Who's a Keeper?

The Wizards are still conducting exit interviews and several players are hanging around, working out, getting treatment, and hoping to make a good impression on the new coaching staff, whenever it arrives. This is an important summer for the Wizards, since they will enter next season with 14 players under contract and two draft picks.

Something has to give. Juan Dixon will assuredly be seeking employment elsewhere next season. But you know that the Wizards won't bring back the same team that won 19 games. Say what you will about injuries, the coaching, the youth or whatever, but this team went 19-63. In 2001-02, the year after the last 19-63 team, the Wizards had a new coach (Doug Collins) and five new faces -- Michael Jordan and four rookies (Kwame Brown, Brendan Haywood, Bobby Simmons and Etan Thomas, who didn't play his first season in 2000-01 because of an eye injury). They went 37-45.

Yesterday, I asked five questions that may have to be addressed this offseason, but I want to open up the discussion even further. Let's assume that the Wizards keep starters Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood. Who else do the Wizards need to be competitive in the Southeast Division and Eastern Conference next season?

By Michael Lee |  April 21, 2009; 1:46 PM ET
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The Big Euro... Pech... He can go
Etan... The Poet.. He can go
Andray Blatche... If you can get something for him in a trade... TRADE HIM!!!
The Wizards need a true backup for Gilbert
They also still need a NASTY big man.

So if they can get Blake Griffin or Tabeet, or someone to put in the middle,
I think they need to definitely get themselves a pure point guard to either play with or backup Gil.

Posted by: RobAnthony | April 21, 2009 2:40 PM

Pesh is dead weight, Blatche has been inconsistent for 4 years and might have some actual value to other teams. Definitely need try and package him with Etan or Mike James maybe our lottery pick (if its NOT the #1 pick).

Resigning Stevenson a couple years ago and then letting Roger Mason Jr go the next summer was A HUGE mistake by the Wizards front office. What does Stevenson bring?? He is an overrated defender, overrated shooter, and has a big mouth. No one else will want him but if you can get rid of him go for it.

Signing Darius and Etan to those contract are also big mistakes by Grunfeld.

McGuire, Young, Javaris, and McGee I think can all still be solid rotation players on a championship team.

Posted by: OT2701 | April 21, 2009 2:47 PM


everyone else has to go..now

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | April 21, 2009 2:53 PM

i like darius at the 4

Posted by: BurgwithaU | April 21, 2009 2:53 PM


You're asking the wrong question.

To get better, the Wizards need to move Crittenton, Pecherov, Thomas, and either Butler or Jamison who lack foot speed and willingness to defend. Look at playoff teams and you see 5 players willing to defend, something the Wizards have lacked for ever. I enjoy how the new Bulls are running Boston off the floor.

Posted by: ballboy1 | April 21, 2009 3:04 PM

I see the McGee-love is continuing. Of the young players, I would keep (in order of value): McGuire, AB, Crittendon, McGee, Young.

Young is probably the most expendable because he's shown he can score, a trait other teams might be willing to pay for. The upside to AB is way too much to trade him

Posted by: tundey | April 21, 2009 3:12 PM

Well, looking at that list, the three least valuable players would be Mike James, Etan Thomas, and Pecherov, for different reasons.

James had a real shot at a regular's role this season and started strong, only to fade with his shooting stroke. That's not a very good audition.

Thomas is a player I like and admire but he looks tired to me and as a result is expending energy in short bursts.

Pecherov hasn't shown much in limited opportunities. He looks slow-footed. That's OK if you're Yao Ming. He does add a welcome physicality to the Wiz big men but again, if you can't get up and down the court fast enough, you're not going to get much opportunity to throw those elbows.

Based on this season's performance (not the best indicator), you'd have to keep Crittenton, McGuire, and McGee among the kids, and Songaila and Stevenson from the adult group. I know the fans aren't particularly fond of either player, but they address team weaknesses that the others never seem to rectify.

So IMO, the bubble guys are Nick Young and Andray Blatche. And the answer depends on who they get in the draft.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 21, 2009 3:12 PM

Bye Pech, Etan, Juan, and Nick Young (by a hair over Blatche, for his no-D, shoot-first, laid-back-to-the-point-of-nonchalance mentality and overreliance on the fadeaway J; because someone with promise has to go in a trade; and because his contract is relatively easy for a team to swallow).

DMac, Blatche and McGee, report to the weight room stat, then to the court where DMac can school Blatche, McGee (and I hope Griffin) on defensive rotations and positioning. Hm, maybe Arenas should be on hand to learn from DMac as well.

James, go hang with Crittenton so he can burn you all day in offseason workouts and get better accustomed to toasting opposing PGs when the games actually count again.

Posted by: jcbcmb68 | April 21, 2009 3:14 PM

McGee, Stevenson, and McGuire are the three I would not actively pursue trading. McGee for his upside, Stevenson for veteran presence on a team that's trying to compete (assuming he's healthy he's shown he fits well into the fifth or sixth spot on this team), and McGuire is the kind of guy who does little things to help you win and doesn't do anything to cause you to lose. He's more valuable than anything he'd yield in a trade, most likely.

All the rest can go if they can get anything for them. Blatche will probably get the best return. Thomas, Pech, Songaila, and James are dead weight and I'd be happy to see any or all of them gone. But everyone realizes this, so they're only desirable to other teams if it helps their salary cap figures.

Crittenton and Young are fine but replaceable.

Posted by: pondaz | April 21, 2009 3:37 PM

The following players should be traded:

Juan Dixon
Mike James
Oleksiy Pecherov
DeShawn Stevenson
Etan Thomas

I might add Blatche to the list as well. He just doesn't seem to have much motivation. I hope the Wiz can get Griffin or Thabeet in the draft. If not, I would package some of these players with the pick and try to get a seasoned Guard. If Eric Maynor is still around for the second round, he would be a nice pick. His game is similar to Arenas' and he is a local fave. With the right training, I think McGee is going to be a beast in a couple years. Get that boy into the gym. He needs to pack on a few pounds. He needs to chill out on the salutes. You just don't do that kind of crap when you're on the worst team in the league. He must have been taking lessons from Stevenson.

Posted by: wiz_fan | April 21, 2009 3:42 PM

Go list


Posted by: Berndaddy | April 21, 2009 3:48 PM

DMAC (obvious reasons)
Darious (I hated him the signing, but gotta admit, dude is money from 18 ft and in)
Javaris (too young and quick to not keep around)
Blatche/Javale (essentially the same player. One stays, one goes. doesnt matter who really)
Nick Y. (pure scorer, every team needs one)

Dont let the door hit you on the way out:
Mike James
Andray/Javale (see above)
DeShawn (thanks for shooting 25% this season, ugh)

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | April 21, 2009 3:54 PM

"Blatche/Javale (essentially the same player. One stays, one goes. doesnt matter who really)"

Huh? They're very different.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 21, 2009 4:01 PM

"If Eric Maynor is still around for the second round, he would be a nice pick."

He should be gone in the first.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 21, 2009 4:02 PM

Except for Songaila who is a serviceable backup, the rest of the vets including Etan, James, Stevenson, and Blatche are all expendable. I don't see any of those 4 having long-term futures or being part of next year's core team. Stevenson's back is a major concern and makes him untradable - doubt he'll get back to his form from two seasons ago.

McGuire has developed the most of the young players, but McGee, NY and Crittenton have potential to be good NBA players. I wish the same could be said for Pecherov...no idea why Ernie would have tendered him for next season to tie up a roster spot when he showed nothing this year in limited minutes.

Posted by: wizfan89 | April 21, 2009 4:17 PM

Deshawn was injured also, I think he should be considered a keeper. besides, EG committed to him when they resigned him to a new deal.

It's hard to say, the list overall is not that attractive..lol I don't see anyone amongst the list who could be considered their best 6th man. But to go young, I'll perhaps take Nick Young. he showed more improvement late in the season.

Posted by: rcnasa | April 21, 2009 4:18 PM

Blatche has some skills, McGee is very raw. Blatche is a good athlete with excellent size; McGee is a one of a kind runner/jumper with remarkable length. Blatche needs to get tougher, McGee needs to get stronger.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 21, 2009 4:21 PM

I would argue Blatche is a big guy who doesnt play good defense or rebound aggressively.

I would also argue that McGee is a big guy who doesnt play good defense or rebound aggressively.

Also, both players are great running the floor and on the break. They are also great for having a double double one night, then going 1-8 with 2 rebounds the next.

Both are inconsistent, tall, not strong, love running the floor (thus giving up offensive rebounds) etc.

I would call Blatche a poor mans Kevin Durant and I would call McGee a homeless mans Kevin Durant.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | April 21, 2009 4:21 PM

Stevenson had a bad year, but I think he needs to get a pass since he had a disc injury in his back. I wouldn't be able to get off the couch with that kind of problem, let alone play basketball. And he voluntarily took himself out of the lineup when he was struggling, which was a show of leadership and character. He was an integral part of the team the two years before that, and I think that, if healthy, he could be so again.

Besides, it won't be as much fun to play the Cavs without him.

And for everybody who thinks that Roger mason would have made a difference on this team, you're kidding yourselves. He made some nice shots for S.A. this season, but he worked because he was put in a role to succeed. Here he would have been tasked with carrying the team from the guard spot in the absence of injured vets, and his variety of short-comings would have been exposed. With him, this team maybe wins 21 games instead of 19. Maybe. He seems like a good guy and all, but he is not what killed this team this year.

Posted by: pondaz | April 21, 2009 4:26 PM

People tend to forget. Besides the fact Blatche has a great contract for our cap. He would in the draft this year had he gone to college. I bet he would be top 5 in this years draft. If you think he is a bust then I guess Jermaine Oneil was a bust also. Give the man a break. If we gave Kawame Brown 4yrs we owe Blatch 6-7. unless we get a superstar in return for him.

Posted by: wizravterp | April 21, 2009 4:27 PM

I have to echo the statements above. However, I would trade Etan, Mike James, & the (if possible) #1 pick for Amare.

The bulls won't pay Ben Gordon, trade Nick Young or Deshawn, & Pesh in a sign and trade deal for Gordon. My 2009 Starting 5

1. Gilbert Back up Crittenden
2. Caron Back up Ben Gordn
3. Jamison Back Up Dmac
4. Amare Back up Blatche
5. Haywood Bacj Up McGee

Keep Songalia (spot duty) and a good 2nd round pick. For the record, we should still have Roger Mason Jr.

Pesh will be NICE with a coach that knows how to use him. If the TIME is now to win a ring, no more with the youth movement, solidify the front court, and bring in a GOOD shooter.

Posted by: Gooddad | April 21, 2009 4:29 PM

I think all of them should be considered GONE and then they should sift through the wreckage and come up with a decent group.

The science project with Arenas, Jamison, and Butler is over..It hasn't worked even when they all were healthy.

The Wizards lack consistentcy. There is no one on that right now that anyone could say is ocnsistent and you can count on them every game. One year Arenas was lighting up the NBA the first half of the season and then went on vacation the second half.

I don't mind waiting another two or three years if a good product is on the court. The cavaliers each year for the last two have worked on upgrading the talent, while the wizards hung onto memories of the 70s.

The wizards should ask fo rpart of Arenas salary back since he hasn't done crap. And yes I know he was hurt.

So my vote is put them all on the chopping block and then look at youth and talent and then experience and leadership.

Posted by: Al_The_Truth | April 21, 2009 4:32 PM

Who's a keeper?
Here's the short list:
DeShawn Stevenson - bad back; poor defense
Mike James - average player on a bad team
Juan Dixon - combo guard with mediocre skills
Oleksiy Pecherov - 3 pt shooting big man
Etan Thomas - heart of a lion; hands of a tackle [and health concerns]

Here's the extended list:
Andray Blatche - great athleticism; poor focus
Nick Young - ONLY if we get back equal talent in a trade

Posted by: musicmanjr | April 21, 2009 4:38 PM

Young is probably the most expendable because he's shown he can score, a trait other teams might be willing to pay for. The upside to AB is way too much to trade him

Posted by: tundey | April 21, 2009 3:12 PM

This is an excellent statement, everyone who left AB of there list as a keeper is on crack. His offensive game has mature exponentially over the past say 2-3 months, some of the moves he has posting up will be lethal next year.

As for Nick he has the ability to score as well but he still need to get to where Blatch has risen to and he will be a force.

Blatch will demand more time next year, trust me. New Coach New Rules.

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | April 21, 2009 4:39 PM

No love for Mike James, Etan, or Pech!

Posted by: emmet1 | April 21, 2009 4:42 PM

I'll say DMAC,CRITT,JAVALE and DARIUS(can't believe i'm lobbying for Songalia! )maybe Nick, trade the serial skirt chaser to the western conference for a skilled backup or have a sit down with Blatche and put him on notice.Did anyone see the Miami Heat head coach Spolestra or whatever his name is during the Sunday night game against the Hawks man the kid looked shell shocked!! still can't get over Philly beating Orlando, i was hoping Da Bulls would be up 2-0 versus the Celts and if i'm Eddie Jordan i wouldn't touch the Sacremento job with a ten foot pole i think he would be a perfect fit for the Raptors except they've got an idiot as GM of that franchise just like here in DC.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 21, 2009 4:44 PM

Jamison, Arenas, Butler, McGuire, Crittenton, Songaila, McGee are the guys who won't be, shouldn't be, or aren't going anywhere for various reasons. Haywood, because his contract status and position may be a decent trade commodity. If they think he might bolt as a FA (or that he might be too expensive to keep) I could see them moving him at the deadline, but he'll be here to start the season.

Everybody is is movable, expendable or upgradable, or all of the above.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 21, 2009 4:50 PM

Ed Tapscott considered Thomas, Stevenson, James, and Songaila to be the keepers. Whatever, he's soooo last year. But honestly, ask yourself what Ed Tapscott's answer would be to this question, and then ask what a reasonable NBA executive's answer would be, and have fun comparing the two.

Posted by: emmet1 | April 21, 2009 4:57 PM

I think of everyone not listed in Michael's top four, no one stands out as an absolute keeper. Thomas and James are obvious names for departure, assuming we can find any team to take them, so let's take them out of the equation.

If we look at this by position, after Arenas, Crittenton is the only other valid PG on the squad. So he stays.

At SG we have only two 'naturals,' Stevenson and Young, though Butler can fill in at that position. So they both stay.

At SF we have Butler and McGuire. So McGuire stays. Though both Jamison and Blatch are capable of spot duty here, maybe even full-time duty, though I think you lose something.

At PF we have Jamison, then Blatche, Songaila, and Pecherov. Pecherov is the least valuable.

At C after Haywood, assuming Thomas is gone or injured, we have McGee. Blatche and Songaila (sorta) can each play spot duty here as well.

So, looking at the above, and taking away Thomas, James, and Pecherov, we really only have 2 'fits' at each position, except PF, where we have 3. Long-term, Blatche is a better value, and is slightly more versatile on the court. So I would add Songaila to the list.

Unfortunately, this list doesn't take into account what other teams would be willing to take from us.

Something else I'd like to bring up is our major weakness, SG. I think a player that we should inquire about is Raja Bell. He's an upgrade over Stevenson in both defense and outside shooting. He's dropped off a bit from his peak days, but is still very good, and his salary is manageable. Assuming we don't get the first pick in the draft, perhaps we can package our pick and a few players for Bell, Charlotte's pick, if they have one, and another player or two if necessary. Like: Stevenson, Pecherov, James and our 2-5 pick for Bell, Mohammed, and their first round pick. We could throw Thomas in there for James, if Charlotte was willing to use their trade exceptions.

Posted by: segastyle | April 21, 2009 5:04 PM

The bulls won't pay Ben Gordon, trade Nick Young or Deshawn, & Pesh in a sign and trade deal for Gordon. My 2009 Starting 5

1. Gilbert Back up Crittenden
2. Caron Back up Ben Gordn
3. Jamison Back Up Dmac
4. Amare Back up Blatche
5. Haywood Bacj Up McGee

Unless your going with a 12 man roster you cant pay for these guys. It's a good dream though. Wiz don't have cap room to bring in Gorden and Amare. Probably wouldn't have enough for one considering they will have to pay a high draft pick as well.

Posted by: jfwil | April 21, 2009 5:04 PM

Package Blatche and Thomas together and ship them off - Etan is loved but inefficient and Andray has potential but time is up.

Pech is garbage get rid of him and strong consideration should be given to dumping Mike James as well - depending on how Stevenson's back is and whether he can hold up next season.

Everybody else can stay - like Nick and McGee and McGuire...Crittendon has promise...Songalia is a solid bench contributor so he can stay.

Posted by: blackman1 | April 21, 2009 5:04 PM

Keep Everybody Except Etan and Stevenson. (Replace them with the First and Second Round Picks

You can cut Mike James but he will count against the cap anyway. He must be traded but this is a long shot cause he's what I cal BUM SAUCE. 12th-15th man

Pesh is a big man who can shoot and rebound (Thats a special talent not many of these)just can't get on the floor, and you never really want to throw away size. He's a life long 12th-15 man that can give you a BIG when you need it, anyone who replaces this guy will only provide us the same given all of our other Big men(Including first round pick)

Juan is a hometown hero who isn't being paid anything and we all know what he can do given the opportunity might as well keep him. Another 12th-15th man.

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | April 21, 2009 5:05 PM

The Big Three and Haywood all stay.

Dixon, Pecherov, Thomas and James must all go, one way or another.

McGuire and McGee must stay, the Taser because he is value for money and McGee because his upside is obvious.

Of the remaining older players, Songaila is a contributor but should be a 9th or 10th man on a contending team, while Stevenson has to be given a pass until he can show if he has recovered from his bad back and can still be a good complementary player for his defense and spot-up 3s.

The other younger players -- Blatche, Young and Crittenten -- are fungible... They could fit in or they could be packaged in a trade depending on where we come out in the draft lottery. If we get Griffin, then Blatche can be packaged in a deal with an expiring contract for a solid wing player. If we get Rubio, then Young and/or Crittenten can be dealt with the expiring contract for a decent big banger.

If we get neither Griffin nor Rubio, look for some serious dealing.

The temptation to pick Thabeet is, I think, misguided. I see him as DeSagna Diop redux.

As far as picking up a player from the Bulls, their playoff showing against the Celtics (who have now lost Leon Powe in addition to Garnett) will go a long way to determining the fate of two players, neither of whom is Ben Gordon (I think the fans in Chi-town would revolt if he is not re-signed, even if he is undersized for a 2-guard the man is a big-time scorer). The available players will be the guys who got the big contracts but shouldn't have (Hinrich and Deng) and either of them might be welcome here if management wants to bite the fiscal bullet.

Posted by: khrabb | April 21, 2009 5:11 PM

A 6'11" player who can handle the ball, is a very good passer and shot-blocker, has demonstrated that with the right offense he can score, can contribute a double-double every night, has two+ years experience in the NBA (more than a few games as a starter), is not a high-priced player and is only 23 years-old...and you don't want to keep him???

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | April 21, 2009 5:13 PM

The team obviously has four solid starters. You can debate whether Butler and Jamison should be 2/3 or 3/4. Personally I feel Butler is at the 2 carries more negatives than the positives of Jamison at the 3. The team needs a solid shooting guard as much as we need Blake Griffin.

On the bench, I think we lack solid depth at center, power forward and shooting guard (obvious since I don't think we have even one solid shooting guard). I think McGuire, Crittenton, Stevenson and Songaila are all good backups or situational players but I'd part with any of them in a second if the right offer came along, despite the potential I can see in Dom and Javaris. I'd love to be able to sub Dom, DeShawn and Darius for defense at the ends of games.

I think everyone else is expendable. I would try to buy out Mike James (can't we just offer him $6M not to accept his option year instead of paying $6M+ AND luxury tax penalty? - maybe I don't understand the collective bargaining agreement completely on this point). I think Nick, JaVale and Dray have some really great potential but I think there are some really disappointing issues with Nick and Dray. Nick is an obviously deficient team defender and I think there are a number of guys who can score as well as Nick out there. By the way I think Nick is a pretty good one on one, open court defender who blocks shots pretty well. He just can't deal with anything involving team defense. Dray needs to get serious about his game. I think he improved immensely in the middle third of the season but not enough in the last third. Dray could be a guy if traded really adds a ton of value to a team and develops into a star - he could also be a complete bust.

I think Pesh and Etan are great guys and I think hanging around with Pesh for a day or two would be the funniest day or two of my life but I don't see a role for them on this team.

Posted by: jonathan30033 | April 21, 2009 5:22 PM

McGuire - He showed a very versatile game and moved the ball....a rare commodity on this team.
McGee - Tons of physical talent, seems to have a desire to play but he needs seasoning. His upside to me seems to be as a Marcus Camby like player.
Crittendon. Good size and quicks for a PG, Seems willing to play D and run the team. But he also needs a lot of seasoning.
Songalia - He does the dirty work, moves the ball, is a veteran presence and has a nice J for a big man. As McGuire progresses, Darius will lose minutes.

They Can Go:
Stevenson - I'm tired of the show. Even though he's a willing defender, he contributes to the show-off-and-don't-deliver nature of this team.
James - He'd be a nice shooter to have at the end of the bench, but he costs way too much for that.
Thomas - I like him, I like the effort, but he shouldn't see the court unless it's to contribute 6 fouls.
Pecherov - For comic relief alone he's worth keeping, but he hasn't shown much beyond effort on the court.
Young - He'd be nice to keep as an instant offense option off the bench, but he is strictly a one-way player on a team that can't afford it.

and finally Blatche - He does have talent and skills. But I am SOOO tired of the KG comparisons. One problem, he lacks one big thing that the Big Ticket has in spades, which is HEART / GUTS / STONES whatever you want to call it. A much better comparison would be someone like C-Webb who had a load of talent that he never fully delivered on...who seemed more interested in making the fancy pass or 22 ft jumper instead of the fundamental play, getting the tough rebound or developing a reliable post-game. I've seen enough of the Blatche-million-dollar-body-in-a-5-cent-head show. He might have the most trade value, especially to another team that wants to play uptempo. Whether we get Griffin or not, I think it's time for Blatche to go.

Posted by: ts35 | April 21, 2009 5:22 PM

Neither Hinrich nor Deng is worth the money they're being be paid. Both are nice players but not the kind of impact you'd expect at that price. Deng is essentially a younger, more athletic version of Jamison: a tweener forward who's not really a 3 or a 4. Hinrich is a tweener combo guard who's not big enough to be a SG but not a good enough playmaker/ballhandler to be a primary PG.

The Wiz don't need any more men without a position.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 21, 2009 5:26 PM

Must get rid of:

Etan Thomas: awful, awful contract, can't stay healthy, too short to guard the big men, little offensive skill; with JaVale as backup, get RID OF HIM NOW

Blatche: cancer to the offense (has no patience, thinks he's a point guard, and a shooting guard, very inconsistent, no real development over the years) Get rid of him.

Pech: really no point, can we get rid of him?

Mike James: has shown he can be a decent shooter, but with Gil back, and Javaris a possible young backup, what's the point? Can we get rid of him?

Possibly keep or lose:

Deshawn: awful year, but he is a decent defender and can get hot - we need a 3 pt specialist to come off the bench, but he may not be reliable for that - consistently healthy though (minus this year)

Javaris: he could be our backup point, has shown good progress in the last couple of months - did show promises of patience and good decision-making, but also other times of awful poise and decision-making... if we get rid of him, it's because we're getting a better backup point guard... i trust he can be reliable though

Hopefully keep:

Darius: dude has grown on me; he's proven he can hit the open jumper, play great screen defense, even guard the big men! He works hard, but doesn't have a lot of other skills - i like him now

Dom: has proven himself... he doesn't have much offensive skills, despite his jump shot has gotten a little better; he works hard, is a great SF who gets rebounds, plays tough D, and makes good decisions... i like him now... reliable 2nd string guy


Young: my #1 man - got a bad rap from Tap, because Tap, well, is an awful coach - Nick is a PROVEN scorer: can take ANYONE in the league off the dribble and hit the jumper, over 40% of the time, even getting better on 3s, he's our #1 scorer coming off the bench... he will be a 20ppg guard very soon... do NOT get rid of him!

McGee: the crowd favorite, our prodigy, has shown beautiful promises... ever seen a 7 footer run the break like that? it's not often... however, he has shown some bad decision-making.. he's just a rookie, doesn't have much experience yet, but he has the athleticism and humility to learn to be a great player... I wish he got more development this past year.. TAP, you suck for that, for what McGee and Young got in PT. Glad you're gone. Bastard.

Watched about every Wiz game this year - so you can try and argue with me on these points, but I will only convince you why I'm right...

FLIP, my man, we're excited to have you on board, and let Gil run this team at the point... Princeton offense (and that ugly 3-man weave) it was good knowing you... we won't miss ya

Posted by: iamse7en | April 21, 2009 5:35 PM


Crittenton (one full year to prove he can spell Zero at the 1)


CUT: Stevenson

Posted by: Hakimu224 | April 21, 2009 6:13 PM

Gooddad, I think you make a pretty nice lineup there. Actually it's a pretty sweet lineup. I wonder if it's feasible that the Wiz can actually afford that. Based on this past year's salaries, the total salary of that lineup would be just over $71 Mil (not sure how the salary cap works, so I wouldn't know the implications).

Phoenix had a total payroll of nearly $86.0M for this past year and the cap was at around $58M. I'm guessing Phoenix has to pay a hefty luxury tax.

So with that example, would it be possible for the Wiz to get that kind of a lineup? I'm sure there's something else that I'm not getting about the salary cap.

Posted by: heydude345 | April 21, 2009 6:21 PM

Definitely keep:

Keep unless part of a trade to get that elusive 5th starter:
Blatche (blatche less so because of his good contract)

Keep unless all other efforts to reduce salary fail:

Keep so their contract expires or they can be packaged in a deal as an expiring contract:

Try and package in a deal because their contract has extra years on it and they suck:

Try and package in a deal because their contract has extra years on it but could be useful if salary cap issues were not in play:

No reason to get rid of:

Posted by: PindarPushkin | April 21, 2009 6:22 PM

I think theirs too much love for McGee. Not a bad pick because he has an upside, but the odds are he'll never be a standout player. He didn't look any better at the end of the year than at the beginning. He has no shot, etc. he's got a long way to go.

Songolia, he's a keeper. not as a starter, burt a real contributor. He can play.

I think Blatch is a keeper too. he can play a role, a few points and some rebounds off the bench. that's his role, nothing more nothing less. as others have said, his price is right.

Posted by: stevie2 | April 21, 2009 6:40 PM

folks everyone is asking the wrong questions here let's say for the argument sake the Wizards did draft Blake Griffin then the Question becomes who is being traded, in my opinion it's Jaimson no doubt here is why what team has drafted no1 overall and not started as a rookie especially at the 4 the only thing is that what are you getting for him can you send him to Memphis along with thomas for O.J mayo or use him to add talent on the bench you can go either way as for young if young was tradable he would have been gone by now trust me Nick young is staying he's not going anywhere.

Posted by: rmnkevorkian | April 21, 2009 7:29 PM

Arenas, Jamison, Butler, McGuire, McGee, Crittenton, Blatche, Songaila, and Young are definitely keepers. Hope the Wizards land Blake Griffin who would be an upgrade over Etan Thomas.

Posted by: RedCherokee | April 21, 2009 7:30 PM

I'd package any player on the roster (or the pick) with Thomas, even for a second. Same with James, except I'd hold back Butler. Take them both, great.
If salary cap considerations are ignored, Butler and Jamison would improve any roster.
The rest, including Arenas when not 100% are not even complementary players at this time. Since the Wiz can't seem to find a coach who can teach, or is it players who will learn, the rest are expendable, although Dom might be a bargain keeper.

Posted by: lrmc623 | April 21, 2009 8:26 PM

I looked closely, but couldn't find the "none of the above" option.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | April 21, 2009 9:18 PM

Peschorov needs to go...
Stevenson can go....
Etan can go....
Blache is so inconsistent, he should be traded, so we can get whatever we can for him.

The keepers are: McGee, Dom Mc, they bring hustle and defensive intensity. Nick Young is a keeper for now. He needs to improve on a down year. He could improve under Saunders. Possibly Songalia. He brings strong basketball IQ. But he could be trade bait, also.

Posted by: Gr8t4ll1 | April 21, 2009 10:29 PM

I can't understand the negative comments about Blatche and/or Young. Both are young guys who have demonstrated that they can play in the NBA and contribute substantially within the correct offense. Both improved dramatically on the defensive end during the 2008-09 season. Both demonstrated NBA potential despite Tapscott's efforts to limit their time while playing the vets into the ground in an effort to get the nod as the permanent coach for the 2009-10 season (what a jerk!).

I believe that Saunders has demonstrated that he understands what it takes to win in the NBA and he will evaluate the players accordingly. That will be a positive for both Young and Blatche.

I attended or watched every Wizards game for the past 10 seasons. This year I have seen how Tapscott treated the younger players. I have seen the apprehension in their eyes everytime they made the slightest mistake. I have seen Tapscott humiliate the young guys with his screaming and idiotic substitution patterns while running the vets into the ground.

Young and Blatche are NBA players. With the right coaching both will contribute to a Wizards championship team.

Consider this: Blatche and Young are in the college draft - where do you rate them? If you believe that they are not 1 and 2 you don't know jack about b-ball.

They are both keepers!

Posted by: getabigboyoffense | April 21, 2009 10:37 PM

Wow Mike you are crushing this blog! Man I just hope we get Griffin. I really hope we get him. I tried to catch his games all season and I really like his game. He's like a cross between Chris Webber and Dennis Rodman.

We need a shooting guard. I am looking for that Larry Hughes deal to go down. Etan, James, Pecherov, our 2nd rounder for Hughes.

Griffin and Hughes ... that's what I want this offseason!

Now if we don't get the #1 pick... then I would trade the pick. We have to get a legit starting SG and a REBOUNDER. Those are our 2 biggest needs. As far as the young guys, Pecherov is the only one that needs to go. In a deal to bring in a top shelf SG like a Joe Johnson, I would deal the pick with Blatche and Young. McGee, McGuire and Crittenton are the ones I'm most interested in keeping.

Posted by: Darnell1 | April 21, 2009 10:59 PM

"Consider this: Blatche and Young are in the college draft - where do you rate them? If you believe that they are not 1 and 2 you don't know jack about b-ball."

Blatche and Young were in the draft. They were taken at 49 and 17.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 22, 2009 12:00 AM

The bullets suck bring on the draft. The NFL draft!

Posted by: rskinz34 | April 22, 2009 12:34 AM

Where would Blatche go in this draft? Had he gone to college for 4yrs this would be his draft. I'd say top 5 atleast

Posted by: wizravterp | April 22, 2009 12:57 AM

Why is it that no one has even challenged the premise that Haywood is a keeper? Haywood is a stiff. The Wiz will never beat anyone good 4 times in a playoff series with him in the middle. If you doubt that, pick a playoff game against the Cavs at random and watch LeBron smoke down the lane at will and throw it down on Haywood's head with impunity. Haywood is a 7' pussy defensively who can't score and doesn't rebound. You doubt it? According to Elias Sports Bureau, his career avgs are: 23.7 mins; 7.5 points; half a steal; 1.5 blocks; 2.7 fouls. A guy who avgs 2.7 fouls isn't exactly knocking guys to the floor when they go to the rim.

This is the picture of an untouchable center, around which you build a contending franchise? Please. If that's the mentality, the Wiz will never contend.

Posted by: salescoach | April 22, 2009 1:10 AM

"Where would Blatche go in this draft? Had he gone to college for 4yrs this would be his draft. I'd say top 5 atleast"

(A) He didn't go to college. (B) This is a weak draft. (C) If he had gone to college he wouldn't have stayed 4 years. (D) What difference does it make?

"Why is it that no one has even challenged the premise that Haywood is a keeper? Haywood is a stiff . . . This is the picture of an untouchable center, around which you build a contending franchise? "

Who said Haywood was untouchable or that they were building the franchise around him?

Haywood is, at best, a serviceable NBA C. And while that may not sound like much, it's more than a lot of teams have. If moving him was the prelude to getting something better then sure, do it. But you don't get rid of of a decent 7-foot C if you don't have something at least as good to take his place, and the Wiz don't.

Posted by: kalo_rama | April 22, 2009 1:33 AM

"Now if we don't get the #1 pick... then I would trade the pick."

You've probably already seen the flaw in this plan. How much could you get for a pick that's decidedly inferior to the first?

That comes down to how the teams around the league value one name: Hasheem Thabeet. And if you've followed the discussion this saason, you know that people can't seem to make up their mind about the guy's future.

His coach says he's the best big man ever at Connecticut, no contest. Other Big East coaches sing his praises. Still, if you run up the tape of those two Pitt games, against a 6'6 opponent, he just doesn't look that good.

If you've got that second pick and you decide you don't want Thabeet, who do you trade with? Somebody who's desperate for a center, because Thabeet will require significant $$ and probably some development time -- most big men do. You're not going to get scoring from him, so he fits best on a team that already puts up points.

That would be a team that thinks they're close to contending, like Portland when they drafted Oden. Lots of pieces already in place.

The list is narrowing. Chicago perhaps. Atlanta. The Heat or Charlotte. New Jersey would have been there last year, but not now, with Lopez. You can always hope to get Mark Cuban interested, but he prefers offensive players. And the Knicks will come up, but does Thabeet fit a D'Antoni scheme? Of course not.

Behind Thabeet? In terms of trade value, not much.

So my guess is that there's a really good player out there waiting in the draft, but you're just going to have to stick around and hope you pick him.

Posted by: Samson151 | April 22, 2009 6:04 AM

Here is how the wizards should shake things up:

First get rid of: Blatche - his work ethic is just not there and people have been saying he has potential for the last four years.
Pech - dead weight
Etan - I like his aggressiveness, but he lacks offense.
Mike James - not a good point guard, not a good defender, not a good shooter...heck...he's just not very good.
D. Stevenson - your time here is up. Take your "can't see me dance" some where else.

Maybe keep Jarvis. Off the bench he can spell starters for a good 10 mins and has shown flashes of a decent point guard. when nick young decides to take basketball seriously he will be a great player, right now he's good (sometimes). JaVale needs another couple years to develop. he got thrown into playing as a rookie w/o really knowing the game. I think he will show great improvement once he gets some low post moves and strenght. Keep everyone else.

In the draft, if we don't get the first overall pick i would try to package someone in a trade. However, if my dreams come true and we get the first overall pick in the draft, Griffin is a must. There is also a pure shooter no one is talking about (i don't know if he declared for the draft yet), but Curry from Davidson (mark my words) would be perfect for the Wizards. This guy can flat out stroke the ball, and thats just what the wizards need.

Posted by: mdade1 | April 22, 2009 7:48 AM

Rubio's apparent availability in the draft changes the scenario considerably but you are right mdade, Stephen Curry, could be the real deal.

Posted by: khrabb | April 22, 2009 8:29 AM

Anybody but Debrick Stevenson. I'll take Marisa Coleman over Deshawn(wasted minutes) Stevenson.

Posted by: iamdawalrus | April 22, 2009 8:35 AM

Surprised to see Can't-feel-my-face only got 1% of the vote. I think he's got some decent value, definitely a 2nd or 3rd guy off the bench.

I don't think NY can really develop if Gil is all the way back. Package him and maybe even the draft pick for a solid, proven vet.

Posted by: nittanybruin | April 22, 2009 8:35 AM

The real question is, who can they get rid of? Outside of the four core guys, I'm not sure that anyone else on this team has any real value. McGee would have the most value, based solely on potential. But he's staying. No one else has proven themselves to be invaluable. Maybe you keep Crittenden to develop a backup for Gil. But everyone else, if they can be moved, they should be.

Posted by: Tempy_McJobhunt | April 22, 2009 10:04 AM

Players who should be traded....

there is no way i would break up the group of the young player

Posted by: Wiz23 | April 22, 2009 10:39 AM

They just have to keep JaVale McGee and Nick Young if only because the upside potential is so huge.

It would be nice to keep Andray Blatche, Javaris Crittenton, and Dominic McGuire as they too have great potential, and you'd hate to let a future star get away.

They should only trade Darius Songaila if they can upgrade. They need some veteran consistency out there and he's not bad.

All the others should be traded.

And if they should draft Blake Griffen, then they definitely have new options. Though I hate to suggest it, with Griffen drafted, they might want to consider trading Jamison (he's the best and most consistent player we have at the moment, yet he's reaching an age where his future is limited).

It might be a good time to move Jamison while he's still a huge player for another major piece of the pie. Imagine moving Jamison and others for an Amare Stoudemire.

That would be Gil, Caron, Griffen, and Stoudemire. Unstoppable!

Posted by: Independent11 | April 22, 2009 11:20 AM

Keep the 3 together. Obviously who we keep depends upon who the draft pick is. Best option is that we get Blake Griffen, making Jamison a 6th man and making Blatche expendable. If we get Rubio it is good bye Young. I agree that we might need to seek to package one of our puppies with a pick, if it is a 3-5 selection,to get more experience. Critt, McGee and DMac should be kept unless we get offers we can't refuse. Blatche and Young disappointed me this year. Shop 'em both. Pesh, Juan, Etan, James... let 'em all go if you can.

So we have Flip. Still wish it was Avery. I hope Flip can convince this bunch to commit to an adequate measure of defense. By the way, don't get fooled ya'll by all the offense you see so far in the playoffs. Remember, it gets tougher as each series gets longer and as teams go to the next rounds. Scoring in April is more difficult than in January. And scoring in June is more difficult than in April. Because these players are so good, the teams that advance are the ones that learn to make defensive adjustments that keep non-stars from having major impacts on games. I don't think that the Bulls guards will be scoring 35-40 points as the series gets longer. Celts will neutralize them. They will have to adjust. Good defensive teams take away what you are doing. That's what is so great about this league in the springtime! That is why I always say that there is nothing in March madness that can compare to the NBA playoffs.


Posted by: stanlong23 | April 22, 2009 11:21 AM

PLEASE GET RID OF DESHAWN(I CAN'T SEE YOUR SHOT) STEVENSON.. after that keep JaVale Crittenden and Dominic and say bye-bye to everybody else. I still think they should have hired Avery Johnson over Flip..better defense..

Posted by: lscott1 | April 22, 2009 11:25 AM

Should go:
1. Stevenson - could get the same play from someone cheaper; he is not a starter and I think we all agree Nick Young (as of today) is not ready to start so it would be best to trade him and focus that attention on making Young the 'best 2 guard off the bench he can be...'
2. James - it's a reason he can't stick with a team; need focus not distractions; need a passing point guard, not a shot first one...; should trade him while we can get something for him... (package with Thomas)
3. Thomas - stays hurt (not his fault), but we should try to get something for him (trade) before we just let him walk at the end of next season (package with James)
4. Blatch - the kid has talent, but 'doesn't love the game...' (L.B.); maybe not a "SHOULD GO" rather a vacation to the D. League would help???
5. Peschorov - 'Mission Impossible;' he couldn't crack the rotation on a 19 win team; he aint got it....

* A lot of you have posted Juan Dixon as a "Should Go" or suggested he "will not be back in DC," but consider this:
- we are looking at paying the lux. tax and having 1 to may players if we keep the team 'as is' (no Dixon, and add 2 draft picks)
- if we over haul the team with 3-5 new players plus a 1st rounder we are going to be in the same financial situation we are in now, if not worse do to taking on longer contracts due to possible trades (James, Thomas and/or draft picks)
- if we can/do trade James and Thomas (and the 1st Round Pick) I would hope we would take back fewer players then we send (2 for 1 ... or 3 for 1 or 2) meaning we would need to fill roster spots
- we should consider bring Juan back on the same type of contract as he had this year (not many quality guys are going to except a 1 yr./1 mil. offer, the role of 5th guard, be prepared to play every game knowing they may not see a minute of playing time, and not create problems during the season)... we know what Juan will do; we don't know what a Flip Murry or Dahntay Jones would do in that situation playing for the Wizards!
- plus it's always a good PR move to get a local guy on the team !!!???!!!???? (I know I'm reaching with this one...)

Posted by: fishin41 | April 22, 2009 11:51 AM

To begin with an assumption designed for failure (keeping Arenas, Butler & Jamison). Then a stupidly designed poll premitting keeping only one of that list which makes it like a popularity poll.

Posted by: renostaging2005 | April 22, 2009 12:32 PM

Ideally James, Pech and Dixon and Etan of course, would go.

Try and trade Young and Blatche. (Really, honestly, truly, does anyone see Nick Young being part of an NBA playoff team?)

Dump Crit.

Keep McGee a year and see.

Keep Deshawn: if he regains some touch, he plays well with Gil/Caron/Twan.

Keep Dominic: a solid cheap bench player.

Sign a cheap vet backup PG (we can't have crazy Crit running the offense off the bench) and a dedicated 3-point shooter and someone who knows how to get around screens!

Posted by: RodRodRodRodRod | April 22, 2009 2:07 PM

Try and trade Young and Blatche. (Really, honestly, truly, does anyone see Nick Young being part of an NBA playoff team?)

Posted by: RodRodRodRodRod | April 22, 2009 2:07 PM

I think Young shows great promise. Look, many great players came out of college playing no D.

He can improve on that front. The point is he is a natural scorer. Rip Hamilton played zero D when he was with the Wizards, but also displayed Young's ability to score with ease and look how he's evolved into a great all around player.

Posted by: Independent11 | April 22, 2009 4:38 PM

RIP is a very differenty player. He is absolutely lights out from the mid-range spot. You can run catch-and-shoot plays for him all over the court. Nick has such a big wind-up and likes to ball handle too much. I love Nick Young, he's fun to watch and great to have around, but I just don't see a big role for him here

Posted by: RodRodRodRodRod | April 22, 2009 5:58 PM

Easy fix: Trade Jamison, Etan and first round pick for Amare S. Who in this draft can compare to Amare right now? He would solve our PF position and he's only 26. Phoenix would get a solid vet who can score, an expiring contract and the potential to get Blake Griffin. The salaries would come pretty close and we won't have to worry about adding another rookie contract to force paying the luxury tax.

Starters: Arenas, Young, Butler, Amare, Haywood
Key Reserves: Crittenden, Stevenson, McGuire, Songalia, McGee, Blatche

Posted by: garrybrown | April 23, 2009 11:18 PM

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