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Checking In

It's a quiet time in Wizard land but players have been rolling into the Verizon Center for workouts and before long, training camp and preseason will arrive. I hear that Gilbert Arenas is doing well as he gets his surgically repaired knee and body in shape for the upcoming season. He resumed heavy on-court workouts August 1 with the goal of being at full speed when camp opens.

-The regular season schedule is out and we should have a training camp and preseason schedule officially finalized as soon as this week.

-One huge key for me will be how this team handles the extensive travel it will see during October. Traditionally, the team plays only one or two home games (the WIz played a game in Fairfax last preseason as well as one at the VC) and travels the remainder of the preseason. As you already know, the Wiz will make a trip to Europe for games against the Hornets in Berlin and Barcelona (I'm really looking forward to the trip) and that wil obviously serve as an extra batch of wear and tear.

-The good news as far as the regular season schedule is concerned is that the Wiz open at home (Oct. 29 against New Jersey) and play eight of the first 13 contests at the Verizon Center. The other thing I looked at was back-to-backs. The team plays three sets in the season's first month and you can bet that we'll all be closely watching how Arenas and to a lesser extent, Caron Butler, are handled. Needless to say, it will be crucial for those two to remain relatively healthy all season along with Antawn Jamison.

-As you can tell, it's been quiet on the free agent front. That doesn't mean Ernie Grunfeld hasn't been working the phones, but the team's roster, salary cap and luxury tax situation has contributed to him not being more aggressive in adding another player. Right now, the team has 14 players under contract (Dee Brown carries a partial guarantee) and I wouldn't be surprised to if Ernie stayed at that number so he has some roster and salary flexibility early in the season.

-I briefly caught up with DeShawn Stevenson last week at the VC before he got a workout in. He's still rocking the scraggly beard but is sporting an old-school fade haircut with a part in the middle. Really late 80's. DeShawn seldom fails to come up with something.

-Expect more detailed preseason info and a solid Arenas update soon. It's funny but it's still only mid August yet it feels as if the season is right around the corner.

By Ivan Carter  |  August 18, 2008; 12:42 PM ET
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Next: Preseason schedule released


thanks for the update ivan

Posted by: achraf | August 18, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see you back on the blogging front, Ivan.

You've been missed, dude.

Posted by: Sixx | August 18, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, you got scooped by Steinberg. Deshawn shaved.

Posted by: Sam | August 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, Any word on non-quarenteed camp invitees? Any interesting names that have been working out at Verizon with the guys this off season?

There are going to be some guys worth looking at get cut from teams around the league during camp and preseason, so at this point it might be worth waiting and scouting for a 15th guy. Can't imagine that there will be anyone out there to pickup that could be a difference maker at this point.

I'm wondering are most of the young guys in town working out this summer? They're the key to this year, so they better know it and be working hard all summer long.

Posted by: GM | August 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Ivan....

Was wondering about Songaila's back injury reported by Chris Sheridan on ESPN

I'm assuming that it's not really a problem for this coming training camp - but I'd like your take on it.

Is it just Darius being cautious?

Posted by: Rook | August 18, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Or the scoop was some sort of official Washington Wizards blog which posted something about DeShawn's beard a whole three days ago.

Posted by: | August 18, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Ivan!

It's also quiet in the blog. Just the same people. A person who annoys everyone and another person that scrutinize everybody.

Posted by: Dave, | August 18, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Considering that he had back surgery not too long ago, that news about Songaila's back is troubling.

Posted by: kalorama | August 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't we shift AJ, Blatche or songaila to SF sometimes so mcguire doesn't have to carry too big of a load?

Posted by: RP wiz fan | August 19, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

If 12-18 MPG at the SF spot is "too big a load" then he's got no business being on the roster.

Posted by: kalorama | August 19, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

dave, let me guess...

dcman88 and kalorama ?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 19, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, any word on Dee Brown? Summer league did not do him justice, are we keeping him of going with John Wallace?

Posted by: mrjeremie | August 19, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Here's DeShawn showing off some of the moves he's perfected over the summer.

Posted by: Upper Marlboro Man | August 20, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

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