Headed to Salt Lake City

Getting ready to hop a flight from LAX to Salt Lake for tonight's game against the Jazz. No shootaround today so I can't give you an update on Antonio Daniels yet. He left last night's game in the first quarter clutching his left wrist and he was in obvious pain. He did not return and left the locker room before I could grab him last night. (deadline was crazy as you can imagine). Coach Eddie Jordan said he didn't know Daniels' status when he met with us after the game. I'll know more later when I get to the arena for pre-game.

That wrist has been a problem for Daniels for at least two months and I have a strong feeling based on conversations with him that it's worse than a sprain. However, he wouldn't say too much. We'll see. It's a problem because this team does not have another point guard and really hasn't had one all season (except for the Mike Wilks 10-day experiment).

This is where Abe Pollin's insistence on not paying the luxury tax combined with the injury issues have really hurt this team. Not that Abe is alone - several teams have made the hard and fast decision to avoid the tax at all costs - but every team doesn't have one three-time all-star out with a knee injury and his backup playing on a bad wrist for the two most important months of the season.

From my seat, this team has needed a quick, defensive-minded point guard type coming off that bench all season and simply hasn't had one.

I asked Gilbert Arenas last night whether the team's luxury tax policy would impact his thinking this summer. His answer was interesting.

The question I asked was as follows: "Given the luxury tax policy, do you think this organization is truly committed to winning a championship?"

Arenas: "Going over the luxury tax doesn't really have anything to do with winning a championship. I mean, look at the Knicks (that was funny). San Antonio has won championships and they haven't crossed the luxury tax. Players have to take sacrifices. Tim Duncan has made sacrifices to help the team and I'm willing to do the same thing to keep this young nucleous intact."

Nick Young was really flowing last night and it was fun watching him react to the performance. The kid grew up in Los Angeles, played a short bike ride down the road from StaplesCenter at USC and views Kobe Bryant with awe so doing what he did last night had to be the highlight of his life so far. It was really neat to see the crowd react to him as well. Even Lakers fans were rooting him on, especially the folks sitting court side.

The last time the Wiz came to Staples to face the Clippers, Young was going through a classic rookie funk and played less than two minutes.

Eddie Jordan: "He sort of grew up from the Clipper game. We didn't think he was prepared to play. From that time to this time, he's worked on being a professional, worked hard on his game and it showed tonight. I'm happy for him, not just as a basketball player but as a human being. "

By Ivan Carter |  March 31, 2008; 1:04 PM ET
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"This is where Abe Pollin's insistence on not paying the luxury tax combined with the injury issues have really hurt this team."

I couldn't agree more with regard to Dishonest Abe.

Injury wise, they've been able to persevere throughout this season, but won't have such luck during the playoffs where they will have to play one team for max of 7 games, and Les BouleS weaknesses could be amplified. Let's just hope Les BouleS don't get swept again in a first round one and doner.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 1:41 PM

Ivan, you are absolutely correct about the luxury tax issue. When GA and AD are both out, we have no point guard!

Ivan what's going on with Etan? Is he done for the season and the playoffs? We don't read anything about him these days. Even Caron unintentionally dissed Etan last week when he said "When Gilbert comes back, we'll be whole again." Why isn't Etan traveling with the team, even if he cannot play?

Posted by: Rockville | March 31, 2008 1:52 PM

Etan has to be getting ready for next year -- I don't see him returning this year. That begs the question why the Wiz did not seek some sort of injury exception (not sure how that implicates the luxury tax situation though).

Posted by: Chad | March 31, 2008 2:17 PM

It can't blame Abe. The cost-benefit of going over the lux tax for a Mike Wilks just doesn't make sense. Yeah, maybe we win a few more games. But is the marginal benefit of Mike Wilks going to make this team much more likely to make a deep playoff run? Likely, not. And a very deep playoff run is what would be needed to justify going over the tax and losing out on a multi-million dollar disbursement.

What this teams is to get healthy. Period.

Posted by: Ben | March 31, 2008 2:20 PM

"Etan has to be getting ready for next year -- I don't see him returning this year. That begs the question why the Wiz did not seek some sort of injury exception (not sure how that implicates the luxury tax situation though).

Posted by: Chad | March 31, 2008 02:17 PM "

Question answered. Les BouleS weren't looking to spend any more money.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 2:24 PM

"It can't blame Abe. The cost-benefit of going over the lux tax for a Mike Wilks just doesn't make sense. Yeah, maybe we win a few more games. But is the marginal benefit of Mike Wilks going to make this team much more likely to make a deep playoff run? Likely, not. And a very deep playoff run is what would be needed to justify going over the tax and losing out on a multi-million dollar disbursement.

What this teams is to get healthy. Period.

Posted by: Ben | March 31, 2008 02:20 PM "

Hmmm, how about fielding enough players so that they can actually run a 5 on 5 practice without needing help from the janitors and waterboys at VC?

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 2:25 PM

Exactly, Ben. If there was somebody sitting out there who would actually make a difference, it might be worth fretting about. But most of the D-league level guys that are available aren't worth the expense.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 2:26 PM

DC man, stop whining.

Great question Ivan, I agree we could use some more depth at the PG right now... but...

Is it really going to make that much of a difference to have some 3rd tier pg backing this team up?

Is it worth it to spend whatever that salary is + the loss of the disbursement? This team needs a back up pg sure, but it really needs it's star players on the court. Spending 4mil on Mike Wilks would really open this team to criticism.

Mango 88

I like how you have no response about Kobe's lack of a deep playoff run without Shaq. Surely if Gilbert is expected to "carry" his team deep into the playoffs Kobe would too...

No?

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 2:32 PM

"Mango 88

I like how you have no response about Kobe's lack of a deep playoff run without Shaq. Surely if Gilbert is expected to "carry" his team deep into the playoffs Kobe would too...

No?

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 02:32 PM "

WTF are you talking about? Kobe?

Yeah, you're right about Kobe.

It's not like Kobe has ever led the league in scoring.

It's no like Kobe has ever been an All NBA Selection.

It's not like Kobe plays both ends of the court and has been named to the All Defensive team.

It's not like Kobe ever scored 81 points in a game.

It's not like Shaq has ever won a championship without an all star sidekick.

It's not like MJ ever won anything with Scottie Pippen, Bison Dele, Dennis Rodman, Paxson, and Kerr making critical contributions.

Oh well, read up on Kobe. He's got modest credentials compared to all world Gilby Arenas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_bryant

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 2:43 PM

lol

MumboJumbo 88 is now listing Wiki as his source for everything! ROFL

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 2:47 PM

I don't think the Wiz doctors will get suckered into clearing GA sooner if AD can't play. Expect the medicals to remain stubborn about it and for good reason....Etan will not be back for the regular season or playoffs, forget it! The fact that almost nothing has been mentioned about him lately should tell us all we need to know. It would be a shock if they let poetry go out there at this point in the season. If Abe refuses to pay the tax, then that's the way it goes, but be prepared for whatever consequences come from it. But there are also consequences for paying the tax. So it comes down to what set of risks you are more willing to put up with.

Posted by: low | March 31, 2008 2:50 PM

"From my seat, this team has needed a quick, defensive-minded point guard type coming off that bench all season and simply hasn't had one."

Hindsight is 20/20, but I have to say that I've always wondered whether we should have drafted Rondo instead of Pech in the '06 draft. While he would have spent last year as the 3rd string PG, it sure would be great to have him now.

Posted by: '06 draft | March 31, 2008 2:55 PM

If you want to discuss paying the luxury tax honestly, you have to phrase the question this way:

Abe Pollin gave Ernie Grunfeld a budget. Grunfeld put together a team this season (knowing that Gilbert could have injury problems) that could be without a PG if Daniels got hurt. Grunfeld also didn't put together a team that had enough guys to practice 5 on 5. The questions are: (1) Should Grunfeld go to his boss and say, "I screwed up -- are you willing to pay the luxury tax so that we have a PG and enough guys to practice?"; and (2) Should Pollin pay the luxury tax to bail Grunfeld out, or should he hold the line?

It's not as simple as "Pollin is cheap." He gave his GM instructions, and his GM blew the budget.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 3:03 PM

"It's not as simple as "Pollin is cheap." He gave his GM instructions, and his GM blew the budget.

Posted by: | March 31, 2008 03:03 PM "

You have to take it a step back and say that Abe made piss poor decisions by hiring Gar Heard, MJ (Doug Collins & Leonard Hamilton) who ended up making poor decisions on the draft with players who either didn't realize their potential here, or realized their potential here and it wasn't what the brass thought.

Thus, even under EG now, he still has years into the future to try to undo the mess that Abe created under his watch.

Also, you have to blame Abe for not spending enough on scouts to pick up good international players such as scola, ginobli, parker, etc.

Abe is a senior owner in the NBA, but has been so far behind the curve with regard to getting his franchise to join the 21'st century.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 3:09 PM

are you trying to prove my point.

Breath deep. Ok, it's just a board, relax...

Here it is:

You like to say Gilby isn't a top player in the league. Almost everyday you whine about this.

And your reasoning (most often) aside from problems with his publicity and off court life focuses on his inability to WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS and "CARRY" a team deep into the playoffs. If you have written once you have written it a thousand times. (go quote yourself)

My point is, we can all agree that Kobe is clearly one of if not THE top on-court talents. Yes? OK, take a sip of water before you move on...

So Kobe is great on court, but even as great as KOBE IS... you still following munchkin?...

Kobe hasn't gone deep into the playoffs when it has been just him 'carrying' the team. He hasn't sniffed a championship without Shaq, and yet...

Easy now, don't get too excited...

No one has any trouble looking at Kobe and finding other (see your own wiki link) reasons to validate his ... well,... value.

And Kobe (of all people) should at least be comparable to Gil from the stand point of not being a perfect off court role-model.

Kobe has idiosyncratic behavior, he scores points in bunches, he sometimes plays selfishly.... but he is a great talent.

Extension, Gil may not be Kobe, but if we can find room in our hearts to get past that and acknowledge that Gil offers a lot of the same good and bad as a player like Kobe... well maybe then we could stop reading your constant whining on these boards.

Aside from that I think you have made some good points, and I'm always happy to read your on topic posts.

OK, it's over.

Feels good to follow a rational thought from beginning all the way to end. You should practice it every day.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 3:24 PM

From my seat, this team has needed a quick, defensive-minded point guard type coming off that bench all season and simply hasn't had one.

Posted by Ivan Carter | Permalink |

FINALLY!!!! A post from Ivan about "ownership" and the lack there of!!!! Ivan, I am so glad to see you noticed the same thing. I was starting to wonder if Abe had you in his back pocket and you didn't want to write anything to offend him.

Now that you let me know you are seeing what we are seeing, can you please do a story on Ted Lenosis and his present deal with Abe? What is the deal? Why did Susan O'Malley "Really Leave"? Why were the assistants, including Wes Jr. (Abe's Boy Son)not get offered extenstions at the beginning of the year?

Will they now get new 3 year deals now? Please say they tied up Mr. Hoopla! Come on Ivan I know you are running out of stuff to write about. I have been trying to get you to write something up about the Ted Lenosis deal with MJ, Abe and the Capitals since last year and you won't write anything. Come on bro, you can do it!!

I guarantee you we would have a 13 man squad if Ted was the owner with all of the injuries. People keep saying what is the point of going over the luxary tax for a D-Leaguer? What is the point not too????? If we had someone like Wilks, AD would have had time to rest up and not rush back or feel obligated to play so quickly.

Now fast forward to the "big picture", if Gil does not make it back for the playoffs and AD is banged up who do we have to run the "1", all "2" (Mason, Young, and DSong) guards doing it???? Guess what, out in three straight games and no made revenue at the gates.

Even if they signed a D-Leaguer and paid some luxary tax, if that meant being able to run "full practices", thus making it able for you to win more games which then translates to "home court advantage" which then means "dinero in your pockets" from sold out arenas. That then means you have probably offset you luxary tax cost (That Abe is so scared of) and probably gain more revenue by winning and having more home games.

You have to have a "out of the box" thinking mindset if you want to win in sports as a owner. Ted Leonis I think will fit that bill. Any thoughts????

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | March 31, 2008 3:26 PM

Yes ok, we ALL agree this franchise does not have a perfect track record.

Are you just now figuring that out?

Ok, sorry cheap shot, don't whine about that too.

But they have taken step to move more permanently in a good direction. I for one prefer the system of incremental improvement and evaluation to a more rash blow everything up each year method.

Sure we don't make a ton of ballsy moves, but we don't wind up with a lot of flops and trading away core talent that way either. Look at what we used to do, we had a big slice of Detroit's core.

Now that you are up to speed, the question really is, does it make sense to act rash all the time, or try to keep improving this team by building consistency?

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 3:31 PM

Michael Wilbon:

I haven't talked to Gilbert in a few weeks...But he's NOT going to take a paycut. I have a hard time imagining the Wizards asking him to do so...And he WANTS to come back but the team doctors, thankfully, have prevailed. The Wizards really and truly should have won that game against the Lakers last night, which would have made them 3-1 on this road trip with a trip to Utah to play the Jazz apparently without Okur and Kirilenko, two starters...If the Wizards could steal one tonight to go 3-2 they'd be sitting pretty...THEN, when they return home, they can figure out this Gilbert situation, whether he'll come back this season, and if so in what capacity. But with Caron Butler in there I like the Wizards' chances against either Orlando or Cleveland.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 3:38 PM

Just wondering is a Mango a fruit? Or a nut? Or maybe it's a fruity nut!

Mango88 I like that! It Fit's!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 3:39 PM

I think you might be dreaming a fevery dream.

I like Ted as an owner, but he got burned when he ignored the business end of the franchise and plowed money into the CAPS.

He scuttled a team with Jagr on it and is still paying him. So, no I don't think Ted would value a player like Wilks more than the business of the franchise. He learned that the short term benefits aren't outweighed by the long term (even in negotiations) standpoint of keeping your finances in order.

Think about this, you have to keep your pay scale in check. These players all talk about being a pro and treating it like a business, but their skin gets pretty thin when they think they aren't being shown enough value in the form of $$$.

You have a guy look at a franchise and say, well they went over for Wilks, but they won't cover for me? I'm worth a lot more than a D-leaguer and my agent wants his $$ too.

The effect of blowing up your payscale can have much further reaching implications, it makes people feel like there is a double standard and maybe the team doesn't care. Next thing you know the unrest spreads and all these nice guys don't care as much about the team atmosphere... but getting theirs. (already a problem)

But, I think if Ernie looked at a player who could really change the franchise's position and made sense for the make up of the team he might be willing to go over the CAP. The difference being that the players all see that that person's overall value to the team was really excptional and in a sense they are part of that. You can't expect them to loo at a D-league player the same way.

This is one scenario, but there are a lot of little reasons it make sense for the good of the team to keep a lid on the finances. Lest we forget, all the success the Redskins under Danny have suffered.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 3:42 PM

Thanks mango88 is PERFECT!

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 3:46 PM

The effect of blowing up your payscale can have much further reaching implications, it makes people feel like there is a double standard and maybe the team doesn't care. Next thing you know the unrest spreads and all these nice guys don't care as much about the team atmosphere... but getting theirs. (already a problem)

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 03:42 PM

hmmm... Sounds like the Knicks..

Posted by: Rook | March 31, 2008 3:47 PM

Etan has to be getting ready for next year -- I don't see him returning this year. That begs the question why the Wiz did not seek some sort of injury exception (not sure how that implicates the luxury tax situation though).

Posted by: Chad | March 31, 2008 02:17 PM

The Wizards could have asked for a Salary Cap exemption for Thomas, but his salary, AND his replacement would still count against the Luxury Tax.... THAT is probably one reason they didn't ask for the exemption. The other is that they may have believed that Etan could play this year.

Posted by: Rook | March 31, 2008 3:49 PM

"From my seat, this team has needed a quick, defensive-minded point guard type coming off that bench all season and simply hasn't had one." (Ivan Carter)

Darren Collison, anyone?

Posted by: Rook | March 31, 2008 3:50 PM

You guys need to re-evaluate all this talk about Grunfeld "blowing the budget". Grunfeld had very little money to work with in the offseason. After accounting for the guaranteed salaries of the existing vets plus the draft picks, EG had just $6.6M leftover. With that money, he needed to: (1) resign Blatche, (2) acquire a starting shooting guard, (3) acquire a fifth guard.

He ended up signing Blatche, Stevenson and Mason to a combined $6.5M. That's an incredible bargain if you ask me. Blatche is locked into a 5-year $15M deal. That's nothing for a skilled near-7-footer. Stevenson is earning just $3M, yet he is emerging as one of the better perimeter defenders in the league while also shooting 37% from 3-point range. Mason was a total steal, earning just the veteran minimum salary.

It's not EG's fault that Arenas and Etan missed the entire season. Those guys should have combined for 60 minutes a game.

Posted by: nate33 | March 31, 2008 3:52 PM

yeah, I think we really need EG to stay the course. That is what is going to get this franchise to the next level.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 3:58 PM

Yeah, that technique works great. Just hope you don't hit an iceberg.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 4:07 PM

Rook,

Collison may be quick, but at 6' 1" 165 lbs, I would be worried about his defense at the NBA level, where most PGs are a good bit bigger and stronger as well as just as quick. It's not enough to be able to stay in front, a player also has to be strong enough to hold that position and not be bumped off.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 4:08 PM

"It's not EG's fault that Arenas and Etan missed the entire season. Those guys should have combined for 60 minutes a game.

Posted by: nate33 | March 31, 2008 03:52 PM "

So who's fault is it to not have or not get bodies who can do the job?

With Gilby, Les BouleS don't miss him. But, with AD hurt, that's going to be a problem. It's not like Les BouleS woke up and just realized that there's no adequate backup to AD.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 4:08 PM

"Rook,

Collison may be quick, but at 6' 1" 165 lbs, I would be worried about his defense at the NBA level, where most PGs are a good bit bigger and stronger as well as just as quick. It's not enough to be able to stay in front, a player also has to be strong enough to hold that position and not be bumped off.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 04:08 PM "

Imagine that, AI (6-0,175), C.Paul (6-0, 175), Tony Parker (6-2, 180), and Kyle Lawry (6-0,175) are small and they are holding their own. In fact, I think C.Paul leads the league in steals avg.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 4:13 PM

"The other is that they may have believed that Etan could play this year.

Posted by: Rook | March 31, 2008 03:49 PM "

LMAO!!

How so? B/c Les BouleS doctors said so? Whatta joke.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 4:15 PM

I agree.

Posted by: The AntiMango | March 31, 2008 4:18 PM

"Imagine that, AI (6-0,175), C.Paul (6-0, 175), Tony Parker (6-2, 180), and Kyle Lawry (6-0,175) are small and they are holding their own. In fact, I think C.Paul leads the league in steals avg."

Iverson is a terrible defender, Parker is a mediocre individual defender at best but plays on a team with a solid scheme and a HOF big man anchoring the middle; Lowry is essentially a rookie (having played only 10 games last year) playing on one of the worst teams in the league and is generally unproven as an NBA player, and for Paul: just because someone gets a lot of steals doesn't make them a good individual defender. Ask Larry Hughes.

Imagine that.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 4:22 PM

so... mango88... i guess you haven't caught up with the value of gil post. It's ok, take your time...

You appear to have plenty what with all the whining.

you have LMAO so many times, how do you have any A left?

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 4:22 PM

But, I think if Ernie looked at a player who could really change the franchise's position and made sense for the make up of the team he might be willing to go over the CAP. The difference being that the players all see that that person's overall value to the team was really excptional and in a sense they are part of that. You can't expect them to loo at a D-league player the same way.

This is one scenario, but there are a lot of little reasons it make sense for the good of the team to keep a lid on the finances. Lest we forget, all the success the Redskins under Danny have suffered.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 03:42 PM

Sodumb - Former D-Leaguers that made it to the bigtime and stuck. John Starks, Jamiro Moon, Anthony Mason, Rafar "Skip to My Lou" Aston, Darrel Armstrong, Mike James and Roger Mason were all former D-Leaguers or overseas players. This crew right here looks like they could help a club when they were called up. Out the box thinking again. There are players there, you just have to be able to find them.

As for Danny Boy. His concept was right but he did not have a "GM" making the picks, HE DID!!! That was the problem!!!! Not him spending to much money. Because guess what, he makes that money right back at the gate, so it was a wash for him! Get my drift now??? Abe is making money at the gate and is still being a spend thrift!!! You are comparing apples and oranges!!

Give EG (who knows talent, unlike Danny Boy and Vinnie) spending power like Vinnie has with Danny, and the Wiz would be set. That is where Teddy boy comes in......

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | March 31, 2008 4:41 PM

Rook,

Collison may be quick, but at 6' 1" 165 lbs, I would be worried about his defense at the NBA level, where most PGs are a good bit bigger and stronger as well as just as quick. It's not enough to be able to stay in front, a player also has to be strong enough to hold that position and not be bumped off.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 04:08 PM

That is a good point, especially if you are talking about big, strong starting Point Guards; like Kidd, Billups, etc...

But if you consider Collison as a backup Point.... With Arenas garnering the majority of the minutes anyway... Definately not a lottery pick, but a good pick at 17th in the First round (or wherever the Wiz end up)...

Especially when the Wiz are playing against some of the small, quick points in the League... You know the guys I'm talking about. The ones that always give the Wizards fits.

He's supposedly a lock-down defensive guy, with a high energy motor. Explosive first step, and fast... with speed that most guys even in the NBA can't match. I've seen some of UCLA's games, and he's a guy that makes it really difficult to bring the ball up the court. And he has active hands, and really long arms. Lots of steals, leading to 1-man fast breaks.

You're right, that against some of the bigger, stronger points in the league, he may be overmatched ... but right now, the Wiz don't have a real speed guy; and as we've seen, they also don't have a 3rd Point Guard...and this season has proven, they need one.

Posted by: Rook | March 31, 2008 4:44 PM

OK, what's with the capital "S" on the end of the "les bouleS" phrase that DC man loves?

Note to DC man... both the phrase and the use of capitalization are gay and do not make you appear remotely sophisticated or smart. Stick with the content, some of which is good. Lose the rest. It's way gay.

Posted by: Ed | March 31, 2008 4:45 PM

"This is where Abe Pollin's insistence on not paying the luxury tax combined with the injury issues have really hurt this team."

Not true.

Before you look at the luxury tax you have to look at whose "eating up" cap space and not contributing.

Etan Thomas and Songaila both aren't pulling thier weight. AD is a good backup but lets be honest, he makes too much.

All of those were GM decisions that I am sure if you asked EG again would not make the same deals twice.

Just think if he had resigned Jeffries what this team would be like? Sheesh!

Anyway, it's not all about the luxury tax.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 31, 2008 4:53 PM

I'm not sure the Wiz need a starting quality point guard via the draft. What they have seemed to sorely need at times is a guy that can match up with the small quick points that have bedeviled them in recent years.

Lowry was mentioned as a guy that Collison would be comparable to size wise. I'm not sure about Collison as an NBA defender, but I have watched Lowry do a decent job against some of the mighty mites that seem to give our two Combo type points(Arenas and Daniels) fits.

I wonder if Grunfeld could manage to swing a trade with Memphis to get Lowry since they're overloaded with young points. We could send them back the draft pick we might never see anyway in the deal.

From the last Blog: Mango88, if you're so convinced that Philly, Atlanta, Charlotte and Chicago are ALL going to have better records then the Wiz next season, how about putting your money where your mouth is. Care to bet another $7,000.00 on that one?

Some of the talk about the Wiz's lack of bringing in more players ignores the fact that they had no salary cap slot left. It's not like they have an unused MLE sitting out there to sign a guy with. So luxury Tax or not they only could offer 10 day day deals to D Leaguers.

Or Vet Min deals, guys like Cassell were looking to catch on with a top seeded team like Boston that they could ride to a title. The Wizards don't fit that discription yet.

Posted by: GM | March 31, 2008 4:54 PM

kalorama - Hey don't get me wrong... I'd love to see the Wizards draft (or trade for) a really talented, big, strong Point Guard to groom as Daniel's replacement....

But unless EG does something special (like, package our picks + Player to move up in the draft to pick Derrick Rose, for instance) - I just don't see anything in the draft at the Point Guard position that is better than Collison.

It may be a moot point, as Collison is projected to be drafted somewhere between 12-18 in the First round...

Posted by: Rook | March 31, 2008 5:04 PM

Ray, I'd have to disagree about Songaila pulling his weight. He's really not a big cap hit. Thomas right now is the worst offender against the cap. And it's looking more and more like the Wiz may have to eat his deal if he's unable to play again.

I think they can get 1/2 of his salary cap slot to sign another player if he has to retire from being physically unable to perform.

Daniels is a highly paid backup, but combine the way he's stepped in as a starter when needed and the impact that he's had of bringing a tough minded,winning, never backdown attitude to this team and I think Ernie would sign him again.

Songaila, Butler, Daniels, and Stevenson have all brought a tough minded competitive fire to this team that was needed. Kwame Brown, Hughes, and Jeffries didn't have the toughness and fire that these guys brought to the team.

Posted by: GM | March 31, 2008 5:09 PM

If Collison is the best player on the board when the Wiz pick, I've got no problem with them taking him. I'm just not really buying the notion that one player, esp. a rookie, is going to have a significant effect on the team's defensive fortunes.

As we've seen this year, defense is a result team/organizational mindset and commitment. The Wizards problem containing penetration isn't really because they lack a small quick PG, it's the fact that their defensive scheme, while vastly improved over previous years, still has a weakness/blind spot in that particular area that needs to be worked on.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 5:26 PM

As things currently stand, the Wizards would be picking #18 in the draft. History says that there are generally some steals/bargains to be had there, with some solid scouting by the front office and a bit of luck.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 5:30 PM

C'mon Ray, Songaila has been one of our strongest players this month. And AD is not overpaid... there are really very few backup point guards who can step in and start 50 games effectively... I do agree that in retrospect drafting Rondo would have been smarter than Pech but good big guys are rare and Pech has promise. This year yep a backup point guard makes draft sense... and I wish we had a strong point guard against SLC tonight

Posted by: khrabb | March 31, 2008 5:38 PM

"From the last Blog: Mango88, if you're so convinced that Philly, Atlanta, Charlotte and Chicago are ALL going to have better records then the Wiz next season, how about putting your money where your mouth is. Care to bet another $7,000.00 on that one?

Posted by: GM | March 31, 2008 04:54 PM "

The only sure bet is that Lefty mistook an old cow in that barn as your wife at first. Didn't pass the smell test either.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 5:41 PM

"OK, what's with the capital "S" on the end of the "les bouleS" phrase that DC man loves?

Note to DC man... both the phrase and the use of capitalization are gay and do not make you appear remotely sophisticated or smart. Stick with the content, some of which is good. Lose the rest. It's way gay.

Posted by: Ed | March 31, 2008 04:45 PM "

If it's gay, that means you should be fine with it.

Either way, who gives a sh@t what you think as I couldn't care less about explaining anything to you.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 5:43 PM

"Iverson is a terrible defender, Parker is a mediocre individual defender at best but plays on a team with a solid scheme and a HOF big man anchoring the middle; Lowry is essentially a rookie (having played only 10 games last year) playing on one of the worst teams in the league and is generally unproven as an NBA player, and for Paul: just because someone gets a lot of steals doesn't make them a good individual defender. Ask Larry Hughes.

Imagine that.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 04:22 PM "

Yeah, I guess since AI is a terrible defender at that size, so Collison should be also. Imagine that.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 5:44 PM

"Yeah, I guess since AI is a terrible defender at that size, so Collison should be also."

Pretty funny considering that your whole point in listing those players was to imply that since they're good defenders than Collison must be one too. It's esp. funny given that none of the players you listed are actually good defenders at all.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 5:48 PM

As we've seen this year, defense is a result team/organizational mindset and commitment. The Wizards problem containing penetration isn't really because they lack a small quick PG, it's the fact that their defensive scheme, while vastly improved over previous years, still has a weakness/blind spot in that particular area that needs to be worked on.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 05:26 PM

I have very little argument there - except to say that there has been tremendous defensive improvement from last year to this year(from 28th to 11th in the League, giving up 98.72 ppg) - and another year under the Ayers influence can only be a good thing.

As for needs on the player front... The Wiz are stocked at Forward and Shooting Guard.... and thin at PG and Center.

I'll agree with you that there are very few players picked in the middle of the 1st round that will make an impact in their first year (see Nick Young as an example)... BUT, that same player may have a significant impact in their 2nd or 3rd years...

And I will say, that one specific player (a small, quick guard) CAN make a difference on Defense... against another specific player (small, quick guard...for instance)...

It would give Eddie the option of nullifying the small/quick with a small/quick of his own, or forcing the other team to match his small/quick with a larger/stronger guard (Arenas, Daniels)...

By the way, I also like the Lowry option... I just don't know which Forward to give up in return (Pecherov?, McGuire?) and what it might take to get Memphis to make that deal.

Posted by: Rook | March 31, 2008 5:51 PM

"Pretty funny considering that your whole point in listing those players was to imply that since they're good defenders than Collison must be one too. It's esp. funny given that none of the players you listed are actually good defenders at all.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 05:48 PM "

I think you missed the point. I provided that list with small 1 guards in the NBA who are about the same size as Collison and are still doing well.

Name some good defenders that play the 1 position in the NBA. Not too long a list eh? Who? Chauncey, and?

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 5:53 PM

"I think you missed the point. I provided that list with small 1 guards in the NBA who are about the same size as Collison and are still doing well."

I think you missed the point. Or more likely straight up ignored it as an excuse for another silly rant.

I never said nor implied that Collison wouldn't "do well" in the NBA generally, for his size or any other reason. I spoke pointedly, clearly, and specifically about his defense. Nothing else. You threw out a bunch of random names of similar-sized players in an attempt to refute my point, ignoring (or making up fiction about) the fact that none of them are good defenders, making them completely irrelevant to the point of the discussion.

Imagine that.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 6:07 PM

Name some good defenders that play the 1 position in the NBA. Not too long a list eh? Who? Chauncey, and?"

Which, if true (and it's not necessarily), only underscores my point that drafting Collison specifically for his defense is a questionable proposition.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 6:09 PM

Chris Paul is a decent defender, and I think is the league leader in steals.

So, besides him and Billups, start dreaming up some good starting 1 guards that play good D too. Not too many, eh, so your question about Collison's D is a waste.

Imagine that.

Posted by: DC Man88 | March 31, 2008 6:11 PM

"By the way, I also like the Lowry option... I just don't know which Forward to give up in return (Pecherov?, McGuire?) and what it might take to get Memphis to make that deal."

It probably wouldn't matter as long as the Wizards also give back the pick they got in the Navarro deal. At this point, with Memphis in full-on rebuilding, that's more valuable to them than a benchwarming rookie who'll probably be out of Memphis as soon as his option year hits.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 6:12 PM

Why do any of you even bother to read (or respond) to the DC Troll? Seriously, he is one SICK puppy who has no life so all he does is blog all day and criticize Gil,etc. I now scroll to the bottom before reading and when I see his name just ignore that post...but then I have to read all of you responding to the idiot. Please, just ignore him.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 6:14 PM

"Chris Paul is a decent defender, and I think is the league leader in steals.

So, besides him and Billups, start dreaming up some good starting 1 guards that play good D too. Not too many, eh, so your question about Collison's D is a waste. "

Coming from a widely recognized expert on the topic of waste.

Steals don't automatically mean defense. Iverson gets a lot off steals too.

And how does the *cough*cough* (ahem) "fact" that there aren't a lot of great defensive PGs alter the fact that for his defense is a bad idea? Again, if anything, it reinforces it.

But don't let little things like facts and logic stop you.

Dance fat boy dance.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 6:19 PM

"Chris Paul is a decent defender, and I think is the league leader in steals.

So, besides him and Billups, start dreaming up some good starting 1 guards that play good D too. Not too many, eh, so your question about Collison's D is a waste."

Coming from a widely recognized expert on the topic of waste.

Steals don't automatically mean defense. Iverson gets a lot off steals too.

And how does the *cough*cough* (ahem) "fact" that there aren't a lot of great defensive PGs alter the fact that drafting Collison for his defense is a bad idea? Again, if anything, it reinforces it.

But don't let little things like facts and logic stop you.

Dance fat boy dance.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 31, 2008 6:20 PM

I'm not saying there aren't any good D-League players. I think it can be a good place to get a solid pro once seasoned.

What I AM saying is that I wouldn't blow up my pay scale and risk sowing the seeds of discontent in my club house unless the player was a game changer.

I'm talking about an all-star. You get a shot at a player that can change your level altogether then you go for it... but those guys are few and far... D-League players are projects.

I just don't want some bunk going down where gil or caron or DS even looks and says wow, they negotiated hard with me to keep under the cap, and we worked with that. But dang they just blew it up for? That guy? Mike Wilks.

Thta isn't apples to oranges, that is club house management which is where the skins went wrong too. It's not all in the picks, it's understanding some basic management principles too.

Any business tries to maintain a pay structure, and a big part of that is so that when it comes to retaining talent they have a base of understanding in place.

When your back up wants a raise he knows the situation and that alters his expectations and prepares them for your negotiation stance. It really is a business not sports method, but it works and it keeps people sane because they know what to expect from you.

Again, when you get to that big exceptional moment where you go outside of that schema... everybody understands that. Then they feel like they are being helped out too.

Sure EJ would like a back up PG, so would Gil and AD if you ask them today, but later on with any player they are going to come to the table and whatever precedent you set will be a part of that negotiation.

This is why I absolutely believe that unless you have a player that is worth your franchise to go after you shouldn't risk your franchise to do it. Because unless you can afford to pay above and beyond year in and out you shouldn't go that route.

The wiz really can't and shouldn't cuff themselves like that, when they have the ability to keep growing there system incrementally.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 7:02 PM

also, Mango88...

Let's not forget that you really haven't acknowledged your double standard for Gil.

Move past denial, you will be happier if you whine less.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 7:04 PM

sorry anon,

but sometimes we have to scratch the itch when you have someone so wholly blinded by obsession like mango88 it's hard not to try and see if he can even acknowledge any little bit of reality.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 7:08 PM

Sodumb. I do understand what you are trying to say from the business sense of things. However, this is more then a business (running a NBA team).

You have stakeholders (us the fans) that you need to make things right with. You have workers who do not need to be overworked because Management does not want to hire "temporary help".

Again, it is all about the dollar. When 5 or 10 more games and you have home court advantage. That in itself will generate Abe extra money. Again, Abe is to "small picture" in today's world of NBA ownership.

Posted by: Bullets Fever #1 | March 31, 2008 8:46 PM

"Coming from a widely recognized expert on the topic of waste.

Steals don't automatically mean defense. Iverson gets a lot off steals too.

And how does the *cough*cough* (ahem) "fact" that there aren't a lot of great defensive PGs alter the fact that for his defense is a bad idea? Again, if anything, it reinforces it.

But don't let little things like facts and logic stop you.

Dance fat boy dance.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 06:19 PM "

You're a complete idiot, and a typically anonymous blogger who's a loser and can't stand behind their own ideas or thoughts.

Collison is scoring almost 15 pts/game, shooting .530 from 3, and .572 from the free throw line. Therefore, he'd be more than just drafted for defense. You're just plain stupid.

Again, kalorama can talk about how Collison is too small to play defense, but then can't come up with anyone besides whom I've mentioned already as really good defenders as a 1 guard.

Then you have 6-4 guards like Gilby who can't even spell defense, so all this BS talk trying to compare size to defense ability is again, pure stupidity.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 1, 2008 2:11 AM

My real name is DC Fairy88.

Everyone knows why: I luv Gilby!

Sashay!

I am also known as Clewiston88, or "ClueLess."

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 1, 2008 2:11 AM

"Coming from a widely recognized expert on the topic of waste.

Steals don't automatically mean defense. Iverson gets a lot off steals too.

And how does the *cough*cough* (ahem) "fact" that there aren't a lot of great defensive PGs alter the fact that for his defense is a bad idea? Again, if anything, it reinforces it.

But don't let little things like facts and logic stop you.

Dance fat boy dance.

Posted by: kalorama | March 31, 2008 06:19 PM "

You're a complete idiot, and a typically anonymous blogger who's a loser and can't stand behind their own ideas or thoughts.

Collison is scoring almost 15 pts/game, shooting .530, and .572 from the free throw line. Therefore, he'd be more than just drafted for defense. You're just plain stupid.

Again, kalorama can talk about how Collison is too small to play defense, but then can't come up with anyone besides whom I've mentioned already as really good defenders as a 1 guard.

Then you have 6-4 guards like Gilby who can't even spell defense, so all this BS talk trying to compare size to defense ability is again, pure stupidity.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 1, 2008 2:11 AM

"sorry anon,

but sometimes we have to scratch the itch when you have someone so wholly blinded by obsession like mango88 it's hard not to try and see if he can even acknowledge any little bit of reality.

Posted by: sodumb | March 31, 2008 07:08 PM "

LMAO!!!!

This coming from a self described dumb person. Yes, you gotta be that stupid c#nt Lisa_R.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 1, 2008 2:18 AM

it's really not more than a business, it is a business.

You can't run it on emotion alone. You have to be smart about how you manage every facet of it.

Posted by: sodumb | April 1, 2008 2:19 AM

My real name is DC Fairy88.

Everyone knows why: I luv Gilby!

Sashay!

I am also known as Clewiston88, or "ClueLess."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 1, 2008 2:21 AM

mango mango mango...

"LMAO"

Typical mango, always whining.
I am happily self described as dumb, and yet you haven't been able to make one single clear and intelligent point refuting my premise that you have a blindingly large double standard for Gil.

Call me names, that is fine...

It makes it more obvious that you can't hold up with someone as dumb as me. I'm not the intimidated one.

I still say you primarily judge Gil for his off court behavior, a standard Kobe and many others should fare far worse that Gil at.

Your primary on court litmus is his ability to 'carry' the team deep into the playoffs. I say, what has Kobe done on his own?

Point being you can be one of the best players and still not be able to carry a team.

It's pointless because it's all just an excuse for you to whine. LMAO indeed. You spend more time crying than any other poster here.

And it all focuses around 1 person. SO you don't like Gil, you don't think he is worth it. Fine. That is a valid opinion. We all get that. We all won't agree with you, so stop crying about it. If you can't deal with simple stuff like this you probably shouldn't be watching sports at all.

Posted by: sodumb | April 1, 2008 11:28 AM

You're so dumb to have wasted so much writing dedicated to me.

Posted by: DC Man88 | April 1, 2008 8:50 PM

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