Wednesday Pre-Practice Update

Nothing really new to report on the trade front so far today. As I reported in last night's gamer from the 111-103 win over the Timberpuppies, the Wizards are leaning towards not making a move prior to tomorrow's trade deadline.

Mike Lee reports that according to a well placed league source told him that the Wizards are telling teams that they just want to get healthy, not make a trade right now.

One aspect of the Cavs-Wiz trade rumors I didn't think much about until last night was this: if you're Ernie Grunfeld, do you really want to help your top rival like that? For instance, if Antawn Jamison were sent to Cleveland, that means you would not only be making them a very serious championship contender this season (a four like AJ is exactly what the Cavs need) but, you'd have to go through that team in the playoffs the next three years when, theoretically, Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and company are all healthy again.

Why would you do that? I mean, doesn't the thought of Antawn Jamison hitting off-balance runners and crushing threes in the finals for LeBron James and that team make your head spin just a little bit?

Anyway, check back for a post-practice update later.


By Ivan Carter |  February 18, 2009; 12:18 PM ET
Previous: Wizards 111, Wolves 103 | Next: Post-Practice Update

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



My sentiments exactly! And most gm's try not to trade in conference in the 1st place

Posted by: CBell29 | February 18, 2009 12:10 PM

Since this team hasn't actively sought OTHER free agents since Arenas in 2003, the cap room really doesn't help, except for some leverage in signing the first round pick and the player obtained the MLE.

Alls I know is that Jamison's cap # after this year will be astronomical ($11.6M, 13.4M, & $15.1M from '09-'12). However, Grunfeld is set on seeing what this team can do when healthy. But, if this team can't stay healthy, isn't that alone an excuse to change direction??

Posted by: -CN- | February 18, 2009 12:17 PM

Ivan,

Crushing threes went out with high top fades...

Wait, so I guess that means its back in style now!

Posted by: jones-y | February 18, 2009 12:20 PM

Oh,

And Cleveland is not our rival. To have a rival means that you beat them sometimes. When it counts.

Arch-nemesis? Yes. Superman's arch-nemesis always loses.

Posted by: jones-y | February 18, 2009 12:21 PM

http://games.espn.g o.com/nba/tradeMachi ne?tradeId=acejyk

What do you guys think? As a Wizards fan, I'd hate to lose Jamison, but if we are going to have to give away a good draft pick for nothing this summer maybe it's best to move now... this trade gets us Lee to replace Jamison and consolidates our contracts so that, worst case scenario, we can have cap room in 2011. Seems obvious that Cleveland fans will like this deal, and from what I can gather from Chris Sheridan's latest article, New York doesn't have much choice.

Posted by: GshawnJohnson | February 18, 2009 12:31 PM

It would be tough to lose AJ to Cleveland. Portland, not so much.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | February 18, 2009 12:34 PM

@gshawn...

Interesting trade, the Knicks would lose out on a beast (Lee), but would gain an additional $3M in cap space by trading Curry for Thomas & James. I can't see why they would trade Lee & Curry for Thomas & James though, but this deal benefits this team more with the addition of Lee. Resigning Lee would be another hurdle, especially with Curry's salary on the books, but it's intriguing nonetheless...

Posted by: -CN- | February 18, 2009 12:40 PM

But, if this team can't stay healthy, isn't that alone an excuse to change direction??

Posted by: -CN- | February 18, 2009 12:17 PM

If Grunfeld thought so, he would have done it already. Once last season's deadline passed and Jamison hadn't been moved, the die was pretty much cast. If they were looking for a shakeup, that was the time to do it. They're all in now with the big 3.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 12:43 PM

@kalo...

Last year's opportunity to trade Jamison is far different than this year. This team was in the midst of a playoff push last year and even though Jamison had an expiring contract (still convinced that it would NOT have been enough to land Pau Gasol, though all the Grizz were looking for was 'the highest expiring contract available,' which Jamison would had last year). By trading away the team captain during a playoff run, it would have made for a lot of disgruntled vets in the locker room and perhaps the fan base.

Things change over the course of a year, including Jamison's status with the team. Last year, Arenas was pretty much a keeper, this year? "Not so much..."

Posted by: -CN- | February 18, 2009 12:49 PM

The Knicks have reportedly been trying to make taking Curry's contract a prerequisite of any deal they make. They're desperaate to unload salary and re-signing Lee (who's in for a big raise) could cut into their Lebron fund. I could see them doing this. But I'm not convinced it's worth it for the Wiz.

David Lee's a very nice player, but part of the reason he's so valued right now is because he's a bargain in terms of production vs. salary. That'll change when he's making 5 times what he is right now. He's a topnotch complimentary player, but is a big man who doesn't really create his own offense worth what it'll take to keep him? Esp. on a team that doesn't have any big man who create offense? Not so sure.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 12:57 PM

This team is quickly becoming
Clippers East...

Posted by: vwilli1 | February 18, 2009 1:00 PM

I don't disagree with any of that CN (I made the point about Gasol myself several times last season). But that doesn't alter my point.

You asked "But, if this team can't stay healthy, isn't that alone an excuse to change direction?? " The injury issue didn't just happen this season. It's happened (to varying degrees) almost every year since Grunfeld/Jordan took over. If they were going to make a change based on that fact, last season would have been the best time to do it, when Jamison's expiring contract (and Arenas' for that matter, given that he was obviously going to opt out) made him a more viable trade option than his current long-term deal. The fact that they not only didn't trade him but re-signed him (and Arenas) is a pretty clear indication that they didn't consider the steady flow of injuries reason enough to blow it up. And Grunfeld's recent comments only confirms that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 1:04 PM

"...but the team is looking to include veteran center Etan Thomas in any major deal and hasn't found a taker.

Thomas, who is out with a left knee injury, has a contract scheduled to pay him $7.35 million next season and includes a 15 percent raise in the event of a trade." - Ivan Carter(/a)
-------------------
Who in hell signed Etan Thomas to a deal with clauses like that? When did he ever give the impression that he was going to be one of the better 4 or 5s in the league? No one will take on his assinine contract - so we're stuck with him.

He counts 7.35 against the cap next year, WTF!?!?!?! I mean I respect him for what he's endured over the last year or so, but this guy isn't worth 735K.

Posted by: RedDMV | February 18, 2009 1:48 PM


I don't think the Wizards should trade anyone esp, if the player is going to any Eastern Conference team on the verge of a championship. I'm for getting Jamison an opportunity to win a ring on a better team but, ship him to the Spurs or Lakers if your looking to do that.

Unless teams are begging to take Etan, Songalia and Blatche's contracts of the Wizards hands, just let the season play itself out and look for someone during the off season.

Question, does anyone know if the Wizards are capable of buying out Mike James contract in the off season, should he decide to pick up the option?..thanks

Posted by: rcnasa | February 18, 2009 1:49 PM

Agree with Kal that EG isn't going to blow things up at this point given the uncertainty of what type of player Agent Zero will be, if and when, he returns. Same came be said about Haywood who had developed into a top flight starting center last year.

If Ernie could somehow unload Etan and/or Mike James without including Butler or Jamison, he'd make that trade in a second. I don't see NY giving up a talented young PF like Lee for essentially cap space and two old, worn out veterans. Not to mention that Curry's multiple off cour problems and lack of productivity on it make him a worse investment than keeping Etan for another season.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 18, 2009 1:49 PM

I'm all for trading Jamison for JJ Hickson - younger, can be molded into playing defese due to his age, and cheaper.

Yeah Jamison is better right now, but he's only got at the most two more years performing at this level.

Posted by: RedDMV | February 18, 2009 1:51 PM

"You really just can't admit you were wrong about something, can you?”
Posted by: Pradamaster | February 17, 2009 8:36 PM "

“Nothing new there.”
Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 17, 2009 11:28 PM

PRADAMASTER: I commend you. Way to shut up all the ignorance yesterday. I read your debate in yesterdays post, and you made very valid points.

It amazes me that when someone is CLEARLY proven wrong, they tuck their tale and do not respond. Almost like a child or a rat. Pathetic.

The person you were arguing with just disappeared into thin air. What a surprise. It’s amazing how some people’s level of ignorance shows, even when they are “anonymously” typing on a blog.

And DCMAN, I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 1:54 PM

RedDMV, hard as it is to believe but matching his offer sheet from Milwaukee back in 2003 was one of EG's first moves. The poison pill of the 15% raise if traded makes him untradable this year. If the Wiz had been smart and Abe was willing to part with some cash, they would have tried to buy out his contract last summer before he even tried to come back from open heart surgery. Yes, it would have been a big hit of over $10M and would have caused the the team to pay the luxury tax, but I believe it would have freed up some cap space this summer without making a trade.

Can someone confirm if buying out a players contract frees up future cap space? Same question if the Wiz are able to somehow buyout the option from Mike James who is sure to exercise it this summer.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 18, 2009 1:57 PM

This may sound odd, but I suspect that Jamison -- a player I admire for both skills and effort -- wouldn't help the Cavs much at all.

Their front court isn't bad as it is -- featuring the Bouncing Brazilian (Varejao), Mean Ben Wallace, and the Extremely Large Lithuanian Guy -- and of course, LeBron, who's probably the strongest of the bunch except for Mean Ben. They've got a decent backcourt, they've got jump shooters, they've got a second scorer, they've got -- well, they've got enough to win a championship right now.

I suspect they won't. But that has more to do with the competition than with the makup of the Cavs. They're very close.

And I don't see Jamison helping put them over the top.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 18, 2009 1:57 PM

“This may sound odd, but I suspect that Jamison -- a player I admire for both skills and effort -- wouldn't help the Cavs much at all.
Their front court isn't bad as it is -- featuring the Bouncing Brazilian (Varejao), Mean Ben Wallace, and the Extremely Large Lithuanian Guy -- and of course, LeBron, who's probably the strongest of the bunch except for Mean Ben. They've got a decent backcourt, they've got jump shooters, they've got a second scorer, they've got -- well, they've got enough to win a championship right now.
I suspect they won't. But that has more to do with the competition than with the makup of the Cavs. They're very close.
And I don't see Jamison helping put them over the top.”

Posted by: Samson151 | February 18, 2009 1:57 PM


One thing you forgot to mention about their front court players, scoring. None of them can score, period (asides from LBJ). They are solid players, because they play D. That’s their strength. Adding Jamison would be add a whole new dimension to their front court. Sure, he is not a strong defender, but he immediately adds 18ppg, to a scoring depleted front court. I feel that is the one piece they are lacking, another consistent scorer. They have the defensive system, the defensive players, now all they need is another reliable option. Besides Mo and LBJ, who else could explode for 30 & 15 on a given night?? This would be a tremendous acquisition for the Cavs.

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 2:03 PM

"would add"

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 2:04 PM

Ivan, still no comment on trading Darius Songaila? He must have some trade value to a contender?
Not to mention we could use that money back next year. I also agree with you, screw helping the Cavs.

Posted by: djnumb | February 18, 2009 2:08 PM

"Can someone confirm if buying out a players contract frees up future cap space? Same question if the Wiz are able to somehow buyout the option from Mike James who is sure to exercise it this summer."

It can free up future space (depending on the buyout terms). But, as we've discussed before, buyouts (A) have to be negotiated with the players consent and (B) almost always involve the player taking back less than the full amount remaining on the contract. There's no reason for any of the Wizards players to agree to be bought out at the risk of losing money they may never make back.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 2:11 PM

RedDMV,

Milwaukee signed Etan to that contract and we matched it at the urging of Mr. Pollin as has been reported in here. It did come after Etan had one of those "contract year" seasons. His best as a pro although nothing earth shattering.

Yeah, looks like signing Arenas is going to be the franchise destroyer I thought it might be before he got the offer. Injury prone players are always just that and the Bullets/Wiz have always had those issues.

Jamison's contract is going to look like a steal after it's completed. Think about it. He's durable and relies on guts, guile and quirky shots more than leaping ability and blow by speed. I could easily see him being just as effective for 3/4 more seasons.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 18, 2009 2:11 PM

Songaila doesn't really have any value to a contender because most of the legit contenders already have younger and/or cheaper and/or better guys who do the things he does. And the ones that don't don't have anything the Wiz would want *that they'd be willing to give up) in order to get him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 2:13 PM

Samson151, I'm with you on Jamison not being as big a boon to the Cavs. Certainly he would help, but would he put them over the top if they're not already there?d to see. The Cavs are a team built around defense first, but in order to find minutes for Jamison thay'd have to cut minutes from one of their defensive bigs, Wallace or Varejao. Also, Jamison's not an instant offense guy. It's unlikely he'd get enough shots to get into the kind of offensive flow he'd need to be in to really be effective.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 2:19 PM

@reddmv,

To add to rphill... comments, that was the same summer that Brian Skinner, Brian Cardinal and maybe some other "bigs" cashed in. For whatever reason, the 6'9" forwards cashed in that summer after posting average seasons. Thomas was 25 y/o or so that summer, so the visions of the next Ben Wallace were too good to pas up apparently for the Bucks, but this team bailed them out. It was only a year or so later that the league offered a 1-time amnesty clause to have teams shed any players contract (for salary cap purposes only), meaning that this team could have cut Thomas, though the team would still need to pay his full salary, but it would not have counted against any cap calculations, nor could the team re-sign Thomas until his original contract is up.

It was probably too soon for the team to cut ties with Thomas at that point, since he still had 'potential.' Ahhh, the story of Etan, who was involved in the Juwan Howard deal...

Posted by: -CN- | February 18, 2009 2:19 PM

“There's no reason for any of the Wizards players to agree to be bought out at the risk of losing money they may never make back.”

It’s a risk a few Wizards players would be willing to make. Believe it. Look at Haywood. If he feels this team is moving towards a “youth movement” at the center position, and he feels like he will not continue to start in DC and play big minutes, I could easily see him agreeing to a buyout. No hesitation. At this stage in his career, he would be willing to take a pay cut to go to a championship contender, where he can play a role. This as opposed to being stuck with the Wizards who could easily be in a “rebuilding phase”, or being stuck with the Wiz and playing behind some rookie or second year center. That wouldn’t sit well with Haywood, unless he is on a championship team. His agreeing to a buyout, is not really that farfetched at all.

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 2:21 PM

EIDT:

Text got clipped somehow. That should read:

Certainly he would help, but would he put them over the top if they're not already there? Hard to see.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 2:25 PM

“Also, Jamison's not an instant offense guy”

Yet he’s a career 20ppg scorer. One of the most consistent scorers in the league the past decade. Yet, he is not instant offense. That makes tons of sense. He would easily provide instant offense in the Cavs system. All the attention paid to LBJ, would open things up for AJ a great deal. He would get more open looks then he is getting in DC, and he has averaged 21ppg over the past 2 seasons, WITHOUT Gil in the lineup. Just imagine him playing with an MVP candidate who makes everyone around him better. To suggest he would not fit-in in Cleveland is hogwash.

Posted by: cj658 | February 18, 2009 2:26 PM

I'm thinking a better addition for the Cavs than our AJ would be one of those 'microwave' players -- an Eddie House type? I see AJ as an anchor guy, one of those you rely on to show up every night and get his numbers. Not a streak player. But it's a judgment call.

Still, if you could trade Wally for a stone bench scorer with playoff experience... that can really make a difference to a defensive-minded team like the Cavs. Or the Celtics, for that matter.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 18, 2009 3:14 PM

I would love to see JJ Hickson in a Wiz uniform but the Cavs ain't stupid,in light of that statement Jamison would as i stated yesterday in a previous post give them a serious upside in the chase for the Larry O'Brien trophy. Antawn would make LeTravel even more dangerous plus Jamison's a very good rebounder and when he's on...... trust me the Celtic's don't want to see Jamison in a Cav's uniform.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 18, 2009 3:18 PM

Hey, I know who the Cavs need: Gilbert Arenas!!

Nobody send them the injury report...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 18, 2009 3:24 PM

"I'm thinking a better addition for the Cavs than our AJ would be one of those 'microwave' players -- an Eddie House type? I see AJ as an anchor guy, one of those you rely on to show up every night and get his numbers. Not a streak player. But it's a judgment call."

Agreed, Samson151. Jamison doesn't really fit the profile. He can give you production but he also needs minutes to do it. He's not a who you'd expect to heat up quickly in short stints. Even when he was coming off the bench in Dallas he was playing close to starter's minutes. Hard to think he'll get that kind of run on the Cavs, a much more structured defensive team with a crowded frontcourt.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 18, 2009 3:36 PM

Jamison and Etan for an expiring contract?

No thanks.

Posted by: JPRS | February 18, 2009 4:44 PM

Jamison's numbers are predicated on him being a 35-40 minutes per night player like he is in Washington and was in Golden State. No way that he'd gets those type of minutes in Cleveland with Wallace, Z, and Verajao playing almost all of the minutes at the 4 and 5. BTW, doesn't Z give the Cavs a consistent 3rd scorer along with Moe Williams? Not to mention that Wallace is 34, Z is 33, and Jamision is 32 AND all have huge contracts with 2+ years left. I doubt Cleveland wants another older player with 3 years left on an escalating contract.

I doubt Grunfeld wants to make the Wiz look even worse on the court the rest of the season with only 2 reliable vets in the lineup as it is. Trading Jamision basically admits that re-signing Arenas was a bad move and concedes that the team doesn't ever expect him to return to form. The Wiz need a core of Jamison, Butler, BTH and a healthy Arenas to even be a competitive team next season.

Best option is to stand pat, see how high of a lottery pick we get, and whether Arenas can return as some semblance of his former self. The trades being considered today will all be available on draft night when other teams will be bidding against each other for our lottery pick.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 18, 2009 5:53 PM

Keep Jamison. He's one of our better players, and the captain of the team and Abe Pollin loves him like a son.

Posted by: washwiz | February 18, 2009 7:11 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company