it's home opener = it is home opener

Posted by: Get it right | August 3, 2007 8:45 AM

Fantastic beat coverage. Like writers who get the facts and keep readers seriously informed.

Ivan, keep it coming!

Think EG is in the 8 to 10 range wrt best GM rankings. The Butler deal was a heist and one of his best. Hope Blatche works out well but wake up calls only work on those willing to heed them.

Posted by: paul spraggs | August 8, 2007 6:46 AM

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