Arenas update II

Call me crazy but the season's only a month over and I miss the routine. I'm in a blogging mood so let's get to it.

Today's story on Gilbert Arenas and his plans for the summer raised some questions so I got number zero on the horn tonight and tried to clarify a few things:

-Gilbert told me that after looking at his contract today, he actually needs to file paperwork for opting out by June 20th, 10 days before the June 30th deadline. Free agency opens July 1. Arenas said he still plans on doing so as soon as late next week. He said he'll have a lawyer look it all over and make sure everything is tight.

- I asked Gilbert "why wait" at all and he responded with: "Just in case anything happens, I'll be covered." Translation: If the guy hurts the knee or gets hit by a bus, he'll still get $12.8 million next year.

-Per questions about why he just started rehab yesterday: Arenas said he chose to wait a full month to allow the knee plenty of time to heal. He never felt comfortable after his late-season comeback or during the playoffs and wanted to take the extra-cautious approach.
His approach this summer will be "smart:"

Arenas: "The thing that was a problem last summer was the pounding on it. I was just on it too much. I'm going to ride the bike, get in teh pool and make sure I get everything stronger around the knee before I really start to wortk it hard."
I then asked him about playing at Barry Farms etc., etc.: "No way," he responded. "Not this summer. I gotta stay off it and let it get right. And no full court games either. But I can shoot a lot of jumpers and work on my ballhandling."
Me: "How are you going to stay in shape and not get fat?" (And yes, that's how I worded the question)
Arenas: "Actually, I just came from whole foods right now. I'm going home to eat some chicken and a salad."

-I asked Arenas whether he has any visits lined up elsewhere.
Arenas: "Actually, I'm going to be out of the country until the middle of July."

He'll be traveling in China so other teams interested in making a play had better have a good cell phone signal.
It all adds up to the obvious: Arenas will be in a Wiz uniform next season. The only questions involve the number of years and the size of the deal. Arenas does want Antawn taken care of and I see that happening as well.

I'll keep you posted as events evolve.

-As for summer league, we still don't know when the Wiz play but as soon as the sched is released, I'll let you know. I seem to remember someone from Comcast telling me that they may televise at least a couple of summer league games. As soon as I figure out the deal on that, I'll let you know as well.

-Barno, I hear you on the rules about hitting on 15. I know. But I've been burned so many times, I avoid it at all costs. It's sorta like my Vikings in a big game: expect the worst no matter what it looks like.

-As for the pre-draft workouts: Young did come in last year prior to the draft and that workout was impressive I hear but McGuire missed a visit due to an ankle injury he picked up in a previous workout. However, VP of Player Personnel Milt Newton, who is otherwise known as the pride of Kansas basketball, tracked him closely in college and McGuire attended the pre-draft camp. Young did not. As soon as I have a list of names of the upcoming workout guys, I'll put it up. Workouts begin Thursday.

-To South Beach Terp's question regarding the "scenary" in Vegas during SL : Yes. It's Vegas man. And the NBA is town. What do you think that means?

-Chris: I hear you on wanting to keep Roger Mason Jr. but he's as good as gone. The writing is on the wall: Arenas will be back, Daniels and Stevenson will still be here, Nick Young will be ready to play more and Roger has earned the right to make more loot and play more minutes. You won't find a member of the media who respects Roger more than me but he has to go out and get as much of some team's ML as he can. It's his best shot at a big contract.


By Ivan Carter |  June 2, 2008; 9:45 PM ET
Previous: Arenas update | Next: Thursday's workout

Comments

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You're crazy.

Posted by: McBride | June 3, 2008 1:45 AM

"It all adds up to the obvious: Arenas will be in a Wiz uniform next season."

Awesome. My thoughts exactly on Gil's being out of the country during the biggest offseason of his career -- clearly he plans on staying in DC.

Any chance that signing Gil/AJ won't happen on July 1st or 2nd? No reason it should take any longer IMO.

Posted by: Adam | June 3, 2008 1:54 AM

I love Gil and think he's one of the 10 best players in the league, but he's missed two straight years from knee surgery - the worst kind of injury to a pro-baller.

I think he should consider himself extremely lucky if he gets $12.8 million a year. He should read his earlier blogs where he lectured Ben Gordon and a bunch of others about getting greedy and not recognizing what's in front of him.

It's unfortunate, but he's got a serious question mark over his head with that injury, and if they gamble and he misses another year, gets surgery again, and then never fully recovers - the entire franchise will be anchored into the depths of mediocrity for the next 6 years.

Let's face it - his market value nose-dived when he missed his second year and had to get pulled out of the playoffs due to more pain.

I feel for Gil, but I don't want Washington to put themselves into a hole for the next 6 years based on such a gamble. Gil needs to accept less.

Posted by: NC | June 3, 2008 1:55 AM

Thanks for the update Ivan!

Man, I'd like to know how Cleveland is talking about Baron Davis with all the contracts they got (Ilgauskas, Ben Wallace, Wally World, King James, etc) yet we apparently don't have enough room to sign bench filler like Mason, or Carlos Arroyo or Matt Barnes??? We can't even seem to put up a full 15 man roster!

Ivan, who you liking in the draft? What do you think about Hibbert? To get a guy who's 7-2 and skilled at 18 would be huge (pun intended), not even considering he spent 4 yrs at Georgetown, played at VC and in the princeton, and is a local kid, his maturity and coachability.

I also like Lopez, Lawson, Greene, Budinger, and Alexander.

2nd round I really like Hardin and Calathes.

I can't wait for the pre-draft workouts and summer league!!

Posted by: Darnell | June 3, 2008 3:29 AM

Enjoy yourself Ivan and keep the posts coming.

I am still stuck on Hibbert as the best if we hold on to the 18 choice (and that was the signal we heard from EG, yes?)

I am gunshy of the Lopez twins (Collins 2 squared) but from what I have seen Chase Budinger might be a change of pace player at the 3 and would allow Butler to slip back and play some 2 as the situtation might demand. None of the others make it for me as the other big guys don't have the maturity of Hibbert and the other swingmen are like Butler-lite.

And yes, Ivan, you are right that Roger Mason Jr is the odd man out here.

It does sound like Gilbert will be back, and for all the carping that comes up about him on this site, what a dull bunch the Wizards would be without him!

Posted by: khrabb | June 3, 2008 4:31 AM

Geez, looks like their letting Dr. Gil diagnose and plan his rehab... again. No wonder this team has so many injury problems.

Posted by: KGrevey | June 3, 2008 5:22 AM

Thanks, Ivan. I was curious about the delay in starting rehab.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 6:56 AM

It's unfortunate, but he's got a serious question mark over his head with that injury, and if they gamble and he misses another year, gets surgery again, and then never fully recovers - the entire franchise will be anchored into the depths of mediocrity for the next 6 years.

Posted by: NC | June 3, 2008 1:55 AM

Your assumption is that the injury will limit him for the rest of his career - even though the doctors have said he should be able to come back 100% - even though other players have come back from similary injuries to play even better than before.

SO, let's project into an alternate future from yours: Arenas balks at a less than stellar offer from Ernie, and walks to another team. Uses the Wizards perceived "snub" (like he used his 2nd round selection in the draft) to make himself an even a better player - and becomes MVP of the League and wins a Championship for another franchise.

Meanwhile the Wizards, having let Arenas walk, and STILL BEING OVER THE SALARY CAP, can only sign a Mid-Level exception guy to fill Arenas' place on the roster - and continue in NBA purgatory... Not quite good enough to get out of the 1st round of the Playoffs; not quite bad enough to get a good draft pick...

Either way, there are risks in signing, or not signing Arenas.

The downsides in both scenarios are the same...

The upside in letting Arenas walk and signing a Mid-Level Free Agent are that the new player may come in and help the Wizards stay mediocre.

The upside in keeping Arenas is that the knee heals 100%, and he continues to improve as a player and helps the Wizards to a Championship .... (Remember a couple of years ago at Verizon Center - chants of MVP, MVP, MVP ??? How quickly we forget! )

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 8:42 AM

I remember, because i was at the one of the games (same night of his big bday party, 25th) and they won the game and everytime he went to the free throw line, "MVP" chants and we were in 1st place in the east.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 8:52 AM

Gil needs to shut his mouth and rest!

Posted by: Prison Balls | June 3, 2008 9:25 AM

Very strange.

Is Gilby getting regular evaluations from doctors?

Didn't the Wiz doctor tell Gilby that there is no longer any threat with damage to his knee anymore, it's fully healed, and he can go full bore?

How does eating chicken and salad help build strength in the knee?

Being gone on travel until mid July instead of home working out sounds like he's using the excuse of "being smart" as a reason to bum out this summer.

If Gilby resigns, or does not opt out, nobody here better here any stupid excuses come training camp time about his bum knee again and how he needs to rest.

Prediction: Gilby will turn into John "Hot Plate" Williams. After Hot Plate twisted his knee, it was downhill from there.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 9:35 AM

"I remember, because i was at the one of the games (same night of his big bday party, 25th) and they won the game and everytime he went to the free throw line, "MVP" chants and we were in 1st place in the east.

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 8:52 AM "

Cool, how did the rest of the season turn out, right after all star weekend?

It's not how you start, it's how you finish, my anonymous friend.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 9:38 AM

"Meanwhile the Wizards, having let Arenas walk, and STILL BEING OVER THE SALARY CAP, can only sign a Mid-Level exception guy to fill Arenas' place on the roster - and continue in NBA purgatory... Not quite good enough to get out of the 1st round of the Playoffs; not quite bad enough to get a good draft pick...

Either way, there are risks in signing, or not signing Arenas.

The downsides in both scenarios are the same...

The upside in letting Arenas walk and signing a Mid-Level Free Agent are that the new player may come in and help the Wizards stay mediocre.

The upside in keeping Arenas is that the knee heals 100%, and he continues to improve as a player and helps the Wizards to a Championship .... (Remember a couple of years ago at Verizon Center - chants of MVP, MVP, MVP ??? How quickly we forget! )

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 8:42 AM "

Why does any of this matter?

In the end, Abe still gets his lux tax welfare and stays in the black.

If Abe can recover from the Juwan Howard Debacle, the MJ Debacle, he can recover from anything.

Nomatter how you put it, the Wiz have not gotten out of the first round the last 3 seasons. Injuries or no injuries, Gilby still got paid. Nobody is untouchable on this team.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 9:44 AM

rook,

i totally agree, letting any major player just walk in free agency is a bad move by a team. if you really don't want the player, you do everything in your power to work out a sign-and-trade. besides helping you, it even helps out the player (by giving him a higher salary). it can even help out the new team, as they might not have been able to sign him on their own.

same philosophy goes with jamison as well. and if we don't want one of these 2 players, there are definitely several teams out there that do, so we might as well get something in return for letting them go.

but honestly, i don't see how we can upgrade at either position by trading just one of these players away. the best opportunity was probably with memphis last season. we could have given them over 16 mil in expiring contracts just with jamison, and gotten gasol and maybe lowry in return.

the lakers aren't letting gasol go anytime soon. now if bynum is fully healthy, the lakers may look to trade odom for someone cheaper, like jamison. the problem for us though, is that while we'd probably be just as good on the court with odom, and possibly even better, jamison is one of our team leaders, and odom has proven over time that he's not really a team leader.

plus, we have a very young blatche in the wings. on the floor he can provide a lot of the same things that odom does. not as good of a ball-handler and passer, but taller and looks to be a better defender in the future.

honestly, i think we have a pretty good team already. our young bench is finally getting some experience under their belt. we just need a good second center so we can let blatche play pf more, where he is a better fit. the last 2 years the thing that we were missing in the playoffs is that one player who can just take over. we have that in arenas. he's just been out of commission for a year and change.

we are solid 2 guys deep at every spot except sf and c. mcguire could becond that 2nd guy and sf, but he still needs some work. thomas might be healthy at 5, but he and haywood as a tandem never really worked that well.

1 - arenas, daniels
2 - stevenson, young
3 - butler, mcguire?
4 - jamison, blatche, songaila, pesch
5 - haywood, thomas?

speaking of the sf spot, donte greene seems to be falling some in the draft, (more because other players stocks are rising than because his is falling). while young and raw, he's got loads of talent. much like mcguire, he can play multiple positions. could be a great scoring punch off the bench along with young until he develops into a starter (around the same time butler become 31 and his contract is up).

while i think center is the most pressing need, drafting for _need_ in basketball over talent isn't necessarily a good thing.

Posted by: JC | June 3, 2008 9:49 AM

Even without Mason, this will be the most talented group of players ever assembled that will be projected by a panel of unbiased NBA experts to play .500 ball and go one and out in the playoffs.

EJ ought to take a few classes this summer in strategy development, management, and leadership in any MBA program. Otherwise, it will be another frustrating season.

Posted by: Izman | June 3, 2008 10:09 AM

Rook,
You made some good points. I just wonder though, how many other teams would be willing to pay Gilbert $12.5 million per year when he's missed two years from surgery, and his most recent attempt to return ended after only a handful of games?

My point is: his market value has likely dropped a lot. So I don't think we should overpay just to make him feel like Superman. Gil says he wants to test the free agency market - well, let's see what kind of offers he gets.

If no other team would consider paying even $10 million for a fabulous player who has missed two seasons to knee surgery, then why should we pay him $13 million and lose an opportunity to sign someone else to add more depth?

Grant Hill keeps coming to mind as someone who was at the peak of their game, got injured - knee surgery, and then proceeded to lose a few years (with returns, quick exits year after year), and by the time he actually could start and play an entire season his game was still good, but his glory years were behind him.

Posted by: NC | June 3, 2008 10:42 AM

It would be funny if Gilby had no offers from other teams and had to come back to the Wiz, and then EG lowballs him further.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 10:44 AM

Just to clarify: when I said "why should we pay him $13 million and lose an opportunity to sign someone else to add more depth?" - WHAT I meant was "why shouldn't we pay him market value - even if it's below what he's asking, and take the additional money and sign Roger Mason, or someone else in the event we lose Roger Mason?

I just don't think we should approach this negotiation as though his injury never happened, and isn't a real discount to his market value - which from the sounds of Grunfeld - sounds exactly like that's how they're approaching the negotiations.

Posted by: NC | June 3, 2008 10:46 AM

Our most urgent problem is learning to deal with teams that use big shooting guards. DeShawn is too small to bother their shots enough and doesn't have the ability to get the points back at the other end.

Teams that play big SGs include some of our biggest rivals: Cavs-Sczcerbiak, Magic-Turkoglu, Hawks-J Johnson, Pacers-Dunleavy. I'm sure there are others as well.

I'd love to match up with CB and AB/DM, but that would break DeShawn's precious streak.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 10:57 AM

we are solid 2 guys deep at every spot except sf and c. mcguire could becond that 2nd guy and sf, but he still needs some work. thomas might be healthy at 5, but he and haywood as a tandem never really worked that well.

while i think center is the most pressing need, drafting for _need_ in basketball over talent isn't necessarily a good thing.

Posted by: JC | June 3, 2008 9:49 AM

I disagree with your assessment of the Wizard's depth. The Wiz are not "solid" 2 deep, unless you count guys coming off injury or heart surgery as "solid"...

# 1 Need, in my opinion is a true Center to back up Haywood.. (Here is where I agree with you) Yeah, yeah, I know Thomas is supposed to be ready for Training Camp, but he's had a history of injuries. Not including last year, he's only averaged 58 games played per year his entire career. (49 games played, if you average in last year)... Only once did he even play close to an entire season (79 games in 2003-04). The last thing we need is for Blatche to be playing Center again next year!

# 2 need is PG. Arenas coming off a knee injury. With GA out essentially all year, Daniels was forced to play a lot of minutes - and he broke down at the end of the year... Playing through various injuries, including a wrist that needed surgery.. Mason, who helped out at PG will most likely be gone. You can't slide Stevenson and Young over, because they will have difficulty bringing the ball up against pressure.

SF - We've got Butler and McGuire. Blatche can play SF in an emergency (like last year). Even Jamison can slide over against larger SF's.

SG - We've got Stevenson (Mr. Iron Man), and Young (75 games played)... besides, Shooting Guards are a dime a dozen....

So - I propose drafting a defensive minded Center and PG with the #18 and #47 picks, respectivly.

#18 pick - Choose Robin Lopez (backup plan Roy Hibbert)

#47 pick - Choose Kyle Weaver (look him up on DraftExpress... GREAT defensive player)

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 11:02 AM

An important factor in all of this is the fact that Abe is Mr. Burns' age. He's on record as saying he wants to win now (no surprise there). Letting GA leave is an acknowledgement that you're headed in the wrong direction and are making a course correction. Like it or not, he's the face of the franchise and the Wiz management wouldn't make a change lightly. I'm 100% sure that Gil will be a Wizard for the next few years. All signs point to it.

The more important question to me is what are we going to do to try improve and get further in the playoffs? Adding a backup C or PFG sounds good and all but would they have made a difference in our regular season or playoff records? I doubt it. I don't think we lost many games because our backup C or PG weren't up to par. I know RM played out of position and was pressed into action at pg but he still didn' lose games alone.
If we come back healthy, is this team good enough to win in Cleveland consistently? Can it play defense well enough? It's draft time and we are all curious about who we'll get but realistically, #18 isn't gonna be playing.
I get the feeling we'll be here doing this same thing next year. CB will get hurt again and miss some time next year. Bank on it. He's not a 82 game player.
Antawn shot the lowest fg% of his career last year at .436 and turns 32 years old next week. Last year was a contract year and realistically, we should not expect 21 and 10 from him again. He'd never been a 20/10 guy before last year. He's a soldier but still playing bigger stronger guys and just getting older.
Gil is an unknown at this point. Will he step up his defense? Will he be able to score like he used to?
DS is what he is...average. Can we win with him consistently getting out played by his sg counterpart? BTH has a breakout year. (I think it's because he got consistent minutes personally). Can he continue it or was it an aberration?

We have a lot of questions that we can't answer yet. I'm not trying to be a downer but I need to temper my enthusiasm and expectations for next year. A lot of pieces need to fall into place for us to be an elite team. Lets' hope EG has some answers.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 11:27 AM

Assuming both are healthy and back next season, the only spot where the Wiz have reliable quality depth is PG with Arenas and Daniels. Everywhere else is question marks and/or promise waiting to be fulfilled. Songaila is serviceable at best. Stevenson is a good role player, at best (and he's not always at his best). Young/Maguire/Pecherov haven't proven anything yet Between the two of them Haywood and Thomas still don't add up to one high quality NBA C. Blatche is still a tease.

The Wizards don't need to be worrying about position at this point. If they re-sign Arenas and Jamison that means they're committed to trying to win now with this group. That means they don't have a long leash for waiting for guys to develop. That means they need talent all over the board who can play right away. Aside from the "Big 3" no one on this team has proven irreplaceable or non-upgradeable.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 11:29 AM

Think about this: if Arenas walks because he's lowballed, would Jamison stay?
And if both walked, would we still be over the salary cap?

No and No.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 11:35 AM

Which is not to say that the Big 3 can't be improved upon, per se. It's simply that, realistically, the Wizards don't have the means to do it, so everyone else needs to be the focus of change.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 11:35 AM

Anon, we may be under the cap but if both walked, we'd be in the lottery.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 11:38 AM

Think about this: if Arenas walks because he's lowballed, would Jamison stay?
And if both walked, would we still be over the salary cap?

No and No.

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 11:35 AM

But they still might not be far enough under the cap to sign a max FA (depending on the raise structure for the remaining players and what they do i the draft). And with both of those two gone, why would a max FA want to sign with the Wizards? They were a first-round and out team with those guys. They're a bottom dregs lottery team without them. If Elton Brand wanted that, he could stay in La.A. At least the weather is nicer.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 11:39 AM

Woohoo! Thanks for the update Ivan!

If we resign Arenas we have a chance at being a good team. If we don't, we don't. Pretty simple.

Posted by: Zonker | June 3, 2008 12:02 PM

Rook,
You made some good points. I just wonder though, how many other teams would be willing to pay Gilbert $12.5 million per year when he's missed two years from surgery, and his most recent attempt to return ended after only a handful of games?

My point is: his market value has likely dropped a lot. So I don't think we should overpay just to make him feel like Superman. Gil says he wants to test the free agency market - well, let's see what kind of offers he gets.

If no other team would consider paying even $10 million for a fabulous player who has missed two seasons to knee surgery, then why should we pay him $13 million and lose an opportunity to sign someone else to add more depth?

Grant Hill keeps coming to mind as someone who was at the peak of their game, got injured - knee surgery, and then proceeded to lose a few years (with returns, quick exits year after year), and by the time he actually could start and play an entire season his game was still good, but his glory years were behind him.

Posted by: NC | June 3, 2008 10:42 AM

Gilbert Arenas is NOT Grant Hill. Grant was a heady, logical player. Gilbert is just as likely flip a coin!

If EG gives Arenas a low-ball offer - I could see him getting insulted and taking less money and going elsewhere... I could see him taking a lot less money... Say even less than he's making this year... Maybe $6 - $7 Million for a one-year deal... Go to San Antonio and team with Parker, Ginobli, Duncan and Bowen to win a Championship.. Even if his knee isn't completely right at the beginning of the season, he could be their replacement for Finley and Barry - spotting up for 3's..

Or maybe accept a Mid-Level exception from LA - to help Kobe win another Championship... Arenas, Kobe, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom... How's that for a starting lineup? Pretty scary, right?

OR - he could make the Boston Celtics estatic, and give them a "Big-4"...

Then, after his Championship year, he could again be a free agent - AGAIN!

How much would he be worth then?

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 12:19 PM

Poll:

1) Re-sign Gilbert
2) Let him walk

Keep it simple, just respond with on of the choices above. DCMan, we already know your choice so no need to vote.

Posted by: Turkey | June 3, 2008 12:24 PM

Re-sign Gilbert

Posted by: Turkey | June 3, 2008 12:25 PM

I could possibly see Arenas taking less money on a 1 year deal (with a second option year), but it's very unlikely. I really can't see him landing with a real contender because most of the real contenders already have the PG slot filled. Signing on somewhere to be a role player goes against everything he's ever shown about his personality.

Realistically, the only way Arenas leaves is a S&T, which would probably not be the best thing for the Wiz because they're not going to get equal (on-the-court) value. If either Arenas or Jamison goes, the best thing for Grunfeld to do is let both go and start over. But I get the feeling that's something he's determined to avoid.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 12:30 PM

If we resign that bum arenas I will never watch another wizards game again.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 12:31 PM

Turkey,

What do you mean, exactly, by letting him walk? Are you talking only about not re-signing him and renouncing his FA rights? Or does that also encompass a S&T deal?

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 12:32 PM

Re-sign Gilbert

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 12:35 PM

"Keep it simple, just respond with on of the choices above. DCMan, we already know your choice so no need to vote.

Posted by: Turkey | June 3, 2008 12:24 PM "

Your poll is worthless. I never said EG should let Gilby walk. In fact, I always say that it's poor management to let someone walk without compensation.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 12:35 PM

If we resign that bum arenas I will never watch another wizards game again.

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 12:31 PM

I guess that's a NO vote for Mr. Anonymous.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 12:36 PM

"If EG gives Arenas a low-ball offer - I could see him getting insulted and taking less money and going elsewhere... I could see him taking a lot less money... Say even less than he's making this year... Maybe $6 - $7 Million for a one-year deal... Go to San Antonio and team with Parker, Ginobli, Duncan and Bowen to win a Championship.. Even if his knee isn't completely right at the beginning of the season, he could be their replacement for Finley and Barry - spotting up for 3's..

Or maybe accept a Mid-Level exception from LA - to help Kobe win another Championship... Arenas, Kobe, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom... How's that for a starting lineup? Pretty scary, right?

OR - he could make the Boston Celtics estatic, and give them a "Big-4"...

Then, after his Championship year, he could again be a free agent - AGAIN!

How much would he be worth then?

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 12:19 PM "

Hmmm....Gilby is opting out because he wants security. Signing a 1 year deal does not equate to security.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 12:37 PM

Kal is right about everyone except the Big 3 being replaceable/upgradable with the exception of Heywood. There are less than 10 quality 7 footers out there and I don't see any of those teams trading them.

I think GA's strategy is to see if the Wiz resign AJ and try to sign a veteran FA agent big man to provide depth. The Wiz can go over the salary cap to resign GA if they take care of AJ and sign a FA first.

We had only 13 players and 2 of those were out most of the season. One of the reasons AD and CB broke down late in the season was too many minutes. If EG is serious about upgrading the team, he'll use the MLE to sign someone who can truly help next year. The No. 18 pick will be another project regardless of who is drafted. Roger Mason is gone as he's earned his first big long-term deal

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 3, 2008 12:42 PM

"Kal is right about everyone except the Big 3 being replaceable/upgradable with the exception of Heywood. There are less than 10 quality 7 footers out there and I don't see any of those teams trading them."

There may be fewer than 10 ALL-STAR quality 7 footers out there, perhaps. But that has nothing to do with Haywood, as he's in a crowded group of serviceable role playing Cs, much further down.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 12:46 PM

for some reason it cracks me up to think of gilbert at home reading over a printout of his contract. maybe he's got reading glasses or something like that. a highlighter. post-it notes. how many nba-ers do that?

Posted by: random dude | June 3, 2008 12:47 PM

Rook,

You keep saying that if we let Gil walk we'd still be over the cap. Can you please provide figures to explain? Does this assume we re-sign Antawn (if so, what figure are you using?) or is he out of the picture as well in your estimate?

Thanks.

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 12:57 PM

It's not unheard of for guys who are on the "max contract or bust" train to go without agents. I believe both Ray Allen and Grant Hill did it during their last major contract negotiation, and a couple of others I can't recall by name. No agent means they don't have to share.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 12:58 PM

There may be fewer than 10 ALL-STAR quality 7 footers out there, perhaps. But that has nothing to do with Haywood, as he's in a crowded group of serviceable role playing Cs, much further down.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 12:46 PM

I think Wizfan 89 was stressing "upgrade" not just getting a similar replacement.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 1:02 PM

"for some reason it cracks me up to think of gilbert at home reading over a printout of his contract. maybe he's got reading glasses or something like that. a highlighter. post-it notes. how many nba-ers do that?

Posted by: random dude | June 3, 2008 12:47 PM "

Don't give Gilby too much credit. As Ivan reported, Gilby's going to hire a lawyer to read and do the work. Just like he hires some pimply faced teenager to do his blog.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 1:06 PM

"It's not unheard of for guys who are on the "max contract or bust" train to go without agents. I believe both Ray Allen and Grant Hill did it during their last major contract negotiation, and a couple of others I can't recall by name. No agent means they don't have to share.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 12:58 PM "

I think Ray Allen was perfectly healthy and coming off another great season. Gilby's got a bum knee fresh off 2 surgeries in an end to a season where he limped himself off the court and shut it down.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 1:08 PM

"I think Wizfan 89 was stressing "upgrade" not just getting a similar replacement."

I know what he was saying. I'm saying that Haywood is hardly so good that the only way you can improve the position is to get an All-Star caliber C. There's plenty of stpes between where Haywood is and where those guys stand.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 1:10 PM

L"I think Ray Allen was perfectly healthy and coming off another great season. Gilby's got a bum knee fresh off 2 surgeries in an end to a season where he limped himself off the court and shut it down."

So? I wasn't comparing the two in any way, shape, or form. Someone asked whether other players had represented themselves in contract negotiations and I gave a couple of examples. Period.

But please, feel free to manufacture another flimsy excuse to bash Arenas.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 1:15 PM

I know what he was saying. I'm saying that Haywood is hardly so good that the only way you can improve the position is to get an All-Star caliber C. There's plenty of stpes between where Haywood is and where those guys stand.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 1:10 PM

Can you name three availabe, non-all-star caliber Centers that would be an upgrade over Haywood. Keep in mind how little he is making.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 1:20 PM

Gilbert must go. How do you give a guy who has had TWO knee surgeries in the past 18 months a max (or close to) contract??? The problem is you can not let him walk for free. If you can get anything close to .75 cents on the dollar for him - take it. Rebuild around Butler..

Posted by: Anon | June 3, 2008 1:21 PM

How come Ernie has never taken heat over not going after Gasol? Don't you think Memphis would've taken Jamison and his expiring contract over Kwame's????

Posted by: Cobra | June 3, 2008 1:22 PM

"So?"

LMAO!

The point was that giving Ray Allen his max money was almost a no brainer. Wasn't coming off an injury, wasn't a disruptive force on the team, was the acknowledged leader, and the team didn't do well without him and made the playoffs anyway (as in Gilby's situation).

In contrast, Gilby's situation is much more complicated, and thus he would do himself a favor by hiring an agent.

Do you think Gilby's going to call all the GM's in the NBA and try to beg for more money or negotiate a 3 way deal with other teams while soaking in his grotto or in between playing the PS3? Get real dude.

BTW, commissions are negotiable.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 1:22 PM

"How come Ernie has never taken heat over not going after Gasol? Don't you think Memphis would've taken Jamison and his expiring contract over Kwame's????

Posted by: Cobra | June 3, 2008 1:22 PM "

EG was hailed as a genius while Kupchak a buffoon for trading Caron for Kwame.

Then Kupchack pulled off a Kwame for Gasol deal, and there they are, in the finals.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 1:24 PM

Strange how that worked out, uh? Seriously though, a line-up for next year's team of: Arenas, Stevenson, Butler, Gasol and Heywood would look pretty solid.

Posted by: Cobra | June 3, 2008 1:26 PM

In hindsight, EG probably should have unloaded AJ to Memphis for Gasol and kept JCN. Memphis would have made that trade b/c they were looking for expiring contracts. Now, AJ could be gone and the Wiz would have nothing to show.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 1:26 PM

I actually like Ernie and think he's done a good job but in retrospect, yes, I like the deal you proposed. Get Gasol and keep his boy JCN.

Posted by: Cobra | June 3, 2008 1:29 PM

Rook,

You keep saying that if we let Gil walk we'd still be over the cap. Can you please provide figures to explain? Does this assume we re-sign Antawn (if so, what figure are you using?) or is he out of the picture as well in your estimate?

Thanks.

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 12:57 PM

I was trying to find a way to sign everyone... and keep Roger Mason - - or perhaps let Roger go and sign another Veteran Free Agent...

So - I looked up all the salaries for the Wizards players for the 2008-2009 season...

Andray Blatche $ 2,739,669
Antonio Daniels $ 6,200,000
Brendan Haywood $ 5,500,000
Caron Butler $ 9,249,980
Darius Songaila $ 4,234,000
Deshawn Stevenson $ 3,616,017
Dominic McGuire $ 711,517
Etan Thomas $ 6,864,200
Nick Young $ 1,602,960
Oleksiy Pecherov $ 1,446,720
First Round Pick #18 $ 0.00 * Sign Euro player and stash him overseas.
Second Round Pick #47 $ 427,000

SubTotal $42,592,083

Antawn Jamison $10,500,000 (a total GUESS)
Gilbert Arenas $14,000,000 (again, a total GUESS)

Total $67,092,083

That leaves about $3.9 Million under the Luxury Tax* to either sign Roger Mason or another veteran free agent.

*Assuming the Luxury tax is $71 Million in the 2008-2009 season..

The point of this exercise for me was to see if I could sign Roger Mason.... And it appears that it would be nearly impossible.

As far as being "over the cap" - you have to remember that your own Free Agents count against the Cap number until you either renounce them, or sign them. As a matter of fact, they count MORE than their last year contract. Sometimes as much as 300% more... There's a complicated chart at this link that shows the "Cap Charge" for Free Agants:

http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#29

That rule was put in so teams could NOT get around the Salary cap by signing Free Agents, and then re-signing their own players.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 1:32 PM

How come Ernie has never taken heat over not going after Gasol? Don't you think Memphis would've taken Jamison and his expiring contract over Kwame's????

Posted by: Cobra | June 3, 2008 1:22 PM

I'd be willing to bet $7,000 that either Ernie talked to Memphis, or Memphis talked to Ernie - but that Abe vetoed it. OR Ernie wanted too much back (besides Gasol).

Memphis was ALL ABOUT reducing salary... and the biggest expiring contract out there was Jamison's.

My guess is that Kwame Brown was Memphis' second choice.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 1:36 PM

ESPN shows what players are currently making. Is there a site that shows more contract info?

Posted by: Luk | June 3, 2008 1:37 PM

Checking out the salaries you have listed Rook and I must say that Etan Thomas is either one really smart or really lucky dude!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 1:38 PM

Rook,
I like your guess for Jamison. Compare him to Boozer and that number looks reasonable.

Boozer:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=1703

Jamison:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=385

Posted by: Luk | June 3, 2008 1:44 PM

Kal, it would be nearly impossible to upgrade over Haywood without trading Caron Butler who is this team's most important player. You forget that AJ's defensive deficiencies including his inability to get out on a pick & roll to challenge a shooter are masked by Haywood's presence. Haywood clearly has some weaknesses but is an excellent fit given the current nucleus of this team.

I see the need for a tough inside presence like that provided by a Ron Turiaff, Paul Milsapp, or Kendrick Perkins as being our biggest need. Ernie had chances to draft the first two and missed both times. A second tier restricted FA who can fulfill that role might be filled for the MLE.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 3, 2008 1:47 PM

rook, it's true gilbert is coming off surgery, so it's possible he won't be as good as he was (though all indications from doctors and other players that have had similar injuries at his age point to him being able to be fully recovered), but you have to consider him recovered as far as how you draft (when you're picking at 18). let's say gilbert is a tad slower...he's still better than any guard we'd get at the 18 spot. so i'm going with best case scenario with him, since doctors seem to think he'll be fine.

as for thomas, even if he was fully healthy, i don't think he and haywood make a good tandem at center.

and kal, when i say quality 2 deep, i don't mean all-star quality. yes, stevenson is a role player. but every team is going to have starting role players. and the fact that he is a good spot up shooter and finisher on the break fits in extremely well with the starting unit. young is well...young, but he clearly has skills. at pf we have too many players even, and i'd actually put songaila at third behind blatche.

i actually think where we're really short on depth, besides center, is at the wing spot. whether you want to call that player an sf or sg. but other than young, all we really have off the bench is mcguire, and while he looked great in summer league, it hasn't transfered over into the regular season yet. and while we only have 2 pg, young is at least capable of handling the ball (don't get me wrong, he is NOT a pg by any means).

so yeah, if a good center is there at 18 (and by good, i mean he also looks good in workouts and the team really likes him, i don't care about college reputation/output so much), then grab him, but otherwise, just take the best talent there, no matter what position he plays. don't settle just for position and don't take another player you're going to keep overseas for a few years. that's a wasted pick at the 18 spot.

anyway, it'll be interesting to see who's at the 18 spot. i didn't think young would make it to there last year, and this year, after the top 4 or so, no one seems to have a clue who is going where. the fact that a 6'10 athletic freshman who averaged 18pts, 7 rbs, with 35% 3pt shooting and played 36 minutes in the big east could be around at 18, just means anything could happen june 26...

Posted by: JC | June 3, 2008 1:52 PM

Checking out the salaries you have listed Rook and I must say that Etan Thomas is either one really smart or really lucky dude!

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 1:38 PM

You gotta remember the history behind that salary.

Etan just came off his best year ever in 2003-2004 when he played in 79 games, starting 15, and averaged career highs of 8.9 points and 6.7 rebounds. He was young (26), had a developing post game, and was a pretty good defender. He really seemed to be on the verge of breaking out...

That Summer, Milwaukee had just lost Brian Skinner to Free Agency, and they needed to beef up their interior defense. They liked Thomas' shot blocking and rebounding - so they gave him an offer sheet that included a huge trade kicker... thinking the trade kicker would make the Wizards balk at matching.

Thomas signed the offer sheet - and the Wizards had like 10-days to match the offer, or let him go with NO COMPENSATION.

Ernie Grunfeld matched the offer...

I think that was his only really bad move as a GM; and that trade kicker is the only reason Etan Thomas is still on the Wizards roster today. (and likely to remain there until the last year of his contract).

It also may tell you why Ernie Grunfeld didn't retain Jeffries or Hughes when they got huge offers by New York and Cleveland. It seems he learned from his mistake.

Thomas has not played anywhere close to 79 games since then, being injured every year - so that Salary certainly looks like the Wizards made a mistake.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 1:55 PM

It's been suggested that Jerry West's relationship with Memphis and the Lakers facilitated that deal. Besides, which deal do you think Stern pushed? Add gasol to a Wiz team without its star or add Gasol to the Lakers to complement the best player in the game? EG didn't stand a chance.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 1:57 PM

the fact that a 6'10 athletic freshman who averaged 18pts, 7 rbs, with 35% 3pt shooting and played 36 minutes in the big east could be around at 18, just means anything could happen june 26...

Posted by: JC | June 3, 2008 1:52 PM

Which player are you talking about there?

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 1:58 PM

"It's been suggested that Jerry West's relationship with Memphis and the Lakers facilitated that deal. Besides, which deal do you think Stern pushed? Add gasol to a Wiz team without its star or add Gasol to the Lakers to complement the best player in the game? EG didn't stand a chance.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 1:57 PM "

Please, that's all conjecture. In the end, Jerry works for Memphis and Mitch works for LA. They have a responsibility towards their franchises and their jobs.

On top of that, it remphasizes the point that Abe made a huge mistake in not only firing MJ, but embarrassing him.

Okafor? Fuhhhggediaboutit....

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 2:02 PM

Resign Arenas!

Rook, my guess the minimum to keep those two is
AJ - $13M for three years or total $39M
GA - $17.5M with yearly incentives over 6 years total $105 up to $110

That is just slightly more than the last season's salaries AJ- $16.3M and GA - $11.9M.

What is the logical reasoning behind those two guesses? None really, the guess salaries save face all around.

Posted by: rgz | June 3, 2008 2:08 PM

It's been suggested that Jerry West's relationship with Memphis and the Lakers facilitated that deal. Besides, which deal do you think Stern pushed? Add gasol to a Wiz team without its star or add Gasol to the Lakers to complement the best player in the game? EG didn't stand a chance.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 1:57 PM

Give me a break with the "conspiracy theory" stuff...

Memphis would take the BEST DEAL they could that would help their team... and thumb their noses at David Stern...

You can't tell me that Chris Wallace, GM for the Grizzlies, would pass up a bigger expiring contract - just so they could make LA better!?!?!?

Chris Wallace said about the trade:
"Brown was the largest expiring contact we could find in the league where we also got back an attractive young player like Crittenton ... and multiple first-round picks."

In that quote, he has as much as said they shopped Gasol around, and got the best deal.

Now - do I know that Memphis talked with Ernie Grunfeld about Jamison - NO

Do I suspect that two intelligent, smart NBA General Managers would discuss the obvious? - YES

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 2:10 PM

If we had taken on Gasol's contract, we might have had trouble resigning Arenas.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 2:13 PM

mistype
I meant Arenas - $17.5M a year with yearly incentives FOR 6 years total $105M to $110M.

Posted by: rgz | June 3, 2008 2:14 PM

Resign Arenas!

Rook, my guess the minimum to keep those two is
AJ - $13M for three years or total $39M
GA - $17.5M with yearly incentives over 6 years total $105 up to $110

That is just slightly more than the last season's salaries AJ- $16.3M and GA - $11.9M.

What is the logical reasoning behind those two guesses? None really, the guess salaries save face all around.

Posted by: rgz | June 3, 2008 2:08 PM

I think max salary for a 7-year veteran (like Arenas) is $15,649,500

Check out: http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#11

BUT my guess is that Ernie Grunfeld will be able to sign Arenas for around $14.5 Million (first year).

$13 Million for Jamison for 3-years is too much... I think Ernie will offer more years (4-Years) at a reduced first year salary. More like $11.5 Million to start.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 2:15 PM

Even if Ernie has to sweeten the pot a bit... Arenas won't get more than $15.5 Million...

Here's what I think will happen:

Here's the Wizards payroll for 2008-2009:
Andray Blatche $2,739,669
Antawn Jamison $11,500,000
Antonio Daniels $6,200,000
Brendan Haywood $5,500,000
Caron Butler $9,249,980
Darius Songaila $4,234,000
Deshawn Stevenson $3,616,017
Dominic McGuire $711,517
Etan Thomas $6,864,200
Gilbert Arenas $15,500,000
Nick Young $1,602,960
Oleksiy Pecherov $1,446,720
1st Round Pick #18 $1,400,000 (draft Robin Lopez)
2nd Round Pick #47 $427,000 (draft Kyle Weaver)

Total 2008-2009 Salaries: $70,992,063

Roster / Depth Chart:
PG = Gilbert Arenas , Antonio Daniels , Kyle Weaver
SG = DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young
SF = Caron Butler, Andre Blatche, Dominic McGuire
PF = Antawn Jamison , Andre Blatche, Darius Songaila; Oleksiy Pecherov
C = Brendan Haywood, Etan Thomas, Robin Lopez

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 2:18 PM

If we had taken on Gasol's contract, we might have had trouble resigning Arenas.

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 2:13 PM

Good point Anon... Perhaps another reason that Ernie (or Abe) would have nixed that deal.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 2:19 PM

"If we had taken on Gasol's contract, we might have had trouble resigning Arenas.

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 2:13 PM

Good point Anon... Perhaps another reason that Ernie (or Abe) would have nixed that deal.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 2:19 PM "

Not if the owner wants to win.

If Gasol and Gilby and Caron were able to play together, and Gasol was providing the Wiz what he's bringing to the Lakers, then Abe would be a cheap old fool not to go over the cap to keep them together.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 2:23 PM

The Grizz GM did say he wanted the largest expiring contract, but I'm sure Jerry West had to be an influence in the deal.

Also, trading away one of our team captains wouldn't have sent the right message to guys like Caron, Gil, and the rest of the team, as well as the community. Kwame was a headache & a bust. Jamsion is a pro's pro and did a lot of charity work...

Posted by: CN | June 3, 2008 2:29 PM

Ok, so if this team captain decides to up and walk this summer, then what does that give you?

I'm sure you've heard the cliche that "this is a business" and what EG would have shown is that no one is above the team.

Jamison is a "pro's pro and did a lot of charity work," but none of that has translated into playoff success.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 2:39 PM

Rook Said: "As far as being 'over the cap' - you have to remember that your own Free Agents count against the Cap number until you either renounce them, or sign them. As a matter of fact, they count MORE than their last year contract. Sometimes as much as 300% more..."

Rook, thanks for the numbers, you obviously put a lot of thought into this, much appreciated.

You have to admit, though, that by saying if the Wizards let Gilbert walk they'd still be over the cap is a legalese twisting of the truth. That may be the case with normal free agents, but not those who have opted out of their contracts. Once Gilbert opts out, his $$ is immediately cleared from our books. He has no obligation to play for us and we owe him no money for the upcoming year.

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 2:46 PM

Rook, not every conspriracy theory is incorrect. I also didn't make that up. That's why I stated that 'it has been speculated' I actually read it somewhere and it wasn't a blog site. While I may not have evidence to prove that West had a hand in the deal, it's not out of the realm of possibility. Again, if anyone believes that the league might have had a hand in getting the Lekers and Celts into the Finals, it's not that big of a stretch to imagine the league orchestrating the trade that enabled them to get there.
Secondly, I don't believe that any owner in the league snubs their nose st David Stern. He's THAT powerful.
Finally, looking at it from Memphis' perspective, does getting under the cap help that team? They could have gotten value (Deng was offered the previous year) for Gasol and had a young nucleus of Deng, Gay and Conley to build around yet chose to hold out for what? Cap space? What free agent wants to go to Memphis? They have a lease on the FedEx Forum that's at least 7 years so they aren't moving anywhere.
Again, I'm not convinced that there's a conspiracy here but to ignore the possibility is unwise.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 2:52 PM

This team is built around AJ and GA, so obviously we need them.

But on the other hand, this is the only place where a team will be built around them. Anywhere else, and they'd be stuck as sixth men. They can shine brighter here than they could anywhere else. So they need to be here, playing in EJ's system alongside teammates selected to complement them.

We should be able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 2:52 PM

Also, the whole premise of getting JCN was to appease Gasol. Why would they do that if they were planning on trading him? The fact that they turned down better deals and attempted to make Gasol happy are signs that this deal was not something that was thought about beforehand or planned. Something (or someone) caused them to pull the trigger on it. They've been hemorraging money for a while, so $$ must not have been the main concern. Who knows? In any case, we didn't get Gasol and my main concern is what the Wiz are gonna do.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 2:57 PM

Rook - excellent job with the numbers. Well done...CN - in regards to not trading Jamison, grow up. If you have a chance to assemble what would have to be considered a favorite to win the East AND get younger in the process you do it. A pro's pro would understand.

Posted by: Cobra | June 3, 2008 2:59 PM

Do you think Gilby's going to call all the GM's in the NBA and try to beg for more money or negotiate a 3 way deal with other teams while soaking in his grotto or in between playing the PS3? Get real dude.

he won't have to, because Grunfeld's not in a position to where it's in the team's best interest not to sign him. He either re-signs with the Wiz or gets a S&T to another team. In either case, he gets paid. It's pretty simple, really.

BTW, commissions are negotiable.

All the negotiation in the world won't get an agent to work for free.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:01 PM

Rook: "Then, after his Championship year, he could again be a free agent - AGAIN!

How much would he be worth then?"
-------------------------------------
Depends on whether he played or became a fixture on Injured Reserve, I guess. It's not impossible to see a scenario where he comes back each season - feels pain - and goes back to injured reserve or surgery. It could go on for years, so do you want to make a player in that predicament your "franchise player" in terms of salary?

Posted by: NC | June 3, 2008 3:03 PM

You have to admit, though, that by saying if the Wizards let Gilbert walk they'd still be over the cap is a legalese twisting of the truth. That may be the case with normal free agents, but not those who have opted out of their contracts. Once Gilbert opts out, his $$ is immediately cleared from our books. He has no obligation to play for us and we owe him no money for the upcoming year.

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 2:46 PM

Incorrect. When he opts out of his contract, he becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent.... And just like Jamison (and every other Free Agent out there) his salary counts against the Salary Cap.

In the case of Arenas, his salary counts 150% against the Wizards cap UNTIL he is signed by another team, or the Wizards renounce him, or they resign him.

Opting out is not a "special case".

Gilbert can take all Summer long... Negotiate with other teams till October if he wants to.. and his salary still counts 150% against the Wizards salary cap number.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 3:03 PM

Gasol for Jamison would have been an awful trade....we'd have a player who never was a leader in Memphis and dogged it even after they traded for his buddy JCN. This trade would have also likely resulted in GA leaving as a FA and the team becoming lottery-bound.

At least now we can offer Jamison more than other teams and build on our core. I seriously doubt with GA's injury history that anyone will offer him a long-term deal and EG knows it also...the Wiz have leverage, but I doubt they'll use it.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 3, 2008 3:03 PM

I can agree on the 6th man thing with Aj, anon. I think Gil is good enough to be a starter on any team in this league. I think we forget that Gil's PER rating over the last 2 years (excluding this past year) was 23.97. That makes him a top ten player based on Hollinger's formula. Stats aren't everything but they are decent overall indicators sometimes.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 3:04 PM

"Kal, it would be nearly impossible to upgrade over Haywood without trading Caron Butler ..."

That's a pretty serious overstatement, I believe. Haywood is a serviceable role playing C. That's it. That's not a knock, it's basic reality. Trading Butler gets you something just below the top tier. That's still a tier above where Haywood lives.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:05 PM

Wizfan89, I've heard A LOT of talk from Memphis that they didn't really like Gasol and thought he was soft. He used to get booed regularly.

Posted by: mark | June 3, 2008 3:07 PM

Rook thanks for the good point about the maximum salary - so by that limit your figure of $15.5M is probably the best guess and closest to real out here in couch GM land. Methinks Gil will wait for the salary cap announcement in July before he starts dealing.

Posted by: rgz | June 3, 2008 3:16 PM

"Finally, looking at it from Memphis' perspective, does getting under the cap help that team? They could have gotten value (Deng was offered the previous year) for Gasol and had a young nucleus of Deng, Gay and Conley to build around yet chose to hold out for what? Cap space? What free agent wants to go to Memphis? They have a lease on the FedEx Forum that's at least 7 years so they aren't moving anywhere."

The Grizzlies are in a full-bore rebuilding mode. Getting the likes of Deng wouldn't have helped make them much more than they already were. Plus, with Deng's extension coming up, they'd have been right back in the same boat: paying huge money to a non-franchise player on a team that wasn't good enough to climb far out of the lottery.

That being the case, trading for Brown made more sense than trading for Jamison. What happens if they trade for Jamison and he comes in, provides leadership, and plays inspired ball? Maybe they slip into the playoffs, make a decent showing in the first round before falling? Then there's public pressure on management to pay Jamison and keep the team together, which is exactly what they don't want. Conversely, there was absolutely zero chance that Kwame Brown was going to rally them to a playoff run or that anyone would complain when they shed his salary slot like a dirty coat.

The owner has been trying, on and off, to sell the team for a while. Shedding overvalued assets is part of the plan to make the team more financially attractive. Right now, winning ball games isn't necessarily the Grizzlies' highest priority.

Contrary to popular opinion that the Lakers somehow fleeced Memphis, the Grizz got exactly what they wanted out of that deal.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:17 PM

Gil is good enough to start for most teams, but not for most contenders. Forgot to include the "contender" part of the equation. Shoot first point guards don't have a good championship record. See Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis.

EJ's system might allow the Wiz contend with GA- fingers crossed. Anyway, the experiment is a lot of fun to watch play out. I'm really growing to love the Wiz. I grew up as a Knicks fan, but ugh. You guys really need to stop complaining. This is some really fun stuff.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 3:17 PM

And, when you're Memphis, and half way through the season you've only won 13 games - you gotta make some kind of move.

The Grizzlies GM decided to blow it up and go young... by trading Gasol for an expiring contract PLUS 2 First Round picks, 2 Second round picks, and the rights to Marc Gasol - they can position themselves to package picks and/or players to move up in the Draft (either this year or next) - or offer a top-tier Free Agent a substantial contract - and pick up talent with 2 First round picks this year, and 2 next.

If it's done right, Memphis could be like Portland in two years... A great young core, all playing and getting better together. If it's done wrong, they could be the next Seattle (Durant and a bunch of "other" guys).

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 3:18 PM

Seattle isn't really in a bad position, Rook. They're not as far along as Portland, but then Portland is further along than anyone expected (thank you Brandon Roy). The Sonics have lots of young talent, some of whom will stick. The rest can be moved for other pieces that will fit in better. Right now it's a case of determining who (other than Durant and, maybe, Green) are keepers.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:25 PM

Gil is good enough to start for most teams, but not for most contenders. Forgot to include the "contender" part of the equation. Shoot first point guards don't have a good championship record. See Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis.

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 3:17 PM

What a fallacy. "Shoot First" point guards.

You mean PG's that shoot more than they Assist? Guards that take a lot of their team's shots? Like Chris Paul?

I read an article about "pass first" Point Guards and how it's a crock...!! I'll try to find it and post the link

Very interesting.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 3:26 PM

Seattle isn't really in a bad position, Rook. They're not as far along as Portland, but then Portland is further along than anyone expected (thank you Brandon Roy). The Sonics have lots of young talent, some of whom will stick. The rest can be moved for other pieces that will fit in better. Right now it's a case of determining who (other than Durant and, maybe, Green) are keepers.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:25 PM

Yeah I know - and that was my point... although I didn't say it very well...

Point is, you can rebuild through the Draft pretty quickly (Portland, 41 wins this year, respectable) - or it can take time (Seattle, 20 wins, second worst)...

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 3:29 PM

"You mean PG's that shoot more than they Assist? Guards that take a lot of their team's shots? Like Chris Paul?"

Or Chauncey Billups? Or Tony Parker?

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:30 PM

I think that one thing that people are missing in their assessment of the Wizards is the age of our team. I fully expect Blatche, Pesh, NY, and DMAC to make significant strides next year. I think that Haywood at 27 is only going to get better. Stevenson constantly gets killed o n this blog, but the guy is just 26 (or 27 cant remember) either way his shot has improved dramatically each year, and I think he will continue to progress and be a better player. Caron and Gil are just hitting their prime and should get better. Outside of Jamison, every player is young and improving, and most are just hitting their primes.

As for Jamison, the guy already has an old mans game. He does not require his athletic ability to score. He should age very well, and I think that his production per minute will no go down much over the next 3 years. His minutes should go down to rest his legs, and hopefully because blatche earns them. The reason Jamison's FG% went down is because he is not a teams #2 option. In reality, Caron is an excellent #2 scoring option, and Jamison is an excellent #3 option. Not number #1 and #2 options. With a healthy Gil, this team is legit, and can contend in the east, no question in my mind. The big question is health, and we jut haven't gotten lucky there.

Posted by: Ben | June 3, 2008 3:31 PM

He did get better at 27. Too bad he'll turn 29 about 3 weeks after next season starts.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:33 PM

Gil is good enough to start for most teams, but not for most contenders. Forgot to include the "contender" part of the equation. Shoot first point guards don't have a good championship record. See Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis.

Posted by: | June 3, 2008 3:17 PM

Using the same analogy, "pass first" Point Guards don't have a very good track record winning Championships either...

And what exactly is a "pass first" Point Guard?

Chris Paul shot more times this year than he assisted on baskets.

As did Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Jose Calderon, and Tony Parker.

Some of the greatest Point Guards of all time were tremendous scorers... Isaah Thomas (NBA Champion), Magic Johnson (NBA Champion)... Back then, they weren't called "shoot first" Point Guards, even though they handled the ball and shot the ball more than anyone else on their teams.

I'm not sure I would want a so-called "pass first" Point Guard on my team. If you can't score, what good are you?

I think I'd rather have a "shoot first" guy.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 3:44 PM

Rook Said: "In the case of Arenas, his salary counts 150% against the Wizards cap UNTIL he is signed by another team, or the Wizards renounce him, or they resign him."

But no penalties would be paid for being over the cap until one of those events occured, making this line of reasoning obsolete. If he "walks" he's not going to count against our cap next year.

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 3:48 PM

"Contrary to popular opinion that the Lakers somehow fleeced Memphis, the Grizz got exactly what they wanted out of that deal.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:17 PM "

Maybe if you wanted to sell a franchise...certainly not if you want to build a franchise.

The Grizz cleaned out large contracts to make them more attractive to potential buyers. The Lakers brought on Gasol to win championships.

Lakers got a great deal and have something to build their future on. Grizz not so much.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 3, 2008 3:50 PM

"But no penalties would be paid for being over the cap until one of those events occured, making this line of reasoning obsolete. If he "walks" he's not going to count against our cap next year."

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 3:48 PM

But the point I think Rook is making (and I believe it's the more significant point) is that while his salary would obviously not count on the Wizards cap next year if he "walked," losing his salary would also not create enough overall cap space to give the Wizards more than the MLE to pursue FAs.

They wouldn't have to worry about the luxury tax when they spent the MLE, but they also wouldn't have enough FA money to obtain a player who could come close to filling Arenas' role or significance on the team.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:53 PM

"Maybe if you wanted to sell a franchise...certainly not if you want to build a franchise."

And, as I noted in the very same post, it's been widely acknowledged that selling the franchise has been on the owner's to-do list for a while now.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:56 PM

None of those guys are considered shoot first point guards. I don't know where the line would be in terms of shots to assists, but it's not 1-to-1. Even AD takes more shots than he hands out assists. It would have to vary depending on the quality of the players, too- the relative value of a shot vs a pass depends on who is doing the passing and who's doing the shooting.

I like the way GA plays for us (on the offensive side of the ball, anyway). In another setting, in another system, my sense is that he wouldn't be nearly as successful because he wouldn't improve his teammates enough. Can't prove it, but there it is. I think GA plays better for us than he would anywhere else, because of EJ's system.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 4:01 PM

Now, GA could be a good complementary player. He showed that in the Olympic trials. But if he did that, he wouldn't be a superstar. Playing here, in EJ's system, both GA and the Wizards are at their best.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 4:06 PM

I'm not sure I would want a so-called "pass first" Point Guard on my team. If you can't score, what good are you?

I think I'd rather have a "shoot first" guy.

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 3:44 PM

Thanks for pointing that out. Chris Paul was the bees knees according to everyone, yet he plays what apparently is considered shoot first Arenas style here in Washington. I'm tired of all these folks spouting a term they heard but who don't really understand what they see in the Wizards. Assists will never be high in D.C. regardless of who's PG, because it will take 3-4 passes and often much more before the open man is found who will take the shot or drive or cut to the basket.

Posted by: rgz | June 3, 2008 4:10 PM

And, as I noted in the very same post, it's been widely acknowledged that selling the franchise has been on the owner's to-do list for a while now.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:56 PM

Ted has contractual first dibs on it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 4:12 PM

"Ted has contractual first dibs on it."

On the Grizzlies? Really? Huh. Who knew?

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 4:15 PM

sorry I thought you meant the Wiz.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 4:33 PM

But the point I think Rook is making (and I believe it's the more significant point) is that while his salary would obviously not count on the Wizards cap next year if he "walked," losing his salary would also not create enough overall cap space to give the Wizards more than the MLE to pursue FAs.

They wouldn't have to worry about the luxury tax when they spent the MLE, but they also wouldn't have enough FA money to obtain a player who could come close to filling Arenas' role or significance on the team.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:53 PM

Yeah, I agree with the overall point, that replacing Gil's value will be difficult, I just was pointing out that to qualify us as "over the cap" if he walks makes it sound like we have no money at all and are already in the red. That's just not true.

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 5:21 PM

Re-sign Gilbert

Posted by: Adam | June 3, 2008 5:31 PM

"Yeah, I agree with the overall point, that replacing Gil's value will be difficult, I just was pointing out that to qualify us as "over the cap" if he walks makes it sound like we have no money at all and are already in the red. That's just not true."

It's close enough. There's almost no chance that any player they manage to sign with even the full-MLE is going to be a significant enough difference maker to offset Arenas' hypothetical loss. Once you get past the small handful of top tier FAs (two of whom are already on the Wizards roster) this is not an esp. deep or impressive FA class. I'm not even sure there are any unrestricted FAs on the market that would be worth the full MLE (among those who could actually be signed for that amount).

If letting Arenas walk opened up max-type cap space, then it might be worth talking about. but as is, the difference between having the MLE and having no money isn't all they great when it comes to how much bang you can get for your buck.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 5:48 PM

Rook Said: "In the case of Arenas, his salary counts 150% against the Wizards cap UNTIL he is signed by another team, or the Wizards renounce him, or they resign him."

But no penalties would be paid for being over the cap until one of those events occured, making this line of reasoning obsolete. If he "walks" he's not going to count against our cap next year.

Posted by: Sam | June 3, 2008 3:48 PM

Someone asked me if Arenas walked, would the Wizards be "under the Salary Cap"

I responded: No....

Then you said:
"legalese twisting of the truth. That may be the case with normal free agents, but not those who have opted out of their contracts. "

My response was appropriate. The Wizards will still be OVER the Salary Cap if Arenas walks.

In addition, his salary counts at 150% until he signs with another team, is resigned by the Wizards, or is renounced by the Wizards. I didn't mention any "penalties" for being over the Salary Cap - EXCEPT the rules that do not allow teams over the cap to sign Free Agents (Unless they use an Exception, Like the MLE).

As far as I know, there are NO "penalties" that "would be paid" for being over the Salary Cap.

The only "penalties" for being over anything are for exceeding the Luxury Tax. Please remember that there are two threshholds- the Salary Cap... and the Luxury Tax. There ARE pentlties for going over the Luxury Tax.

If you don't understand, I suggest you visit:

http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm

Posted by: Rook | June 3, 2008 6:38 PM

Resign GA for less than a max contract.

To say that he will be 100% after two knee surgeries is crazy! I don't believe that for one second.

I don't want a selfish, me first, no defense, non-passing, injured player tying up this franchises salary cap for years to come. Plus, we have already paid him millions for two years for next to nothing in return.

To NC, Grant Hill had ankle surgeries not knee surgeries.

Kal has never liked BH. So getting him to make sense on that subject is not going to work. Haywood is a very serviceable center who may still be getting better (late bloomer) at a very reasonable contract. Plus, he is very durable for a big man! Knock on wood!

Rook, please name the players who have recovered from two knee surgeries on the same knee and come back to improve their games and win a championship? It's very questionable if he was a championship caliber player before the injuries. Plus, Arenas is not "walking" to another team for less money or less of a contract. The whole reason he is opting out is long-term "security" as he has consistently stated.

Posted by: Rob P | June 3, 2008 8:29 PM

Haywood is serviceable, a point I already confirmed at least twice. And he is signed to a very reasonable contract, a fact which, far from disputing my point actually supports it, because his reasonable contract would make him easy to move. None of that changes the fact that he's a middle of the pack, second-tier C, and it hardly requires a jump up to all-star caliber players to improve on that.

As for the "late bloomer" stuff ... yeah, cause there's such a long history in pro sports of athletes who improve significantly as they get closer to 30, right?

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 8:39 PM

Yeah, so who is this less than all-star caliber center we are just going to pick up and plug in. Theoretically maybe, but theories are not going to help this team.

As far as your counter punch, if you don't know that in basketball many big men develop late, well, then you don't know basketball as well as you proclaim.

Posted by: Rob P | June 3, 2008 11:16 PM

Lets get past the abstractions on BTH and ask who really ARE better NBA East Centers than he is...

Boston, Kendrick Perkins a big happy
surprise

New York, never mind

New Jersey, Kristic may never come back

Philadelphia, Sam Dalembert, perhaps breakout playoff series against Detroit

Charlotte, Okefor out of position, C a draft priority

Atlanta, ZaZa nope

Miami, uh uh

Cleveland, Z is a good one

Detroit, no true center unlesss you look way down the bench to Brezec, Rasheed on his way out

Chicago, oh wait, they traded their centers

Milwaukee, Bogut has yet to prove anything

Toronto, Rasto, Bargnani hmmm

Orlando, Dwight Howard the best by perhaps two standard deviations

OK Based on that list BTH is way behind Dwight Howard (except in FT %) and may not have the upside we have seen recently from Perkins and Dalembert. Z is legit, but getting old... Bogut is a dud for a Number 1 pick.

In short, I think BTH is way, way up there. This may say as much about the quality of NBA centers as it does about Brendan, but he is in fact a solid player and if the Wizards support him by drafting Hibbert at 18, we will have the position well covered.

Posted by: khrabb | June 4, 2008 5:33 AM

BTH has also molded himself to be a pretty good fit with us. The most important attribute for our center is the ability to help cover for AJ's defensive liabilities. No way Z fits that role for us.

On the shoot-first point guard discussion- can't believe any of you guys would toss Chris Paul's name out there as a shoot-first point guard. Ridiculous.

Parker and Chauncey have shoot-first tendencies, but I think they actually benefited from not being the far-and-away best players on their teams. Other players on their team could help keep their selfish tendencies in check. In that sense, it's possible that Gilbert's lack of leadership may actually have helped us. AJ and Caron are able to get in his grill if he starts ignoring his teammates and tries to go one on five.

Check out this Simmons article:
http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?id=1285073

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 6:38 AM

The Wiz not only survived without Gilby this past season, they thrived.

If BTH went down, we'd been in a world of hurt. I don't see anyone on the roster or available that could have done the job BTH did.

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 4, 2008 8:26 AM

LOL!!! Kupchak is a genius!!!

---------------------------------------------

When much of the league was determined to make a serious bid for the 7-footer, how could Memphis settle so long before the February trade deadline for such a paltry offer out of the Lakers? For the first time, even Heisley wondered whether his general manager, Chris Wallace, blew it by caving so soon to the Lakers. "I don't know if I got the most value," Heisley confessed. "Maybe our people should've shopped (Gasol) more and maybe we would've gotten more, done a better deal. Maybe Chris did call every team in the league. I don't think he did, but maybe he should've..." Yahoo! Sports

Several sources close to the process insist West played no part, and Heisley swears, "Jerry didn't know about the trade until after it was done." Still, it hasn't stopped a rampant anger around the league that this wasn't so much of a trade, as much as it was the word that Bryant himself used: a "donation." Privately, the Lakers were thrilled that they were able to keep negotiations with the Grizzlies quiet because Los Angeles officials were blown away that they could get Gasol for so little. Yahoo! Sports

One source with knowledge of the process said the Bulls had made the most credible offer. For Gasol and Memphis' Hakim Warrick, the Bulls were willing to part with Andres Nocioni, Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, Thabo Sefolosha, possibly Adrian Griffin and draft picks. Heisley didn't offer up those names, but insisted, "Chicago wouldn't offer us any of their good, core players," he said. "Our people told me that we weren't able to get equal trade value for Gasol and that we needed to do a deal that would give us cap space and draft picks. It was no secret in the league that we were considering offers for him, but the Lakers were the one team that stepped up." Yahoo! Sports

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 4, 2008 9:00 AM

hibachi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: prescrunk | June 4, 2008 10:45 AM

"Contrary to popular opinion that the Lakers somehow fleeced Memphis, the Grizz got exactly what they wanted out of that deal.

Posted by: kalorama | June 3, 2008 3:17 PM "

LOL!

Posted by: DC Man88 | June 4, 2008 11:01 AM

Chris Paul? A shoot-first point guard? Ha! Funny!

Another factor is the defense. If the D is geared to eliminate the passing opportunities but leaves open shots, that's another way for the shot/assist ratio to get twisted. Steve Nash would rather pass, but as long as the defense is giving him open looks, he's knocking them down, his team is winning, and his teammates are happy, he'll shoot all day. That doesn't make him a shoot-first player, because he's still looking to pass, like always.

There's no simple number you can point to that identifies a shoot-first PG, it's about what's going on inside a guy's head.

We know what has been going on inside Gilbert's head- he's been looking to shoot.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 11:13 AM

So is Arenas planning on doing any rehab while he's in China for a full month?

Maybe he can work at a sweatshoppe out there so he remains in shape.

Posted by: 761-091 | June 4, 2008 2:56 PM

Actually he's going to be in the Philippines for Adidas Shoes July 5-8.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 4, 2008 3:56 PM

Disclaimer: This is by no means scientific...

On shoot-first PGs, my take is that if you account for the fact that even the best NBA player will miss half his shots, then a PG's assists attempts can be extrapolated to 2x what the actual number is, since half his potential assists will end in a missed bucket. So a guy who averages 7 assists per game may actually attempt 12-15 assists per game.

Now, compare that number (I'll call it attempted assists per game, aapg) to the number of field goal attempts per game. Just a cursory look, and Deron Williams (21.0 aapg x2 vs. 13.6 fga), Chris Paul (23.2 aapg, 16.1 fga), and even Chauncey (13.6 aapg, 11.2 fga) qualify as pass-first guys.

(note these are based on 07/08 averages)
(and note also that chauncey's aapg is relatively close to his fga, hence he is sometimes perceived as a shoot first guy, whereas deron and CP3's aapg are much higher than their fga. I personally don't perceive chauncey to be a shoot first PG, until crunch time when he is indeed more likely to take the shot)

Gil (06/07 averages: 12.0 aapg, 20.9 fga) and Tony Parker (12.0 aapg, 15.1 fga) do not.

Again, not scientific, but at least a way to quantify what you see on the court.

Posted by: jones-y | June 4, 2008 5:18 PM

Good points jones-y, that's how I've always looked at PGs or floor leaders. Each team is different though, in how the pieces work together, some better than others with respect to assists and shooting more. BTW Chauncey was much more of a shoot first guy when he entered the league, but learned to play "the right way" as a floor leader under Larry Brown. You can see Pop's (one of Brown's guys)influence with Parker too as he's trying to become a better floor leader as opposed to scorer when he first burst onto the scene. EJ's philosophy in the Princeton is to move the ball and cut but it doesn't necessarily require his PG to create for others. In NJ in just so happened that Kidd could create for all since that was his strength and in Jefferson, Kittles, and KMart were great athletes who ran but weren't great shot creators. That made the fit perfect and it showed. They also were very good defenders individually and collectively.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 10:30 AM

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