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The Ernie and Eddie Show

The Wizards just completed a press conference involving president Ernie Grunfeld and Eddie Jordan. I'll be writing in depth about it for tomorrow's paper and will flesh out some quotes later on after I transcribe everything but I thought I'd hop on and post a few noteworthy items.

-Jordan on the possibility of Grunfeld making a roster move in the next few days: "I am comfortable (with the current roster) and he's (Grunfeld) got some things hidden in his back pocket that will help us in a few more days. He's always looking at some names and some players who can help us. We've brought some names up - I don't want to reveal them now - but some promising names in our meetings. We think we can maybe get some more people in training camp. However, we're very confident in Antonio (Daniels) and DeShawn (Stevenson) and Dee Brown who played in summer league. We've always wanted a guard like Dee to change the pace, to quicken the pace, to pick up defensively. He's got some experience under him and he's relatively young. He's a tough, hard-nosed kid from Chicago and we're very exciited about him being on our roster."

-That player could be Juan Dixon. Ernie: "Like we said before, Juan is one of the guys we are considering. We're talking to Juan and yeah, there's always a chance. If we have something to report in the next couple of days or sooner, we will. But yes, Juan had some good years with us. He's a proven NBA player and a tough, hard-nosed competitor....We like his game and we think he can bring something to the table."

Eddie on the chance of adding Juan: "It's very possible. He's a guy I'm comfortable with and he could help us certainly."

-Here's the deal: The Wizards want Juan Dixon but they don't want to go over the luxury tax. He made $2.55 million last season and obviously hasn't had teams lining up to give him anywhere near that so far but he clearly will want to make as much as possible. The key will be whether the Wizards can talk Juan into taking a cap friendly deal. Roger Mason Jr. did just that last summer, had a big season and earned himself a tidy $7.3 million deal from the Spurs this summer. Stay tuned.

-Both Eddie and Ernie said that center Etan Thomas is fully healthy and will be good to go 100 percent when camp opens in Richmond on Saturday. Thomas missed all of last season following open-heart surgery.

-Darius Songaila, who was a late scratch for Lithuania prior to the Olympics do to back soreness, is healthy and good to go for camp as well according to Eddie and Ernie.

-Oleksiy Pecherov was finally cleared to participate in five-on-five scrimmaging yesterday and that ankle is healthy for the start of camp. Eddie made a point of saying that he likes Pesh and hopes to see him compete for a spot in the rotation.

-Gilbert Arenas will be in Richmond, according to Ernie and Eddie and will be around the team on a regular basis. Jordan said he has spoken with Arenas since the latest procedure and said he is in good spirits.

-I asked Eddie whether he went through the summer expecting to have a fully healthy Arenas for the opening of the season. His answer: "I didn't think we were going to have him 100 percent, I knew we weren't going to have him 100 percent for training camp and I didn't want to go further than that. We knew he needed more rehab, more strenghtening and more work during training camp. Our thinking and our preperation was for training camp and preparing this team to lay the foundation again for the season."

-Eddie on Nick Young: "He's an exciting scorer. We want him to be a better player. Defensively, that's understanding time and score. Work ethic: being a pro in the lockeroom, maturing. All of that is going to take place but yes, we're very excited about his opportunity and we do have other guys."

-Eddie on Ernie picking up his option for the 2009-2010 season yesterday: "It was a total shock to me. Ernie said: 'come to my office and let's talk about camp personnel, let's talk about this and talk about this and then he said: "in fact, we're going to pick up your option."....So, I'm very grateful to Ernie and to Mr. Pollin and my assistant and my players who have made a tremendous contribution to this happening."

By "total shock" Eddie meant that he was so focused on the start of camp, he hadn't considered his contract. "I was thinking about what I have to do for camp. I'm in training camp mode.....That was totally out of my relm of thinking, the option."

-Eddie and the coaches had the "retreat" at a Washington hotel last week. It's something they do every year. They lock themselves up, go over tape and personnel, formalize practice and preseason plans and talk strategy.

More later.

By Ivan Carter  |  September 23, 2008; 12:45 PM ET
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Next: Juan Dixon: "I'm Coming"


Super post Ivan, keep it coming.

We want Juan, we want Juan!

Posted by: Baltimore CJ | September 23, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

IC, now that Etan is 100%, is it still an open competition for the center postion?

Posted by: C.Bell | September 23, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update Ivan. Appreciate it very much. Keep it coming. I can't wait for camp.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Hard not to be feeling a bit stoked for the season!

Also, congrats to Gil on the upcoming wedding. Perhaps now we can put to rest some of the personal life criticism that has been muddying this blog.


Posted by: g | September 23, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Side note:

Anybody been following the hype about the lame logo for the Oklahoma Thunder?

I was thinking, NBA has a lot of lame logos and lame team names. Thunder is a decent team name, but the logo is arse. The Wizards have well, a joke of a team name... so the logo is whatever.

Who has the worst name or logo in the league?

I vote for the Raptors, the team name makes no sense (ala wizards) and the logo has a raptor wearing sneakers (with claws) and an R on it's shirt...

Honorable mention goes to the Hornets... it's an OK name, but that hornet looks like a drunk reject from Bill Cosby's Brown Hornet sketch book.

Posted by: g | September 23, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Also, congrats to Gil on the upcoming wedding. Perhaps now we can put to rest some of the personal life criticism that has been muddying this blog.


Posted by: g | September 23, 2008 2:09 PM "

Yes, congrats to Gilby, but make no mistake, Gilby brought all of this on himself by making his personal life an open book and airing his dirty laundry as he derided his gf/fiance's mothering and cleaning skills in an open forum and she took his drama public by trying to get him served a subpoena during a game among other things.

I know, it's ghetto.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 23, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

the contract extension to eddie jordan is the least the team could do. re-signing juan is also good thing. could this spell the end for dee brown? i like what demarr johnson might bring to the table as well. his length could bother some of the 2's and 3's out there defensively.

Posted by: G$ | September 23, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

DC Man88

Why are you calling yourself out on this?

A good rule of thumb: offer praise without condition. Otherwise you seem disingenuous.

Posted by: g | September 23, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"DC Man88

Why are you calling yourself out on this?

A good rule of thumb: offer praise without condition. Otherwise you seem disingenuous.

Posted by: g | September 23, 2008 2:45 PM "

If I said something inaccurate, then speak up, otherwise Confucius, save your advice for yourself.

BTW, it is ghetto, but at least Gilby didn't throw her out butt nekkid like AI did to his wife when he was tired of her and wanted to send her back out to the world the way she came into his life...with nothing.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 23, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so what's the point of anyone mentioning DerMarr Johnson, Linton Johnson, or Taj "Mahal" McCullough?

Do any of these guys solve the Les BouleS issue of weak D at the 4 or being sharpshooters from 3 pt range?


In fact, DerMarr's career has been marred with nothing but below mediocre results.

How is someone like DMac, someone you drafted, supposed to get PT when you're bringing in 3 players that bring the same thing to the table?

Who cares who Les BouleS are bringing in anyway?

None are kept when the season starts, and the draft picks by EG might as well be Vinnie Cerrato picks b/c they are almost guaranteed to make the roster no matter how sorry they are.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 23, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Exercising EJ's contract extension through 2010 was a smart move - don't need a lame duck coach. A better one would be signing Juan Dixon to a luxury cap-friendly contract to have a legit veteran backup in the backcourt. Dixon knows the Wiz offense, can score off the bench, hit 3's, and is a better option at PG than Dee Brown. Signing Dixon would offset to a degree the loss of Roger Mason (although Mason is a better all-around player in IMO).

Glad to see that both EG and EJ realize we have a pretty big hole to fill in the backcourt given GA's knee surgery and the loss of Mason. I shudder to think of a 2nd team backcourt of NY and Dee Brown. AD will inevitably break down if he plays too many minutes at this point in his career. Stevenson is an iron man, but you can't play him 40-45 minutes a night and be your defensive stopper.

Posted by: wizfan89 | September 23, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we all just vote for George W. and give him 4 more years? These two guys did about as well as job as he has. Signing Gil was like going into Iraq. G.W. spent a bunch of the tax payer’s money and they spent the money of people paying for the tickets and will get the same results? With everything going on in the world when will people get smart and stop buying tickets and making these guys millionaires?

Posted by: bullets fan 78 | September 23, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Just want to say thanks for answering many of the questions generated by the fans on this blog. Look forward to tomorrow's article.

Posted by: Dr. Strangelove | September 23, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

When Eddie says of Nick Young, "we have other guys," I think he's saying that Nick might not want to buy a house in the DC area.

Posted by: billyjoe | September 24, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

Where's Steve Blake? Lonnie Baxter? Byron Mouton? Are they available? Let's put the band back together for one more run at a national title?

Posted by: College Park | September 24, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"Where's Steve Blake? Lonnie Baxter? Byron Mouton? Are they available? Let's put the band back together for one more run at a national title?

Posted by: College Park | September 24, 2008 8:50 AM "

Don't forget C.Wilcox. That run made him a lottery pick.

Posted by: DC Man88 | September 24, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

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