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Monday Update

Some notes after the Wizards got back together for practice this evening:

-Andray Blatche, who has missed nine games with a strained left knee, participated in practice and is progressing but will not return against Minnesota tomorrow night. Interim coach Ed Tapscott said he wants to see Blatche go through at least another practice before testing the knee in a game.

-DeShawn Stevenson (lower back) remains out. He was on the court doing some shooting after practice today.

-On the trade rumor front, I'm hearing nothing involving the Wiz as of right now. That could change before Thursday's trade deadline and I can tell you that Ernie Grunfeld is taking calls but from what I'm hearing, nothing is popping.

Teams would love to steal Caron Butler or Antawn Jamison in a lopsided deal (Cleveland is armed with Wally World's $13 million expiring contract) but Ernie is not going to give one of them away just for future cap or luxury tax space. Teams simply aren't touching Etan Thomas (who has a nasty trade kicker as repeatedly reported here) or Mike James, who holds a player option worth $6.46 million for next season.

By Ivan Carter  |  February 16, 2009; 7:51 PM ET
 
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Comments

Hey Ivan the Wizards need to trade someone. What about Carlos Boozer he has been hurt this season and his replacement Paul millsap has played good basketball. But is Boozer possibility just give up AJ,AB.

Posted by: brandonjamal13 | February 16, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, what about the Hughes for Etan/Mike Janes deal. We don't really need a guard given NY's development, but he's much better than James, and I can see Hughes or NY as a 6th man. Not to mention we get rid of James and Etan.

Posted by: insanity999 | February 16, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

When is Gil coming back?

Posted by: elfreako | February 16, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

"-DeShawn Stevenson (lower back) remains out. He was on the court doing some shooting after practice today"

Do anyone think he's faking...Last time I heard/saw he was playing horse...

he need to go as well...

Posted by: ABC1233 | February 16, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

cj458, I just watched your boy Thabeet and it was not impressive at all. He obviously has problems with strong guys and most guys are strong in the NBA.

I need to watch Griffin again but if I was making the pick and I had a choice, Thabeet's not it.

wow. I was really underwhelmed.

Posted by: original_mark | February 16, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"Mike James, who holds a player option worth $6.46 million for next season. "

Wow....Mr. "garbage to godsend" has a nasty player's option that no one will touch.

Seems like a dumb move by EG to get him when Javaris is now getting a lot of PT.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a dumb move by EG to get him when Javaris is now getting a lot of PT.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 9:54 PM

EG couldn't get one without the other. Critt was the basis of this deal. To get him, EG had to give up AD. AD was/is an excellent 10-12 minutes per game backup point guard, but not a good 35 minutes per game starting point guard.

If/when Gil comes back, the loss of AD won't hurt as much with MJames being reduced to backup PG, and JCritt continuing to be groomed to replace him as the backup (and also allow Gil to get some minutes at the 2).

Posted by: jones-y | February 16, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Mike James has a player option for next year does not make it a dumb move by EG to trade for him. The guy who we traded for James, Antonio Daniels, is under contract for next year. So, even if EG did not trade for James, we would have Daniels in the backcourt with Javaris.

Moreover, all things being equal, it is better to have a guy with a player option (James) than a guy who is under contract (Daniels). Since it will be clear to James in the offseason that he will get 0 minutes with us next season, there is at least a .0001% chance that he chooses not to renew so he can play on a different team.

Posted by: what5 | February 16, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

James' deal gives Grunfeld another expiring contract (along with Thomas and, possibly, Haywood) to use this summer or next season at the deadline in a trade. Plenty of teams will be looking to clear money to get into the Lebron/Wade sweepstakes, so the Wiz should have some options.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

"Since it will be clear to James in the offseason that he will get 0 minutes with us next season, there is at least a .0001% chance that he chooses not to renew so he can play on a different team."

There's absolutely zero chance that James doesn't exercise that option. Unless he's the dumbest player in the NBA with the dumbest agent in the world, he knows no one else is ever going to pay him $6.5 mill for 1 season. He's a 35 year old journeyman with a history of wearing out his welcome, even on bad teams. There's a good chance that he's playing on his last NBA contract. He's not going to leave that much money on the table on the (very) slim chance that someone else picks him up for the vet minimum.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 16, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"EG couldn't get one without the other. Critt was the basis of this deal. To get him, EG had to give up AD. AD was/is an excellent 10-12 minutes per game backup point guard, but not a good 35 minutes per game starting point guard.

If/when Gil comes back, the loss of AD won't hurt as much with MJames being reduced to backup PG, and JCritt continuing to be groomed to replace him as the backup (and also allow Gil to get some minutes at the 2).

Posted by: jones-y | February 16, 2009 10:22 PM "

I don't know, and nobody knows, whether having to eat Mike James 6.4 mil next year is worth having Javaris over.

I think if Les BouleS were at least a .500 team right now, Gilby would be playing.

All in all, the NBA season has come and the all star game is done and Gilby doesn't seem to matter anymore to the league. Looking at all star weekend, they have great players his age, and great players much younger.

Gilby will have a tough road to climb to make it back to be relevant again and to where he once was, and even then, still wouldn't be worth max money.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Watched Thabeet tonight closely to get a look. underwhelmed is right. He needs to be more than bigger than everyone else in the NBA.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | February 16, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

It was either Daniels & Dee Brown OR James & Crittenton. Contracts for Daniels & James are basically a wash, about $6.5M expiring after the '09-'10 season. Neither Daniels nor James was going to help this team this year, but James gave them more of a scoring punch. Daniels is definitely the guy to have on a playoff team, but I think a lot of people would be calling for Daniels to be traded (myself included), if he were still on the team.

Though, Crittenton has more upside than Brown. Trade was basically a wash, but I think it's for the better, since Crittenton is now on the team; he seems to be the reason the deal was made...

Posted by: -CN- | February 16, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Please do not underestimate Ernie's ability to make a really stupid trade.

He is new Isiah Thomas.

Posted by: erniegone | February 16, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

"

It was either Daniels & Dee Brown OR James & Crittenton. Contracts for Daniels & James are basically a wash, about $6.5M expiring after the '09-'10 season. Neither Daniels nor James was going to help this team this year, but James gave them more of a scoring punch. Daniels is definitely the guy to have on a playoff team, but I think a lot of people would be calling for Daniels to be traded (myself included), if he were still on the team.

Though, Crittenton has more upside than Brown. Trade was basically a wash, but I think it's for the better, since Crittenton is now on the team; he seems to be the reason the deal was made...

Posted by: -CN- | February 16, 2009 10:47 PM "

So, if it matters at all, what is the "losing percentage" with AD/Dee on the team vs. MJ/JC?

Getting JC may work out in the long run, but nobody knows. That still doesn't change the fact that EG picking up Dee Brown this past offseason was another desperation move.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 16, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

guys dont bother...everyone knows thabeet is not the best player in the draft except his number one d*@k-rider...errr... i meant fan...cj...hahahaha

Posted by: jasonma1 | February 16, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

and btw the dude from pitt is 6-7...hahahaha...

Posted by: jasonma1 | February 16, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

You are missing the point. We did not take on an additional $6.5M salary next year in order to get Javaris. We just exchanged $6.5M contracts (James for Daniels).

In other words, whether we did the Javaris trade or not, we would have a PG under contract next year for roughly $6.5M.

So I don't know what you mean by: "I don't know, and nobody knows, whether having to eat Mike James 6.4 mil next year is worth having Javaris over."

As to the statement that there is "absolutely zero chance" that James does not re-sign, you need not look any further than our own DeShawn Stevenson. He turned down at least $3M a year and had to take the minimum. It can happen. I'm not saying it will, but I'll take that slim possibility over a guaranteed $6+M to Antonio for a good 10/min game.

Posted by: what5 | February 17, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Teams would love to steal Caron Butler or Antawn Jamison in a lopsided deal (Cleveland is armed with Wally World's $13 million expiring contract) but Ernie is not going to give one of them away just for future cap or luxury tax space.

Not when there is a chance we can go 11-42 again next year with the same players.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"He turned down at least $3M a year and had to take the minimum."

Stevenson was a 25 year old up and comer in a good economic climate. James is a 35 year old journeyman on the ass end of his career in an economic climate frequently compared with Great Depression.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

And, of course, Stevenson ended up losing a crapload of money, which only underscores my point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

...hmmm what does ET, MJ and a top 5 pick get you in a trade with...the Clippers?
or...the Suns? or...Toronto? or maybe even...the Bulls?
Answer: a solid veteran PF who boards, plays defense and scores in the paint.

Posted by: oddjob2 | February 17, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

oddjob2,

or

A top 2 pick gets us a YOUNG rebounding beast who scores in the post and may learn to play defense. I know youngs have had a tough time getting minutes here but I think it'd be hard to keep Griffin off the floor even for an idiot coaching staff.

BTW,
I called Beasley and Oden overrated and Durant underrated when they came out. I think I was right on all counts. Thabeet is overrated. He has nothing but height. His rebounds are ALL a result of height and not positioning, strength, technique, etc. He won't get as many in the pros and he has NO offense at all. He is definitely no Dikembe. I watched him run down court and his feet barely left the floor...and this is in the first quarter. He kinda shuffles. I hope like heck we don't pick him. I'll watch him again to see what he does against good competition but he looked terrible last night. I was almost tempted to watch The Bachelor he was so bad.

Gotta say..that judo move Blair gave him was cheap. I'm glad he didn't pop a bursa or break his arm.

Posted by: original_mark | February 17, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't call Thabeet overated but Blair gave him the blues last night and to that extent he would be in trouble in the "league" against bigger and stronger pro's until he got his bearings,I like Thabeet but Griffin seems more polished allbeit against lesser competition,projected over a career; I'd take Thabeet because you can't teach height and i think Thabeet would be a difference maker defensively.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 17, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I had a feeling the “naysayers” would be out in full force today. I was right, to an extent. I’m not one to run and hide. Yes, I watched the Pitt game last night. Jason, I am sure you wet your pants after watching the game, huh? Couldn’t control your excitement? I hope you changed the sheets lol.

Let me say this first, Pitt has a very, very talented team (maybe the most overall talent in the nation). Young and Blair are the best forward combo in America.

Now to business, yeah, Thabeet played poorly, I’ll say it. But, the game was HORRIBLY officiated (on both ends, not just the UConn end). The refs essentially took Thabeet out of the game. He got in early foul trouble, and every time he would come back in, he would get hit with another foul almost immediately. I can see why he was playing soft on Blair, he couldn’t afford to pick up another foul.

All in all, he wasn’t really factor. He had a rough game, it will happen. Truthfully, I am not worried about his “stats” in college. I could careless if he scores 40 points or 4 points. What I see is potential, and a VERY coachable player. All of his weaknesses can easily be fixed in the NBA, with coaching and work ethic. He would not pay immediate dividends (although I believe he would improve the defense immediately). Basically, don’t judge of one game, look at the big picture.

Posted by: cj658 | February 17, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

DARGREGMAG:

For once, I actually agree with you! Well said.

Posted by: cj658 | February 17, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"I called Beasley and Oden overrated and Durant underrated when they came out. I think I was right on all counts."

I couldn’t disagree more. Overrated?? To call Beasley and Oden “overrated” is plain nonsense.

Beasley is averaging 13.3 points and 5.3 rebs in 24 mpg. Overrated?? Re-think that comment. He is a rookie, on a playoff team. Pretty solid (for a rook) if you ask me.

Oden is averaging 9 points and 7 rebs in his rookie year. Were you one of the people “praising” BTH for his 10 point and 7rebound year last year? Oden’s numbers are almost identical. Yet somehow Oden is overrated? It took BTH 7 years to finally average 7 rebounds. SEVEN YEARS! Yet, so many on this blog were singing his praises. Oden is averaging 7 rebounds his rookie year, in only 22 mpg. BTH played on garbo Wizards teams his first few seasons in the league, yet only mustered up 6 points and 5 rebounds. Oden is on a playoff team.

Both Oden and Beasley are having solid seasons on playoff teams. They will both imrove, substantially. It takes time. To declare them “overrated” when they have only been in the NBA for half a season, is wrong. Give it 3 seasons, before you make that assesment.

Posted by: cj658 | February 17, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

“His rebounds are ALL a result of height”

Exactly, that’s why you draft him, that’s what makes him so unique. As stated numerous times, you cannot coach height. Positioning, technique, etc, can all be coached.

Posted by: cj658 | February 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"Exactly, that’s why you draft him, that’s what makes him so unique. As stated numerous times, you cannot coach height. Positioning, technique, etc, can all be coached.

Posted by: cj658"

...to an extent. If it were easy, Haywood would be a dominant center in this league.

Posted by: psps23 | February 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I'd trade Jamison and his remaining $38M to Portland in a heartbeat for LaFrentz expiring deal along with Outlaw and Fernandez. Throw in Stevenson and or Pech to make the numbers work. I'd hate to see Jamison in Cleveland going deep in the playoffs, but I'd probably do for Wallys expiring deal.
Now Butler to Portland is a different story. Portland would have to come with a nice package. However, ESPN is reporting that EG is talking to Portland about dealing Caron. Take it for what its worth

Posted by: dscottp169 | February 17, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I would not trade Caron unless i get a immeadiate difference maker, As most of you know i am not and never will be a fan of Grunfeld, as far as i'm concerned the clock is ticking on Mr.Grunfeld's tenure here in Washington. Butler is a rare commodity in this league he can shoot the mid-range jumper,plays defense and has a no-nonsense approach to the game and He is a team leader even more than Jamison so if Grunfeld makes that move he had better be right on second thought he'd be better off trading Jamison but not to Cleveland i'm not interested in Szcerbiak and why is it paramount to make a move? what's in it for the team other than for EG to take the heat off of himself too late Ernie, as Spike Lee's character "Shorty" said in the movie Malcom X, "Red" "the jig is up".

Posted by: dargregmag | February 17, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"I'd take Thabeet because you can't teach height"

That kind of thinking is what results in guys like Kwame, Darko, and Olowokandi being taken ahead of guys like Wade, Melo, Vince Carter, Bosh, Dirk, Bibby, Joe Johnson, and Richard Jefferson.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

If EG trades Caron to Portland for anyone other than LeMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez, he's even a worse GM that I thought. Caron is in demand because he can make a good team like Portland a contender. If this trade is made, I think EG is saying that the team as he put it together needs to be blown up regardless of whether Arenas and BTH return healthy for next year plus a building block in the low post.

EG will be dealing more from a position of strength after the season when he knows the health of both Arenas & Haywood plus where we're picking in the lottery. If we have the No. 1 pick, he may be able to package it along with some bad expiring contracts like Etan and James to get a talented young bigman in return.

You add a talented atletic bigman to the core of CB3, Jamision, Arenas, and BTH, and you've got a playoff team next year. Add in the improvement of the team's young players like NY, McGee, and McGuire, and the Wiz could vault past a number of the middling teams in the east. As poor as the Wiz have been this season, the East is pretty mediocre after Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando. No reason the Wiz shouldn't be back in the playoffs next year as a No. 4 or No. 5 seed with some offseason moves.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 17, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse


I would like to see the Wizards trade to get Raymond Felton. He is a good PG perhaps exchange Nick Young for Felton, I didn't check it out on the trade machine but I'll assume that it will work out nice. I never thought Arenas was a point guard. With Felton, Gil can play the shooting guard spot moving Caron back to SF and Jamison and haywood in the big man spots.

Posted by: rcnasa | February 17, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Felton is far from a pure PG. He's a combo guard except he's not nearly as explosive a scorer as a guy like Arenas.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse


No Felton is not the traditional point guards but he is far more better in ball handling and will look to dish more. Gil is better at the shooting guard position. With him coming back on a bad knee, it'll be hard for him to keep up with quick guards like Mo Williams, Rajon Rondo, Devin Harris, etc. Not saying Felton can but he's small and quick which will help.

Gilbert maybe small to play shooting guard but with Caron in the lineup and perhaps Stevenson on the bench they can quickly change up the lineup. As I mentioned before, I always believed the Wizards needed a good young point guard, so far they haven't found one but a trade for Felton might help

Posted by: rcnasa | February 17, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Felton is a terrible defender, so if that's why you want him, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse


The Washington Wizards are terrible defenders, that's why they have 11 wins. If you think Gilbert ever played defense in his career as a Wizards your mistaken. Again, Gilbert is a 2 guard if you can name a PG that can defend and that team is willing to move him please let me know. But I'm not alone in this...Ernie has traded for point guards, so there is a sign that the Wizards need a PG(whether it's a starter or not) when Gil comes back he won't be able to play the point guard spot.

I'm sorry your not a fan of Felton but the fact is, players like Harris Parker, Nash, even Bosh, and Wade ain't coming to DC...So you have to work with what you have. And if you believe Gilbert is the only guard this team needs to win, you perhaps need to watch the NBA more.

Posted by: rcnasa | February 17, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

And where, exactly, did I say anything about Arenas playing defense? Oh, that's right, I didn't. You, however, claimed that one of the reasons to acquire Felton is because he can guard A-list points. That is simply untrue. He's a bad defender. Does that distinguish him form anyone else on the Wiz? No (but then i never said it did)> But it does point out one of the many gaping holes in your reasoning for wanting him.

"Ernie has traded for point guards, so there is a sign that the Wizards need a PG(whether it's a starter or not) when Gil comes back he won't be able to play the point guard spot."

More faulty reasoning on display. Grunfeld has traded for backup point guards. You do understand what that word means don't you?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think that if you want to talk about a young PG who can defend and allows Gil to move to SG. Crit fits that description, especially because he is big enough to guard some SGs. I think Crit will improve greatly by having a offseason/preseason with the team. His poor outside shot may not be such a bad thing on a team that looks to shoot jumpers way to often. He just needs to work with Hopla and learn when and where to take outside shots to keep people honest.

Posted by: SportzWiz | February 17, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse


Let's be serious here, if Ernie could package AD and a conditional pick for Devin Harris don't you think that would have went down? Of course. Would I like A-list point guards on the team, again yes. But the fact is the Wizards don't have deep talent like the Bulls, Blazers or an attractive city like NY, LA or Miami where players would love to go to.

No, Felton probably won't make the all-star in his career, but the Bobcats are looking to move him and of all the players who are potentially trade bait (Shaq, Stoudamire, Vince Carter, Bosh and T-Mac) Felton is the most reasonably for the Wizards. However to put the Felton down they way you do is a joke and you need to watch more basketball. He's not Harris, Parker, but he can create his shots a good open jumpshooter and can penetrate and dish the ball, look at his numbers. With Gilbert coming back on a bad knee after being out for bascilly 2 yrs he's in a serious disadvantage and it will take team to adjust if he can ever get back to that explosivness he had back in 2006 season (players like Penny and Mashburn had the same injuries and never recovered). Now, if you think the Wizards can get someone better then stop talking and provide an example.

Javaris Crittenton may have a shot at being back on the team next year but unless he has an explosive second half of the season or an incredible off-season workout, I don't see him cracking the rotation for the team when Gilbert and Stevenson are back health.

Posted by: rcnasa | February 17, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

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