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Monday Update: Blatche Still Ailing

Andray Blatche, who has missed the last seven games with a left knee strain, did some work in practice today but told me that the knee is still bothering him and he will likely wait until after the all-star break to return.

He wanted to play last night but was told to wait by the team's athletic training staff, and he's glad he did. "Yeah, I was probably a little too anxious to get back out there and test it," Blatche said. "It's been feeling better and I talked myself into playing, but when I was out there today, I could still feel it bothering me. I'm going to stick around over all-star break and work it so I can be ready."

-Caron Butler, who caught fire down the stretch last night and hit the game-winner, said he was drained last night but woke up feeling pretty good. He had missed two straight games with a nasty flu.

-I was among of a group of media in the practice court as Nick Young and Gilbert Arenas got ready to engage in a game of one-on-one not long after practice, but we got booted out so I can't tell you much about where Arenas is. I do know this: Young was calling him out before they got going. After swishing a three, Young said: "You don't want this today Gil. Not today." Arenas didn't look too worried.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 9, 2009; 2:49 PM ET
 
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Comments

Agent Tres!!!

BEST WIN OF THE SEASON!! next to the EJ vindication game against GS

Posted by: BurgwithaU | February 9, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

so if the squad was near contention gil would be practicing at least, this isn't all that surprising and honestly is probably the best thing although I do think gil should play if he's 100%, he needs to have some floor time under his belt again and bad karma is increasing exponentially if gil really is healthy and is just sitting there mum. I watched some highlights from the lakers and suns' games and it really broke my heart to remember what he brought to the floor and what we all haven't seen in so long.

Posted by: bford1kb | February 9, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

What's a Gilbert Arenas?

Posted by: EYoung77 | February 9, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear that Blatche will take it easy and come back next week, no need to rush back from a knee injury when the team only has 11 wins and with a big break coming after Wednesday.

Great to see how much that win lifted spirits, even though this team is still in a very rough situation. The previous 3 games were just horrific, so we needed a boost...

Posted by: -CN- | February 9, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The best sporting moments I've witnessed live, WVU having unknown freshmen steve slaton, and pat white burst onto the scene in a game where they trailed by 17 in the 4th, but the insertion of white and slaton helped rally them back to beat louisville in 3 OT's i believe, in this game neither pat nor steve were starters but as backups they came in trailing big late and the rest is history, they did ok from there on out i'd say, then comes gil being absolutely unconscious against the bucks and draining a 3 at the buzzer to beat them, it was so sweet that caron threw his jersey into the stands, I was about 8 feet to the left of where I needed to be to grab it, but still that night will always serve as a marker of a shift to winning basketball in dc after having been so relentlessly killed by awful trades in the 90's and early 2000's(i.e. rod for sheed, ben wallace for ike austin, cwebb for mitch richmond, rip for stackhouse) due to these trades I try very carefully to avoid having a favorite player on the roster. Lets hope that winning returns.

Posted by: bford1kb | February 9, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Taps needs the all-star break more than the players do. Maybe the light bulb will activate itself during the break concerning what's important for the 2nd half of the season.

As of now, he'd like to play Stevenson, James and Songolia as much as possible. Makes one wonder just how confused and confusing he is.

Posted by: Izman | February 9, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I was among of a group of media in the practice court as Nick Young and Gilbert Arenas got ready to engage in a game of one-on-one not long after practice, but we got booted out so I can't tell you much about where Arenas is.


By Ivan Carter | February 9, 2009; 2:49 PM ET

So, Ivan for all you know they did not even play and the Wizards are just conning everyone?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Ivan,

Where can I send a copy of this book...

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/NBA-Coaches-Playbook/NBA-Coaches-Association/e/9780736063555

so ETaps can read it over the all star break. I know CHEAP ABE would never spend $21.95 to help the team become winners and I do not think EG or ETaps is smart enough to pick a copy up themselves.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that is kinda bothered with Arenas. I mean it is kind of a catch 22 I guess. Is he healthy enough to be practicing and playing? If so, why is he not playing? Is he sitting the rest of the season out because we suck? If so, is he going to give back some of the money?

I don't know if I would be happier with him playing or sitting out. Maybe this is what a 15 win season does to you.

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | February 9, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

How long did it take you to generate that response? You obviously know that you were dead wrong on the K-Mart issue. Kmart has not got the press/recognition of an elite NBA Star since his first 2 years in the league, if ever. He does jaws a lot, sure, but most players do. To call a player overrated because he “talks trash” is pure bull sh!t, and you know it. And as far as his contract (that was the only point you were even remotely close to being right about), that is called being overpaid, not overrated. There’s a difference between the two. But you are far too ignorant to admit you were wrong. Yet, you still try, miserably, to find some form of reason to back up your pitiful argument. You yourself pointed out that he was an all-star.

You’re clever, ill-witted, shots at me are duly noted. If it makes you feel as if you’ve “won” an argument by taking cheap jabs at my intelligence, so be it. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

Posted by: cj658 | February 9, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see the training staff has some semblance of authority.

It also seems pretty clear that they are trying very hard to keep Arenas behind closed doors.

My guess is that they are purposely going to keep him out all season to make EXTRA sure that he is 110% healthy next season, and a great decision from my perspective.

With that said, the other half of that is making sure that Crittendon, McGuire, Young, Blatche and McGee see the bulk of the minutes down the stretch.

As much as it pains me to say it, Pecherov looks a long way from being able to contribute and might be worth getting rid of at this point.

Crittendon looked terrible to me at first but is clearly showing something interesting with his size/speed combination. More than anything, he needs PLAYING TIME (followed by 19 hours/day with Dave Hopla).

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 9, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

bford1kb,

I was at that Wiz/Bucks game as well. I believe it was a wednesday/college night game. Me, and 3 friends used our IDs to get the $10 seats and for some reason, we got 200 level seats. Thats was cool enough but then came the unfathomable when Gil drained the 3. We were right behind and slightly to the right of the basket he shot at. From then on, like you, made me a true believer. I watched the bulls/wiz playoff but this was Gil's coming out party and we were there with $10 200 level seats...Quite a night indeed. :(

Posted by: BurgwithaU | February 9, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Gilbert better come back playing like a freaking league MVP next season with all this time off and all that money he got...

Posted by: blackman1 | February 9, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Ivan seemed to indicate the WIZ will not sign an expensive number one draft choice during this recession. Anthony Mason was lost in order to save money. Most of the bench players were not eligible for the NBA when drafted. Clearly we are not great when evaluating talent.
I will skip next year's season ticket until I see how next years team shapes up.
This team ruined my respect for the NBA.

Posted by: kcandlc | February 9, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

yea I got the crucial hooked up college seats too they were right next to the wizards' tunnel, I still got the ticket, that and michael jordan's last game are the only ones I've ever kept

Posted by: bford1kb | February 9, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

@kcandlc

Wow, Anthony Mason, haven't heard that name in years! That is what this team needs, an enforcer a la Anthony Mason Jr...

Posted by: -CN- | February 9, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS: Antawn Jamison has demanded a trade to the Washington Capitals.

Posted by: cj658 | February 9, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Most of the bench players were not eligible for the NBA when drafted.

Come again? Players not eligible for the draft can't be drafted...

Clearly we are not great when evaluating talent.

Clearly you're buggin.

Posted by: jones-y | February 9, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

There's no benefit to bringing Arenas back this season, from the organization's standpoint. It would be a high risk/low reward proposition.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

very true

Posted by: bford1kb | February 9, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

kal,

How about if they want to sell tickets for next year? After telling the fans he would be back this year why should anyone believe what they say? They throw the press out before he supposedly plays one on one?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Re: Arenas

Out of sheer principle, I think Grunfeld would want him playing if he was healthy (since Arenas did not fully disclose his rehab status to this team). However, if there was any doubt, then it wouldn't make any sense playing Arenas. So the million $ question is: How healthy is Arenas??

Posted by: -CN- | February 9, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

How is putting him on the court in a lost season, after almost 2 years of inactivity and running the risk of him being hurt again for no good reason, going to help them sell tickets for next season?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a double standard being applied (shocking around here, I know). People are incessantly ripping Tapscott for playing Jamison and Butler too much and risking them getting hurt. But many of those same people are also clamoring for them to put Arenas out on the floor and run the same risk.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

If Arenas isn't playing this year, I hope to God he's working out/going to be working out with that trainer DWade got with last season.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | February 9, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Arenas has a contract signed by two parties. He cannot unilaterally decide when and when not to play based upon when he feels like it.

Both parties have agreed that he won't play for now. That will change sometime after the all-star game, unless he has reinjured his knee.

Posted by: Izman | February 9, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

So what was the point of Wizard management and Arenas basically lying to everyone giving fans false return to the lineup dates what? so they could hopefully sell tickets this has been the biggest bullsh!t since Grunfeld fired EJ!.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 9, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

As I recall, the Wizards organization never issued any official press releases saying Arenas was going to return at a specific time. All of the speculation about his return was just that. Speculation.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Larry,

I'm not sure how you're reasoning that we need to clear three roster spaces to add one player. You can have 15 players on your roster. If you have 15, you must subtract one to add one.

we could do nothing and have two roster spaces available (Juan Dixon and Dee Brown come off the books)

We will have more roster space than that this offseason. That's more than likely given that we have some very desirable expiring contracts on our roster (about $20M worth). They are valuable to any team lining up for the 2010 free agency sweepstakes (which is half of them). We could come out of this next offseason with a nicely tooled up roster (including our high draft pick) by making the right trade(s). There's also a chance that the pick gets packaged in a trade that nets us a marquee player.

Nobody is accepting a buyout. It just doesn't make sense for the players or the team.

The question is not 'will they pay the lux tax?' We all know the answer to that one. The question is: how much salivating has Ernie Grunfeld been doing while waiting for this offseason to come?

Posted by: jones-y | February 9, 2009 1:26 PM

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Jones_y,

The reason I keep saying buy out 3 slots is because I am looking at getting rid of dead weight under contract and adding one or two players with Jaun's slot that would be counted in the 12 active players.

Getting rid of DSON, ETAN, and Mike James now takes away the horrendous strategy of incorporating them into our playing philosophy.

Without buying them out which Kalo_rama and BulletsFan78 says won't happen and they are right, we can only replace Juan's slot next year on the 15 man roster.

GA, BH, CB, AJ, AB, JC, JM, NY, DStev, DoM, Pech, DSON, ETAN, MJ, and JD is 15.

This means that of the 14 left, three of these guys have to go on the inactive list next year. I saying, buy three and add back one of those and JD's slot makes two.

That gives you two open slots, but as BulletsFan78 and Kalo_rama say and are probably right about; It ain't going to happen.

Carrying those buy out contracts for two years along with paying the top pick will be a huge cap/tax hit. But imagine if it could be done, the Wizards hit the ground running.

In fact, with the right two players now added to the mix next year without those three dead weight guys would have Red Auerbach smiling in his grave.

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Also Jones_y,

Trades in my opinion will not make the Wizards better. When teams do trades, they do it for perceived added value. We are not in the position to add value with a trade. We can trade value for value, a wash if you know what I mean, but it will not make our Team better.

Trades also will not help our cap numbers if the tradee is doing their job.

To trade away the top pick if we get it for future picks is not palatable either.

So we either have to stand pat and fill only Juan's position, or as they say in that great Godfather movie, make ETAN, DSON, Mike James and their agents an offer they cannot refuse.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

"We are not in the position to add value with a trade. "

Depends on your definition of value. The Wizards have somewhere in the neighborhood of $21 mill in expiring contracts that will come off the books after next season, attached to two players whom they almost certainly won't seek to re-sign and another who there's a good chance might not want to re-sign. A couple of good players in return for, essentially, nothing is pretty good value.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Granted, as I've said before, it's not likely the Wiz will attempt to do anything with those contracts (or that other teams will be interested) any earlier than this offseason (although interest will be highest closer to next season's trade deadline). But the potential is there.

And the other problem with buyouts:

The Wizards are currently about $12 mill over the cap. Even if they could buy out Songaila, Thomas, and James, that would only take about $17 mill in salary off the books, leaving them with only about $5 mill in free cap space to spend. They're not going to make any franchise changing FA deals with $5 mill.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

This means that of the 14 left, three of these guys have to go on the inactive list next year.

You do realize that actives/inactives can be changed from game to game right? In other words, you can activate any 12 of your 15 players for any game.

Posted by: jones-y | February 9, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the best time for us to look into trade will be this summer. Like kal said, we have a few guys going into expiring contracts next year, and we could also have a number 1 pick to dangle.

If a team like Toronto is really considering dumping Bosh before he possibly dumps them picking up the number 1 pick in the draft, along with a bunch of expiring contracts so they could still potentially be players in the huge 2010 free agent market might not be so unappealing. Even if we'd have to also part with either Jamison or Butler, getting a guy like Bosh would definitely make up for that.

Posted by: segastyle | February 9, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

You're assuming that Bosh would remain with us past 2010.

Posted by: jones-y | February 9, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Toronto would be nuts to offer Bosh for a pick and matching salaries

If thats even remotely possible wouldn't we - or any team - rather have Bosh for one year than a rookie for 3 years? And with 20 Mil expiring in 2010, we'd have an honest chance at resigning him.

Posted by: cballer | February 9, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS: Antawn Jamison has demanded a trade to the Washington Capitals.

Posted by: cj658 | February 9, 2009 4:42 PM

I think he'd do very well as a Cap. He plays very good for 3 periods.

Posted by: VBFan | February 9, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see Wilbon's chat today? He said an NBA vet pulled him aside last week, and mentioned how he would love to work with Nick Young during the summer, and put him through the most hellish drills, implying that Young doesnt have the mental capacity to succeed.

I couldnt agree more with this. When AJ calls guys out in the press, he clearly is talking about Nick Young, and possibly Blatche.

For people who rip on AJ for doing this and stick up for the young guys, who dont have a clue. Guys like Jamison and Butler do everything the right way. Guys like Young and uber-talented, but dont act professional. How would you like it if someone at your job, who clearly has talent, constantly goofs around, doesnt take things seriously, and makes the same mistakes over and over?

When guys like Young laugh and joke in the 4th quarter in a blowout to Denver, that should make any fan sick.

While I believe this team needs to be blown up, it shouldnt just start with the vets. I would love to see some of the young guys shipped out as well. Winning teams like Boston, LA, Detroit in the past, San Antonio, etc. have guys who play hard, act professional, and do all the little things to win. Guys like Young are not who you build contending teams around. He is more concerned about getting his buckets, and doesnt take the rest seriously.

Posted by: Roman5 | February 9, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Toronto would be nuts to offer Bosh for a pick and matching salaries

If thats even remotely possible wouldn't we - or any team - rather have Bosh for one year than a rookie for 3 years?

Not if they're sure they're gonna lose him.If they trade as you say, then they'll end up in the same position, plus an extra draft pick for the rebuilding that they'll begin shortly thereafter... Possibly a top 5 draft pick if its us...

And we'll be in the same position, minus a possible top 5 draft pick.

The only real justification for this move would be if we were tooling up for a one year run at a championship.

Its the exact same thing that's happening in Phoenix. They know Amare is gone when he's a FA. So the only long term value he has to them is in trade right now. And the longer he stays the less valuable he is in trade. Primarily because the team he's traded to knows they only have him until summer 2010 (about a season and a half). After that he's gone, so you don't want to mortgage the arena for him.

And with 20 Mil expiring in 2010, we'd have an honest chance at resigning him.

Only as honest as his desire to play for the washington wizards. One of the 3-4 franchises as undesirable to a big name FA as Toronto.

Posted by: jones-y | February 9, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Bosh, Butler, Arenas, Jamison...now that's worth the price of tickets and beer - even if it's only a year.

Sure, there's a 50% chance that Bosh leaves after 2010, but aren't high draft picks equally risky? How many actually contribute comensurate to their salaries?

And a big name FA player can do much worse than DC re-signing in DC. For $20 Mil and a nice big market, we'd have a legit shot at keeping him.

Posted by: cballer | February 9, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"There's no benefit to bringing Arenas back this season, from the organization's standpoint. It would be a high risk/low reward proposition.

Posted by: kalo_rama"

Who's to say it's high risk? If Arenas is 100% healthy, he's at no more risk coming back this season than he would be coming back for next season.

On top of that, the Wizards would absolutely benefit from knowing his status entering the offseason. If they stand pat, let him "rest", and assume he'll be back healthy next season -- then they'll be in no different of a position than they were this past offseason, which helped lead to this debacle of a season. One way or the other, it's in the Wizards interest to know what they have prior to entering the offseason, considering they'll most likely be investing a heavy part of their future on a top draft pick, and will need to decide whether a top prospect like Rubio could be worth it.

Posted by: psps23 | February 9, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Roman5

Maybe Young's problem is he is hanging out with Gil?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Roman5,

Your comments have a ring of wisdom to them. I posted below earlier on the 'ponder this blog' in response to a statement about teaching the young guys and the Team to focus on defense for the rest of the season.

I too questioned AJ's comments, but your statement put a different light on them.

They also jive with my comments below in teaching the whole philosophy of winning throughout the whole organization.

But this, philosophy and attitude comes from the top, the organization, the GM and not the players. Shipping out the players for a lack of professionalism and dedication to be the best they can be does no good if the organization does not have and demand those qualities first.

Professionalism and Dedication are learned traits and good orgs' as you have mentioned demand them.

My Comments: When you are developing your Team, your goals must be to Win, and not just to give them playing time, or just work on defense. You see, along with developing winning players you must teach the whole philosophy and not just part of it.

You can teach defense all you want but if you donot incorporate that into winning, you might end up with good defensive players, but you will never win anything. Take Utah as an example.

The bottom line is, and its true, you are either tanking by design or lack of knowledge, or you are about winning 24/7.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2009 1:08 PM

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

GET A COACH AND BLOW UP THIS WHOLE DEAL. THE NOTION THAT WE HAVE A CONTENDING TEAM WHEN THE CURRENT PIECES ARE HEALTHY IS RIDICULOUS. UNLIKE THE GOOD TEAMS, ALL OF OUR "TOP" PLAYERS ARE OUR WORSE DEFENDERS, SO YOU WILL NEVER CONSISTENTLY WIN ENOUGH TO BE A SERIOUS CONTENDER. YOU WILL NEVER GET STOPS IN THE LATTER PARTS OF GAMES AND YOUR PERIMETER DEFENDERS ALWAYS LEAVES YOUR DEFENSE IN SCRAMBLE MODE BECUASE THEY CAN'T KEEP ANYONE IN FRONT OF THEM.

OF COURSE, THERE WILL BE GAMES WHERE YOU WILL SIMPLY OUTSCORE PEOPLE BUT SOONER OR LATER THE JUMP SHOTS WILL EVENTUALLY NOT FALL AND THEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FALL BACK ON. ARENAS IS THE ONLY ONE OF THE CURRENT "BIG THREE" THAT IS SALVAGEABLE BECAUSE IF INCLINED HE CAN BE A DISTRIBUTOR, COMMAND A DOUBLE TEAM AND HE HAS STAR RESPECT A MUST IN THE NBA. STEVENSON WITH HIS LIMITED SKILL SET GOT A TON OF OPEN JUMPSHOTS BECAUSE OF GILBERTS DRIBBLE PENETRATION. JAMISON AND BUTLER ARE RARELY DOUBLED BECAUSE TEAMS REALIZE EVENTUALLY THEY WILL MISS AND THEIR ONE ON ONE PLAY BECOMES THEATER FOR THEIR TEAMMATES.

DROPPING 20 A GAME AND OCCASIONAL WINS OVER MEDIOCRE TEAMS (LIKE A BEAT UP INDIANA SQUAD) WILL HAPPEN. FRANKLY, THIS YEAR HAS BEEN THE TEST FOR JAMISON AND BUTLER AND THEY FAILED MISERABLY. THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING AND 11-40 TELLS THE STORY. NO OTHER SQUAD IN THE LEAGUE WITH TWO "ALL STAR CALIBER" PLAYERS HAVE WON LESS THAN 20 GAMES NOT TO MENTION 11 GAMES.

GRUNFELD SHOULD MOVE BUTLER WHO IS PROBABLY THE MOST MARKETABLE OF THE TWO AND GET FURTHER INTERIOR HELP, A KNOCK DOWN SHOOTER.

Posted by: NewManagement | February 9, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

But this, philosophy and attitude comes from the top, the organization, the GM and not the players.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2009 1:08 PM

Larry,

The biggest problem is this is not a winning organization. The Lakers went out and got Kareem to help Bynum’s progress. The Celtic’s told Ainge, do whatever it takes to win (even go over the salary cap). Cleveland traded for Mo because that is what they believed would get them over the top. Like Mark Cuban or not, he is willing to take a risk to make that team better. This team will not do whatever it takes to win a championship and the GM, players, and some fans know it. That is the reason no top free agents would want to come play here. Until Abe sells the team the Wizards will remain a fringe team with no chance of winning a NBA championship.

Everyone gets on me for calling ABE cheap, I am a big Steelers fan and they are a cheap organization but they know how and want to win.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

"One of the 3-4 franchises as undesirable to a big name FA as Toronto."

I don't know that DC is inherently unattractive to FAs. It certainly was before the Grunfeld/Jordan administration, because the team was considered a place where NBA careers went to die and they had a rep of doing things on the cheap. But their recent (albeit modest) success and the team's demonstrated willingness to open up the purse strings to retain their key players has likely changed that perception. Of course, with Jordan gone and no long-term replacement on board, the selection of the next coach will go a long way towards determining how players around the NBA view the franchise going forward. But, at the end of the day, it's winning and money that make the difference. If the Wiz were to acquire Stoudemire (unlikely), and he had success in the playoffs here, then as long as they were willing to meet his price they'd have fair shot at keeping him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"Who's to say it's high risk? If Arenas is 100% healthy, he's at no more risk coming back this season than he would be coming back for next season."

Yes he is. Other than his brief cameo at the end of last season and the Wizards' cup of coffee in the playoffs, he hasn't played real, full speed, contact bball in almost two years. I don't care how hard he's been rehabbing and working out, his body's not in game shape. Until he is in shape, he's definitely at a higher risk than the guys who have been playing all season, and the only way it would get into game shape, given the dwindling number of games, would be to give him big run which, given they're current circumstances, has no real advantage.

"On top of that, the Wizards would absolutely benefit from knowing his status entering the offseason.'

His status is that he's under contract for the next five years to the tune of about $90 mill. He's the franchise's most valuable asset and anything that risks that is a bad business move.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

BulletsFan78 and Kalo_rama,

Aye Aye, Sir. I second that.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

FYI - Chris Miller with Comcast Sports Net reported tonight that he spoke with Gil just yesterday and Gil told him that he plans to start practicing this month in the "hopes" of playing at least 10 games this season. Chris said Gil WANTS TO PLAY.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 9, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

"FYI - Chris Miller with Comcast Sports Net reported tonight that he spoke with Gil just yesterday and Gil told him that he plans to start practicing this month in the "hopes" of playing at least 10 games this season. Chris said Gil WANTS TO PLAY.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 9, 2009 11:57 PM "

What's the point?

It's 10 meaningless games with no pressure to do anything.

Who cares?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

"He's the franchise's most valuable asset and anything that risks that is a bad business move.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2009 11:10 PM "

That's kind of funny when you're the franchise's most valuable asset that's UNTRADEABLE, according to Ivan.

And by untradeable, I think Ivan means nobody is interested based on that poison pill contract and lack of health/production the past 2+ seasons.

He's in fact a liability now, not an asset.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 12:33 AM | Report abuse

One thing few people commenting on Arena's greed, musing about the risk of a comeback this season, but encouraging time to let the youth movement develop have considered is that the team is probably saving huge money by a cautious approach to the season. Most NBA contracts have an insurance policy that kicks in after half of the games have been missed which regroups 80% of the remaining missed games. A healthy Arenas next season is worth millions to the Wiz this season, one used to prepare the way. All of the nay sayers about the talent on our roster, we are getting prepared for something big.

Also, the Nuggets described Songalia when suggesting what it needed from a roll player to push them over the top, a passing big that hits an open jumper. Etan's expiring contract, intensity in practice and willingness to push around bodies bigger than he is will keep hi value high. Young and Blatche have promise and a low salary, any team would take a punt on either. James and Stevenson are fairly difficult to trade unless packaged with one of the other assets. Grunfeld has us in a good position for next year if the premise that this season is a wash and about preparing for next year is true. I do not know of many teams with only a few bad contracts.

Posted by: yankeevicar | February 10, 2009 5:11 AM | Report abuse

dcman88 wrote: "That's kind of funny when you're the franchise's most valuable asset that's UNTRADEABLE, according to Ivan.And by untradeable, I think Ivan means nobody is interested based on that poison pill contract and lack of health/production the past 2+ seasons.He's in fact a liability now, not an asset."

I agree with your eval of Gilbert's trade value, but that doesn't diminish his value to the Wiz. A Gilbert Arenas at 85% is still among the better PGs in the league (and PG is definitely a team need). And since the team was essentially built around the guy, he's particularly valuable in tandem with Butler and Jamison. He wouldn't be as much of an asset in Cleveland or Detroit, for instance.

The real question is whether he ever plays at a high level again. I wouldn't bet against the guy. He doesn't report to the same mother ship as the rest of us do.

Not the asset we need him to be, yes. A liability? Something different entirely.

A liability in the NBA is Stephon Marbury, is Jamaal Tinsley. Think Kwame Brown when he was with Washington. Think Eddy Curry.

Gilbert I would characterize as a really, really valuable player with an oversized contract and an injury problem.

From that group are made Comeback Players of the Year.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Oh, wait -- I guess they did away with that award.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

"I agree with your eval of Gilbert's trade value, but that doesn't diminish his value to the Wiz. A Gilbert Arenas at 85% is still among the better PGs in the league (and PG is definitely a team need). And since the team was essentially built around the guy, he's particularly valuable in tandem with Butler and Jamison. He wouldn't be as much of an asset in Cleveland or Detroit, for instance.

The real question is whether he ever plays at a high level again. I wouldn't bet against the guy. He doesn't report to the same mother ship as the rest of us do.

Not the asset we need him to be, yes. A liability? Something different entirely.

A liability in the NBA is Stephon Marbury, is Jamaal Tinsley. Think Kwame Brown when he was with Washington. Think Eddy Curry.

Gilbert I would characterize as a really, really valuable player with an oversized contract and an injury problem.

From that group are made Comeback Players of the Year.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 7:52 AM "

Gilby even at 100% isn't a franchise player.

At 85%, it's even more glaring that he shouldn't have been offered $127 mil.

The question isn't what level he will come back at, but whether his body will allow him to do things he used to do. In the past, Gilby's quickness gave him plenty of room to get his shot either as a J, or from the FT line.

He's 27 now, and a very beat up 27 with multiple knee surgeries, clavicle dislocation, pulled abdominal muscles, etc. He's not a fast healer.

If Gilby loses a step or two, then teams won't worry about his drive to the basket threat, and can clamp down on his shooting. I can't think of any shoot first PG's that had multiple knee surgeries that came back and didn't miss a beat, or evolved their game to become a better passer/rebounder to make up for the deficiencies.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"One thing few people commenting on Arena's greed, musing about the risk of a comeback this season, but encouraging time to let the youth movement develop have considered is that the team is probably saving huge money by a cautious approach to the season. Most NBA contracts have an insurance policy that kicks in after half of the games have been missed which regroups 80% of the remaining missed games. A healthy Arenas next season is worth millions to the Wiz this season, one used to prepare the way. All of the nay sayers about the talent on our roster, we are getting prepared for something big.

Also, the Nuggets described Songalia when suggesting what it needed from a roll player to push them over the top, a passing big that hits an open jumper. Etan's expiring contract, intensity in practice and willingness to push around bodies bigger than he is will keep hi value high. Young and Blatche have promise and a low salary, any team would take a punt on either. James and Stevenson are fairly difficult to trade unless packaged with one of the other assets. Grunfeld has us in a good position for next year if the premise that this season is a wash and about preparing for next year is true. I do not know of many teams with only a few bad contracts.

Posted by: yankeevicar | February 10, 2009 5:11 AM "

The key to the Wiz's financial success has been either (a) having MJ on the roster, or (b) the lux tax welfare.

Given the fact that attendance is atrocious right now, the only serious revenue is from season ticket holders who have to pay even if they don't attend, or $10 college nights.

BTW, when did LaSooz infiltrate the Wiz Insider?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"I don't care how hard he's been rehabbing and working out, his body's not in game shape. Until he is in shape, he's definitely at a higher risk than the guys who have been playing all season, and the only way it would get into game shape, given the dwindling number of games, would be to give him big run which, given they're current circumstances, has no real advantage."

Even if you make this argument (which I don't buy), it still makes no sense because one way or another, Arenas will have to get on the court to be match-fit. Whether it happens this season or next season is irrelevant in terms of risk. If Arenas is 100% healthy, stepping on the court for the first time this season is the exact same as stepping on the court for the first time next season. His risk of injury is the exact same. Whether or not other guys on the court are in mid-season shape makes no difference in terms of how Arenas' knee will react the first time he plays at game speed.

"His status is that he's under contract for the next five years to the tune of about $90 mill. He's the franchise's most valuable asset and anything that risks that is a bad business move."

No, his status is that nobody within the organization knows if he's going to be the old Gilbert Arenas that can average 28ppg. Nobody in the organization knows if he'll fall apart like the next Penny Hardaway either. The team won't begin to have a clue until they can see him playing again.

And aside from all that, as someone that has been through 2 year-long knee surgeries, I can tell you that it takes a LONG time to get back into form. Easily 2-3 months before you even recognize yourself. If the Wizards wait until next season to put Gilbert back in games, they'll be wasting a quarter of a season for him just to get back in form. And that is a poor business decision.

Posted by: psps23 | February 10, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

my magic 8-ball says...see Dwane Wade and Miami. This is the path Wiz are now on. Ernie knows what he needs next season is a rebounding, defensive minded starting "true" 4, so he can bring AJ off the bench. With this, GA coming back like DW did for Miami, and a veteran playoff-experienced coach...all the problems will be solved.

Posted by: oddjob1 | February 10, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I hope the reports of Larry Hughes coming to the Wiz for Etan Thomas and Mike James will be true. The salaries would work. All the players mentioned, their contracts expire after next year. Mike James could be traded because enough time has passed since he was acquired so he could be traded. Crit would play point guard with Juan as a backup. Next year Hughes in the lineup with Arenas would be great.

Larry needs to play a lot.
This means that some time would be reduced for Nick Young and McGuire.

This would be a great move for the Wiz and Chicago. Chicago just doesn't want Hughes any more.

Posted by: JoeC2 | February 10, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Even if you make this argument (which I don't buy), it still makes no sense because one way or another, Arenas will have to get on the court to be match-fit. Whether it happens this season or next season is irrelevant in terms of risk. If Arenas is 100% healthy, stepping on the court for the first time this season is the exact same as stepping on the court for the first time next season."

No, it's not. It's fair to assume that most, if not all, of the training he's been doing so far has been aimed mostly at rehabbing, not conditioning. Given the limited amount of time remaining in the season, it's unlikely he'd have the time to really get his conditioning and timing up to game levels. Putting an unconditioned athlete coming off injury on the floor in game-speed situations is a risk. One that, from the organization's standpoint, is probably not worth taking.

"No, his status is that nobody within the organization knows if he's going to be the old Gilbert Arenas that can average 28ppg. Nobody in the organization knows if he'll fall apart like the next Penny Hardaway either. The team won't begin to have a clue until they can see him playing again."

And putting him on the court after 2 years of game inactivity, with no training camp or preseason to get his timing or rhythm back and playing for a coach he's never played for in game conditions won't give them a meaningful or accurate answer to that question. And really, it doesn't matter what the answer to the question is. Because even if he is damaged goods, they're still stuck with him, so they're better off saving whatever he has left for next season when it's more likely to make a difference.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"This would be a great move for the Wiz and Chicago. Chicago just doesn't want Hughes any more.

Posted by: JoeC2 | February 10, 2009 9:50 AM "

This also means that EG messed up by letting LH go in the first place.

Had he paid the man, it might not have been one and done the past 3 seasons, but instead, could have built on LH's last season here when they went to the 2nd round.

Now, LH at the same price but older and more broken down, could return?

You now for sure have to figure out what to do with DS, NY, and Caron.

All this means is that they probably should have retained Mason so as not to have to bring back LH.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"No, it's not. It's fair to assume that most, if not all, of the training he's been doing so far has been aimed mostly at rehabbing, not conditioning."

It's fair to assume that at this point they are one in the same, and have been for a while now. After a certain point, all "rehab" becomes is an extensive strength and conditioning program. And seeing as how Arenas has been playing 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 basketball for at least a month, he's well past that point.

Nobody (or at least I) is clamoring for a less-than-healthy Arenas to get put back onto the court. If he's 100%, that inherently means that Arenas is fit. That doesn't mean he's 40-minutes match-fit, but again, we're not calling for Arenas to be thrown out for 40 minutes a game. At a certain point, Arenas will be as fit as he can be without the use of actual games. If he hits that point this season, there is no reason why he shouldn't play. Holding him out for the sake of avoiding injury would be detrimental to his development.

Posted by: psps23 | February 10, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"And really, it doesn't matter what the answer to the question is. Because even if he is damaged goods, they're still stuck with him, so they're better off saving whatever he has left for next season when it's more likely to make a difference."

It absolutely does matter. Regardless of whether or not they're stuck with him, they will have a choice to make this offseason regarding the future of the franchise. The answer to that question could have a major impact on that decision. If the best prospect on the board when they draft ends up being a PG, Arenas' health will play into that selection. Just because they're forced to pay his contract doesn't mean they're forced to make Arenas the key centerpiece of the franchise. You would want that to be the case, but if it ends up looking like a futile choice, the team may be better off drafting a PG like Rubio.

Posted by: psps23 | February 10, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

dcman makes some good points, but I have to disagree with some of them.

"Gilby even at 100% isn't a franchise player."

Here we go with the arbitrary sportswriter-type jargon. I could ask for a definition of a franchise player, but it wouldn't mean much -- just somebody's opinion. He was a really, really good player, that's about all I can say.

"At 85%, it's even more glaring that he shouldn't have been offered $127 mil."

Well, the market set that value, and the Wiz decided he was worth it. You don't mean he should give the money back? Let's just say for a supposed airhead, Arenas managed to get paid.

The question isn't what level he will come back at, but whether his body will allow him to do things he used to do."

I'm sure it won't. But as to how close he'll come to his former self, we're just guessing.

"In the past, Gilby's quickness gave him plenty of room to get his shot either as a J, or from the FT line. He's 27 now, and a very beat up 27 with multiple knee surgeries, clavicle dislocation, pulled abdominal muscles, etc. He's not a fast healer."

All true. But he's 27. I remember 27. A pretty good age to be. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out. No use speculating.

"If Gilby loses a step or two, then teams won't worry about his drive to the basket threat, and can clamp down on his shooting."

True. If... on the other hand, he's a tricky guy who never did rely on pure talent to get his points.

"I can't think of any shoot first PG's that had multiple knee surgeries that came back and didn't miss a beat, or evolved their game to become a better passer/rebounder to make up for the deficiencies."

He's already a good passer, particularly in the Wiz scheme. He doesn't have to rebound -- they need to get somebody else to do that. And he doesn't have to score 28 a game for the Wiz to be a much, much better team.

Still a first or maybe a second round exit, though.

So I'm not disagreeing as much as I'm pointing out there's still too many unknowns to draw a worthy conclusion. We're waiting and seeing. Who knows? The guy may never put on a Wiz uniform again.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"Here we go with the arbitrary sportswriter-type jargon. I could ask for a definition of a franchise player, but it wouldn't mean much -- just somebody's opinion. He was a really, really good player, that's about all I can say. "

Last season's team proved that they can win without him.

"Well, the market set that value, and the Wiz decided he was worth it. You don't mean he should give the money back? Let's just say for a supposed airhead, Arenas managed to get paid."

Market didn't set the value. Gilby set the value, and EG paid it. Nobody else could have offered him $127 mil.

"All true. But he's 27. I remember 27. A pretty good age to be. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out. No use speculating."

It is, unless you're a pro athlete which requires your body to run like a well oiled machine, especially for a skill position and for a guy who relies on his quickness to get buckets.

"He's already a good passer, particularly in the Wiz scheme. He doesn't have to rebound -- they need to get somebody else to do that. And he doesn't have to score 28 a game for the Wiz to be a much, much better team.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 11:01 AM"

Gilby is a good passer coming from a shoot first point guard/shooting guard perspective. He gets a lot of his assists from bail out J's when he gets double teamed.

He by no means is a point guard passer like Steve Nash or Chris Paul or Deron Williams or JKidd during his heyday. Nor does he run the point, score, and play defense like Devon Harris.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"It absolutely does matter. Regardless of whether or not they're stuck with him, they will have a choice to make this offseason regarding the future of the franchise."

Every team has a choice to make about their future in the offseason. The Wizards aren't special in that regard.

Arenas isn't going anywhere. And they don't have any FA money to sign anyone better than James or Crittentton to replace him.

As for the draft, you don't base a top 5 selection on position. You draft the best player available. They'll either take the best player on the board, regardless of position (because they aren't so full up on talent anywhere that they can afford to be that selective) or they'll try and package the pick with an expiring contract for a player who can help now. The status of Arenas' knee has no effect on either scenario.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"If he's 100%, that inherently means that Arenas is fit. "

No, it really doesn't. There's a huge difference between being medically cleared to play (which is the actual designation the doctors put on a player when they decide he's back from injurty) and being in actual bball shape/condition.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"No, it really doesn't. There's a huge difference between being medically cleared to play (which is the actual designation the doctors put on a player when they decide he's back from injurty) and being in actual bball shape/condition.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 11:22 AM "

Nevermind the mental aspect of the game, of which Gilby remarked not long ago was his biggest fear.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"As for the draft, you don't base a top 5 selection on position. You draft the best player available. They'll either take the best player on the board, regardless of position (because they aren't so full up on talent anywhere that they can afford to be that selective) or they'll try and package the pick with an expiring contract for a player who can help now. The status of Arenas' knee has no effect on either scenario.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 11:19 AM "

Not necessarily.

How would it look if EG drafted a point guard, a tweener 4, or a 3 especially after doling out big contracts to the first 2?

I seriously doubt if Gilby would be willing to move to the 2, or be able to play the 2 full time.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This also means that EG messed up by letting LH go in the first place.

I don't agree. LH has underperformed over the last 3 years. Or, to put it differently, he was overpaid. And he'sbeen injured. So what that means is that we would've possibly had 2 of out 'big 3' injured for most of the past 3 years, instead of just one.

Now, if we can get rid of ET and MJ, all the while not changing our salary status beyond 2010, then its a VERY smart move. We'll lose depth at PG and C/PF. But we can survive both of those if all the chips (healthy GA/BTH, developing AB/JM/JCritt) fall into place.

The reason it looks good right now is because

1. LH most likely would want to be here (he's a great fit - had his best years here playing with Gil),

2. this team next year with LH is tremendously better than it was in 05 when we beat CHI in the 1st round (add CB and a younger more athletic bench, although less experienced),

3. LH looks healthy for the first time in a few years,

4. he expires in 2010 which means we can renegotiate his salary lower, since it will be likely that he'll both want to stay here beyond 2010, and he won't get a whole lotta FA love around the league (unless he has another breakout year of course) given the big names that will be available.

We will have solid depth in the backcourt (GA/JC at point, LH/DS/NY at 2, JD as depth) and LH can play some point (he's very good at penetrating and finding his big man or easy scores) and has decent defense (which we sorely need). He's a career 40% shooter, but he can get hot at times, and defer or emphasize other elements of his game since we won't need his scoring (it'll be a nice plus though.

We'll be a little thin in the frontcourt (with BTH/AB/JM at the 5 and AJ/AB/DSong at the 4 and OP for end of the bench depth) but we can hopefully address that in the upcoming draft. As for small forward, LH could slide up when we go small, or AJ could slide down when we go big, so they would provide depth there behind CB and DM.

Posted by: jones-y | February 10, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

dcman88: "Gilby is a good passer coming from a shoot first point guard/shooting guard perspective. He gets a lot of his assists from bail out J's when he gets double teamed. He by no means is a point guard passer like Steve Nash or Chris Paul or Deron Williams or JKidd during his heyday. Nor does he run the point, score, and play defense like Devon Harris."

Well, it's a good thing he's a good passer from a shoot first PG/SG perspective, because that's what the Wiz want him to do.

Occurs to me that much as I appreciate the PG position, few NBA champs of recent years have had a great traditional point guard. Tony Parker, I suppose, if you include him. And Chauncey Billups in Detroit.

Be nice to see Nash, or Williams, or Paul, or somebody like that get a ring.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

How else is Arena's supposed to get back into game shape? He should resume practicing with the team, when 'medically cleared'. Then once he gets his wind up, he should play in games. I am not saying he should play tonight vs the Hawks. I'm saying if he's been cleared to practice, he should do so, then after, say two weeks or so, assuming no setbacks, he should play.

The risks are hedged by the fact that there are steps along the way: 1) medical clearance, 2) team practice participation, 3) game time. Who's to say general rehab is not 'high-risk', as Arenas could suffer a setback in any scenario, not just game situations. He should play if he's healthy and has passed the necessary hurdles. We're not dealing with Stephon Marbury & Eddy Curry here...

Posted by: -CN- | February 10, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"As for the draft, you don't base a top 5 selection on position. You draft the best player available."

That's a philosophy, but certainly not a given. Regardless, often times it isn't clear who the best player available is, especially when judging two players of different positions against each other. Rubio vs. Thabeet looks a lot different for a team like Oklahoma City (who has Russel Westbrook as the PG of the future and no real big men of future value) than it does for Sacramento (who could use an upgrade at 4 different positions).

Posted by: psps23 | February 10, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"There's a huge difference between being medically cleared to play (which is the actual designation the doctors put on a player when they decide he's back from injurty) and being in actual bball shape/condition."

Yes, just as there's a huge difference between being medically cleared to play, and being 100%. They are not the same thing.

Posted by: psps23 | February 10, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

If Chicago trades Hughes for James & Thomas, they must really want to get rid of Hughes. James would be stuck behind Rose & Hinrich and Thomas wouldn't provide anything of necessity for the Bulls. Not to mention, they would need to take on an extra roster spot.

The best thing the Bulls can do with Hughes is package his $13M (+/-) contract during the summer along with some moveable pieces like Hinrich, Deng, Tyrus Thomas, etc. for a big impact player a la Stoudemire. The Bulls would be trading huge cap space & some young & steady performers.

Don't think Grunfeld will be able to obtain Hughes for James & Thomas. I think it would benefit this team greatly, plus free up a roster spot for next year, as only Dixon is not under contract. This would provide flexibility to this team's roster situation. Again, probably won't happen, but wo knows how bad the Bulls want to rid themselves of Hughes...

Posted by: -CN- | February 10, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Well, it's a good thing he's a good passer from a shoot first PG/SG perspective, because that's what the Wiz want him to do.

Occurs to me that much as I appreciate the PG position, few NBA champs of recent years have had a great traditional point guard. Tony Parker, I suppose, if you include him. And Chauncey Billups in Detroit.

Be nice to see Nash, or Williams, or Paul, or somebody like that get a ring.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 11:35 AM "

Is that what the Wiz want him to do?

Command the ball while everyone else is watching and the team is one and done every post season?

The teams who won rings either have pure PG's combined with a dominant inside presence or have dominant swing mans combined with a dominant big man (kobe/shaq, DWade/shaq, PP/KG, etc.)

I don't think Boston would have won last season without Rondo being so steady at the PG position.

Nash, Deron, or CP don't have rings, but they sure as heck have had more deeper success in the playoffs compared to Gilby.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Here's to all those naysayers who said Kaman wouldn't be considered as trade bait. This is from a pretty reputable reporter, someone not named "Vescey" who some have issues with.

"And even though the Clippers have specifically denied it to me, I keep hearing they're still determined to repatriate Chris Kaman, figuring they can go 10-40 just as well without him as with his remaining three years and $33.9 million."

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/features/02/09/aldridge/

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, just as there's a huge difference between being medically cleared to play, and being 100%. They are not the same thing."

Exaclty. And, despite your earlier implication, the doctors cannot and will not declare him "100%." They can only declare him medically cleared to play. Furthermore, simple logic states that a guy who hasn't played full on, competitive bball in two years isn't going to be 100% midway through the season after having not stepped onto a court. That "100%" designation is meaningless and irrelevant because, as a practical matter, it doesn't exist.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Acquiring Larry Hughes does nothing for the Wizards. He's a shadow of the player he was when he was here before and hasn't been able to stay healthy, well, ever.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

'Here's to all those naysayers who said Kaman wouldn't be considered as trade bait."

The issue wasn't whether Kaman would be traded. The issue was whether the Clippers would trade him for a player with a big, long-term deal (I believe Jamison was the one under discussion at the time). And this report (just like Vescey's, as I recall) makes it clear that the primary goal in trading him is to clear cap space.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 10, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

dcman88: "Is that what the Wiz want him to do? Command the ball while everyone else is watching and the team is one and done every post season?"

Gee, I hope not. I imagine they want him to make the offense run the way it's designed to, and go deeper in the playoffs than they have in the past. But it's probably not entirely fair to judge a player on the basis of how his team does in the playoffs.

Your criticism of Gilbert -- that he hogs the ball -- is, I think, unfair. I'd argue that last season was the aberration (when they played pretty well without him), and that he's actually been a key part of their past success. Whether he will be in the future is to be seen.

"The teams who won rings either have pure PG's combined with a dominant inside presence or have dominant swing mans combined with a dominant big man (kobe/shaq, DWade/shaq, PP/KG, etc.) "

Who would the pure point guards be? You including Parker? To me, he's more of a scorer. Billups would be a 'pure' PG. A very good one.

Maybe the dominant big man is the real key.

"I don't think Boston would have won last season without Rondo being so steady at the PG position."

Rondo played well, and still is. But the key is how well he fits in with the other Celtics. Like Perkins, who really benefits from playing next to Garnett and Pierce.

"Nash, Deron, or CP don't have rings, but they sure as heck have had more deeper success in the playoffs compared to Gilby."

And have played on better teams. How many times have you heard Nash called a 'system' player?

I'm just saying that I wish them all the best. Great to have one of them get a ring, at last.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 10, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Exaclty. And, despite your earlier implication, the doctors cannot and will not declare him "100%." They can only declare him medically cleared to play."

Nobody said anything about doctor's making the ultimate decision. Yes, "100%" is a subjective term. Doctor's determines he's medically cleared to play, then the medical staff combined with Arenas determine the point at which Arenas' recovery outside of game-situations has peaked, at which point the next logical step for progress is to move into game-situations. If that happens to be during this season, then there's no reason why he shouldn't play.

"Furthermore, simple logic states that a guy who hasn't played full on, competitive bball in two years isn't going to be 100% midway through the season after having not stepped onto a court."

The progress of the NBA season has zero relevance on the progress of Arenas' knee. The two are not correlated. His knee will recover in a timeframe relative to his surgery(s) and rehab, of which the NBA season has no bearing. When he's ready to play games, then he's ready to play games. The progress of the NBA season is coincidental. If he hits that point and the NBA season is still in progress, then there's no reason why he shouldn't be getting time on the court.

Posted by: psps23 | February 10, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Who would the pure point guards be? You including Parker? To me, he's more of a scorer. Billups would be a 'pure' PG. A very good one."

I saw an interview once with Parker where he said his primary goal in a game is to get his team off first. They want him to score more though.

"And have played on better teams. How many times have you heard Nash called a 'system' player?"

Les BouleS have 3 all stars on the team.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 10, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

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