Wizards (11-42) vs. T-Wolves (17-34)
Wizards starters: Mike James, Caron Butler, Darius Songaila, Antawn Jamison, Dominic McGuire
T-Wolves: Sebastian Telfair, Randy Foye, Kevin Love, Ryan Gomes, Mike Miller.
Refs: Kevin Fehr, Scott Foster, Sean Wright.
Line: Wizards by 2 1/2.
-Andray Blatche, who missed the last nine games with a left knee strain, will be in uniform tonight and could see limited action, according to interim coach Ed Tapscott.
-To again clarify: contrary to what was reported elsewhere Gilbert Arenas DID NOT practice yesterday. He did do some non-contract shooting work which he's done before. The confusion probably stemmed from the fact that Caron Butler was quoted as saying that it was good to see Gilbert out there "practicing." What Butler meant was that he was out there on the court.
However, as I reported a couple of weeks ago, GIlbert is making steady progress after meeting with a knee specialist in Miami. That, and the fact that he's been bouncing around the locker room in good spirits, are signs to me that he's going to play at some point this season.
Tapscott on what Arenas has been doing during practice: "Mainly shooting around, what we call breakdown shooting where it's not just shooting but there is some movement as well. Just ramping up slowly as part of the rehab process, seeing what type of stress the knee can really take."
-Nothing new on the trade front. Refer to my previous post. I've been reading through some of the comments and just wanted to emphasize this to those of you saying that Grunfeld should throw Etan Thomas into deals: he is as close to impossible to trade as there is in the league.
First, Thomas is on the books for $7.35 million next season and has a bitter trade kicker (that was put in the contract by the Bucks before Ernie matched it). Second, he just missed an entire season following open heart surgery and is about to miss most of this one with a knee injury. That contract will become valuable next season. Ditto for Mike James, who has a player option $6.46 million (you better believe he's picking that baby up).
-One more thing to keep in mind: yes, this team as presently constructed is facing a tough luxury tax situation next season but remember, Ernie could make the lottery pick and wait to sign the guy a couple of months while he clears space with other deals. Also, remember that the tax isn't assessed until after the season. Just some things to keep in mind as you discuss trades, the cap and tax and the lottery situation.
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