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Wizards' Woes

This morning, Ivan Carter examined the many problems plaguing the Washington Wizards this season. Please weigh in on the story and the team's predicament.

Meanwhile, looking to the future, let's pretend the Wizards are keeping their presumably high draft pick.

By Alexa Steele  |  February 17, 2009; 10:31 AM ET
 
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Next: The Other Side: Minnesota Timberwolves

Comments

Hopefully the Wiz do get the 1st pick. If so, they need to draft Griffin and I hope Jamison and Etan are traded for Wally's expiring contract. Not sold on the idea of Butler being traded.

Posted by: 1stpick | February 17, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I hate the idea of helping cleveland out in any way shape or form! I don't care how much tax relief (cause we're certainly not getting talent back) Wally's contract can bring. They are the enemies. How would it look if the Skins and Cowboys hooked up on a trade?

Posted by: CBell29 | February 17, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Package the pick to get an even better low-post player while getting rid of etan's contract + MJ's contract. WIN WIN WIN

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

Keep the pick. Do not worry about the luxury tax. This could be a good investment for years. ET, MJ, only have one more season and JD probably will not return. ET and MJ could still be trade bait without giving up a lottery pick. Maybe for a mid range lst rounder.

Posted by: bailey5 | February 17, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the four draft options, I gotta admit I'm a little underwhelmed. Griffin looks the best bet, and I wonder if Rubio won't come out at all. Thabeet mans a position where players get overvalued, and Harden, despite his skills, is admittedly not much of an athlete.

This ain't like last year, is it? No Rose, Beasley, and Mayo. There's going to be some serious gambling going on at draft time.

So are there sleepers out there?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 17, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Please do no trade this pick if we get #1 overall. Pay the Luxury Tax, this team NEEDS Blake Griffin. Ernie, have you watched this kid, tell me he ain't worth $5M?

Posted by: djnumb | February 17, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

key word in the article is "lets pretend" because with the way the season has gone the Wizards will find a way not to get the pick and then end up with a crappy sloppy second and then have to trade it away in the end. Mike James and Etan are the future of this team for the foreseeable future.

http://www.wizardsextreme.com

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | February 17, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The luxury tax would, presumably, be for only 1 year, assuming this team keeps the pick. Obviously, James & Thomas' contracts will free up at least $14M after the '09-'10 season...

Posted by: -CN- | February 17, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Here is a interesting read on a possable trade for the wizards I found it on the ESPN insider Enjoy.

Cavs trade Wally Szczerbiak to the Wizards for Antawn Jamison and Etan Thomas.



Jamison
Szczerbiak
• View this deal in the ESPN Trade Machine

Why should the Cavs do it?
The team wants to win a title now and could use an upgrade at the 4. Adding Jamison would give the Cavs another dynamic scorer and veteran.

Why should the Wizards do it?
Because they are paying a huge amount of money for one of the worst teams in basketball. When Gilbert Arenas returns, they'll be better, but by how much? This deal would put them slightly below the cap next year.

Will it happen?
The Cavs are looking at potential Szczerbiak deals and Jamison isn't the only guy they covet. Mike Miller and Vince Carter have also been mentioned

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 17, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention that this team has a $2.3M option for Pesh for the '10-'11 season, which, at this point, seems far from likely that this team will exercise that option (The team also has a $2.6M option on Young for '10-'11, which seems more reasonable). Haywood's last year is also '09-'10, when his salary is $6M.

That said, more than $22M will come off the books after the '09-'10 season, with only the possibility of Haywood (and/or perhaps Pesh at the minimum salary) being sought after to resign. Obviously, this entire $22M can't be sued to return the same amount of salaries in return, but it would put this team well under the cap, including any signed rookies from the next couple of drafts; plus, there's always the MLE to use...

Posted by: -CN- | February 17, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Why is Ricky Rubio on the voting poll? I thought he wasn't entering the draft this year due to his hefty salary contract. If he does come out this year then by no mean, you take him. AS much as I like Arenas, he's not a PG and since having two surgery on his knee, he'll be a half court ball player. Ricky will push the floor with our young guys. With his speed, he'll be able to breakdown defense which will leave our big men open for an easy two or three. Anyhow, if he not entering the draft then Griffin is the way to go. Otherwise, trade the pick.

Posted by: demonj21 | February 17, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see the Oklahoma v Texas Tech game? Griffin had 40 points and 23 rebounds. Don't know much about the college game, but that sounds pretty dominating to me.

Posted by: lameotron | February 17, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Ivan;
Good job on the A Plan Gone Awry article. These are the comments they made me scratch my head.

"I like our players," Grunfeld said. "If you look at our players on paper: Gilbert, Antawn, Caron, DeShawn, Brendan and the collection of other players like Darius, Mike James, Blatche and the young guys, I think we can compete with most teams in the league.

Ernie this is not fantasy basketball the game is played on the court!

He also said that he does not regret awarding Arenas such a huge contract last summer even though the three-time all-star had been limited to 13 games last season after undergoing a second knee surgery. Grunfeld said he would "absolutely" sign Arenas again knowing what he knows now. "

Fire this guy now if he would still sign Gil after knowing that he would not play this season.

This team can not draft Hasheem Thabeet, he is a project and everyone knows the Wizards track record on developing young big guys.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"Why should the Wizards do it? Because they are paying a huge amount of money for one of the worst teams in basketball. When Gilbert Arenas returns, they'll be better, but by how much? This deal would put them slightly below the cap next year."

But it won't put them far enough below the cap to make any meaningful FA moves, so aside from saving money, what would be the point?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The lead story needed to be told.

Everybody makes mistakes or suffers bad luck. The issue is what do you do about it. It seems EG is sticking to his guns.

I was interested in the supporting article entitled "The Focus is Now on the Youth".
However, no one from management supported that theme. The only quote was from Butler, and even that was menacing.

This is not an environment for developing young players.

Posted by: Izman | February 17, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Can we package Grunfeld, Tapscott, and Etan into a trade for a true Power Forward?

Posted by: t-train | February 17, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

But it won't put them far enough below the cap to make any meaningful FA moves, so aside from saving money, what would be the point?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 1:29 PM

The point is because this team can not win a championship!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

hahaha@cj u funny man...i enjoy the little arguements we have cause at least u have a sense of humour...

but yeah with the way this draft is shaping out....i would trade any pick...even a number one along with etan and mike james contracts for a good shooting guard...or a good pf or center...

Posted by: jasonma1 | February 17, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

And trading Jamison for Szerbiack helps them win a championship, how exactly?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

lameotron: "Did anyone see the Oklahoma v Texas Tech game? Griffin had 40 points and 23 rebounds. Don't know much about the college game, but that sounds pretty dominating to me."

It was. But there's a secret: Pat Knight decided to play Griffin straight up with one man. It seemed to take Griffin a moment to believe it was happening, but then he warmed right up.

Could have got 50 if he'd wanted it.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 17, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

KALO RAMA: To respond to your post concerning Thabeet; Kwame,Darko, nor Olawakondi have the pedigree Thabeet has he is head and shoulders more advanced at this stage then the before mentioned three underachievers were at any time of their careers.Thabeet barring injury will be an excellent NBA player and a defensive force in the league.

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

Good post, Izman. I especially liked your word choice of "menacing" -- very accurate.

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

Is that poll even a real question?

Posted by: LooseCannon1 | February 17, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Pedigree? Please. Lots of players who went to big schools in major conferences end up being busts. his "pedigree" has no bearing on anything.

That said, I doubt Thabeet will be a bust. I just don't see much reason to believe he'll be good enough to justify being the number 1 overall pick.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Well OKC just helped us out a little in the lotto department. The Hornets must have Wes running the GM show down there, trading Chandler for scraps. Geez. They are mailing it in.

Posted by: 1stpick | February 17, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I didn't see the game last night, what's up with Thabeet? That's a really weak line in a big game

Posted by: shio7 | February 17, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Trading either Jamision or Butler for Szerbiak's expiring contract only would set this team back further than it already is at this point. The Wiz need to wait until after the season and if they do get the No. 1 pick, then selecting Blake Griffin should be a no-brainer regardless of the luxury cap. He's the exact type of low post scorer and rebounder this team lacks. Jamision would either move to the 3 with Caron playing the 2 (or Jamision becomes the 6th man which may be his best role at this point in his career).

If the Wiz don't get the No. 1 pick, they can always package their lottery pick along with some bad expiring contracts like ET's and Mike James to a rebuilding team who wants the pick and can absorb their contracts. i.e Memphis, Minnesota, etc. EG will have much more flexiblity after the season to make trades to improve the team long-term and free up cap space.

Trading Jamison or Butler at this point would be panic moves that would net the Wiz little in return except save on salaries. They are the only 2 building blocks left standing to rebuild the team and trading them would turn the Wiz into an expansion team for years. I think Mr. Pollin would have to sign off on any trade of Jamison who is his favorite and doesn't want to go through a major rebuilding job giving his age & declining health.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 17, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm just guessing, but I do not think EG should take the total hit for the roster development.

Abe is winding down as Wiz owner, sad to say. Does he leave the scene (hopefully to a nice retirement) by blowing up this team and starting over? No, I do not think Abe wants to be remembered that way. He would be called cheap and everything else. Abe heard enough of such talk in years past. So he tells EG to get Gil signed, giving $111 million to a guy who has had bum knees seemingly forever (for an athlete). Can Gil ever come back at 100% or even 90%? That's a big unknown, and a huge gamble that ties this franchise up for years.

Same for Antawn, an older player who may yet be a liability in his last year or two of his contract.

But what choice did Abe have? Again, how can you put all this on Ernie, as this morning's article did? Ernie probably knew a fresh start was needed, but he had to manage within the Wiz' ownership context.

Posted by: EdDC | February 17, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

If the Chandler trade is for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox as has has been (preliminarily) reported, then that's actually not a bad deal for the Hornets.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to hear any of the 20 or so people who voted for Thabeet give a credible argument as to why they would draft him after the numbers he put up last night (in addition to his stinker against Georgetown earlier in the season).

Posted by: bryc3 | February 17, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

And trading Jamison for Szerbiack helps them win a championship, how exactly?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 1:50 PM

Since they cannot win a championship with the players on the current roster, the organization needs to start rebuilding for the future. With a little luck in the draft and some mid range free agents (Roger Mason) maybe they can build a team that can compete for a championship down the road.

Keeping AJ they are stuck financially for the next 4 years considering he never plays defense and is neither a power forward nor a small forward. They can move CB back to SF and start AB at PF when BTH comes back to play C.

I believe BTH will walk after this season and CB will leave when he becomes a FA so where does that leave the Wizards?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

trust me there is no credible arguement that these people can give...like i said...i think he is ok for a pick from 5-10...but above that i wouldnt pick him...there is otehr talent that i'd ratheer have....i mean u cant draft a guy for defense and then have him destroyed buy a guy who is listed at 8 inches shorter than u!!!...and whomever was like it was because he is in foul trouble, thats y he got played like that...first off...that dude blocked thabeets shot right under the basket...come on now...secondly...if he is struggling with foul trouble now...imagine what its going to be like in the nba, where ticky tacky fouls r called with much greater frequency

Posted by: jasonma1 | February 17, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

KALORAMA: I used pedigree in the context of comparison and only because you used the three stooges(DARKO,KWAME,&OLA) that being stated his(Thabeet) upside is still light years ahead of those three "winners".

Posted by: dargregmag | February 17, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah. Just because he's tall doesn't make him great. Really, it's just that simple.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

And trading Jamison for Szerbiack helps them win a championship, how exactly?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 1:50 PM
My response to that is simple. It helps Cleveland win a championship and Abe thinks so highly of him that he would allow the trade simply to let Jamison have a championship knowing the wizards are lottery bound

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 17, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

And that helps the Wizards win a championship how exactly?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

What part of it helps cleveland win a championship did you not understand lol

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 17, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Ivan:

Still witholding the fact that Gilbert returned to full-contact practice yesterday? (reported in the Examiner) Why did you write about the practice and NOT mention that Gilbert was there?

Posted by: closg | February 17, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Just read about the AJ rumors. I hope the Wizards don't do this without getting much more from the Cavs. I like taking on Wally's expiring salary but we ought to get much more if we are essentially giving our "rivals" the finishing touch to their championship team.

Posted by: tundey | February 17, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

'What part of it helps cleveland win a championship did you not understand"

And that helps the Wizards when a championship how, exactly?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

kal,

Since they cannot win a championship with the players on the current roster, the organization needs to start rebuilding for the future. With a little luck in the draft and some mid range free agents (Roger Mason) maybe they can build a team that can compete for a championship down the road.

Keeping AJ they are stuck financially for the next 4 years considering he never plays defense and is neither a power forward nor a small forward. They can move CB back to SF and start AB at PF when BTH comes back to play C.

I believe BTH will walk after nexts season and CB will leave when he becomes a FA so where does that leave the Wizards?


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 2:33 PM

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

And that helps the Wizards when a championship how, exactly?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@Closg:

Good pull on the Washington Examiner story re: Arenas's return to practice:
http://www.dcexaminer.com/sports/Return-of-Arenas-brightens-the-mood-in-Washington-39696367.html

Story was consistent with Ivan's, in that Blatche would be held back. Other than that, everything else was news to me...

Posted by: -CN- | February 17, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

After seeing some folks pump up Thabeet on this blog, I tuned in last night to watch him against Pitt...

...ummmm, I think I'd rather have that DeJuan Blair guy...

And BTW, there are no "AJ rumors". What you have is the "ESPN trade machine" inventing fairy tales.

At this point we cannot get rid of AJ b/c he and Gilbert were a package deal.

Posted by: p1funk | February 17, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

And that helps the Wizards when a championship how, exactly?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 4:04 PM

Are you really that stupid? It helps them because they cannot win a championship with AJ, so it addition by subtraction.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"It helps them because they cannot win a championship with AJ, so it addition by subtraction."

And that helps the Wizards when a championship how, exactly?

It's subtraction by subtraction. Getting rid of Jamison doesn't put them any closer to a title. It makes them a worse team in the floor and doesn't give them anything on the floor that will make them better now or in the future. It's a salary dump, pure and simple, that makes the team worse but saves money in the process.

The irony (and hypocrisy) is that the same dunderheaded idiot who is constantly (and wrongly) berating Pollin for being cheap and not being willing to spend money to help the team is now wholeheartedly endorsing a deal that makes the team demonstrably worse and serves no practical purpose other than to save Pollin money.

Priceless.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Forget Griffin. Draft Curry. Run run run. It's what we're built for anyways.

We could probably even trade down in the draft and get him. He's gonna be a lights out shooter in the NBA. I'd put money on him eclipsing Stevenson's number at the 2 as a rookie.

Posted by: Matte | February 17, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I call Abe cheap because he will not exceed the luxury cap to win a championship, and that will never change as long as he is the owner.

I do not support the deal to save Abe money, I support the deal because AJ is not the type of player that makes this team a chapionship team. At best he would be a good sixth man to come in a give a team some scoring off the bench without having to play defense.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 17, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I watched Blake Griffin Saturday. He's amazing. Underrated, I guess because he's playing in the midwest- this guy has a really unique game for a guy coming in as a rookie. His inside game is completely polished, he made about 16 field goals in the game, and they were all from within 10-12 feet of the rim. He has Chris Webber's athleticism with a young Tim Duncan's moves around the rim. I will hope every day from now till June we get the first overall and don't trade it. This guy is a franchise player.

Posted by: jpish | February 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

“The irony (and hypocrisy) is that the same dunderheaded idiot who is constantly (and wrongly) berating Pollin for being cheap and not being willing to spend money to help the team is now wholeheartedly endorsing a deal that makes the team demonstrably worse and serves no practical purpose other than to save Pollin money.
Priceless.
Posted by: kalo_rama | February 17, 2009 4:27 PM”


Well folks, he’s at it again. “Dunderheaded idiot”, wow that’s special. I very well-thought insult, really.

Another rough day in the office?

Take cover folks, he’s holding no prisoners!!!

Posted by: cj658 | February 17, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The OKC trade for Chandler has made it clear that they have no interest in drafting a Center this year. They are going to draft either a PF or a SG. Which means that even if the Wiz get a top 5 pick, if OKC is ahead of them and some other team has the #1 pick, not only will Griffin obviously be gone, OKC would probably take a PF too. That leaves the Wiz looking at the third best PF. Uhhhggg....That is my nightmare. The Wiz would probably go for another wing player in that situation. Leaving us fans to sound like the old Wendy's ads. "Where's the beef?"

Posted by: SportzWiz | February 17, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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