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The Wizards will get back together for practice this evening at Verizon Center after getting a few days off for the All-Star break. I'll provide injury updates and other info following the workout. The team hosts Minnesota tomorrow night at VC.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 16, 2009; 11:18 AM ET
 
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Comments

Ivan,

It seems like every other contender in the league is licking its chops at trying to get Caron Butler. Can you get more info on whether EG is seriously thinking about moving CB. Personally I think it would be stupid, because regardless of the luxury tax situation, the Wiz just invested 111 million into a franchise player with the idea that the pieces were in place for a championship run. How could you sell off the 2nd biggest (he's 2nd cuz AJ don't play D) piece of that puzzle just for money issues half a season later?

Posted by: rgm34 | February 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Here's my draft question of the day: during Hasheem Thabeet's 'completely dominant' performance against Seton Hall last week -- a performance that had Digger Phelps comparing him to Bill Russell and Calhoun and the Seton Hall coach anointing him the #1 selection -- anyway, how did the Seton Hall center, generously listed at 6'9", manage to get 23 points, 13 bounds, and 6 blocks against him? Given that the Seton Hall guy is averaging single digit scoring so far this year, and about half that many rebounds.

Must have been some game, that's all I can say.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Simple, because CB is the type of player who could put a a good team over the top...excellent all around-player who is the perfect No. 2 guy on most teams. Don't be surprised if he ends up with a team like New Orleans, Portland, or Utah who need a SF/SG who can give them some toughness, scoring, and experience....the Wiz may be looking at getting some young talent plus draft picks as they start to rebuild. Not to mention that CB3's contract ends in 2010 and he'll probably want to leave as a FA if this team starts a major rebuilding project this summer.

Don't believe anything from EG who wishes he could purge most of the roster including Jamison and start from scratch. He's already made one very bad move with re-signing Arenas and complicated it by not leaving enough cap room to re-sign Mason who's having a great year in San Antonio. Except for Arenas (who is untradable), anyone on the roster could be moved for the right price.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 16, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

For the past several years, the Wiz have let themselves be defined by:

1) overplaying the vets (any vets, good or bad); and
2) injuries to the vets

What would it take to get EG or ET to change the approach for the rest of the year?

Ten straight losses?
Attendance below 10,000?
Other?

On a related point, when is ET going to stop bad-mouthing the young players and change his attitude and approach toward them?

Is there an objective standard such as points and/or rebounds per 40 minutes or assists/turns or shooting percentages (either on O or D)?

Posted by: Izman | February 16, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The Caron situation is quite a tough one. Personally, he, like most other fans, is my favorite player. He is Tough, plain and simple. Can't teach that, can't teach hunger. Nick Young could learn some things from him. Less smiling, more grit. I don't think you should trade your Co-Captain. In ESPN today I think it was Stein talking about possibles trades. Most were about Amare but at the bottom of the page he states that everyone is dyin' for Butler. But, his "favorite beltway" source infromed in one word that they are NOT thinking about trading Butler. This is EG's greatest move to date (could possibly be overtaken by Gil's signing, if healthy) If we trade butler I imagine we would get 2 players + a draft pick, hopefully not conditional. If it happens I will be blown. I remember when they didn't resign Hughes...me and my friend were so blown, like "They're gonna ruin chemistry, they were so close". Then we saw Caron and were amazed about how tough he played. Silky smooth Larry Hughes turned into Tough Juice in one offseason. I know he's injured sometimes but he loves DC and DC loves him. He cried when he signed his contract and he seems VERY loyal. If hes gone I'll be sad.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | February 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Ivan.

My take is that it would take a deal that would just blow Grunfeld away to pry Butler away. He's just not a guy that's on the market. That being said he's probably the only guy that a contender really wants and would be willing to part with real assets for.

There's been some rumors floating around about Cleveland showing interest in Jamison. But I can't see Mr. Pollin signing off on any deal of Jamison that would really amount to a cap space creating deal. Other then that I can't see that the Wiz have the pcs. to be involved in a trade deadline deal.

Thomas and James's value doesn't really kick in until after this season or at next year's trade deadline. Their only real value is in the expiring contracts themselves, not the players.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 16, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Caron is this team right now and probably with Arenas, too. He and Haywood provide the omly real presence in the paint that Jamison and Etan can never give. If someone was to go I'd say it would be Jamison for me. If Caron goes and we rebuild it's gonna be ugly for years around here. Maybe Golden State still wants Arenas.

Posted by: Berndaddy | February 16, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Samson151, You would have had to seen the game.

First of all the Seton Center didn't block Thabeet's shot 6 times. The game was a blow out that Thabeet completely dominated. To answer your request for a good game against a good team. He also recently shut down Louisville on their home court, his last five games have really been something.

It's too early to tell if the guy has finally grown into his own, or if this is just a hot streak. But right now I think he's playing better then I ever saw Oden play two years ago, and he went #1.

There's no way to say Seton Hall's center had a good game against him.

Having watched the Wizards this year you should be familar with a term garbage time. The guy I think you're refering to padded his stats then...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 16, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

How I wish Isiah Thomas is still the GM of the Knickerbockers and ask if Jamison is available.

Posted by: Dave381 | February 16, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Except for Arenas (who is untradable), anyone on the roster could be moved for the right price.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 16, 2009 12:52 PM "

With regard to Caron, no one on this team is untouchable because of the sorry record.

Given that, rumor has it that JaTravel's availability has been questioned by several teams, but EG has told people that he's not available.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I want to spare everyone the pain of reading through all the trade rumors, but here are a few highlights that I saw. BTW, none of the include EG, so he must be satisfied with the team as it currently stands:
-------------------------------------------

"The Thunder are going after Tyson Chandler, according to ESPN.com ... Suns have discussed adding Matt Barnes into a trade with Amare Stoudemire ... Bulls eyeing Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby ... Mavs targeting John Salmons ... Knicks in play for Brad Miller ... Pistons trade Alex Acker to Clippers ... Terry Porter fired ... "

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Screamin' Stephen A. Smith totally dissed Caron and Jamison. When asked which team is the biggest disappointment, he replied "The Wizards." The Screamer then went on to say he could not understand how Caron and Antawn would allow their team to be 11-42 -that it is totally unacceptable for 2 "so called All Stars" to allow that to happen. Said it was not the GM or interim coaches fault.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 16, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Smith is an idiot...Since when did centers not mean anything in this league?? (rhetoric)

Posted by: BurgwithaU | February 16, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Butler probably has the best dollar-for-dollar value, as his salary is around $10M this year and he's fairly young (28?) while averaging 20+ pts, 6+ rebs, 4+ assts, & under 2 stls per game. It'll be very unlikely that he gets traded, unless a great deal comes along.

Being that Butler's in his prime, hard to imagine what would convince Grunfeld to trade him, since Grunfeld's been tracking him pre-NBA (perhaps due to their Wisconsin connection?). Not saying he's untouchable, but one can see why the team would trade Arenas (high dollars, injuries), Jamison (high dollars, age), but Butler's nagging injuries still haven't hurt his stock much, b/c of his play & salary...

Posted by: -CN- | February 16, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

flohrtv wrote: "Samson151, You would have had to seen the game. First of all the Seton Center didn't block Thabeet's shot 6 times."

I didn't see it. But how did a 6'8 1/2" center get around Thabeet to block six (count them) six UConn shots? Wasn't somebody supposed to block him out? And that had to be Thabeet.

"The game was a blow out that Thabeet completely dominated."

No offense, but a 62-54 'blowout'? UConn was up 10 at the half. The 2nd half margin was what, 2 points?

"To answer your request for a good game against a good team. He also recently shut down Louisville on their home court, his last five games have really been something."

I believe he's hot. Looks like 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks against the Cards. Very respectable, but... I guess I'm not following the hype.

"But right now I think he's playing better then I ever saw Oden play two years ago, and he went #1."

True enough. I wasn't that impressed with Oden, either. Although he's a lot stronger than Thabeet, and that counts in the NBA.

"There's no way to say Seton Hall's center had a good game against him."

I don't know who else he could have had it against. The box says Thabeet played 39 minutes, and the Seton Hall guy only 34. Chances are he hit most of those shots and got most of those 13 rebounds and 6 blocks against Thabeet.

Which suggests (and feel free to dispute it) that Thabeet was roaming around looking for blocks rather than defending the other team's big guy.

But like you say, I didn't see it.

Having watched the Wizards this year you should be familar with a term garbage time. The guy I think you're refering to padded his stats then...
GM


own Louisville on their home court, his last five games have really been something.

It's too early to tell if the guy has finally grown into his own, or if this is just a hot streak. But right now I think he's playing better then I ever saw Oden play two years ago, and he went #1.

There's no way to say Seton Hall's center had a good game against him.

Having watched the Wizards this year you should be familar with a term garbage time. The guy I think you're refering to padded his stats then...GM"

Posted by: Samson151 | February 16, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I left a fragment of Flohrtv's post at the bottom of the last entry. Ignore, please.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 16, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I'd agree that once Thabeet was getting close to a triple double, he was head hunting for that last block.

But what you're missing if you haven't been watching is the way he's altering team's entire offense. Guys are just quiting going in the lane. I think the stat line in the Seton Hall game was 16 altered shots on top of the 9 blocks.

Michigan game was 15 altered shots. Defensively the guy is on one heck of a hot streak. Last 5 games averaging 14+ rebounds and 7+ blocks.

Strength? Have you seen him play this year? I've got no question if he's strong enough. Past question was that he played high and was poor at leverage. When he moves his feet and leverages properly he's really strong.

It will be interesting to see him go against Blair from Pitt, short strong guys gave him problems last year. But this year he's done better against most that he's seen.

Like I said in the last post, I'm not going to start throwing Russell's name around like Digger did. But The guy's playing some of the best Big Man basketball I've seen in college in awhile.

You can't measure a defensive big man's effect on a game in the stat sheet very well. But you sure can see it if you watch.
And I've been watching him every chance I get. Along with Griffin, Jordan Hill(I really like him too), Hardin, & Curry.


I've also watched a lot of Georgetown and I'm of the opinion that Monroe should stay in school another year. I can't see where he's ready yet. But, that's just me...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 16, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I saw this trade posted somewhere on Internetz D.Stevenson,E.Thomas,C.Butler for S.Rodriguez,T.Outlaw,R.LaFrentz and L.Aldridge

Posted by: jeremydvid | February 16, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

flohrtv: But what you're missing if you haven't been watching is the way he's altering team's entire offense. Guys are just quiting going in the lane. I think the stat line in the Seton Hall game was 16 altered shots on top of the 9 blocks."

Good points. But obviously Seton Hall's John Garcia didn't suffer. He got a near-career high against UConn. So who was Thabeet covering?

"Strength? Have you seen him play this year? I've got no question if he's strong enough."

When I saw him, strength was not his strength. He was getting moved off the blocks pretty good. Maybe that's cured.

"You can't measure a defensive big man's effect on a game in the stat sheet very well."

You're right. My observation is that his opponent's stat line looked about as good as Thabeet's. Most of those points and bounds and blocks came when Thabeet was in the game. I'm not worried about Thabeet's stats; it's his opponent's success that bothers me.

College ball is full of 6'5" players who will foolishly try to drive past a seven-footer, and wind up getting blocked. The NBA isn't. The NBA is full of bigger, quicker guys who like nothing better than to take the ball straight at a shot blocker and maybe pick up a foul in the process.

You know what would really impress me? Holding your man to his season average, or less.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 16, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Caron is probably the best value, and definitely the best player at his position (3) on the team. That said, if I could trade Caron and Etan (and either of both of the D.S.) for expiring contracts, I'd do it in a New York minute for cap room and getting rid of ET.
This team is at least 2 years away, and we don't know whether Gilbert can come back at all, or whether he will be willing to learn how to be a non-explosive point gurad.

Posted by: lrmc623 | February 16, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Is Washington's most sought-after player staying in the nation's capital? I received a one-word answer when I checked in with my favorite Beltway insider on whether the Wiz are still resisting interest in Caron Butler: "Absolutely."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&page=TradeTalk-090216

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Strength will definitely be an issue for Thabeet in the NBA. Over the course of his time in college, whenever he's gone head-to-head against guys close to his own size, he's struggled. Granted, guys close to his size aren't that common in college, but strong 7 footers aren't nearly as rare in the NBA.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"But right now I think he's playing better then I ever saw Oden play two years ago, and he went #1."

Oden was also coming off an wrist injury to his dominant hand in college that still wasn't up to full strength when he actually started playing for Ohio. Factor in that he was basically playing with his off-hand, his performance looks a little different.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Who cares what S.A.Smith has to say about anything concerning the Wizards,when they were doing well he dissed them, so who cares what dat bama has to say,punk azz chump, mouth almighty tongue everlasting,loud mouth circus clown.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 16, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"Screamin' Stephen A. Smith totally dissed Caron and Jamison. When asked which team is the biggest disappointment, he replied "The Wizards." The Screamer then went on to say he could not understand how Caron and Antawn would allow their team to be 11-42 -that it is totally unacceptable for 2 "so called All Stars" to allow that to happen. Said it was not the GM or interim coaches fault.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 16, 2009 4:14 PM "

Is this a diss or reality? Seems like the former to me.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

"Screamin' Stephen A. Smith totally dissed Caron and Jamison. When asked which team is the biggest disappointment, he replied "The Wizards." The Screamer then went on to say he could not understand how Caron and Antawn would allow their team to be 11-42 -that it is totally unacceptable for 2 "so called All Stars" to allow that to happen. Said it was not the GM or interim coaches fault.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 16, 2009 4:14 PM "

Is this a diss or reality? Seems like the latter to me.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Big up to dargregmag for that Whodini reference "mouth almighty, tongue everlasting"

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | February 16, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Again, nobody is untouchable on the worst team in the NBA, including 2 FORMER all stars.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Ivan----

How about some Wizzie insider info.

Arenas?? back this year??? What's he do at practice???

Haywood? Injury update? Is he working with the team? What's he do at practice???

Blatch? Injury??? Attitude Changed?

N. Young? Does he have IT to be an NBA Starter?

Javale? ???

Stevenson? Injury??

Butler & Jamison? Do they need to rest - back off their minutes?

Dominick? Is he Plateauing or is this it???

Critt?? Can he run the point next year???

EG & Abe??? Can they sign a top draftee??

Will Gil,CB & AJ have any input in selecting the new coach???

Will you be back next year???

Posted by: VBFan | February 16, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

VBFan, CSN's Chris Miller did an interview with Grunfield today (well it aired today)and he sounded very noncommital about Gil's return this season. Grunfield said Gil is coming along and being monitored and he hopes he will play this season. Sounded to me like Gil will not play this season - but then again Grunfield may just be very guarded about what he says to the media.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 16, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

SO DCMAN88 after we jetison Caron and Antawn to who knows where then what? You know it alls kill me with these start from scratch, lets break up the team ideas feeding into the Ernie Grunfeld school of thought since i f@ck'd up i might as well bust up the team!! He of the mismanaged capoligist school of thought just think had he used that numbskull of a brain he could have A)kept R.Mason B)acquirred Mo Williams,C)allow Gilbert to test the waters,while consulting with expert outside medical people concerning Gil's knee, after informed information he then could have made Gil a sensible offer or let him walk instead he let Arenas hit the Mega Millions and Jamison to hit the Powerball. How can anyone with common sense listen to S.A.Smith,Lisa,or DCMAN88 concerning this team, all bets were off after Arenas and Haywood were lost and Jordan was fired,with EJ gone all team continuity went out the door to even suggest that Caron and Antawn are soley responsible for this losing record is ludicrous lets get real do they have a coach? NO! make that Hell NO!!! The blame for this season is the sole responsibility of one man Ernie Grunfeld.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 16, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

dargregmag, don't know where you are coming from as I never said I agreed with stupid Screamin' Stephen....in fact I totally disagree with him.

And to anyone who says that Jamison can be traded....get real! Abe Pollin LOVES Jamison....compares him to Unseld.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 16, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Certainly Jamison can be traded. Strictly speaking there's no such thing as an untradeable NBA contract. The questions are (A) Do the Wiz want to trade him? (No.) (B) Is there a deep market for him? (No.) (C) Could the Wiz get something in return that would be as or more valuable? (Not likely)

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

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