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Who Gets to Stay?

Michael Lee was in Oklahoma City covering last night's loss to the Thunder so I had a night off and watched the game on the tube. I'm meeting up with the team in San Antonio for the remainder of the trip.

What shocked me last night was that the Wizards lost to a horrible team that was without its two leading scorers, not because of a lack of effort -- it looked to me like they played hard -- but because of a lack of talent, pure and simple.

It's almost comical now to reflect back on the news conference Ernie Grunfeld had after the firing of Eddie Jordan and remember Grunfeld saying that he expected the remaining roster to be competitive.

So the question is this: Who stays? Obviously, salary implications play a huge role but I'm talking about on a pure basketball level. Which of these players has shown that they deserve to be a part of this thing going forward? Judging by last night, I'd take Antawn Jamison and leave just about everyone else aside.


By Ivan Carter  |  March 5, 2009; 1:08 PM ET
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I think a case could be made to do almost the opposite, actually. Trade Jamison for a top-5 pick and rebuild around Gil, Caron, a young nucleus (McGee, McGuire, Crittendon, Blatche, Young) ... and two top-5 draft picks this year (2 out of Griffin, Thabeet, Jordan Hill, Harden, Rubio, etc).

Posted by: uptownjive | March 5, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

McGee and McGuire also showed they have potential to become great defenders, which is something the team needs. All of the other scrubs can go

Posted by: MDBaller1 | March 5, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I have been saying all along that the Wizards WITH Arenas and Haywood are a 45-46 win team.

Without them and without Butler, this team last night was simply not of NBA caliber.

It's a shame with all the draft picks and other moves made to bring in younger prospects behind the 'Big Three' that none of them have really stepped up to be counted on as a building block for the future.

Pecherov. Nick Young. McGuire. Crittenton. Blatche.

Not a shiny penny in the bunch.

Of the current group only JaVale McGee looks to have any real promise held out for the future.

Teams are always in need of athletic defenders that can block shots and rebound the basketball.

Posted by: leopard09 | March 5, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Obviously they need to keep McGee... and it's hard to call for a Butler trade when he didn't play last night. Still, I think the cumulative effect of all this losing is really taking its toll on him.

But who else would want any of our guys? It's not exactly like people are beating down the door to get Nick Young or Mike James.

This team is almost impossible to watch they're so bad... Grunfeld better hope that Gil's knee is at least 90% or he'll be out of a job by the end of next year.

Posted by: cwack | March 5, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm good with any decision as long as it starts with Tapscott being put out to pasture.

Posted by: original_mark | March 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Ivan, I guess we know why you're a writer and not a GM :-)

McGuire stays. He's shown the potential to grow in to a championship level role player.

Crittenton stays. He's shown the potential to be what AD was in his prime.

Young goes.

Blatche goes in the right trade.

McGee absolutely stays. He's a future star.

Mike James not only goes, but shouldnt be seeing the court right now. He's simply a terrible basketball player.

If Jamison stays, it's because we landed Blake Griffin in the draft. If we're not so lukcy, Jamison goes. He has value, but is such a poor defender that he's never going to be a starter on a championship level team.

Caron stays. Quality 2nd/3rd option.

Trade Jamison, Blatche and Nick Young for Chris Bosh this summer.

Come back with Haywood, Bosh, Butler, McGuire and Arenas, with McGee, Songaila, Stevenson, the pick and Critt off the bench.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | March 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I am with you uptown. Jamison may be good for the next two years then decline. Why build on with old? Haven't we tried that in the past? Enough already, trade Jamison to the spurs for their draft pick. No way a top ten draft team will trade their pick for Jamison alone. Mike Lee, how can you leave McGee on the side? Seriously, If the Wiz trade him I wouldn't be suprise. (See, Chris webb, Wallace, R.Halmont, Ben Wallace).

Posted by: demonj21 | March 5, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

demonj21: "If the Wiz trade him I wouldn't be suprise. (See, Chris webb, Wallace, R.Halmont, Ben Wallace)."

Who's R. Halmont?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 5, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Whatever they do, they need to raise the basketball IQ of this team. They just make too many dumb plays with the ball on offense and play atrocious defense. Of the present lineup here's who I'd keep not accounting for salary:

Jamison - he's part of the defensive problems, but he's the only person who moves without the ball on offense.

McGuire - he looks like he actually knows what's happening out there and he hustles which is why he's getting minutes. Can't score but he can do/is developing everything else

Caron - will look much better when Arenas comes back.

Crittenden - starting to come together for him. plus he plays defense.

Then you keep one of Blatche, McGee, Young and trade the others while they still have "potential" next to their name. You can't learn the game if half the guys on the court with you also have no idea what they're doing. The problem here isn't talent, it's about making the smart play which these players won't be able to learn with the team as it's currently composed.

Posted by: manifested | March 5, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Whatever they do, they need to raise the basketball IQ of this team."

That's easy. It always starts with the coach. Not surprised that's a problem with this squad.

Posted by: psps23 | March 5, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

In my season ticket renewal package, Abe "reached out to me" to me himself. He then goes on to say "it is my goal to win another NBA championship". Honestly, I just don't understand that. You don't let someone go like Mason and display the moves they have done to make sure they are below the cap. Grunfield, in doublespeak, has intimated that the cap will not be the issue. Well, teams were trying to unload for nothing, and the Wizards sat idly by. So, who stays and who goes must start with a management attitude adjustment. For now, As I have previously stated,I see no reason to spend the kind of money that I am spending, so Abe doesn't go over the cap.

Posted by: Beeb1 | March 5, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Should be kept
- Arenas, Gilbert (have to see if he gets healthy)
- Butler, Caron
- Crittenton, Javaris (have to see what his ceiling is)
- McGee, JaVale

Keep or Trade if possible for something really good (lottery pick or equivalent starter)
- Haywood, Brendan
- Jamison, Antawn

Should be kept, but only for low $$
- Blatche, Andray (current contract is low $$)
- McGuire, Dominic (give him a contract similar to Blatche's)

Trade if possible (for anything, even half smoke), no trade? Cut
- James, Mike
- Songaila, Darius
- Stevenson, DeShawn
- Young, Nick

Nice having you on the Wizards & bye:
- Dixon, Juan
- Pecherov, Oleksiy
- Thomas, Etan

Posted by: CrabHands | March 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

That's easy. It always starts with the coach. Not surprised that's a problem with this squad.
Posted by: psps23 | March 5, 2009 1:43 PM

No argument there about coaching. At the same time, some players "get it" and picked up how to read the game from early on, thinking several steps ahead. I'm not saying you can't learn how to read the game. It's just that some guys learned it from an early age or have a knack for it. We don't have enough of those guys or good enough coaches to get our young guys to a playable level.

Posted by: manifested | March 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

jamison needs to go, a pf that plays zero d and makes 12.5 mil is not a good thing. He should be traded for a lights out shooter.
Song, james, etan, juan, deshawn and pech can all be shown the door as far as I'm concerned but no one will want to trade for any of those guys. The young guys have all shown enough in spots to want to see them with a new coach next year.

Posted by: bford1kb | March 5, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Gil, Caron, Jamison, Haywood, McGee, Mcguire, Blatche, Javaris....the rest are all expendable...maybe Songaila stays to FINALLY back up Antawn. Everyone else can be let go/traded/etc...and a competent coach would help. Still glad EJ is gone no matter what our record looks like.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | March 5, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to evaluate the young guys, because they are playing without the guidance of a legitimate NBA coach right now. They are also playing in a season that has been lost since mid-November.

McGee, Songalia, McGuire and Blatche have shown that they have a place in the NBA. Crittendon is almost there.

Nick Young needs to decide whether he wants to be a one trick pony whose game rises or falls on whether he hits his first two shots, or a complete player. But he's only in his second year.

Pecherov has one more year on his contract. He will be out of the league next summer unless something changes drastically.

Mike James, Juan Dixon and Etan Thomas might not be in the NBA after their current deals expire.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | March 5, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Ernie missed a good, but not great, chance to re-work this team. It was partly pride, he did assemble this talent afterall. It was also that he didn't want to hand the hated Cavs AJ for just salary dump.

Make no mistake, this team is treading water until they blow it up. Holding on to a mid-season record from years ago is just sad. They need to worry about the NBA in 09 and 10, not 07. The draft pick they are headed toward is a good start, unless Ernie decides to move it for a broken down never-was.

Posted by: | March 5, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

aj was being a great captain again today calling out his teammates in the paper acting like his don't stink, it's cool he took his twenty shots and got his points, no need to worry about defense or facilitating good possessions with ball movement.

Posted by: bford1kb | March 5, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"No argument there about coaching. At the same time, some players "get it" and picked up how to read the game from early on, thinking several steps ahead. I'm not saying you can't learn how to read the game. It's just that some guys learned it from an early age or have a knack for it. We don't have enough of those guys or good enough coaches to get our young guys to a playable level.

Posted by: manifested"

I agree. Aside from Nick Young and possibly the very end-of-bench guys, I think every player on the roster has the ability to "get it". The problem is there's no proper leadership, either coming from the vets or from the coaching staff. And I'm not talking about "ra-ra", hyped up leadership. I'm talking about sitting down with the youngsters, showing them what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and giving them the proper support to work through mistakes in the games so that they learn.

IMO, this team is 2 years away. Arenas will probably peak at that time, if he peaks at all (he'll be rusty next season), all of the youngsters should be much improved at that time, and as it stands right now, only 3 of the veterans are actually desirable options when healthy (Caron, Jamison, and Haywood). Caron will still be balling at that time.

So, needless to say, I almost completely agree with CrabHands. Arenas, Caron, Crit, McGee, McGuire, Blatche, and the lottery pick should be the future. Jamison and Haywood are toss-ups, depending on how they're still playing, and what they can get in trade talks around that time. Young, James, Etan, and Darius should be shopped around for whatever they can get. DeShawn, Dixon, and Pech can be given their pink slips at any costs.

Posted by: psps23 | March 5, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Also, many of these players are being thrust into roles that do not suit them or provide great chemistry:

1. Mike James: He's a backup at best, not a starter

2. Dom: He gets a pass in my book. Out of all of the young bucks he is heads and shoulders above them all. He has a Basketball IQ which is why he is starting. Once everyone is healthy, he will be our shutdown defender backing up Caron where he is suppose to be

3. Darius: Smart, tough, defensive minded, great outside shooter, can finish, but lacks the size to play center. He is not a center but sees max minutes there. Great 4 not a 5

These 3 players are all being asked to be in roles that are not suited for them based on their skill level (james), offensive talent (dom), and poor coaching decisions (darius)

Once healthy, everything will make sense and hopeful our next coach will be highly intelligent and utilize these players in their proper roles.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | March 5, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

If we're talking purely basketball, with no consideration of the realities of salary and trade viability . . . get rid of them all and start from scratch. They're on pace to win a franchise low number of games, so what's the value in keeping anyone from a historically awful team? Esp. one that, even when healthy 9a rarity) hasn't been more than slightly above average?

Obviously, that's an overstatement, but it makes the point: Absolutely no one on this roster should walk away from this season feeling like they have something guaranteed to them for next season. Hopefully the next coach will look at it the same way.

That being said, among the young guys I'd keep McGuire, Crit, and McGee and broom Blatche, Young, and Pech. Among the vets, the big 3 stay (and that's only (A) until we can see what they can do as a healthy unit and (B) because, realistically, getting something better than them in a deal is unlikely at this point). Everybody else is up for grabs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 5, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I second CrabHands read.

Dixon's just on a one year contract, so I've gotta figure he goes.

Nick Young could be redundant with Arenas back -- a scorer who doesn't know or want to play defense (and an erratic scorer at that).

It would be ideal to unload James and Thomas's contracts -- although it's hard to see anyone taking them without a real sweetner in the deal.

Blatche is someone I'd keep -- especially at his contract.

Crittenton is a great ball-handler -- he just needs to expand his shooting range. He does a lot of the little things too on the defensive end. He's a good all-around player with good upside.

Obviously you keep McGee.

Butler, Jamison, Arenas the team has committed to as corner-stones. You only let 'em go if the decision is to rebuild the team.

Stevenson's poor season we can hopefully write off to his back problems. It clearly effected his range and free throw shooting. McGuire too is a versatile role player. Songaila too has value as a role player. Haywood is part of the equation too.

Pech hasn't had much of a shot this season -- hopefully he gets some rotation time so that the Wiz can assess what they have with him in game situations.

The draft pick too is one I'd look at trading if #1 overall isn't available -- provided Griffin doesn't fall to #2.

Of course, this is all academic, because a lot depends on who the Wiz hire as a coach. The coach's philosophy will dictate what parts are needed and which aren't.

The only clear cut moves regardless of coach are to let Dixon go, and to find a way to move Thomas and James's contracts. In the case of those two it's going to be hard to move them. The Wiz will probably just have to bite the bullet for one more season and clear the books in 2010-11. Maybe there's a buyout option that the Wizards could have with James. I don't see teams adding Thomas at this stage though unless he's packaged with a high draft pick.

Posted by: JPRS | March 5, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

As horribly bad as this team is now--and much of that comes from just losing all the time--it could be MUCH better next season with any luck on the injury front. Losing begets losing so this season should be wiped out. Still there are only some of these guys I wanna see on this team next year. If you can reasonably figure that the Wizards should have the 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice in the NBA draft, they could have Hasheem Thabeet or Blake Griffing at center next year. Pair a maturing JeVale McGee with one of them and Antwaan Jamison and the front line could be impressive. Add a health Arenas and Caron Butler and and a winning attitude, then this team is suddenly a championship caliber team!! It can happen and they are very close. But Abe will screw it up because he will take action to avoid getting a 1st or 2nd pick in the upcoming draft. That will be Mr. Abe "Cheapskate" Pollin who will kill this chance of a sudden makeover. Without that high pick to bring a quality center, this team will go nowhere. And please don't even mention BrendA Haywood.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | March 5, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm still having a hard time understanding why everyone seems to be down on AB. Why would we trade a tall, experienced, cheap, highly skilled 23 year old? Given that our big man coach is a not so big former backup volunteer coach, who's to say he's even been put in the best position to succeed?

Granted, AB seems to play lazy at times but not everyone has the internal fire of a Michael Jordan. Some players respond to external motivation (not benching). I guarantee that AB would be a much different player had he been playing for a good coach. I also am positive that if he were coming out of college now, he'd be a top 3 pick. The issues a lot of folks have with him have been magnified by the fact that he's playing out of position at C.

Truth is, on a team that wanted to feature his skills, AB is a 20+ point, 6 rebound, 5 assist guy. Anyone that hasn't seen significant improvement in his game over the past couple of years is just biased. In terms of sheer talent he's probably got more overall potential than anyone on our team. Potential that can be tapped as long as we get decent coach to coax it out of him.

Posted by: original_mark | March 5, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

2009 Wizard Line-up

Center -- Blake Griffin (draft pick)
P.For. -- JeVale McGee
Sm.For.-- Antwan Jamison
Guard -- Caron Butler
P.G. --- Gilbert Arenas

6th Man -- Nick Young
Sub. -- Andre Blatche
Sub. -- Mike James
Sub. -- Brenda Haywood
Sub. -- Dom. McGuire
Sub. -- Darius Songaila

Everyone else can take a hike.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | March 5, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

O-Mark, I mostly agree with what you said about Blatche. I think you may be slightly over-estimating him, but there has been definite improvement in Blatche over the past year or so. I've been thinking that Blatche should actually be the focal point of the offense with this team, rather than Jamison (as it stands right now). He's still the 3rd youngest player on the roster. No way I'd give up on him until after the next coach is brought in (unless it's necessary to move him in order to bring in Blake Griffin).

Posted by: psps23 | March 5, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Trade Jamison, Blatche and Nick Young for Chris Bosh this summer."

Curious -- why would Toronto make that trade?

Posted by: Samson151 | March 5, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

assuming everyone is healthy next year, i think it will be wise to make Jamison the 6th man ala Ginobili or Rip Hamilton - a proven veteran and scoring option that will provide a spark for the second unit.

starting 5:
Gilbert - should be highly motivated and finally healthy after a whole year off.

Deshawn - people forget how effective he is when healthy AND when playing with Arenas, Butler, and Jamison. because of the big 3, he gets open j's and usually knocks them down. plus, he's the only guard on the team that can play some perimeter defense.

Caron - great #2 option to compliment Gil.

Blatche or if lucky, B. Griffin - Blatche always plays better when he starts. Still won't be consistent but Jamison coming off the bench will provide relief when needed.

Haywood - actually understands the concept of "team defense" and hopefully, he won't revert back to his 50% ft percentage.

Jamison - he was a former 6th man of the year with Dallas so he knows how to play the part.

McGee - With Haywood and Blatche being prone to getting in foul trouble, he should get consistent minutes. still needs to get a lot stronger and is prone to being out of position on defense but you can't deny his upside and athleticism.

McGuire - i'm liking him more and more each game. great hustle, hard-nosed player, not scared. can't score a lick, but an underrated passer and provides at least 3-4 offensive rebounds/loose balls a game.

Crittenton - should be a solid backup to Gil. needs to improve decision making and the oustide j but i like his speed, playmaking ability and the fact that he's a pass-first pg.

Songaila - possibly the least athletic player in the league, but is smart, doesn't make mistakes and is very useful in the pick and pop with Gil because he consistently knocks down open j's.

Young - Hasn't shown the ability to be anything besides a streaky scorer. still, you can't count on the team staying healthy and he can be a viable scoring threat. he's still young and athletic so its too early for him to rely on that fadeaway jumper. he needs to take it to the hoop more often.

Pesh - just because.

See ya!:
Dixon, James, Thomas.

This 2010 team should be enough for 45 wins and another first round exit.

Posted by: d_skillz | March 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse


Cmon man, you are better than that. The Thunder started Kyle is NOT a talent issue. You must acknowledge that coaching does affect a players performance, and when you have a whole roster full of underperforming players you have to look at the common denominator...coaching.

When the opposing team knows that your entire offense is to dump the ball into Antawn and clear out of course it will be easy to defend. The shot in crunch time, a 16 foot, one hander, was a terrible, terrible shot.

When your coaching philosophy is OPENLY that you do not trust other players those other players inevitably do not have confidence or understand their roles.

Antawn is as much the problem as anyone and you see NO ONE else that belongs????

How can you not be excited about what McGuire is bringing to the table? How can you not like a 22 year old averaging 10+ points locked up at $3M/year? How can you not be excited about what McGee brings to the table? Crittenton has real promise too.

Nick Young is a huge disappointment and the Pecherov experiment needs to end, but other than that, every player on the roster is being grossly mismanaged and as such do not deserve the criticism you are leveling.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line, you cannot evaluate any of these players until they are properly coached.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | March 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

You can't have 5 superstars in your starting lineup. Fact is, you don't need 5. Everybody gets better when Gil comes back.

Look at a guy like Tony Kukoc. Decent shot. Hustle player. Looked like a star and got a large contract because he played with Jordan.

Haywood for instance, is no second coming. But he's better because he's on the floor with talent.

@original_mark: you ain't lyin about Blatche. I mean, the guy is 7 feet. You can't buy his size and physical skills at the five and dime. He's no superstar, but he's more than adequate. Put him on the floor at the 4 when AJ goes to the bench, and he is gonna kill whoever he is matched up against. Kill 'em.

Crit and Mcguire both are athletic, and they both seem to get it. They both play pretty good defense and they don't make too many terrible plays on offense. They both need to work on their respective shots, which will open up options for them on the offensive end.

Mcgee, is not nearly so promising. I don't agree with you folks who say he plays good D. So he gets a block now and again? Most times he's woefully out of position. He's soft in the post (on offense too). And he falls for EVERY pump fake they throw at him. My grandma could get him in the air. He's 7 feet! His ARMS are 7 feet alone! Why jump?!?!?

Young, he's an enigma. But he's another one who I think is gonna benefit greatly having Gil back. If he can get minutes afainst second stringers I think he can be an excellent spot up shooter. When he's shooting those fadeaways off the dribble it can get ugly fast. And he makes too many bad decisions when he's dribbling. Dribbles into traffic. Just get him spot up shooting, and he'll be fine.

Here are the guys we keep in order of significance. Below the line is guys I would try to move this off-season. Above the line, I keep 'em.
Mike James

Posted by: Matte | March 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

It's been an awful season, and after an embarrassment like last night there's a mighty temptation to advocate blowing the whole team up and starting over. Fortunately or unfortunately, that ain't an option. The NBA has made certain of that.

So granted that no matter what we think, we (and every other NBA club) are still going to end up with some overpaid underperformers, what's the preferred configuration for next year?

My design:
Overpaid fat cats: Keep all 3. At least two of them play hard. Can't trade these guys anyway, for anything approaching real value. Make the best of it.

Vagrant veterans; Keep Haywood and Stevenson. Retain Songaila so the fans have two players to hate on. Release if possible Dixon, James, and Thomas.

Krazy Kids: Keep McGee, McGuire, Crittenton, and (I hate to say this) Nick Young. Jettison Blatche, Pecherov, and the rest.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll go again, I guess war and peace just wasn't enough for me.

Of the guys who I'd try to trade this year, here's how they break down:

Darius: he's got value. He's technically sound, though not athletic. He plays hard. He's got a decent shot.

Young: He's got value. He's a young guy who can fill it up at times. Trade on his potential.

DeShawn: He's got value. He is a decent defender and he can shoot the ball when healthy.

Juan, Mike James, and Pech are all on short contracts, so that's their value.

Etan: you can't move him for love or money. We'll have him on the books next year come hell or high water.

Now, what would I like to see with all that trade bait? A dangerous, spot-up, 3 point threat. That simple. That's the one thing this team needs to get over the hump.

Posted by: Matte | March 5, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

The only reason i didn't say to keep Haywood is because, I seriously doubt he sticks around once he becomes a FA next summer. Better to get value for him while they can.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Well how can they decide if they keep Pech, Young, Critt or Javale?????
They need to ALL play major minutes EVERY game regardless of the score.
How can they make a decision on a guy if he is sitting????
I can understand that E.Tap is "interim" but someone is pulling his strings and they need to see what they have invested in the bench players. NOW is the time to do this. Turn this bleak season into an opportunity to evaluate. Maybe there is a diamond in the rough but we'll never know if we just leave him in the rough.

Posted by: VBFan | March 5, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't get all the love Crit is getting. Of course some basic competence looks encouraging when compared to the absurdity of the other folks playing point before him: Daniels(2008/9 version), Dee Brown, Juan Dixon, and even Mike James. Yuck.

But come on, the team isn't any better when Crit's in. All we are looking for is a PG on par with the vintage AD. I can see how Crit can project to a back-up, cheap PG. But he certainly isn't someone that we should cling to.

Posted by: cballer | March 5, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"I can see how Crit can project to a back-up, cheap PG. "

And with Arenas back, that's (A) exactly what he'll be and (B) just what they'll need.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 5, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@ Samson 151:

The reason Toronto may trade Bosh for Jamison Blatche and Young is that Bosh is a free agent after next season, and signs are pointing strongly to him leaving.

So if they can get a return that good for Bosh, I think they consider making the deal.

Maybe it's a variation -- Jamison, Young, the pick and James' expiring. Point is, Bosh will likely be available this summer.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | March 5, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Bosh will possibly be available this summer, but given their current state of team development, there's not much reason to think they'd want Jamison. He's an aging vet with three more years on his expensive contract and the Raptors are way too far away from contention to want to payout that kind of money to a guy who likely won't even be around when they finally get good.

Posted by: kalo_rama | March 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

McGuire, Blatche and Crittendon should all stay and get minutes. other than, i dont see much

Posted by: dingersoll1 | March 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Who Gets to Stay?

Let’s see they have 14 players under contract….if healthy

PG Gil, JC, MJ

Without a trade they need a defensive minded power forward that doesn’t demand the ball and doesn’t cost much (luxury cap). If they could package a player and the pick and get a good SG and draft a power forward mid round.

Since they are stuck with Gil and AJ why not try and win with what they have. Sign an offensive minded coach and have a starting lineup of….
PG Gil, JC
SG __________ (I like RIP), MJ

Yes, Larry then they can draft Tyler.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | March 5, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah well the most expendable players are Etan, Songaila, Pecherov, Stevenson, James and Dixon.

The main guys when healthy are Haywood, Jamison, Butler and Arenas obviously.

The young guys with the most promise are McGee, Blatche, McGuire, Young and Crittenton. Of that group I think Blatche and Young are probably the ones I would most consider moving in the right trade.

I think we should keep the 1st round pick, but use the 2nd rounder as additional trade asset. Plus we also have Veremeenko we can include in a deal.

I think we have to upgrade at SG and PF. I would consider trading Caron in a deal for an elite PF or SG and moving Jamison to the 3. But I think we need to upgrade at SG, maybe a trade for a guy like Larry Hughes, Michael Redd, Richard Hamilton, or Joe Johnson. Then we need a PF who can REBOUND. If we can get Griffin in the draft that would be great. If not a deal for a vet like a Gooden or Boozer, maybe David Lee.

We also need to upgrade the coach and the uniforms. Trade that smurf blue and bronze for some red white and blue!

Posted by: Darnell1 | March 5, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

funbunch: "The reason Toronto may trade Bosh for Jamison Blatche and Young is that Bosh is a free agent after next season, and signs are pointing strongly to him leaving...Point is, Bosh will likely be available this summer."

I get that. I just think some other teams will come up with something far more favorable, and Toronto will take that. Jamison, Blatche, and Young isn't enough.

Still, thanks for explaining.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 5, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"Heyer and Jansen should be able to hold down the RT fort for another year"

Another year? They weren't able to hold down the RT fort for the last 2 years. Nothing has changed for that position since last season, when this was by far the biggest weakness on the team.

Yes, the team needs an SLB and LDE. But by no means are those two the biggest needs. Not even close. Bring in Daniels, Wynn, and cheap vet at LB, and the starting defense is set. There's absolutely no need to spend a high draft pick at either of those positions.

Posted by: psps23 | March 5, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow, wrong insider, haha. My mistake.

Posted by: psps23 | March 5, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I think if the Wiz don't end up with the #1 pick and get Griffin, they should just trade the first round pick and package it with a couple players like in 2004 when we got Jamison.

Posted by: rxs85 | March 5, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

The league recognizes that the Wiz have nothing of high trade value outside of Arenas, Butler and Jamison.

The Wiz have given big, long-term, over-valued contracts to Arenas and Jamison. They will be hard to peddle.

That leaves Butler or the lottery pick for a trade (along with dumping some salary). Butler is a fierce competitor and ought to stay. Therefore, the lottery pick should go (unless it's #1).

What do the Wiz need more than anything with the return of all of the players next year? An all-around (O+D) quality combo guard to play alongside Arenas.

Even so, any team with its two highest paid players refusing to play D will not get past the second round.

As for the young guns, none except McGuire have played enough to judge them. McGuire is not miraculously going develop an offensive game. McGee seems to have the most upside potential. I would be grooming Blatche to take over for Jamison.

In terms of the Wiz doing any sort of strategic planning or player development - NOT!

Posted by: Izman | March 5, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Well obviously AJ & Caron are part of the Big 3 for a reason. I feel they are cornerstones. I think we have 3 guys who can be part of a solid bench: Crittenton, McGuire, McGee.
Like everyone I wonder if Blatche & Young can ever get it together. Pesh though looks like a bust.

Posted by: djnumb | March 5, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

You keep everybody except ETon, DSong, Mike James, JD, and Pech. Thats the best scenario.

However, the only one that is releasable outright is JD.

The others you will only get rid of by packaging with the top 5 or less pick assuming we get it to some Team in dire need of the pick and willing to take the baggage with it.

In return we get a lower pick for the best damn power forward on the board.

But, if we get a top five pick I say we use it and take the cap hit.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 5, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

McGee absolutely stays. He's a future star.

Posted by: TheFunBunch | March 5, 2009 1:25 PM

Did we heard this before when Blatche came into the league 4 years ago?? LOL

Just sell this team and move it to Seattle. Great place

Posted by: forbid | March 5, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Crittenden - starting to come together for him. plus he plays defense.

Posted by: manifested | March 5, 2009 1:36 PM

But amazingly, his jump host is horrible lol

Posted by: forbid | March 5, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

jump shot i mean

Posted by: forbid | March 5, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

JAMISON was the only player last night I agree. BUT don't throw out the club just yet. Wait a year and see what happens.

YOUNG is suffering mentally and BUTLER is disgusted. Nobody will take either ARENAS or JAMISON because of their contracts and physical questions in ARENAS' case and age in JAMISON's. BUTLER appears to be the only trade option and DIXON is the only cap relief without moving somebody and/or restructuring existing contracts.

Long down the road I see THABEET, McGEE, BLATCHE, McGUIRE, YOUNG and CRITTENTON as a solid group of NBA players. The question of course is will they be playing in D.C.?

Posted by: glawrence007 | March 5, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

We are, and have been, a step slower than every other team we play. So, Ivan's theory of No Talent is correct, unfortunately. As others have pointed out, we got to get rid of talent in order to get anyone to take Etan or M.James. So, we're stuck, unless we can hoodwink someone into believing NY or AB have a bright NBA future.

Of the young guys, McGuire, McGee and Crittenton are keepers, imo. And you got to hope the Big Three play like they did in the fall of '06 next year.

Posted by: rbelleisle | March 5, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Not sure I understand how everyone is so ready to trade Jamison...a guy who rarely ever misses a game, is the true leader of this team, and who consistently gives you 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Posted by: azinat1 | March 5, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I think Ivan is wrong on this one. The Wizards are basically in the same situation that Miami was in a year ago. When Wade was hurt, the rest of the roster looked like total crap. This season, Wade gets healthy, they pick up Michael Beasley, and suddenly they've a playoff team again. Similarly, imagine the Wizards next season with a healthy Gil and Haywood, and one of the top four picks in the draft. (If we don't get Blake Griffin, Jordan Hill or James Harden would be a nice pickup.) Caron is in his prime, and Jamison shows no sign of slowing down. McGuire improved tremendously this year, and he's got the potential to be even better. If McGee works hard this summer, he could start to turn into a real impact player. Blatche should be further along than he is, but I wouldn't give up on him just yet. Songaila and Deshawn hurt as starters, but they'd be pretty good second unit players. Ditto for Javaris.

Nick Young is problematic. When his shot is falling, he looks fantastic, but when it isn't, he doesn't give you anything else. He's got to develop a more well-rounded game.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | March 6, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Look, we were without four of our five starters. Most teams down 4 of 5 are going to lose. It doesn't mean the Wiz are talentless.

IMO, McGee should be well nigh untouchable. His ceiling is very, very high. (Side note: If I read one more complaint about how he's "out of position defensively", I'm going to punch a Koala bear with glasses. Most of the guys on this team are constantly out of position defensively. He's a ROOKIE, folks! He'll learn, I promise. And if that's the worst thing you can say about him, that ain't half bad.)

I'd keep the pick, Jamison, Arenas, Butler, McGuire, Critt, Blatche. Everyone else is expendable. The main talent upgrade we need is at SG (assuming injuries don't keep killing the rest of the positions). Find one with the pick or trade it for a deadeye 3-point shooter who will stay with his man on D.

Posted by: keithward64 | March 6, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse


I agree with you about Jamison. I am always stunned by how much criticism he receives on this board. This year he is the best player on the team. Last year I thought he was the best player even though Butler was receiving more of the accolades.

DS receives way too much criticism as well. He is a back up PF, but this season he has the misfortune of being our best defender at center. What do people expect from a 6'8" role player who is playing out of position? He is doing an admirable job.

And this love affair with Blatche's potential is getting old. Occasionally he looks like an all-star for a whole game, but most games he just makes an amazing play here or there. If he was going to develop it would have happened by now.

Nick Young has no court awareness. I have never seen a guard on the NBA level who is so unaware of his teammates and what the defense is doing. This obliviousness comes from being a poor ball handler so it is a question of whether he can improve this aspect of his game so that he isn't fearful the whole time he is dribbling.

Posted by: MeviousMan | March 6, 2009 12:57 AM | Report abuse

If I read one more complaint about how he's "out of position defensively", I'm going to punch a Koala bear with glasses


i'm so tired of mcgee being out of position defensively.


sorry. the prospect of violence and koala bears was too much to pass up.

Posted by: crs-one | March 6, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

"If he (Blatche) was going to develop it would have happened by now."

Really? He's 22. Only players younger than Blatche on the team are Crittenton and McGee. He has plenty of time before he's peaked, either physically or in maturity. It's absurd to suggest otherwise.

Posted by: psps23 | March 6, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The more I watch this team one thing sticks out and that's injuries. Players on the team can't seem to play an 82 games season. That's why I think Ernie might move Caron Butler instead of Jamison. Yes, Caron is younger but he can't stay health and as he gets older the more likely he
ll miss even more games. history has proven that, look at T-Mac with the Rockets.

Jamison is 32 yrs old and the guy plays one of the toughest positions on the floor and he still and manage at least 73 games a year. Of the big 3 Caron, Jamison and Arenas only Jamison can stay health. Plus, Jamison is the most consistent with averaging around 20 and 10. Caron on the other hand, when you look at his career games played it's really low and the number drops every year.

If the Wizards can land a top 3 pick they should package it with Caron to Toronto for Chris Bosh and move Jamison to the 3 spot.

Posted by: rcnasa | March 6, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I am sold on McGuire. He's never going to be a star, but I think he can play solid minutes off the bench for any team in the league and he's still got upside.

Blatche remains a mystery. He has every reason this year to become a proven guy and earn a spot as a permanent starter (pushing Jamison to 6th man or less minutes), but he seems to take plays off and isn't aggressive enough on defense. He's got tons of potential and a nice game, but if he can't hustle at 22 it worries me.

Crittenton was a great pickup. He'll be a very solid useful backup for Arenas next year. He's a nice replacement for AD and that's coming from someone who was a huge AD fan.

McGee probably isn't quite ready, but he is a defensive presence. If he puts on some bulk and learns more defensive skills rather than just relying on his physical gifts he'll be a very nice center off the bench.

Mike James was a stopgap and he clearly isn't earning a spot for next year.

Darius probably moves into a role as a nice reserve and someone who can teach the young big men how to play more solid basketball.

We're not going to get Bosh, so I think we can put aside any thoughts of trading our big 3. I'd like to see our team healthy next year and see what they can do.

PG Arenas
SG Caron
PF Jamison
SF McGuire
C Haywood

G Stevenson
F Blatche (start for McGuire for bigs)
G Crittenton
C McGee

Dixon, Stevenson, James, Crittenton, and Young are all guards and 2 of them could probably be cut loose. I would choose James and Young.

Songalia, Thomas, Pesherov, Blatche, and McGee are the possible bigs to unload. I would choose Thomas.

This gives Etan Thomas, Nick Young and a high draft pick to package together to attempt to get a 6th man type.

Posted by: jon_quest | March 6, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

late late comment. No one and that includes Jamison can jump shoot consistently in this team this year.

Posted by: rickgonz | March 6, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, Is it sad that I actually read through all of these so far?

Anyway, Who do we keep?

I agree with keeping Antawn Jamison for the remainder of his contract. As he ages he will be a valuable score from the bench, and for next year the Wiz will need a second scorer.

The Wiz have to keep Arenas simply because of the contract they gave him. (Which I go on record as having opposed. from the very day they started talks)

Now, contrary to some of the fans on here, I believe we should deal Caron. I think he will be great trade value, if Grunfield can find the right items in return).

Those are the high priced players. Now who else do we keep.

We obviously have a desperate need for a center. Haven't had that for a few years. Haywood has improved over his years, but will it continue after missing a year? With that being said the Wiz have to keep Haywood to find out. As a back up we keep McGee and see how he progress next year. Etan Thomas can go. He never was a great center anyway, strong but undersized and no scoring ability.

There needs a back up PF for spelling Jamison next year as Jamison still starts. Thus keep either Blatche or McGuire. Now if the Wiz are lucky enough to get either Griffin or Thabeet in the draft, then drop one of the above mentioned. Mcguire could also start SF next season since he is now getting experience. Grifin could get extra developement minutes by playing this position as well. If we can't get one of the two big guys in the lottery then I fear we may have to keep Darius Songaila as a reserve/ injury backup

A backup point guard....who won't get many minutes behind Gil, Crit, because he is cheap and won't try and take over Gil's scoring.

SG...We have to keep DS so we have a legitimate starter. Not the best idea but all we can do. It'd be more opportune to get a great shooter/scorer with the trade of Caron. Don't know who is available there though.
()'s mean we'd have to acquire
PG Arenas
SG Stevenson/(trade pickup)
SF McGuire/(Griffin)
PF Jamison
C Haywood

PG Crit (Cheaper than James, allows for money to go towards SG)
SG (Draft pickup)/ Stevenson
SF (Griffin)/McGuire/Songailia
PF Blatche
C McGee/(Thabeet)

Drop everyone else

Posted by: mgd001 | March 6, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson, James, Dixon, Pecherov, and Thomas have to go. Oh, and that Tapscott guy also. The rest are by no means worth anything but we would be foolish to run them out of town before we've seen what a legitimate coach can get out of them.
Thanks for speaking truth to power, sometimes I wonder whether the need for access drives beat-writers to go easy on their team, not with you. That's why you've got a cult following over here on Insider.

Posted by: emmet1 | March 6, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Just curious. Has anybody seen Blake Griffin do anything but dunk. Other than Gerald Henderson, there is no worthwile talent in the draft.Trade the pick for a decent two guard or draft Henderson if available and the Wiz will be fine. Remember the Wizards have a top five point, small forward, power forward and center. Yes, Haywood is one the five best centers in the league. (Howard,Yao, Shaq some nights,Haywood Duncan is a four.) Stevenson is a back up two at best. Mcguire is going to be championship caliber role player. Blatche is a capable reserve four and Crittendon is a back up point. Say what you want about Grunfeld but our third player (Butler) is better than best player on most NBA teams. Coaching is over rated so don't blame Tapscott. It is the players responsiblity to to play hard. With talent that Grunfeld has assembled the Wiz should contend if not blow the whole thing up and everyone should go...... I am sick of the " No timetable for return". Stevie Wonder can see that Arenas will make his return on national TV against Cleveland. Thanks for letting me vent, Ivan

Posted by: foreverwiz | March 8, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

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