Wizards Being Patient With Free Agency


See Judge Mathis. Not only do I have this slick, velvety jacket, but now the Wizards are using me as an example to recruit free agents. (Getty Images)


You already know that the Washington Wizards won't make any major moves with the league moratorium on free agent signings and trades lifted on Wednesday. But while the Los Angeles Lakers add Ron Artest, the Boston Celtics add Rasheed Wallace, the Toronto Raptors add Hedo Turkoglu, the Detroit Pistons add Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, and the Dallas Mavericks re-sign Jason Kidd, Wizards fans shouldn't put too much stock in what happens with their team today.

The date the Wizards are thinking about is Aug. 5, 2006. That was the day that the Wizards signed DeShawn Stevenson to a one-year deal worth just under $1 million. It was a low-risk, low-cost move that provided a starting shooting guard for a team that had the best record in the Eastern Conference in late January. Stevenson meshed well with the team, especially Gilbert Arenas, and was rewarded with a long-term deal the next season.

Now, the Wizards are not expecting to sign a starting power forward/center, but they do hope to find someone who can play 10-15 minutes off the bench and provide some veteran frontcourt help for starters Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison and reserves Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and Dominic McGuire. The Wizards understand that what they are willing to offer -- a one-year deal at the league minimum (or perhaps the full bi-annual exception at $1.99 million) -- isn't attractive right now, but it could be next month or even in September when teams start running out of money and about 20-25 guys are fighting for about 10-15 jobs.

If you'll remember, Stevenson was expecting to sign for the mid-level exception in the summer of 2006 and rejected a three-year, $10-million offer from Orlando before replacing his agent and settling on his deal with the Wizards. What helped the Wizards in that situation was that they had expressed their interest with Stevenson very early in the recruiting process. Stevenson's signing helped give the Wizards the insurance to pass on matching the five-year, $30-million offer sheet that Isiah Thomas and the Knicks handed Jared Jeffries. No regrets there.

The Wizards are willing to be patient, with Ernie Grunfeld already saying that he is comfortable with the team the Wizards currently have, and with Coach Flip Saunders historically relying on a relatively short rotation. The hope is that one of the players who they are targeting can slide down to them after other opportunities are exhausted, much like the case with Stevenson.

According to a league source, the Wizards have already reached out to several free agents since July 1. They are using the Stevenson sales pitch (come here, have a successful one-year run and it could lead to more money down the road) with the current crop of free agents that they are considering to provide some balance to their roster.


Rasho says 'Oh no.' Wouldn't you like me to do this to the other team, Caron? (AP Photo)

The list of players who interest the Wizards include Fabricio Oberto, Rasho Nesterovic, Channing Frye, Sean Marks, Jamaal Magloire, Chris Wilcox and Brian Skinner. The key for the Wizards is finding a big man with a specialized skill (i.e. shot-blocking, rebounding, hustle) and not just signing someone because he's a big body.

Oberto was recently waived by the Pistons after being traded from San Antonio and Milwaukee. He's currently in Argentina, but the Wizards have a connection with Oberto with new Wizards assistant coach Mike Wells working with him in San Antonio the past four seasons. Frye has already visited with Cleveland but is still an option. So is Nesterovic, who has been a serviceable center most of his career and won a championship with the Spurs in 2005.

The Wizards could also settle on Adonal Foyle, someone like Pops Mensa-Bonsu or D-League standout Courtney Sims. Free agents from summer league rosters, including their own, are not out of the equation. So, there is an opportunity, albeit slight, for Gonzaga forward Josh Heytvelt.

Point being, with the luxury tax penalty already expected to blow a $6 million hole in Abe Pollin's pockets, don't expect the Wizards to add a big name free agent power forward using the $5.85 million midlevel exception. Not to mention, there isn't a player at that price who would make Washington appreciably better, as far as championship contention -- unless Lamar Odom does something really, really crazy and leaves L.A. for D.C. because he hears the candy is better on the East Coast. (No need to stay up late praying for that one.)

Antonio McDyess would be a great piece in Washington, but he would cost way too much if you take this into consideration: If the Wizards give someone the midlevel exception, they would have a payroll of about $82 million. An $82-million payroll would mean an almost $12-million luxury tax penalty. Add that up and you have Pollin paying $94 million for your 2009-10 Washington Wizards. That would be absurd.

The Wizards have made a little money this summer, with the $2.5 million second-round pick sale and they will get another $2.9 million check from the league, with seven teams (New York, Dallas, Cleveland, the Lakers, Portland and Phoenix) forking over almost $87 million in luxury tax penalties. But that $5.4 million windfall wouldn't justify going overboard next season and adding someone who won't make much of a difference -- especially when the Wizards will have to write a pretty big check next summer.

By Michael Lee |  July 8, 2009; 12:26 PM ET
Previous: Wizards Face Almost $6 Million Luxury Tax Penalty | Next: Standing on the Sideline

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In before:

-Abe is cheap
-We should never have signed Gilbert/Antawn/Caron/Blatche
-Can we see if Larry Hughes/Jared Jeffries/Exree Hip/Jahidi White is available?
-Bring back Juan Dixon

Posted by: bryc3 | July 8, 2009 12:41 PM

Ivan, why are the Wiz getting 2.9 million from the league? I thought they did not need the stimulus money that was being offered to teams in need of more money.

Posted by: KingAsphodel | July 8, 2009 12:46 PM

Larry Hughes was another great EG deal when he brought him here for 15 million of 3 years.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | July 8, 2009 12:46 PM

"Ivan, why are the Wiz getting 2.9 million from the league? I thought they did not need the stimulus money that was being offered to teams in need of more money.

Posted by: KingAsphodel | July 8, 2009 12:46 PM"

First it is Michael Lee that wrote the post. Ivan is no longer on the blog. Second all teams that do not exceed the luxury tax spilt the pot of the teams that do.

Posted by: dcinmd1 | July 8, 2009 12:52 PM

KingA, last seasons luxury tax rebate for not going over

Posted by: detox04 | July 8, 2009 12:52 PM

Hopefully, fans are going to realize that Grufeld is NAILING IT and stop complaining.

Grunfeld has been methodical in putting this together and its working beautifully.

Posted by: UltimateFootballNetwork | July 8, 2009 12:58 PM

Never ceases to amaze me how harsh the criticism is of the Wizards front office - how Abe is cheap and Ernie is picky etc. Etched in my memory are the Washington Bullets of old - John Williams and Don McLean and Muggsy and Manute...in comparison to the roster rationale of those days we're a lot more competent and competitive if you ask me. But that's neither here nor there - the '09/10 season is upon us and aside from the glaring holes in the frontcourt you have to give the Wizards credit this offseason for their additions of Foye and Miller. It's easy to whine about the $$ being dished out to Gilbert and Caron and Antawn but serionsly people - if we were healthy we'd be winning you know this and all that cash spent on the Big 3 would be well worth it for perennial playoff pushes. Only reason this past season was so abyssmal is because of injuries. Nearly every NBA player, coach, and GM queried about the Wizards has said how they can easily be considered one of the top 4 teams in the Eastern Conference provided we can stay healthy and at the risk of being critical myself, adding bums like Hipp, White, and Jeffires is comical and with an already overcrowded backcourt it'd be in everyone's best interest if Larry and Juan found someone else's bench to sit on.

Posted by: blackman1 | July 8, 2009 1:01 PM

If I remember correctly. Larry Hughes was a Michael Jordan signing...

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 1:10 PM

Of course, that isn't where this started. It started with you claiming that Jordan "refused" to play Haywood after he'd played a good game 2.

Posted by: kalo_rama
-------------------------------------------

kalo_rama,

This is the proof that your memory isn't as good as you think.

This discussion started when you said Haywood is "nothing more than a time share as (sic) starting C," and "the evidence of history" suggests that he isn't "capable off (sic) being more." I responded by saying that the history has shown that Haywood was reined in by a coach who liked to play "small ball." So, as I said, the discussion started because I believe Haywood is capable of playing more, starter-like minutes (under new coach), while you don't.

The discussion of the'06-'07 playoff came later. To borrow from you, "the fact is," you don't remember the details of the game 3 in that series (the way Haywood was used in that game was questioned by other folks in this blog then too). And if your reason that Haywood was not used in Game 4 at all was because he played poorly in Game 3 is correct, then by the same logic, Haywood must have played well in Game 1 to deserve 18 minutes in Game 2, right? (Not!) Or does your logic change depends on whether not it supports your argument?

We can have different opinions on Haywood, I am fine with that (just like segastyle and I have "agree to disagree"). But please don't call your own opinion and not-so-good memory as "fact," or "history." (I am still eager to find out if you really have reports that I haven't seen about Haywood "routing for opponent on the bench".)

Posted by: sagaliba | July 8, 2009 1:10 PM

in comparison to the roster rationale of those days we're a lot more competent and competitive if you ask me.

Posted by: blackman1 | July 8, 2009 1:01 PM

rofl u call countless bloated-a$$ contracts, the 3rd highest payroll, and a 19 win season preceeded by three straight 1 & dones "competitive" ?!

i wasn't opposed to lowering my standards after this last egregious year but your "competent" Les Boules front office keeps throwing around word "championship", all the while we are going after FAs nobody has heard of. if Grundlefeld and Cheap Abe were gonna sign rofl Magloire so he could never play, i would've preferred keeping Stewie around for comedic relief

Posted by: prescrunk | July 8, 2009 1:12 PM

who the heck is sean marks?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | July 8, 2009 1:12 PM

oberto wouldnt be bad. he is a dirty hustle player that was successful in san antonio.

Wilcox does have a specialty in blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. Mcdyess would have been the best pick but again itll cost way too much. Please not Rasho. Steven A Smith would clown the wizards even more if we made that move. I like oberto tho. I think he is an upgrade from Darius Songalia and could give coach saunders couple minutes a game and keep a 9 man rotation ie:

haywood
jamison
butler
foye
arenas

miller
blatche
oberto
mcguire/critt/young

bury stevenson at the end of the bench, and mcghee isnt ready yet for bulk minutes. we do have alot of talent on this team. i believe were in the middle of the super powers: boston,cleveland,orlando and the regulars: 76rs,bulls,heat,detroit, toronto. but yea i like oberto or gooden

Posted by: mrhney03 | July 8, 2009 1:14 PM

Sidebar: My favorite old Bullets player was Mark Alarie. I don't even know why. I was young, don't judge me.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 1:14 PM

All of this sniping is gonna look ridiculous by January of 2010 when we are on pace for a 50 win season.

Hopefully by then the dissenters will have been whittled down to 'ol faithful'...88. By January, he will be back on track with the persistent Gil hating and everything will be normal again on Fun Street.
No offense, 88. I just miss you blaming me for drinking the Koolaid and me blaming you for Gil bashing.
I think time (and wins) will take care of all of that and we can get back to our regularly scheduled programs.

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2009 1:17 PM

Sorry about that, Michael...I knew it was you who wrote the column but I said Ivan for some unknown reason. Thanks, again.

Posted by: KingAsphodel | July 8, 2009 1:19 PM

so because they were under the salary cap last year they were paid 3 million plus the 2.5 they got for selling the 2nd round pick equals 5.5 million what is the excuse for not using the MLE again since the luxury tax they would be paying for using it this year has been paid for?

Posted by: anacostia85 | July 8, 2009 1:21 PM

"who the heck is sean marks?Posted by: ZardsFan1"

Big bodied backup for New Orleans, averaged about 14 minutes a game. Rebounder.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2009 1:21 PM

SDMDTSU, You're not getting off that easy. Mark Alarie? I cold see Don McLean but Alarie? You must be a Dukie.

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2009 1:27 PM

LOL...nah I was extremely young. I just think I liked the name. Once again...don't judge me.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 1:34 PM

Michael,

I must disagree with you here (see below). Signing McDyess isn't absurd - it's absolutely necessary! The hell with the flippin luxury tax. That's water under the bridge based on bad money deals made previously. Given Abe's advancing age and life threatening illness, there is no time like the present to pit your chips in the center of the pile and go for it. Pollin and his heirs will have more money than they could ever spend once he passes on. Antonio Mac is the Man, and MUST be the final piece if we have ANY shot at competing for the Eastern Conference title.

Antonio McDyess would be a great piece in Washington, but he would cost way too much if you take this into consideration: If the Wizards give someone the midlevel exception, they would have a payroll of about $82 million. An $82-million payroll would mean an almost $12-million luxury tax penalty. Add that up and you have Pollin paying $94 million for your 2009-10 Washington Wizards. That would be absurd.

Posted by: knk4jack | July 8, 2009 1:37 PM

Nestrovic is really the only guy on that list I could see even being worth paying twice the bi-annual. Marks is intriguing in that he looked pretty good when he got his chances to play in N.O. last season, but the fact that he's been around as long as he has and gotten so few chances is potentially troubling. I'm fairly certain that not playing next to Duncan is going to make Oberto look a lot less inviting when we see him not playing next to Duncan. I think the meter has pretty much run out on waiting for Wilcox to fulfill his "potential." If they weren't 7 feet tall, Foyle, Skinner, and Magloire would probably be out of the NBA already.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2009 1:37 PM

"Wilcox does have a specialty in blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. "

In 8 seasons, Wilcox has only averaged as many as 8 rpg twice (both in seasons where he played 30+ mpg) and has never averaged as much as 1 bpg in a season.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2009 1:57 PM

Hey, don't feel bad about Alarie. My favorite Bullets player at one point was Dave Corzine.

Posted by: isnadd | July 8, 2009 2:00 PM

Hey Mike, isn't Kwame Brown available?

I say Channing Frye. young athletic, with an upside that should have something to prove. I think he would complement the existing pieces the best and work well with Haywood. All the others are what they are. I would say Wilcox, but the guy has not worked on his game since he left Maryland. Nesterovic would occupy the spot and give some decent play, but no points. the rest are not worth it.

Kwame was a joke, but he is big and can rebound. if we learn to accept him for what he is versus the former #1 pick overall. He would be serviceable.

Posted by: oknow1 | July 8, 2009 2:04 PM

"Wilcox does have a specialty in blocking shots and grabbing rebounds."

I hadn't noticed that specialty at all from him.

Hey, don't feel bad about Alarie. My favorite Bullets player at one point was Dave Corzine.

Dave Corzine? I'm officially off the hook. Thank you sir.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 2:04 PM

Frye is my favorite of the list but I'm sure he'll get teh full MLE from some team out there. He's too good and too young and plenty of teams want / could use a guy like him. Very different from DS in '96. DS situation was no one wanted him and he overplayed his card. Taking that into consideration, I say we go after Wilcox. For the cost and PT expected (only 5-10 min a game) he would fit that hustle, rebound/defense role perfectly and can play both the 4 and 5. Besides, he's a hometown boy and Wiz fans always love that.

Posted by: ThatGuy2 | July 8, 2009 2:05 PM

Hey Mike, isn't Kwame Brown available?

I say Channing Frye. young athletic, with an upside that should have something to prove. I think he would complement the existing pieces the best and work well with Haywood. All the others are what they are. I would say Wilcox, but the guy has not worked on his game since he left Maryland. Nesterovic would occupy the spot and give some decent play, but no points. the rest are not worth it.

Kwame was a joke, but he is big and can rebound. if we learn to accept him for what he is versus the former #1 pick overall. He would be serviceable.

Kwame Brown would NEVER come here. Trust...there is no way he would EVER play here again. Rasho is fine, we don't need him to score points. I think scoring is the least of the Wizards problems.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 2:06 PM

The problem is that that Abe Pollin's team has always, always, always pointed to the money as a reason to NOT BE A TOP NBA COMPETITOR. If this kind of money is a big problem for Abe, he needs to just sell the team. If the luxury tax is going to cripple Abe financially, he in the WRONG BUSINESS!! You have to take chances--including financial chances--to win a championship. And if Abe's pockets can't stand the "heat", he needs to take his pockets out of the hot kitchen!! Anybody can run a franchise on the cheap and be frugal about spending money on "talent." A 10-year old can do that. But suppose you want to actually WIN a championship? Well, unless you get lucky and draft Kareem or MJ, it takes more imagination, balls, guts and money than Abe is willing to spend.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:11 PM

Posted by: colerwilson | July 8, 2009 2:11 PM

No offense Mike, but none of those dudes can help the Wizards. If you call any of those guys "help" then the Wizards are in trouble.

Sorry.

As I said in a previous post, it's not going to be until next year when the Wiz can make a splash big enough to out them over the top(if at all).

We'll see.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | July 8, 2009 2:16 PM

segastyle,

When I said "clear cut better," I meant like almost twice as good, because that's what their salaries are in comparison to Haywood's. Throw out Miller and Igauskas, because they both went to all-star games, their average salary is 10.4M compares to Haywood's 6M, are they 1.74 times as good as Haywood?

Here are their stats (pts/rebounds/blocks) before their currant contract, ranking in minutes played:
Bogut: 14.3/9.8/1.7 in 35 minutes
Okafor: 13.8/10.7/1.7 in 33 minutes
Kaman: 11.9/9.6/1.4 in 32.8 minutes
Dampier: 12 /12/1.9 in 32.5 minutes
Curry: 16/5/0.9 in 29 minutes
Dalembert: 8.2/7.5/1.7 in 25 minutes
Nene: 9.5/5.9/0.9 in 23 minutes

Haywood's last full year: 10.6/7/1.7 in 29 minutes. The stats of those who played comparable or less minutes (from Curry down) are not better than Haywood's, while the stats of players such as Bogut and Okafor are obviously inflated by playing a lot of minutes on lousy teams.

With this economy, I think your 8M-10M figure may be right, but it would not be "the same as his current contract" as you previously said.

Posted by: sagaliba | July 8, 2009 2:16 PM

Chad Ford's comments are below and he picks Washington 4th in having the best off-season so far behind the Spurs, Clippers, and Pistons.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Wizards traded the No. 5 pick in the draft -- along with Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov -- to the Wolves for Randy Foye and Mike Miller two days before the draft. Wanting to be serious contenders in the East next season, they didn't think they'd get a player with their first-round pick that would crack their rotation.

Meanwhile, Foye gives them an athletic, dynamic scorer who can play both backcourt positions. And Miller gives them a shooter with deep range -- something the Wizards have been missing. If Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood both come back healthy and motivated, the Wizards could be a serious threat in the East.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 8, 2009 2:17 PM

The problem is that that Abe Pollin's team has always, always, always pointed to the money as a reason to NOT BE A TOP NBA COMPETITOR. If this kind of money is a big problem for Abe, he needs to just sell the team. If the luxury tax is going to cripple Abe financially, he in the WRONG BUSINESS!! You have to take chances--including financial chances--to win a championship. And if Abe's pockets can't stand the "heat", he needs to take his pockets out of the hot kitchen!! Anybody can run a franchise on the cheap and be frugal about spending money on "talent." A 10-year old can do that. But suppose you want to actually WIN a championship? Well, unless you get lucky and draft Kareem or MJ, it takes more imagination, balls, guts and money than Abe is willing to spend.

Frugal? So spending almost $100 million dollars for one season? You're expecting to go from 19 wins to a championship? Go damn near $40 million over the cap? I know we don't have Abe Pollin money but are you seriously calling that man cheap because he won't drop $100 for one season??!?!?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 2:18 PM

Fave Bullets.....Don Maclean

Posted by: Dave381 | July 8, 2009 2:21 PM

Somebody bring back JAHIDI WHITE !!!

Posted by: slipperyrichard | July 8, 2009 2:25 PM

The reason I'm even joining this discussion now is because the Wizards have closing "window of opportunity" right now. And if they don't take the chance at greatness now--with 3 solid stars in the fold--when will they ever be great? It's taken them nearly 25 years to acquire three players of this high a quality at the same time--on the same team. If you don't shoot for the moon with this core, you never will. What would've been so horrible about adding Rasheed or pursuing Chris Bosh in a trade? They need to look at impact players...not scrubs like those being discussed in messages above because that window of opportunity closes for good in about a year or two. After that, we'll be getting stories about the Wizards "rebuilding" and "starting anew" and putting the "pieces in place for a championship team"....and the stupid fans will eat it up and keep giving Abe Pollin their hard-earned money at the gate. Under Abe, the Wiz rebuild for several years and then if they get kind of good, Abe puts on the brakes because he knows he's NOT willing to go the extra financial mile it takes to win a championship!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:27 PM

Why do people act like spending money for spending's sake is going to get us somewhere?

Ask the Knicks how that plan is working out.

Posted by: mabkhar | July 8, 2009 2:32 PM

How much do you want him to spend? Who would you waste money on that will put the wizards over the top while at the same time, play behind Haywood and JaVale that wants to give the wiz a deal on a contract? If you think a Rasho N. or someone of that ilk is the man, go ahead, but I'm with Abe and Ernie, why waste the money?

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 8, 2009 2:32 PM

Frugal? So spending almost $100 million dollars for one season? You're expecting to go from 19 wins to a championship? Go damn near $40 million over the cap? I know we don't have Abe Pollin money but are you seriously calling that man cheap because he won't drop $100 for one season??!?!?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 2:18 PM

If you're already spending $75 million, who freakin cares if you go up to $94 million to win a championship??? Don't get to the goal line and then get scared! Add a top notch big man and win a title! As I said the window of opportunity doesn't last forever!! Mark Cuban wouldn't hesitate for a minute to spend that kind of money!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:35 PM

isnadd, you just let SDMDTSU off the hook. I don't think anyone can beat that unless there is a Ennis Whatley or McMillen fan out there.

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2009 2:36 PM

I was always a McLean fan, too. I used to think that if he got time he would be a scoring beast. His quick trigger was impressive. It never quite panned out. I was also a Jim McIlvaine fan. In limited minutes, he was decent.
In fact, we could use him now.

Going back further, I liked Leon Wood and Wes Matthews, too.

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2009 2:39 PM

My favorite bullets player was "The Secret Weapon" Charles "CJ" Jones..........what do you know about The Secret Weapon ?

Posted by: slipperyrichard | July 8, 2009 2:40 PM

SD

Don't tell me you're one of those people who will claim ignorance about why the team won 19 games last year? Come on--healthy Arenas and theres about 20-25 more wins there. Anyone can see that. Add a quality big man, and you add maybe 10-12 more wins. Now you're in deep playoff territory.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:41 PM

"The problem is that that Abe Pollin's team has always, always, always pointed to the money as a reason to NOT BE A TOP NBA COMPETITOR. If this kind of money is a big problem for Abe, he needs to just sell the team. If the luxury tax is going to cripple Abe financially, he in the WRONG BUSINESS!!"

As Michael clearly stated, SEVEN teams paid the luxury tax this year. By your logic, that means that 23 owner need to sell. Also, yelling something doesn't make it true. Provide examples of Abe Pollin's team "always, always, always" using money as an excuse.

Posted by: IrenePollin | July 8, 2009 2:45 PM

"Etched in my memory are the Washington Bullets of old - John Williams and Don McLean and Muggsy and Manute.."

Wow, what a collection. You can almost hear the childhood nicknames: Fatso and Dorky and Midget and Stick...

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2009 2:46 PM

Someone call Ledell Eckles up, tell him we need some more scoring........we're trying to score 135 pts/g next season.

Posted by: slipperyrichard | July 8, 2009 2:46 PM

I don't believe that the Wiz have a realistic shot at the championship next year. 09-10 is not their window.

After next year, Brendan Haywood is due for a new contract. Keeping him maintains the status quo.

We haven't taken on any rookies this year. The team will make an obligatory pick next year. Management is essentially saying that the horses we have now are the horses that will be ridden.

The problem is that the horses we have are not championship material. Their ceiling is a conference finals appearance, AT BEST. That level of success is pretty hard to come by (ask Portland or Houston) and is nothing to scoff at. Pretending that this team can spend $12million for a $6million forward and be knocking on the championship door is ludicrous. So the most prudent thing to do is to optimize the roster and payroll to get the most out of it. The proof of Ernie's genius will bear itself out by training camp. If we have the pieces to toughen this team up, the man is worth his salt. If not, the music has stopped and we don't have a chair.

Frankly, I'd rather the team put it's efforts into acquiring a qualified medical staff.

Posted by: mabkhar | July 8, 2009 2:46 PM

No, you don't spend money in the luxury tax range all the time. That would be foolish. But when you have a legitimate chance to make a run at a title, you go for it!! If you don't believe this current team has any shot at a title, then I'd take the course Abe and Ernie are taking. Be frugal and reduce your expenses.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:48 PM

What about Shelden Williams or Sean May? You're talking about someone coming off of the bench for 10-15 mins. per game. The Wizards don't need them for scoring. They just need someone to hustle, play defense, and get rebounds.

Posted by: hamptonpirates89 | July 8, 2009 2:48 PM

If you need a dominant big man to patrol the paint call up Nervous Pervis Ellison up......I saw him at Tyson's Corner a couple years back....he still looks in game shape !

You suckas !

Posted by: slipperyrichard | July 8, 2009 2:50 PM

Add a quality big man, and you add maybe 10-12 more wins. Now you're in deep playoff territory.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:41 PM

everyone knows that Einstein but Grundlefeld and Cheap Abe aren't signing a quality big man they are going after 4 weak-a$$-stepped-on scrubs to play the DNP/CD.

If your calculations are correct:
19 wins + 20-25 wins = 39-44 wins. 39-44 wins = another lmao 1 & done, mediocre season for Les Boules.

Posted by: prescrunk | July 8, 2009 2:50 PM

"As Michael clearly stated, SEVEN teams paid the luxury tax this year. By your logic, that means that 23 owner need to sell. Also, yelling something doesn't make it true. Provide examples of Abe Pollin's team "always, always, always" using money as an excuse."

Pardon me, Mrs. Pollin, but we aren't discussing foolish decisions of other NBA owners. I have no idea what logic those teams followed to put them where they are. I don't follow those teams. As I've made clear, if your team is NOT ready to make a run at championship--if they're rebuilding--there is no compelling reason to exceed the cap. But, if you have a talented big three on your team and that team is recognized as standing on the threshold of a possible championship run, you MAKE THE NECESSARY MOVES TO WIN IT!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:54 PM

Sean May and hustle in the same sentence? Wow.

Have you ever spent 19 million dollars? Youre acting like it's nothing. Okay who do you want Abe to throw another 20 million to right now to sign to take them over the top? I mean it's only money, tell him to throw me 1 million. That's nothing on top of 75 million.

In my mind. The Wizards won 19 games because 3 of 5 starters were injured and the roles players needed to play were altered. Complementary players were made to be main players and that's not always a formula for success. Jamison and Butler are COMPLIMENTARY PLAYERS. All-Stars when Gil was there. They complement each other. Nick Young could be a great scorer on the court with Arenas, Jamison and Butler taking the pressure off of him. On the court With Darius Songalia and Dominic McGuire? Not so much.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 2:55 PM

We traded the 5th pick and were told by the Coach that the resaon is that Ernie has built this team for "right now." We have the veterans so they are going all out for this year. Then, we find out the cheapos are unwilling to use the mid-level exception for "right now." Which is it? Cleveland, Boston and (maybe) Orlando have seriously upgraded. The Wiz need to use the mid-level for a big defensive banger or they go nowhere in the playoffs.

Posted by: bugfun1 | July 8, 2009 2:57 PM

If your calculations are correct:
19 wins + 20-25 wins = 39-44 wins. 39-44 wins = another lmao 1 & done, mediocre season for Les Boules.

Posted by: Prescrunk | July 8, 2009 2:50 PM

Your reading and math skills need work. You omitted the "10-12" wins I said a quality big man would bring and that would push that total to more than 50. And by quality I mean starter quality--not scrubs.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 2:58 PM

everyone knows that Einstein but Grundlefeld and Cheap Abe aren't signing a quality big man they are going after 4 weak-a$$-stepped-on scrubs to play the DNP/CD.

Hey Prescrunk--

Can you read? This is exactly why I'm criticizing Abe and Ernie!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 3:01 PM

Here is a restricted free-agent big man that I think fits perfectly with our obviously small/fast lineup: Hakim Warrick. Though only 6'9, he can play down low, and has averaged 11 and 5 playing on a guard-dominated Memphis Grizzlies team. He is what McGee hopes to be in 5 years. Memphis only gave him a qualifying offer, so I bet if we offer the mid-level they won't match it and he could be ours.

Posted by: larbitboy | July 8, 2009 3:04 PM

LOOK trade Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and the wizards mascott for Tracy Murray (my favorite bullet/wizard) and a pack of Big Red chewing gum

we will be way under the cap and tracy murray can come back and we will have fresh cinnamon breath as well! there its settled..PURE ENERGY

BUT ON A SERIOUS NOTE: there is no time like the present to pit your chips in the center of the pile and go for it. Pollin and his heirs will have more money than they could ever spend once he passes on. Antonio Mac is the Man, and MUST be the final piece if we have ANY shot at competing for the Eastern Conference title

THATS WHAT IM TALKIN BOUT. if you got one foot in the grave then why the hell not go all in?....Go all in, wasnt that the our campaign slogan last year?

Posted by: mrhney03 | July 8, 2009 3:05 PM

It's just one guys opinion but Chad Ford ranks the Wiz offseason moves as the fourth best ...


http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=OffseasonRankings-09

Posted by: original_mark | July 8, 2009 3:10 PM

What few mention is that many of Grunfeld's alleged 'moves' this offseason were attempts to cover his own mistakes. Trading Pech, Thomas and the #5 for Foye and Miller was an admission that Pech was a mistake, as was the absurdly rich contract he gave the below-average Thomas. Getting Foye is an attempt to replace/an admission that Stevenson - and his stupid contract - were a mistake, while Miller is an attempt to fill the D-stretching, outside shooting hole created when Grunfeld foolishly let Roger Mason go (partly because he overpaid Stevenson, despite NO ONE else bidding for his services at the time). Grunfeld is trying to sell these moves as exciting, while neglecting the poor decisions that forced them. I guess that after a 19-win season, any improvement looks promising.

What gets me is that it has been obvious since the 2005 playoffs that what we needed is INSIDE muscle and presence, with our three best players of the perimeter variety. Grunfeld has responded with more... guards, malnourished bigs, zero-D & no rebounding wing players, etc. In a general sense, he has not brought in an exceptional starter in four years, AND gone well over the salary cap not doing it to boot. I dig that he's brought us respectability after many years in the woods, but he seems incapable of pushing us to the next level and has likely condemned us to mediocrity - for a long time - with some of the deals he's signed. With a few exceptions, GMs and coaches need to be replaced with some regularity so that fresh ideas can be introduced. Grunfeld is living in 2005, now unloading his own dumb decisions, and we desperately need someone with a new perspective.

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 8, 2009 3:11 PM

"No, you don't spend money in the luxury tax range all the time. That would be foolish. But when you have a legitimate chance to make a run at a title, you go for it!! If you don't believe this current team has any shot at a title, then I'd take the course Abe and Ernie are taking. Be frugal and reduce your expenses.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth"

I agree. This team is not a legitimite title contender, so it looks like we're staying the course. Case closed.

Posted by: mabkhar | July 8, 2009 3:13 PM

No offense at all, but Hakeem Warrick is not that good. He's okay, but his presence does not put the Wizards over the top on a championship run. And God knows, he's not much better than JeVale McGee right now, much less after McGee has five years experience.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 3:15 PM

Michael Lee; thanks for this latest analysis/update. It's just what I was looking for.

I feel we are in a good place right now, now that we've got 3-point shooting and another high quality guard in Miller and Foye respectively.

Getting Oberto or Pops on the low end, or Drew Gooden or Chris Anderson on the high end, bolds well for us. Many seem to have forgotten the development of Dominic McGuire who has a future if he stays true to his work ethic.

What are the possibilities for trading James and his $6mil contract as a part of making room for another Big?

Posted by: liveride | July 8, 2009 3:16 PM

For all you Stevenson haters, remember that he fought through the pain the whole second half of the 2007-2008 season and played well until finally his back problems became so bad he could do nothing but get season ending surgery. He'll come back strong this year- you'll see- he's a tough, team player and he's getting better.

Posted by: jistutz | July 8, 2009 3:17 PM

We traded the 5th pick and were told by the Coach that the resaon is that Ernie has built this team for "right now." We have the veterans so they are going all out for this year. Then, we find out the cheapos are unwilling to use the mid-level exception for "right now." Which is it? Cleveland, Boston and (maybe) Orlando have seriously upgraded. The Wiz need to use the mid-level for a big defensive banger or they go nowhere in the playoffs.

Posted by: bugfun1 | July 8, 2009 2:57 PM

I don't know if they seriously upgraded. Cleveland and Boston each got an over-the-hill nut-hugger and Orlando added Carter but subtracted Hedo, Gortat, and Lee, 2 starters and the backup center.

Why do people think the wizards are the only team with weaknesses and nobody else has any?

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 8, 2009 3:18 PM

For all you Stevenson haters, remember that he fought through the pain the whole second half of the 2007-2008 season and played well until finally his back problems became so bad he could do nothing but get season ending surgery. He'll come back strong this year- you'll see- he's a tough, team player and he's getting better.

Posted by: jistutz | July 8, 2009 3:17 PM


hey descucker,imean debrick, i mean detalktoomuchespeciallytotheNBA'sKingandcantbackit up stevenson...why dont u stop disgusing ur name as a fan. get into the gym and work on ur stroke(jumpshot)


for the next team cos ur not in the wizards future

Posted by: mrhney03 | July 8, 2009 3:24 PM

Why do people think the wizards are the only team with weaknesses and nobody else has any?

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 8, 2009 3:18 PM

Everybody has weaknesses but they make a serious effort in most cases to address those weaknesses. As someone mentioned earlier, people inside and outside of the NBA knew this Wizards team lacked the requisite inside muscle and size needed to complete a run for a championship. What does management do? They sell their draft picks for everything BUT inside muscle and size!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 3:24 PM

What few mention is that many of Grunfeld's alleged 'moves' this offseason were attempts to cover his own mistakes. Trading Pech, Thomas and the #5 for Foye and Miller was an admission that Pech was a mistake, as was the absurdly rich contract he gave the below-average Thomas. Getting Foye is an attempt to replace/an admission that Stevenson - and his stupid contract - were a mistake, while Miller is an attempt to fill the D-stretching, outside shooting hole created when Grunfeld foolishly let Roger Mason go (partly because he overpaid Stevenson, despite NO ONE else bidding for his services at the time). Grunfeld is trying to sell these moves as exciting, while neglecting the poor decisions that forced them. I guess that after a 19-win season, any improvement looks promising.

Huh? Thomas's deal was matched because he was the starting C and we couldn't lose him then. You know before his heart stopped working right.

Foye is more of an insurance policy for Gilbert and Stevenson. Both have been injured and Foye can play both slots. Stevenson's contract was modest and NOT a mistake. He was our best defender, played in every game and shot 40% from the 3. The consumate role player. You know his back stopped working last season right? So yeah he played terrible. Walking is a problem with a bad back, playing NBA level basketball? Impossible.

Roger Mason was let go because he wanted more playing time. We had Stevenson and Nick Young. He was expendable. Injuries happen. Anybody can make a great decision after all is said and done. Nobody was up and arms when Mason left, it was all about finally Nick Young would have a chance to shine. Besides signing Jamison and Arenas were bigger prioriies at the time.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 3:29 PM

I don't know if they seriously upgraded. Cleveland and Boston each got an over-the-hill nut-hugger and Orlando added Carter but subtracted Hedo, Gortat, and Lee, 2 starters and the backup center.

Why do people think the wizards are the only team with weaknesses and nobody else has any?

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 8, 2009 3:18 PM


Those teams upgraded, b/c they addressed serious/obvious needs. Cleveland has needed a legit low-post presence to complement James and they got a guy who is older, but knows how to do it.

Orlando needed a perimeter guy who could get his own shot. The loss of Hedo as a ball-handler/playmaker is balanced out by the return of Jameer Nelson to that role.

Boston already had all the goods to win now. With 'Sheed they simply added extra insurance if KG can't go as hard as usual.

Of the 3 teams mentioned here, the Wiz continue to have the biggest glaring weakness and imbalanced team.

Given the way this team is currently constructed there is little reason to believe they are going to be more successful than the 04-05 squad that got bounced in the 2nd round. They have virtually all the same strengths and all the same weaknesses. And the Eastern Conference has gotten better around them.

Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 3:51 PM

The biggest weakness on that 04-05 squad was the complete lack of a bench. We gave major minutes that year to Ruffin, Hayes, Dixon, and Brown.

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 4:05 PM

It's funny to read how everyone on this blog says EG should use the full MLE to sign a 35-year old backup PF who has a history of injuries to contend. First, it would be absurd to go $12M over the cap this year on a team coming off 19 wins with its franchise player not having played in essentially 2 seasons. Second, the NBA is already projecting both the salary and luxury tax cap will decrease next summer due to the economy. Third, this team's goal realistically should be to finish in the top 4 in the East.

The Wiz essentially will be back near the luxury tax cap next season assuming Miller is not resigned, James contract expires, and they are able to move Stevenson or Blatche. They also face the prospect of having to give BTH a major salary increase if he plays well considering he is paid in the bottom half of NBA centers. This assumes that he isn't moved by the trade deadline if the Wiz aren't in playoff contention.

All in all, EG has used his limited resources wisely this suumer and started to makeup for some of his past mistakes (Songaila, Pecherov). If he can move Stevenson and James, most of the deadwood will be gone from the roster. Not that the Wiz will be able to pursue any big name FA's next summer, but at least we'll be in position to re-sign Haywood or his replacement.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 8, 2009 4:06 PM

Mike,

The Wizards...will get another $2.9 million check from the league! Multiply that by the amount of years the league has been rewarding teams that do not go over the luxury cap, plus interest and I think it adds up to a lot more than what the Wizards are over this year.

The date the Wizards are thinking about is Aug. 5, 2006 when the Wizards signed DeShawn Stevenson to a low-risk, low-cost deal that go them nowhere? Signing a big man to another low-risk, low-cost deal will give them the same results?

People I hate to tell you, but I told you so!

Susan O'Malley where are you when Abe really needs you.

One and Done!
One and Done!
One and Done!
One and Done!
One and Done!
One and Done!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 4:07 PM

p1funk: "Those teams upgraded, b/c they addressed serious/obvious needs."

So did the Wiz. They were the second worst 3 point shooting team in the NBA last season, and added two superior outside shooters. In return for a draft choice that Minnesota may not be able to sign, plus a 31 year old 6'8" PF who started 29 games, averaged seven points, three rebounds, and one assist. Sure sounds like a steal to me, at least for next season. Plus the Wiz now have a viable backup point player in case Gilbert.. well, we don't speak of that.

"Of the 3 teams mentioned here, the Wiz continue to have the biggest glaring weakness and imbalanced team"

You forgot to mention that Orlando, Boston, and Cleveland were auite a bit better than the Wiz to begin with. They could address their weakness with one player because they had the rest of the pieces in place. The Wiz can't; they've got multiple holes.

Trading, like politics, is the art of the possible. You've not only got to have the acumen to make the trade, you've got to find a sucker to party with.

I'm willing to bet Phoenix doesn't feel at all robbed. We'll see how those three do next year. As well as our own Wizards.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2009 4:07 PM

Huh? Thomas's deal was matched because he was the starting C and we couldn't lose him then. You know before his heart stopped working right.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 3:29 PM

Wrong.

Thomas only started 15 games that year. We lked him b/c his versatility to play F/C. He had averaged career highs of 9pts. 7 rebs. But he had an injury history and a rep for being a bit of an underacheiver as a 12th overall pick.

Matching the offer sheet was a gamble, and it did not pay off.

Bad move by Ernie.

Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 4:11 PM

""So did the Wiz. They were the second worst 3 point shooting team in the NBA last season, and added two superior outside shooters.""

This is a garbage point. We were also missing Arenas. We had been expecting to get him back and that was already going to massively improve our 3-point shooting.

""You forgot to mention that Orlando, Boston, and Cleveland were auite a bit better than the Wiz to begin with. They could address their weakness with one player because they had the rest of the pieces in place. The Wiz can't; they've got multiple holes.""

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make here. But if you are saying that the other teams were better and still got better than the Wiz, I agree whole-heartedly - this all happened on EG's watch. The notion that this team is somehow poised to make a "serious run" is baloney. Once again, I don't see any reason to believe they are going to do better than the 04-05 squad.

Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 4:15 PM

We're better than that 04-05 squad because we have upgraded our bench and Haywood has improved.

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 4:24 PM

One can argue that Pollin hasn't spent his money wisely (stop the internet with that one) or that he hasn't spent enough.

But to claim he's been cheap has, in my view, no basis.

Cheap?

Posted by: SteveMG | July 8, 2009 4:26 PM

Michael Lee; thanks for this latest analysis/update. It's just what I was looking for.

I feel we are in a good place right now, now that we've got 3-point shooting and another high quality guard in Miller and Foye respectively.

Getting Oberto or Pops on the low end, or Drew Gooden or Chris Anderson on the high end, bolds well for us. Many seem to have forgotten the development of Dominic McGuire who has a future if he stays true to his work ethic.

What are the possibilities for trading James and his $6mil contract as a part of making room for another Big?

Posted by: liveride | July 8, 2009 4:36 PM

Anderson Varejao is a better comparison. I think Haywood is better, but Varejao is 3 years younger. If Haywood has a career year, he could be looking at 8-10 mil next season. Given his previous 8 years though, I wouldn't count on it. I'd suspect he'll be more in the 6-8 mil range after the season. Of course, it also depends on the Wizards needs. A team will overpay to keep someone if they feel they have no other viable option.

But if I'm the GM, and I feel assured that going into 2010, McGee is my clear-cut starter, I'm not going to want to pay Haywood $8 mil a year for 4 years to be his backup.

Posted by: segastyle
-----------------------------------------
Varejao averaged 8.6/7/0.8 in 29 minutes last season. If Haywood plays like that next season, it would be considered as regressed.

As for McGee, if I were GM, I will have to see how he plays this coming season before pencil him in as a starter for 2010. So unless McGee really blossoms next season, I think the team will still try to hang on to Haywood.

Posted by: sagaliba | July 8, 2009 4:37 PM

The season Etan Thomas was supposed to go to the Bucks, he was a major part of the rotation and Haywood was still playing like Brenda. Everybody knew we were overpaying but I thought then we had to keep him. Kinda reminded me of Varajeo.

Once that heart goes out...so does that Varajeo energy.

Wallace on Boston - might not work (chemistry)

Carter on Orlando - might not work
(lost depth)

Shaq on Cleveland - might not work
(LeBron dominates the ball)

It's a crapshoot. Even the Lakers, I don't know how Artest is going to work out
there. You never know.

This is a garbage point. We were also missing Arenas. We had been expecting to get him back and that was already going to massively improve our 3-point shooting.

Arenas's return isn't going to take us from 2nd to last to even middle of the pack. And if he goes down, Foye can step in. I like the fact that Foye and Miller can have us not rely on the Big 3 so much. 40+ minutes a game for all 3 is a recipe for those wear and tear injuries theyve been having. Hopefully they play less minutes. Even better if it does work, they can walk. 25ppg for a #5 pick in a weak draft and trash? I'd take it. Foye has a chance to be a very good player.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 4:41 PM

What? No love for Googs? Gugliotta was the man for a two or three years. I always liked Ladell Eckles also, he use to throw up some crazy shots and score 15 points in like 5 mins.

Posted by: tischmid | July 8, 2009 4:41 PM

REBOUNDS!
That's what we need.
Gilbert to rebound from 3 knee surgeries.
Brendan to rebound from wrist surgery.
DeShawn to rebound from back surgery.
Antwan to rebound from foot surgery.
Caron to rebound from Hamstring, hip & ankle injuries.
Nick Y. to rebound from trying to doing.
Javale to rebound from playing hard to playing hard & smart.
Dominick to rebound from rebounding only to hitting some j's.
If we can get these rebounds we'll be OK.


Posted by: VBFan | July 8, 2009 4:45 PM

We're better than that 04-05 squad because we have upgraded our bench and Haywood has improved.

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 4:24 PM

We have less depth at F/C so that mitigates Haywood's improvement.

We've upgraded our bench at G/SF, but only marginally. It is mitigated by the reality that no one is going to give us production like Larry Hughes did that year, and we are older which will make us more susceptible to wear-tear.

Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 4:50 PM

Alarie, Corzine, MaClean, Jones...HA! I have all you beat. How about DOUG ROTH? Remember him? He was legally blind in one eye!

Posted by: tgravely1977 | July 8, 2009 4:57 PM

""The season Etan Thomas was supposed to go to the Bucks, he was a major part of the rotation and Haywood was still playing like Brenda. Everybody knew we were overpaying but I thought then we had to keep him. Kinda reminded me of Varajeo.""

Point remains that he was not a starter and had never shown anything in his pro career to suggest he would be. He was an injury prone underacheiver. His RFA year was his best as a role-player giving us 9 and 7. Matching the offer was a gamble that back-fired. That goes down as a "bad move".

""Wallace on Boston - might not work (chemistry)
Carter on Orlando - might not work
(lost depth)
Shaq on Cleveland - might not work
(LeBron dominates the ball)
It's a crapshoot. Even the Lakers, I don't know how Artest is going to work out
there. You never know.""

So are you saying you think the Wiz have an equal chance with these teams to get to the Finals out of the East??


""Arenas's return isn't going to take us from 2nd to last to even middle of the pack. And if he goes down, Foye can step in. I like the fact that Foye and Miller can have us not rely on the Big 3 so much. 40+ minutes a game for all 3 is a recipe for those wear and tear injuries theyve been having. Hopefully they play less minutes. Even better if it does work, they can walk. 25ppg for a #5 pick in a weak draft and trash? I'd take it. Foye has a chance to be a very good player.""

Arenas' return is going to open up alot on the perimeter. And if he goes down Foye isn't going to step in and give us what Arenas does. IF ARENAS GOES DOWN THIS TEAM IS FINISHED - THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "INSURANCE" FOR A PLAYER LIKE ARENAS. Foye is leading this team nowhere, just like he led Minny nowhere. The sad part is that if Foye does play great, he's definitely going to get an RFA offer that we won't match, so it will be tantamount to a 1-year rental.


Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 4:58 PM

tgravely1977:

I mention Doug Roth in a post a week ago! I didn't think anybody else remembered him. Called him "The One-Eyed Wonder".

Posted by: tischmid | July 8, 2009 5:00 PM

OBERTO - it's not even a question. Out of the names listed, he is by far the best move. It's not close.

Posted by: BigWesGoingToTakeA | July 8, 2009 5:01 PM

For bigs off the bench, I'd rather have Blatche/McGee/(whatever we get for Mike James' expiring contract) than Ruffin/Etan. Combined with Haywood's improvement, I'd say we're a lot better at PF/C than in 04-05.

Foye/Miller/Young/McGuire/Stevenson is a lot more than marginally better than Jeffries/Dixon/Hayes.

Caron took over Hughes' place and then some in the Big Three.

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 5:02 PM

"What? No love for Googs? Gugliotta was the man for a two or three years. "

Second that. He really seemed to be poised on the verge of stardom when he went to Minnesota and teamed with Garnett, then health issues seemed to derail him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2009 5:12 PM

Speaking of Varejao, we should make him an offer. He'd be a perfect backup C, and he'd be a bargain at the MLE. I'd love to see him flopping and racking up offensive fouls on LeBron and Shaq.

I seriously doubt the MLE is enough to get him, but even if we can't sign him, at least we help drive up the price and cut into Cleveland's 2010 cap space.

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 5:12 PM

"Varejao averaged 8.6/7/0.8 in 29 minutes last season. If Haywood plays like that next season, it would be considered as regressed."

Varejao's numbers aren't exactly a huge step down. In the best season of his career, Haywood put up about 10 pts, 7 rebs, and 1 and a half blks in about the same minutes as Varejao. The bottom line is that both guys had "career years" that consisted of similarly less than spectacular numbers.

Until Haywood proves he can replicate that performance over a full season, his "career year" is just an aberration.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 8, 2009 5:19 PM

michael adams with the leg kick on the ugly jumper

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 8, 2009 5:34 PM

funk tell these folks how funky larry used to get back when he and gil were together. i don't know if caron brings what larry brought on both sides of the court, but i know larry and gil with tawn as the third wheel was the best big 3. i think that team at least got out of the 1st rd

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 8, 2009 5:36 PM

funk tell these folks how funky larry used to get back when he and gil were together. i don't know if caron brings what larry brought on both sides of the court, but i know larry and gil with tawn as the third wheel was the best big 3. i think that team at least got out of the 1st rd

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 8, 2009 5:36 PM


Thank you L-Dub, I think I will.

Rounding the numbers, LH averaged 22 pts, 6 rebs, 5 assists and 3 steals per game that season.


Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 5:46 PM

"Thomas's deal was matched because he was the starting C and we couldn't lose him then. You know before his heart stopped working right."

Just because he was starting does not make it a shrewd move. I maintain we could, and should, have lost him. He was a less than average player when we signed him to that massive deal, which was a crippling mistake. His heart situation, while unfortunate, does to change the fact that he was a sub-par player


"Foye is more of an insurance policy for Gilbert and Stevenson. Both have been injured and Foye can play both slots. Stevenson's contract was modest and NOT a mistake. He was our best defender, played in every game and shot 40% from the 3. The consumate role player. You know his back stopped working last season right? So yeah he played terrible. Walking is a problem with a bad back, playing NBA level basketball? Impossible."

Again, being our 'best defender' - on a poor defensive team - does not make Stevenson indispensable. Yes, his back went out, which Grunfeld could not foresee, but he was no 'consumate' role player. His D was OK, but always came up short against the big boys (calling out Lebron didn't help). He could be a streaky shooter, but he didn't strike fear in any other teams' hearts. The point is, Grunfeld overpaid, as there were no other offers for him. We could have had him much cheaper, and if we had, we could have kept Roger Mason... and had we not signed Mason, we wouldn't be in this cap predicament.

"Roger Mason was let go because he wanted more playing time. We had Stevenson and Nick Young. He was expendable. Injuries happen. Anybody can make a great decision after all is said and done. Nobody was up and arms when Mason left, it was all about finally Nick Young would have a chance to shine."

It was a poor, short-sighted decision. Excuse it as you will, but those are the decisions a good GM makes, and the ones he/she should be judged on.

"Besides signing Jamison and Arenas were bigger prioriies at the time."

Prioritizing signing your top two players (whether they should have been is another issue altogether) does not excuse poor decisions elsewhere on the roster. Building a champion team requires prioritizing the entire roster and filling it with power and balance 8 strong and 15 deep. Grunfeld has not. Our biggest weakness - our frontcourt - has only gotten worse.

Doug Roth! Haha! I was actually excited when they drafted him......

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 8, 2009 5:57 PM

Arenas' return is going to open up alot on the perimeter. And if he goes down Foye isn't going to step in and give us what Arenas does. IF ARENAS GOES DOWN THIS TEAM IS FINISHED - THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "INSURANCE" FOR A PLAYER LIKE ARENAS. Foye is leading this team nowhere, just like he led Minny nowhere. The sad part is that if Foye does play great, he's definitely going to get an RFA offer that we won't match, so it will be tantamount to a 1-year rental.

No it's not such thing as insurance, however, the dropoff from Gilbert to Antonio Daniels is a lot worse. Led Minnesota nowhere? Yeah they had a lot of talent. He's been in the league two years.

Who knows what happens, if he doesn't return or Miller...they'll have a little cap room in a deep FA class to replace him. Nick Young will be a 3 year vet and hopefully able to step up. It's called flexibility.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 6:01 PM

Foye is enough insurance to ensure that we don't slip too far in the standings if Gil goes down for a week or two with a sprained ankle.

"The sad part is that if Foye does play great, he's definitely going to get an RFA offer that we won't match, so it will be tantamount to a 1-year rental."

Can we please restrict the whining to events that have actually happened? Thanks.

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 6:05 PM

Can we please restrict the whining to events that have actually happened? Thanks.

Couldn't agree more.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 6:16 PM

Can we please restrict the whining to events that have actually happened? Thanks.

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 6:05 PM

Sure, let's see...

We have $160mill wrapped up in 2 players that can't defend and one is a guard coming off of multiple knee surgeries.

We have one of the thinnest F/C rotations in the league. We are over the cap. And our money is basically locked up on a half-dozen guys that are either small or play small and do roughly the same things.


We had a chance to address this at draft time and instead decided to pinch some pennies, though it seems that it would have been cheaper to just draft DaJuan Blair.

Our idea of "bolstering" the team was to add a couple guys who led their previous team to 24 wins, and don't address the fundamental needs of their current team.

Our GM is trying to sell this group as a legitimate contender.

Should I go on?...because there's certainly plenty to whine about.


Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 6:18 PM

Who knows what happens, if he doesn't return or Miller...they'll have a little cap room in a deep FA class to replace him. Nick Young will be a 3 year vet and hopefully able to step up. It's called flexibility.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 8, 2009 6:01 PM

No. They'll have enough cash to re-sign/extend Brendan Haywood, and that's about it.

Besides, the point isn't "flexibility". The point is that EG is selling this team to the fans as a contender. According to him, we are not in building/re-building mode. This is our version of a "win-now" team.

So what say you? Does this team get to the NBA Finals in the next 2 years as currently constructed? Is the emperor dressed or not?

Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 6:24 PM

everyone is saying we're better than the 04/05 squad or 05/06, blah blah blah.

who cares? we barely got past the first round then got beat first round...then first round...then first round...etc etc

PLUS GILBY DIDN'T HAVE 3 KNEE SURGERIES.

And...the EAST HAS GOTTEN 999434342493434 TIMES BETTER. If everyone is healthy, we're barely a 7th seed.

WE HAVE PROBABLY REGRESSED SINCE GILBERT NOW HAS KNEES LIKE JOE NAMATH...TWAN IS OLDER...CARON IS OLDER...AND WE HAVE NOBODY THAT CAN F'N REBOUND.

WE CAN'T REBOUND...WE CAN'T PLAY DEFENSE...WE DON'T HAVE BALL MOVEMENT.

THAT EQUATES ONE AND DONE IN PLAYOFFS

i HATE GILBERT, EG, ABE..

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | July 8, 2009 7:02 PM

I give us at least a 1 in 3 chance of making the finals over the next two years. I think our window extends a little longer than that, too, unlike the other current top teams in the East.

Boston is getting old. It's going to get really ugly there sometime soon.

Cleveland was old and slow in the middle and couldn't defend the pick and roll. Shaq doesn't help either of those areas. Except for LeBron, they still have nobody to defend our perimeter guys or Orlando's. After next year, their team could evaporate.

Orlando got older and lost a lot of depth. VC has never been a great teammate. They got hot from outside this year and stayed that way until the finals. Can lightning strike twice?

Are you worried about Atlanta/Philly/Chicago? Someone else?

Posted by: yop32 | July 8, 2009 7:32 PM

I'm a frustrated Wiz fan. A starting lineup with Varejao and McGee is better than Jamison and Haywood for this team. It makes the team faster more athletic and a better defensive and rebounding team. Jamison might be a 20/10 guy but no defense at all. Haywood is just Haywood.

Every team is getting better and Wiz are sinking. Philly Orlando, Cleveland, Boston, New Jersey, Atlanta, Miami, Detriot, all got better. We can talk about injuries all we want but we supposedly had 2 allstars playing for us (19W's). Not. I see another bad year.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | July 8, 2009 7:49 PM

This blog is full of negatives.True wizard fan,please stay positive. The front desk fox are trying to balance the mistake they made in 4 years with the shampionship interest.This usually takes few years.Signing a MLE demanding dude for replacement is not a good idea.
If we agree for AB and JM to get more minutes why we are mad on the action of the front desk? There are about 9 big men in the free agent market, only 2 just secured a job.We need to wait and see what the opportunity will give us. If it is a midseason and our team is compitative for shampionship it is fine to take a risk.It is not only about paying tax in one season, it is not a good idea to pay tax every season.None of the MLE demanding big men are willing to take a single year contract.Please do not be hard on your self, EG and abe are not reading this blog.We need to be reasonable.
for your information, non of the gards in washington roster will win stevenson his starting position unless he has a nerve injury from his back surgery.If that is the case he need to tell the truth and get paid by the insurance.The wiz will have a chance to get another player.He plays well with Arenas he takes reasonable shoots,if you remember in 2006-7 season just before Arenas and Butler get injured he was shooting 50% from behind the arc, he shoot 47 % for the year, his defense is reasonable, he is a good ball handler with an excellent Assist turn over ratio.I will have a hard time to undermine his energy and passion to the game.I wish him good sucess in coming back to the game he is the true warrior in washington roster.

Posted by: gtefferra | July 8, 2009 7:59 PM

Not sure why Mike Lee felt compelled to be so politically correct.

EG is not exercising patience. His hands are tied. He CAN'T sign any big name and big production free agents because Les BouleS are already over the cap.

For what? For paying too much money to too many mediocre players on the roster with guys that EG signed that don't play well together, aren't maturing quick enough, and don't play defense.

MeShawn is pretty much done here. He lost his shot and lost his confidence after he couldn't back his words against LeBron, and is now pretty much done after removing himself from the starting lineup.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 8, 2009 8:21 PM

p1funk: [about the Wiz miserable 3 point shooting] This is a garbage point. We were also missing Arenas. We had been expecting to get him back and that was already going to massively improve our 3-point shooting."

Nah -- Gilbert's a good 3 point shooter, but his career percent is 35.8. That's not going to lift a whole team very much. Plus what if he gets hurt? I see you find that inconceivable, but just suppose... who was going to back him up during an extended absence if they hadn't made the trade? Javaris? Ricky Rubio? Stephon Marbury?

"But if you are saying that the other teams were better and still got better than the Wiz, I agree whole-heartedly - this all happened on EG's watch."

I'm saying -- I'll go slow -- that when you're already a really strong club, you have fewer holes to fill than a team that won 19 games last season.

But did those teams you mention improve more than Washington did? Maybe. Maybe not.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2009 8:48 PM

Chad Ford is on crack if he thinks the Pistons' moves so far have been better than the Wizards.

That is all.

Posted by: satchmore | July 8, 2009 8:50 PM

Though I'm happy to see him list the Timberwolves dead last.

Posted by: satchmore | July 8, 2009 8:53 PM

"We have one of the thinnest F/C rotations in the league. We are over the cap. And our money is basically locked up on a half-dozen guys that are either small or play small and do roughly the same things.

We had a chance to address this at draft time and instead decided to pinch some pennies, though it seems that it would have been cheaper to just draft DaJuan Blair.

Our idea of "bolstering" the team was to add a couple guys who led their previous team to 24 wins, and don't address the fundamental needs of their current team.

Our GM is trying to sell this group as a legitimate contender.

Should I go on?...because there's certainly plenty to whine about.


Posted by: p1funk | July 8, 2009 6:18 PM "

Depends on whether you think it's funny or sad, but according to Mike Lee:

"The Wizards are willing to be patient, with Ernie Grunfeld already saying that he is comfortable with the team the Wizards currently have..."

It's funny how Les BouleS "are willing to be patient" after doling out over $161 mil in contracts just last season. It's like buying a Ferrari and then waiting for premium gas to drop down to $1.25/gal again.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 8, 2009 8:56 PM

trade Jamison and stevenson to Indiana
for Nesterovic and Troy Murphy

if that doesn't fly use Nick Young instea of Stevenson

Posted by: drfarrow1 | July 8, 2009 8:57 PM

"We had a chance to address this at draft time and instead decided to pinch some pennies, though it seems that it would have been cheaper to just draft DaJuan Blair.
Our idea of "bolstering" the team was to add a couple guys who led their previous team to 24 wins, and don't address the fundamental needs of their current team.
Our GM is trying to sell this group as a legitimate contender.Should I go on?...because there's certainly plenty to whine about.Posted by: p1funk"

This is just silly. You want Ernie to draft Blair, when you know already he's not the solution to the team's immediate needs. Then you criticize the FO for obtaining two players who can actually play -- because you think we should depend on Gilbert Arenas. Then you argue that if Gilbert goes down the team is done, when in point of fact, it very well might not be, given the contribution of the two new guards (remember Roger Mason?) You complain bitterly that Ernie Grunfeld is trying to 'sell' the Wiz as a legit contender, when what did you expect him to do, poormouth the club? He's got empty seats to fill, coming off a 19 win season. Even if he thought the team was going to get stuck at 30 wins, do you think he'd tell you? Not if he wants to keep his job.

Which he probably won't, because they'll need somebody to throw under the bus when the season's over.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2009 9:00 PM

My preference would be either Fabricio Oberto or Rasho Nesterovic. Those guys both have played on winning teams and know how to get it done. (I was kind of surprised that the Spurs dumped Oberto.)Wilcox is probably going to be too expensive--his numbers were way down last year, but he was coming off three years of averaging 13-14 ppg for the Sonics, so that probably was an outlier.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | July 8, 2009 9:26 PM

Wizards you are done, its a wrap, there is only one year left and then this team self destructs. This line up will not cut it in the NBA. Good luck Flip I think you have the ability to win more games than EJ but I still do not believe in this team when it counts the most = "Playoffs you wanna talk about Playoffs" Will not get a dime out of my pocket. Same for the Redskins aka little Danny's Team.
Supported these teams for so long and this is the thanks we get as fans.

Posted by: bonggong | July 8, 2009 9:31 PM

I think Les BouleS will have some success this season if everyone remains healthy.

But, it would be great if the team tanks and then we/I can start calling Flip Saunders as Flop Saunders instead.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 8, 2009 9:53 PM

McDyess to the Spurs? Wow.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 8, 2009 10:07 PM

sad but true that once again the wiz have let the east get more competitive while they play spectators.I never have agreed with their owner or gm as far as procuring roster depth.it is not that people would not come here to play, but the historical boneheadedness of the front office. if they had the #1 pick they would f*ck that up too. I say this about a team that had michael ruffin and calvin booth on the depth chart at the same time. pessimistic as all this sounds, I will still root for the wiz even though this new salary cap has probably sealed the deal. SELL ABE SELL! SELL THE WIZ!

Posted by: jenksredskins | July 8, 2009 10:10 PM

Anyone who considered Birdman for Les BouleS...forget about it.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4312934

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 8, 2009 10:14 PM

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4314637

Mavs get Shawn Marion...now here is an owner who wants to win and isn't afraid to take chances.....too bad Cheap Abe won't be getting Mark's money this year like he did last year...maybe the people on here that believe Abe isn't cheap will send him some money so he can afford to eat this year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 10:16 PM

DC_MAN88

Stackhouse is being traded to Memphis, where he will be bought out by the Grizzlies -- with cash furnished by Dallas -- for $2 million by Aug. 10.

Didn't I read somewhere that players don't get bought out?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 10:19 PM

How can anybody defend what the Wizards are doing?

The teams that want to win a championship are making moves while the Wizards are "Patiently waiting" for a player no one else signs so they can get him CHEAP like they did with Stevenson?

Even the lakers aren't happy (signing Artest) and they just one it last year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 10:26 PM

just won it last year....sorry I can't type when I am upset like I am...people get used to the name Josh Heytvelt, a 6-foot-11 forward/center from Gonzaga. He will take the 850,000 slot that was Juan's last year?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 10:30 PM

"DC_MAN88

Stackhouse is being traded to Memphis, where he will be bought out by the Grizzlies -- with cash furnished by Dallas -- for $2 million by Aug. 10.

Didn't I read somewhere that players don't get bought out?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 10:19 PM "

They do.

Starbury got bought out too.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 8, 2009 10:39 PM

The Wizards currently have a payroll of $75.8 million for 13 players and would owe roughly $6 million in luxury tax penalties. If they add Josh Heytvelt, a 6-foot-11 forward/center from Gonzaga for 850,000 that would put them 6.3 million over the cap, but wait, lets not forget the the $2.5 million second-round pick sale and the 750,000 from last year and they will get another $2.9 million check from the league,that leaves the team about 150,000 over the cap?


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 10:40 PM

My favorite free agent for the Wiz is not listed--Drew Gooden. He may cost more than they want to pay. He is a power forward with a big body who has multiple skills. If they only will sign 1 player, then a big body center who can rebound will have priority. Of those listed the best are Oberto and Nesterovic. Skinner is the next best. Does Abe really want to win? I guess we will see!

Posted by: JoeC2 | July 8, 2009 10:52 PM

Are my eyes deceiving me or am I reading some comments here actually supporting DeShawn Stevenson to be part of this year's team? Maybe I don't know my as- from a hole in the ground but I guarantee you this guy is not the kind of player the Wizards can build around. The bad thing is no one in the league will take a chance on him as even a thrown in part of a trade and the Wizards have tried or at least they say they have. With Grunfield at the helm you never no what the true story is. Afterall it is Grunfield who is standing by this roster so he is full of it himself.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | July 8, 2009 10:53 PM

"DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Mavericks will acquire four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion from Toronto, a person with knowledge of the deal says."

No offense, but this is the difference between a club trying to win a championship and a club like the Wizards trying to just make the playoffs.

In my mind Cuban is the best owner in the NBA. Polin should take notes.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | July 8, 2009 11:30 PM

- Ray

Polin should take notes.

If Cheap Abe did that he wouldn't have been able to take his money all of these years?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 8, 2009 11:33 PM

I dont think we even need another backup for Haywood after seeing highlights of him and Nick Young and the drew summer league
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgWAWiyziFg

and why is Nick Young not getting respect from anyone. I believe he should be out starting shooting guard and everyone is bumping him down behind Foye and Stevenson now......

Posted by: tmaceagle321 | July 9, 2009 12:28 AM

If he was so worried about f'n money and the luxury tax, then why didn't he take Blair for 250k? That's a small price to pay for a potentially big upside.

Idiot. I'm more upset about Blair than I am Rubio. That punk kid can grow up some more in Eurotrash.

Posted by: iamse7en | July 9, 2009 12:34 AM

and why is Nick Young not getting respect from anyone. I believe he should be out starting shooting guard and everyone is bumping him down behind Foye and Stevenson now......

Nick only shoots fadeaways
does not know how to play defense fundamental Les Boules philosophy that when healthy this team can get a "championship" and Les Boules ideal team is Gil Deshawn CB twan & Haywood
http://www.nbadraft.net/players/nick-young

Posted by: tmaceagle321 | July 9, 2009 12:28 AM

You can see Ernie in the photograph.

Posted by: prescrunk | July 9, 2009 3:18 AM

Was that our Nick Young going to the basket in that clip?

I knew it was possible. Y'know, if he does that during the season, I bet somebody fouls him. And maybe even backs off his fadeaway the next trip down the court.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 9, 2009 4:42 AM

If he was so worried about f'n money and the luxury tax, then why didn't he take Blair for 250k? That's a small price to pay for a potentially big upside.


Posted by: iamse7en | July 9, 2009 12:34 AM

The reason Cheap Abe had EG sell the pick for 2.5 million was if he would have drafted Blair and signed him for 850,000 it would have cost him 1.7 million since they are over the luxury cap. The old man saved himself 800,000 grand!

Too bad a good organization like the Spurs believe Blair was worth 2.5 (for my money I would bet on the Spurs that they know more than the Wizards).

I have been telling everyone the Wizards are all about making money first and if they get lucky and win a championship well as fans that's a bonus!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | July 9, 2009 5:22 AM

Another D leaguer to consider:
Rod Benson 6-10, now about 230, PF/C
http://www.nba.com/dleague/playerfile/index.jsp?player=rod_benson

He averaged over 12 rpg in the D league in 2007-2008.

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Rod-Benson-5163/stats/

He would also be very entertaining.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | July 9, 2009 6:52 AM

I have read this blog and the related posts pretty much since it was launched, and rarely have I laughed out loud at something. But "bring back Exree Hip(p?)" made me laugh.

Love EG's moves or hate them, love the roster or hate it, the facts say that the Wizards have one of the highest (I think I read 3rd) payrolls in the NBA at the moment.

Stop calling Abe cheap.

Posted by: psdfx | July 9, 2009 6:57 AM

Let me re-phrase that: Calling Abe cheap is to simply ignore the facts. You may not LIKE the way he has spent his money, but if we do in fact have one of the highest payrolls in basketball, you just have to drop the "cheap abe" line of reasoning---it is simply wrong. You want him to spend more on middling bench-riding 10th/11th men FAs who won't help us if we stay healthy and won't make a difference if we aren't. Ridiculous.

Posted by: psdfx | July 9, 2009 7:01 AM

Thank you L-Dub, I think I will. Rounding the numbers, LH averaged 22 pts, 6 rebs, 5 assists and 3 steals per game that season.

And despite everyone telling me I was crazy, I thought Larry was the better player than Gil back then. he did all of this and also played defense...AND got steals.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 7:19 AM

I am somewhat surprised that the center back-up spot has not been addressed yet. Obviously Ernie is not panicing like many here desire him to. I will be disappointed if we start camp without a veteran backup center. I think it is unwise to trust Blatche and McGee as your depth. I want them both to get minutes as back-ups. But if Haywood goes down we are done for good. That is the concern. Also depth against Howard and Shaq wouldn't hurt. Nesterovic or Orberto are my suggestions - guys who can try to battle the bigs. We don't need an athletic Wilcox-type. Blatche already fills that role. I am not even sure McDyss would have filled the role. I do wish we could have moved Young, James and Stevenson for a higher quality big. I am sure Ernie tried to. But I guess other GMs also have questions about whether Young will ever be more than he is now. I still think DMac has some upside for us. He brings skills and energy that others on the team lack. Would be a great bench contributer. Hope his jumper gets better this summer.

Best case scenario is that DMac, Young, McGee and Blatches all step it up, that the big 3 all stay healthy, that Flip brings a culture of better defense and toughness. But what are the odds on all that happening?

I think folk are overrating the moves made by other top teams in the east though. Only Celts have gotten better in my opinion. Cavs, Pistons, Magic have all stepped backwards to me.

BmoreRev

Posted by: stanlong23 | July 9, 2009 8:00 AM

So what are we going to shoot for this year? .300? .400?

Posted by: ArlingtonHokie | July 9, 2009 8:14 AM

I have my fingers crossed that the let's wait and get a big cheap strategy + a defined role for the new guys from Minny + Flip Saunders works.

Posted by: Rocky420 | July 9, 2009 8:20 AM

"Only Celts have gotten better in my opinion. Cavs, Pistons, Magic have all stepped backwards to me."

I don't think they've gone backwards as a result of the changes. But I don't know how much they've improved.

I think Wallace helps the Celts, and Artest helps the Lakers, and Jefferson and McDyess really help the Spurs. But all that's on paper. Whether they'll mesh well together, I wouldn't know.

Boston put together that marvelous run and I think the picture stuck in the mind of every GM of a contending team. They've forgotten how often high-profile acquisitions don't turn out.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 9, 2009 8:23 AM

Everybody has weaknesses but they make a serious effort in most cases to address those weaknesses. As someone mentioned earlier, people inside and outside of the NBA knew this Wizards team lacked the requisite inside muscle and size needed to complete a run for a championship. What does management do? They sell their draft picks for everything BUT inside muscle and size!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 8, 2009 3:24 PM

I thought Cleveland's weakness was a tiny backcourt that couldn't make shots consistently, cause that is the reason they lost to Orlando. Cleveland sure addressed that with Shaq. I guess he will play guard now. Orlando lost to the Lakers because Dwight needed a legit pf beside him. They got smaller and lost the backup center.

What did they actually do? Do people really know basketball around here?

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 9, 2009 8:36 AM

p1funk,
I think emperor is too far away to see if he has clothes on or not. Last year he was buck nekkid and you could see it from a mile away. This year, I think it's a bit premature to say that this team cannot contend for a title. I say 'contend', not actually win.
I think that we are realistically one player away. If we were to find a good big who rebounds and plays defense, that would be enough. Even a Charles Jones Secret Weapon type might do it.
Of course, that presumes that the other players buy into some sort of defensive concept and help out. Unless we can get our forwards and our guards to try to play defense, we're short.

I'm optimistic because I remember Gil playing defense in GS. I also remember Riley forcing Caron to play defense. These guys have it in them. AJ, not so much.
I still find it hard to criticize Gil for trying to 'get buckets' when getting buckets gets you paid. Now that he's paid, he should be able to get down to the business of stepping up the D. I've railed on and on about how the pg on a team usually is not the defensive stalwart so I won't start that again. Forwards and centers usually make defense good. We should start focusing on CB,BTH and AJ. If they play D inside, we can extend the defense outwards. Interior D is where it starts, though.
Same with Caron. He's a good defensive player but as he's improved offensively, he's regressed on D. Funny thing is, once he started scoring he made the all star team. I wish this league rewarded defense as much as offense.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 8:38 AM

As for DeJuan Blair, he had acl injuries to both knees and they say he doesn't have any left. Gilbert had nothing like that by the way. But you know who you can compare Blair to? Leon Powe cause he had acl injures to both knees in high school. That is the reason he went in the second round to Boston. Where is he know? The NBA is bigger and stronger with more games in a season to gamble on those knees.

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 9, 2009 8:39 AM

G-Man11, I agree with you. Orlando took major steps BACKWARDS with the losses of Turk and Gortat.
Doesn't anyone else think that Shaq just might be in the way of James' travels to the basket? Shaq operates only within 5 feet of the hoop. The reason the Cavs offense was just ok was because Z used to go outside and shoot jumpers, opening up the lane for LeBrons drives.
The Celts now remind me of the Lakers with GP and Malone. Trying to field an all star team doesn't always work. Also, anyone who reads or listens to the Celts homer Bill Simmons knows that KG may not be able to ever fully recover from that knee problem. It's chronic. In effect, they might have been replacing KG with Sheed. It's a step down.

I don't see how everyone just got that much better while we didn't. Just adding BTH and Gil alone takes us from 19 to 40+ wins. Adding a 3 point threat to the lineup (MM) and a backup point (RF) who can actually play is huge.

Not to mention the addition by subtraction (DS squared). DSOng gone and Deshawn relegated to scrub time has gotta be worth 5 wins alone.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 8:50 AM

Good comparison. Leon Powe got them 8 and 5 in less than 18 minutes while shooting 52%. I'd take that. That's pretty much exactly what we need.
RE: Blair...
You can never understate the amount of damage a big strong guy does down low. Even at 6'5" 280, he's wearing the opponents down. Anyone who's played ball at any level knows how much energy is expended trying to keep a big guy out of the paint. His presence for 10 mpg could have benefited AJ just by tiring the opponent out.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 8:55 AM

that is, you can never OVERstate

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 8:57 AM

O-mark,

Unless McGee or Blatche suddenly turn into Shawn Kemp, we are essentially a jump-shooting team that doesn't play defense. That is what we are even when we do pick up some scrubby F/C backup to play D and grab boards for 10 minutes a game.

I think that having Gil and BTH back makes us a 40-win team. But that's not what we are going for. We are passed that with this squad. It is supposed to make a run deep into the playoffs.

How many jump-shooting teams that don't play D win championships?

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 9:14 AM

So far it must be sweet justification for Haywood to have finally been relieved of the Jordan/Etan/DSon, nightmare.

And yeah, the pros and cons of this have been discussed, but can we all imagine how he must feel knowing finally that he is Numero Uno.

And JM is his backup, a legit center, and not some weak power forward wannabee (ETAN/DSON) taking minutes from him.

Haywood's game importance showed 2-yrs ago, when EJ had to play him, but I think we will all be surprised with his play now that the BS is gone.

And if by chance we use the MLE on a player that can back up the 5/4 that is about Team (unlike ETAN), the Wizards will be much more formiable in the middle.

Who would have thought that this Wizard team would be an power inside as well as out.

I am telling you so.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 9, 2009 9:18 AM

And JM is his backup, a legit center, and not some weak power forward wannabee (ETAN/DSON) taking minutes from him.

I know you're Mr. Optimism on the board and I'm all for that...but let's be serious. JaVale McGee? Really?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 9, 2009 9:22 AM

"Shaq operates only within 5 feet of the hoop. The reason the Cavs offense was just ok was because Z used to go outside and shoot jumpers, opening up the lane for LeBrons drives"

That's what people are saying in Cleveland. That the Cavs acquired Shaq because they need him in the playoffs, when Dwight Howard will loom before them. Not because they expect to be better during the regular season -- Z and Varejao may still play a whole lot of minutes.

But isn't that what Phoenix hoped when they acquired Shaq?

Posted by: Samson151 | July 9, 2009 9:23 AM

I thought Stevenson got a raw deal on this blog last season but now I'm thinking there's no place for him on the club this year. Unless they find a taker for Nick Young.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 9, 2009 9:25 AM

Unless McGee or Blatche suddenly turn into Shawn Kemp, we are essentially a jump-shooting team that doesn't play defense. That is what we are even when we do pick up some scrubby F/C backup to play D and grab boards for 10 minutes a game.

Uhhh. Yeah. Uncle.

How many jump-shooting teams that don't play D win championships?

To date, non.

"I'm not like most other guys here". (nod to MJ in Thriller).

I just want to get incrementally better and get to the playoffs again and maybe make it to the 2nd round. If we start to phase out AJ and phase in JM and AB or somebody that plays D, then we can think about a championship run.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 9:25 AM

Samson151, I have always thought it was a mistake to change your team to deal with one specific foe. The Suns got Shaq to deal with Duncan. Well, if you can't GET to Duncan that doesn't really help you. Now the Cavs got him to deal with Howard.
They better worry about us.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 9:28 AM

patient? what other choice do they have?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 9, 2009 9:29 AM

"How many jump-shooting teams that don't play D win championships?

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 9:14 AM"

If you think this is a jump shooting Team, you better think again. This team will excell going inside and the shooting will come as a result of that.

P1Funk, we goin' to the hoop first, for a layup or a shot, then we will set for the best shot.

We want be bringing the ball up the court for no stinking jump shot. We will be bringing the ball of the court to SCORE.

Believe me, it is a distinct difference than being a jump shooting Team.

And one more thing Funk, Defense will be the least of our worries.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 9, 2009 9:31 AM

Side note:

I think the Spurs first Vegas summer league game is on July 12. I can't wait to see what Blair does. Granted it's summer league and even Skita Tskishvili was decent in summer league.
Still, if Blair can finish up the summer without his ACLS's exploding, I think we can consider him a success based on all of the reservations about his health that I've read. I'm betting he's top 3 in summer league rebounding if he gets the minutes.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 9:33 AM

up the court

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 9, 2009 9:33 AM

I just want to get incrementally better and get to the playoffs again and maybe make it to the 2nd round. If we start to phase out AJ and phase in JM and AB or somebody that plays D, then we can think about a championship run.


Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 9:25 AM


IMO, the essential issue is that we've maxed out with this "Big 3" model. We can't pay the kind of $$ we are to these guys and build a championship team. It was a great way to pull the Wiz out of the dumpster and get people talking about them again, but for this team to compete for a ring it needs to be fundamentally restructured.

My beef is that Ernie keeps talking up this Big 3 model and selling it to the fans like it's a legit competitor. It's fools gold, and we've all seen how this ends. We're jumping into the Dolorian and going back to '04...

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 9:37 AM

EG is right in letting the competition sort out the high-end big man talent first... Dice has just signed on with SAS and Zaza has re-upped with the Hawks... If Dallas finishes the deal for Marion and then makes an offer to the Polish Hammer that the Magic is unable to match, that could make Diop or Dampier available to the extent that Mark Cuban might eat some salary just to move one of them (Dampier makes big bucks but his contract turns into a pumpkin this year)...

The Pacers are not going to keep Foster AND Nesterovic to back up Hibbert (who is tearing up summer league right now) and either of these men could help the Wizards.

We also have to see what Josh Heytvelt does in summer league... to say nothing of McGee (if he has progressed a great deal, our needs become that much less pressing)!

Oberto is also a good case in point as to why the waiting game could pay off... If he is left out of the game of musical chairs in a few weeks, he could go for the vet minimum.

And we need to get a fix on what Powe's recovery timetable might be as the Celtics clearly are not inclined to keep him, having signed Wallace and seen that Big Baby was the real deal in the last playoff rounds.

By early August, it should be a lot clearer what EG can do with a couple of million bucks to cover 10-15 minutes of available playing time in the front court.

Then the Wiz can sit on Mike James expiring contract until mid-year and decide if the team's progress justifies going after bigger game to get positioned for the 2010 spring playoffs.

Posted by: khrabb | July 9, 2009 9:37 AM

If you think this is a jump shooting Team, you better think again. This team will excell going inside and the shooting will come as a result of that.

P1Funk, we goin' to the hoop first, for a layup or a shot, then we will set for the best shot.

We want be bringing the ball up the court for no stinking jump shot. We will be bringing the ball of the court to SCORE.

Believe me, it is a distinct difference than being a jump shooting Team.

And one more thing Funk, Defense will be the least of our worries.

LarryInClintonMD.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 9, 2009 9:31 AM


Who is going "inside"? We certainly don't have a post-presence to go inside to on the offensive end. If you mean driving to the hoop, who is gonna do that? Gil? Are we sure? He's spent the last year and a half having knee surgeries. Is gonna drive to the hoop for 85 games?

And once we get to the playoffs, defense is going to be the first of our worries...

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 9:40 AM

Driving and drawing fouls has been a weakness ever since Gil went down. It's still gonna be a weakness cuz Gil is still the only one who does it.
p1funk, I'd counter that we really haven't seen this model actuated yet. Granted, he HAS been shoving it down our throats for a while like you said. He's also continued to remind us of a weeklong first place standing a few years ago and I'm tired of hearing about it. Hopefully we can really see what this 'BIG 3' thing is all about.

I know continuity means a lot. If Eg had broken up the team, I'm sure a lot of folks would have been complaining that we should have given it a healthy shot with the Big 3. I don't think EG could have pleased everyone either way. I'm just happy that he at least has a plan...even if it turns out to be the wrong one. With Wes leading the charge, we were clueless.
I can seriously understand where you're coming from, though. This has to work this year or we need to break it up...even if guys get hurt again.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 9:46 AM

"Only Celts have gotten better in my opinion. Cavs, Pistons, Magic have all stepped backwards to me.

BmoreRev"

Rev! :)

I think the Magic can be the best of the bunch still, but that all depends on Carter's ability to be a team player.

Turky-glu is a team player, but Carter has more ability to create his own shot.

I don't think the C's got better, and Shaq is just a fat guy that will in a year be putting down Lebron like he has everywhere else he has gone to.

No one is talking about Atlanta, that's so funny to me. I think they could be a real sleeper.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | July 9, 2009 9:52 AM

I think Ernie basically screwed up when he re-signed Gil and AJ. There's no way you build a real contender when you give $160 mill to build a team around a couple guys who can't defend - especially when one of them is a health question mark.

We should've let 'em walk. Build around Caron. Worked the draft and loaded up to be a real player for a 2010 FA.

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 9:56 AM

"Some teams have made some good moves for themselves. But we feel that we have also," Grunfeld said yesterday in a phone interview. "We're a much stronger team. We're adding not only Mike Miller and Randy Foye, but also Brendan Haywood, Gilbert Arenas and DeShawn Stevenson, who didn't play [much] for us last season."

Hilarious. I guess if you can't bring any new, exciting players in after a 19-win season, you can always recycle & resell old ones to the fans. What Grunfeld glosses over is that the latter three all played for us before and only helped get us, barely, to the second round of the playoffs once. He also neglects to mention that they are now older with two now having serious injury histories. As for Miller and Foye, we used to have them. They were called Roger & Mason Jr.

Meanwhile, after said 19-win season, we have no new high lottery rookie or high-profile free agent to get excited about. Riveting stuff, Ernie, and you've now gone well over the salary cap to do it. This will only worsen next year, when the poor economy of the last year results in less season ticket sales this year, leading to an even lower cap figure in 2010. Incidentally, the best free agent class in a decade will be available then, and we will, once again, be sitting on the sidelines. That is lousy, short-sighted GM-ing, which in these days is about cap management as much as personnel choices. As we can see, Gil and Jamison's contracts are already haunting us, and will for several more offseasons.

"It's going to be a completely different team that we're putting out there," Grunfeld said. "We're mainly concerned about where we are and we feel good about where we are and that we're going to be a very competitive team."

Notice his reluctance to use "championship", "finals", "semi-finals" and even "playoffs" in his analysis of the team... 'very competitive' is the best he can muster. If this team as currently constituted - Some decent mid and late career players, no rising stars - fails to make any noise this season, will you fire Ernie, Abe? Or, giving Abe's apparent health issues and retreat from running the organization, will you, Ernie, step down? Will Ernie apologists in here stop giving him the benefit of the doubt?

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 9, 2009 10:03 AM

People on this blog keep saying Abe is cheap, but I think he's being financially sensible considering the Wiz are nowhere close to contending. It's not like we are a team like Boston, LA, Cleveland, Dallas, or San Antonio who has been deep in the playoffs in recent years or won a championship. The Wiz simply don't have the talent to make a deep run even if healthy and adding another expensive player using the MLE would only mean we'd be another $6M over the luxury tax cap.

It's easy for people to say tha Abe should just pony us $12M in luxury taxes, but the Wiz are his main business at this point in his life. It's not like he is Mark Cuban who can lose $20-30M per year on his team and not bat an eye. The owners of LA and Cleveland are also willing to lose major money to field a championship contender.

People need to accept that this will be a playoff team (hopefully) and will be fairly competitive against the better teams. They are no better than 4th in the East after Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando. It's not like they were going to go from 19 wins to 60 wins in one year and contend for the NBA crown.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 9, 2009 10:05 AM

Ray,

I beg to disagree. Hedo was a HUGE part of the Magic's team. If you will look at the playoffs most especially the Cavs and the Lakers series, almost 90% of their play revolves around Hedo and not Howard. He has the ability to create his own shot or pass the ball to the open 3 or down low for an easy dunk. At this stage of their careers I will take Hedo on my team before Vince Half Man Half Amazing.

Posted by: Dave381 | July 9, 2009 10:07 AM

Taking the ball to the hoop first as a concept is what I am talking about. GA, JC, Foye, CB, AJ, BH. It would take me too long to explain it, but the details is how you run your offense for the first 8-10 seconds of the D-board.

The post presence you describe is different from what I allude too. I am not talking postup inside presence, I am talking flat out hustle to the hoop, score on the run, beat your man down the court to score, inside and easy.

That creates an inside game on the run, a inside game on the run that champions are made of. The first 8-10 seconds is built for killing defenses.

Phil Jackson knows this and that is why his Teams have always played Defense to stop the quick score.

I could go on forever about this, but really look at champion Teams and there players and how they transitioned up and down the floor.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 9, 2009 10:16 AM

Did someone say build around Caron?
No thank you. He is NOT a superstar or someone you can build around. He was fine in his role as a supplementary player.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 9, 2009 10:16 AM

If it was just big guy post up presence, rebounding and blocking shots, I assure you Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain would have had more Rings.

Wilt the Stilt, an all time great, and a hugh favorite of mine, but there is a philosophy involved in scoring to win games and championships often. Bill Russell and the Celtics, and the Lakers understood winning. It's an intangible, no one knows the exact formula, but you know when you got it.

Michael understood it and that bufoon of an owner in Chicago thought he could keep winning without Michael and Phil. So Sad.

Nowbody thought that when Wes came in that he was the piece that would carry the Bullets to a Championship/play for several years.

We don't know with this Team, but for sure, all our pieces are in play, and these boys are ready to PLAY.

Swoop to the Hoop!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 9, 2009 10:34 AM

I don't like the idea of building around CB either, pfunk1. I think he's one of the 'undersized for his position' guys that contributes to our lackluster defense. 2nd banana is perfect for him.
Would you agree that the Gil of old was a player to build around? If so, we can just hope that he's healthy again.
I think some of us (not you specifically, necessarily) have forgotten just how good Gil was. He's still in his prime and all of the statements we've all heard from doctors say that his knee is 100% recoverable. Working with Tim Grover is the best thing that could happen to him. I'm expecting a career year. Even slight improvement by JM and Ab and this team is a force ...offensively.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 10:35 AM

Notice I conveniently omitted any reference to defense. I'm unclear as to exactly what Flip's defense can do for us. I keep hearing that he employs effective zones, etc. Seems to me that we played zone as dismally as man defense last year.
It's not the defense, it's the man. I know I'm stating the obvious here but no defensive scheme works if you refuse to play it.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 10:38 AM

I don't like the idea of building around CB either, pfunk1. I think he's one of the 'undersized for his position' guys that contributes to our lackluster defense. 2nd banana is perfect for him.
Would you agree that the Gil of old was a player to build around? If so, we can just hope that he's healthy again.
I think some of us (not you specifically, necessarily) have forgotten just how good Gil was. He's still in his prime and all of the statements we've all heard from doctors say that his knee is 100% recoverable. Working with Tim Grover is the best thing that could happen to him. I'm expecting a career year. Even slight improvement by JM and Ab and this team is a force ...offensively.

I agree. That's why usually I don't get into the Gilbert talk here. Fans are so fickle. They forget that he was basically going head to head with LeBron. He carried this team at times. He can be much more than anyone on this roster. The only negatives are they say he's "quirky" and the knee. He rushed back because he's a competitor. I can almost live with that.

He just turned 27. Kobe was a "selfish, gunner that didn't play defense too." So was Mike. Sometimes it has to click for them to put that effort in on the other side of the court. Gilbert said he's needs to step up and change the tone. Remember when everyone said the Lakers should've gotten rid of Kobe instead of Shaq? And I don't even like Kobe. He's approaching his prime. I believe at least. We'll see when the season starts. The boy has a work ethic that's unmatched. Showed he can be a floor general and I'm sure he'll be carrying a rather large chip on his shoulder.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 9, 2009 10:46 AM

Grunfeld needs to talk to his players. All of these guys have friends who are players obviously. Ask them who they would recommend to complete the lineup. Involve the guys in the process, stop acting as he knows everything about players because he does not, even with input from coaches and scouts.
See how involving the Celtics Big Three in recruiting Rasheed Wallace was effective?

Obviously there is a team in Boston. Do we have a team in Washington DC, or just a group of players?

Posted by: rickgonz | July 9, 2009 10:46 AM

Original_Mark, LarryUpInClinton

We tend to agree a lot. There are a lot of super-negatives around.

One thing I do know about the wizards as currently constructed, there is a lot of competition outside of the Big3. So much so that Critt seems to be the odd man out. Nick, MikeMiller, DeShawn?, Foye will have to produce/play with maturity and seriousness instead of playfullness(Nick) or sit down. People act like they never been on a court in their life. Blatche and Nick will be more consistent as this team with Gil, and you know how he gets when he has something to prove, has its sights set on Orlando, Boston, and Cleveland.

The difference we will see hopefully is health. The other big difference will be focus/seriousness of the youngins, and depth(competition for playing time).

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 9, 2009 10:51 AM

...again, part of the reason for my optimism is the $$ I spent on my season ticket plan. ;)

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 10:54 AM

Found this in a recent article: Effectively, players made 9 percent less than you think. So Amar'e Stoudemire, for example, on the books for $15 million last year, only received $13.65 million from the Suns. That other $1.35 million is a part of the $191 million the league will now redistribute equally to teams, to the tune of $6.3 million per franchise.

So add the $6.3M here, the $2.5M for the 2nd round pick, and the $2.9M in luxury tax refund, and the Wiz will pocket a cool $11.7M this summer. And still they don't want to pay $10M or so in luxury taxes next year! I say trade D.S. and whomever to get a stud PF, luxury tax be damned. As illustrated above, it's not coming out of Abe's pocket anyway!

Posted by: dscottp169 | July 9, 2009 10:58 AM

kalo_rama,

Varejao's last season is 8.6/7/0.8 (pts/rebounds/blks) in 29 minutes, while Haywood's last full year was 10.6/7/1.7 in the same number of minutes. Haywood is better in pts and more than double the number of blocks while posting the same number of rebounds. So Haywood is better.

Baring injury, if next year Haywood plays like Varejao's last season, then I would consider him regressed, and does not deserve the raise. OTOH, if he takes a step forward, then he deserves a raise, fair enough?

Posted by: sagaliba | July 9, 2009 11:05 AM

remember Gil. remember the excitement. This team is much, much better than any team Gil has played for.

How soon we forget!

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 9, 2009 11:06 AM

One can argue that Pollin hasn't spent his money wisely (stop the internet with that one) or that he hasn't spent enough.

But to claim he's been cheap has, in my view, no basis.

Cheap?

Posted by: SteveMG | July 8, 2009 4:26 PM

Make NO MISTAKE about it! Abe is CHEAP! This is the only franchise it seems that always cites financial issues (spending this money doesn't make sense; this player isn't worth that money; that star player will ask for too much money, etc., etc., etc.) This is all we get year after year--excuses for NOT going after the player that COULD make this team championship caliber. Abe kicks away high draft picks year after year (lottery, smottery--Behind the scenes Abe lets the league know that he wants no part of high draft picks!) Abe Pollin's Wizards have one theme--we will say publicly whatever needs to be said to convince our fans we're doing the right thing by NOT spending a lot of money. Ernie's marching orders are simple--Keep the fans coming, but spend no money unless there is a threat to the fan base. They had to spend to sign Arenas or no one would come out to the Verizon Center. He bit the bullet on that contract because he had no choice. But Abe WILL NOT spend another dime to push this team to championship level. Rasheed signs with Boston; Shaq goes to Cleveland; the Matrix goes to Dallas--ALL THESE BIG NAMES GO TO NEW TEAMS EACH YEAR BUT THE WIZARDS ARE NEVER MENTIONED! The Wiz NEVER make the extra move needed to put the team over the top because Abe always feels like he has spent enough money. YES, ABE IS CHEAP BY NBA STANDARDS! Again, if you're already paying $75 million in salary, what is the big deal about pushing that total to $90 or so (including the cap penalty) to get an NBA title!!??? By NBA standards, that is being CHEAP!!!!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 9, 2009 11:13 AM

Bottom line, this team's potential mostly comes down to one question: how good is Gilbert going to be?

Like it or not, this team is built around Agent Zero. When we are at our best, we depend on him to contribute something in just about every aspect of the game. Ball handling, driving the lane, drawing fouls, getting steals, outside shooting, and setting up teammates-- when healthy, he's one of the best in the league in every one of these categories. Often, when he's matched up with a Mo Williams type of PG, he's even a serious threat for offense in the post. When he puts the effort and concentration in, he's a lock-down defender. When he's playing decent D, he's also an outstanding rebounder.

If Gilbert comes back healthy and committed to playing D and to making his teammates better, we're among the NBA elite.

So what are the odds of Gil coming back and rising to his full potential? Unknowable, but we've seen some very good signs. In the two games he played at the end of last year, he seemed to be doing things "the right way". He was setting up his teammates and even playing some D, even if was still a little slower (and fatter) than when he went down. Even back before he got hurt, he was showing some signs of playing better D. Remember the play where he got hurt in the first place? The old, selfish Gil would not have gotten hurt in that situation. He got hurt while trying to box out one of Charlotte's big men. Selfish, no-defense-playing Gil would have been getting into position to receive an outlet pass to start the break instead of boxing out.

As to whether or not Gil will ever get his quickness back, again that's unknowable. All we have to go on is the fact that the docs gave him a good enough prognosis for EG to offer him a max contract. Then you have to temper that positive sign with the fact that he has needed two followup operations.

So, what are the odds of Gil coming back and making us one of the league's great teams? I say 50:50, but that's just pulling a number out of....

Posted by: yop32 | July 9, 2009 11:14 AM

Wow, Varejao just got 50M for 6 yrs, that's 8.3M a year. So I guess even with that stat, you can fetch 8M/yr. Like I said, we don't get to determine a player's salary, market does.

Posted by: sagaliba | July 9, 2009 11:16 AM

Funk u r my man, so it hurts me to disagree with u. i think signing gil was necessary, but not tawn. gill is the face of the franchise, we'd seen our fortunes get worse after letting go one all star calibe guard LH. letting gil go wasn't a real option. i could see aj goin though. most people point to gil being gone the last season as a cause of our downfall. Jamison has been at the wheel most of that time though.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 9, 2009 11:24 AM

...your azz.

Just thought I'd finish it up for you, yop32.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 11:24 AM

You really need to sign Randy Gill,Jr. Even if only a 15 day contract, would bring alot of enery and excitement to the Wizards and the NBA- great team player- you know who he is and what he can do. Don't be affraid, just give him a chance.

Posted by: rgill1 | July 9, 2009 11:25 AM

Did someone say build around Caron?
No thank you. He is NOT a superstar or someone you can build around. He was fine in his role as a supplementary player.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 9, 2009 10:16 AM


By "build around Caron", I meant that he would simply step in as the focus of our sorry team while we develop draft picks and gear up for an FA run in 2010.

I don't think Caron is someone you "build around" the way you "build around" a guy like Kobe or Duncan.

Hope that clarifies things...

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 11:26 AM

Vareja for $8M per year? The Cavs are definitely going all in this year. Next year Shaq's salary will come off their books but Verajao will be on them for another 5 years. I think that's an insane amount of money to spend for a rebounder/energy guy who has very limited offensive skills. I figured he'd be worth the MLE to a team that was looking for a final piece, but Cleveland must see him as a long-term part of the franchise (or the King said he wanted him there to remain in Cleveland).

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 9, 2009 11:26 AM

Yeah I agree with pfunk1 most of the time, too but I see thins the same way you do, lilhollywood10. Every championship team has an elite player and on this team, Gil is the only one that even has the potential. We HAD to sign him given his age and the team doctor's prognosis.
Aj is another story. I've been trying to 86 or bench him for a while now while appreciating what he's done for us all the while. If it's defense we need, he has to play less minutes.

Posted by: original_mark | July 9, 2009 11:27 AM

Wow, Varejao just got 50M for 6 yrs, that's 8.3M a year. So I guess even with that stat, you can fetch 8M/yr. Like I said, we don't get to determine a player's salary, market does.

Posted by: sagaliba | July 9, 2009 11:16 AM


They overpaid. It's the same dumb mistake EG made when he gave Etan 6 mill/year after Etan's best season was to come off the bench and give us 9 and 7. But that is the market for "young" big men.

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 11:28 AM

good work

Posted by: jasperhneyaolcom | July 9, 2009 11:31 AM

By "build around Caron", I meant that he would simply step in as the focus of our sorry team while we develop draft picks and gear up for an FA run in 2010.

I don't think Caron is someone you "build around" the way you "build around" a guy like Kobe or Duncan.

Hope that clarifies things...

I kinda know what you meant. The thing is in 2010, people rarely just sign with a team to sign with them. When is the last team a team cut salary to be a big player in free agency and actually had success with it? I remember Orlando waiting on Timmy and getting Grant Hill and T-Mac....so yeah....

Besides what would you sell them on? Come make some money in Washington and play with Caron Butler? No offense to CB but........

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 9, 2009 11:32 AM

good stuff Truth

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 9, 2009 11:32 AM

lilhollywood 10 - like your post, but Agent Zero said he wouldn't resign with the Wiz if Jamison wasn't resigned. They were a package deal and you can't blame EG for resiging Jamison if the Wiz wanted Arenas back. In hindsight, they paid way too much for Arenas and should have considered a sign and trade since the only other teams that wanted him were GS and the Clippers.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 9, 2009 11:33 AM

Funk u r my man, so it hurts me to disagree with u. i think signing gil was necessary, but not tawn. gill is the face of the franchise, we'd seen our fortunes get worse after letting go one all star calibe guard LH. letting gil go wasn't a real option. i could see aj goin though. most people point to gil being gone the last season as a cause of our downfall. Jamison has been at the wheel most of that time though.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 9, 2009 11:24 AM

Had Gil stayed healthy, I would agree with you. IMO, with the injury you don't roll the dice like that. But that is only part of the issue with Gil.

Gil is a quirky wildcard. He's not your lockerroom leader and he's not your floor leader. He's an emotional leader and he's your best player, but if he's not handled carefully he can hurt the team psyche. I'm not saying he's TO, but he's definitely not a leader like MJ or the way Kobe has become.

The Gil and AJ signings were joined at the hip. AJ had built the kind of relationship with Gil where he could reign him in, advise him, tell him when to step down and stop talking, etc. etc. Gil respects AJ, that's why he said he'd take a "discount" to re-sign as long as AJ could stay. If the team was going to sign Gil, they needed to keep AJ to properly babysit him - at least for the next 3 years.

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 11:33 AM

I kinda know what you meant. The thing is in 2010, people rarely just sign with a team to sign with them. When is the last team a team cut salary to be a big player in free agency and actually had success with it? I remember Orlando waiting on Timmy and getting Grant Hill and T-Mac....so yeah....

Besides what would you sell them on? Come make some money in Washington and play with Caron Butler? No offense to CB but........

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 9, 2009 11:32 AM

Maybe, but the FA class of 2010 is pretty deep. LeBron, DWade, Bosh - these guys have to end up somewhere. You throw a max contract at them and promise them everything under the sun. You already have a ready-made sidekick for them in Caron Butler, maybe you hit someone in the draft that also looks real promising. You tell them you intend to spend even more after they get here.

I just think it's a better play than going with an older injured version of what we had in '04...

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 11:39 AM

wizfan- i remember what gil said about AJ also, but that's all Bullsht. That same season i think Gil went off about Ben Gordon, Luol, and Iggy not accepting 50 mil extensions in the summer. he went on them b/c his logic was "when will u get offered 50 mil again?." going by that i think he wouldn't have shot down a 100 mil offer if AJ didn't get his first.

Furthermore, as we have been talking about leverage and bargaining position since the draft i have to add that gil didn't have the leverage in the deal to demand a contract for AJ. gil was hurt and abe wanted to do right by him, if he'd have left b/c we didn't offer AJ then we wouldn't( might not)be trippin bout our cap right now or coming off a 19 win season. who knows .

i'm just saying that Gil didn't hold ABe and EG hostage with the AJ contract demand, they coulda put the ball back in his court and i as a fan wouldn't have tripped about gil turning down 100mil b/c of AJ one of my least fave wizards.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 9, 2009 11:42 AM

i think gil is the leader. u can see that the team missed him out there. they played too tight or too loose in every game just about. gil gives them a tempo, as much as i hate to say it, he gives them swag. with him gone aj started bashing the youngins, the youngins tuned the vets out and 19 wins later........gil is the link b/w the vets and the youngins. i think with him back ab,jm,and ny could all make strides.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 9, 2009 11:48 AM

"Meanwhile, after said 19-win season, we have no new high lottery rookie or high-profile free agent to get excited about... Incidentally, the best free agent class in a decade will be available then, and we will, once again, be sitting on the sidelines. That is lousy, short-sighted GM-ing...As we can see, Gil and Jamison's contracts are already haunting us, and will for several more offseasons...Notice his reluctance to use "championship", "finals", "semi-finals" and even "playoffs" in his analysis of the team... 'very competitive' is the best he can muster. If this team as currently constituted - Some decent mid and late career players, no rising stars - fails to make any noise this season, will you fire Ernie, Abe? Or, giving Abe's apparent health issues and retreat from running the organization, will you, Ernie, step down? Will Ernie apologists in here stop giving him the benefit of the doubt?"
Posted by: SammyT1"

This is pretty much what I'm thinking of when I say there are fanz who will be impossible to satisfy. Minds already made up. You wonder why the team bothers to play out the games.

You know what some fanz want? A head to roll. Last year it was Ed Jordan. This year it looks like Grunfeld.


Posted by: Samson151 | July 9, 2009 11:53 AM

The Gil and AJ signings were joined at the hip. AJ had built the kind of relationship with Gil where he could reign him in, advise him, tell him when to step down and stop talking, etc. etc. Gil respects AJ, that's why he said he'd take a "discount" to re-sign as long as AJ could stay. If the team was going to sign Gil, they needed to keep AJ to properly babysit him - at least for the next 3 years.

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 11:33 AM

that's the bs that keeps us out of the championship. whatever happened to playing ball. i'ma offer a cat 100 mill and he tells me no cuz his man can't get on too? gil has to make the best choice for gil and eg hav to make the best choice for the team. i'd have liked to see gil walk (limp) away from 100 mill over Antawn fkkin Jamison.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 9, 2009 11:54 AM

Bottom line, this team's potential mostly comes down to one question: how good is Gilbert going to be?

Posted by: yop32 | July 9, 2009 11:14 AM

Not good enough to win a championship.

LeBron is better than Gil and he can't seem to do it without someone in the post.

Kobe is better than Gil and he finally got one post-Shaq b/c Gasol/Bynum finally did their part down low.

As solid as Detroit was, they needed Rasheed Wallace to put them over the top.

We saw how far Boston went without KG, and Paul Pierce is at least as good as Gil.

Posted by: p1funk | July 9, 2009 11:56 AM

A local guy that's professional sounds perfect for this situation and his name is Joe Smith. He would also be great for the young guys to learn from.

Posted by: empirical2 | July 9, 2009 12:09 PM

Not good enough to win a championship.

LeBron is better than Gil and he can't seem to do it without someone in the post.

Kobe is better than Gil and he finally got one post-Shaq b/c Gasol/Bynum finally did their part down low.

As solid as Detroit was, they needed Rasheed Wallace to put them over the top.

We saw how far Boston went without KG, and Paul Pierce is at least as good as Gil.

Actually...the difference on all those teams? Was a bench. Kobe had no bench, Cleveland definitely has no bench and the Celtics had 3 of the top 25 players in the game on their team and still needed bench contributions.

Don't get me wrong a strong inside game is mandatory but it's not the only reason they won championships.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 9, 2009 12:10 PM

Michael, why wouldn't the Wizards be interested in Joe Smith the local Maryland and Norfolk, Virginia product ?

Posted by: empirical2 | July 9, 2009 12:14 PM

I have a question, if every team exceeds luxury tax threshold, then who is going to get the tax windfall?

As of right now, only one third of the teams are below the threshold, and that's BEFORE rookie and FA signing!

Posted by: sagaliba | July 9, 2009 12:16 PM

Sagaliba, in that case the NBA has a lower revenue team fund and that money is evenly distributed amongst the lower revenue teams.

Posted by: empirical2 | July 9, 2009 12:30 PM

Which one of you whiners would put your money where your mouth and guarantee that if Abe had not signed Gil and Antawn and were targeting 2010 free agency, LeBron, Wade, or Bosh?

No you wouldn't guarantee that. Y'all would be complaining that Abe messed up and we only got money to spend and the only asset is Caron. You know some people can't be pleased.

Y'all would have said the same song, Abe was too cheap to sign Gil just like y'all still fault Abe for not signing Juwan Howard originally. And in hindsight, Juwan was NOT worth it just like Etan was not worth his re-signing. And Juwan or Etan were not worth even a 1-legged Gilbert.

Posted by: G-Man11 | July 9, 2009 12:42 PM

Arenas was smart enough to know that a lot of his success with the Wiz was because he played with a guy like Jamison who scored a lot of his points on outside jumpers and follow shots. They also had a chemistry that had been built from playing together for years in GS and with the Wiz. People shouldn't discount the fact that we wouldn't have had the cap room to sign anyone close to Jamison's caliber if he had walked unless we had let Arenas leave as well.

If you check where we were salary cap wise last summer, it would have taken not resigning both AJ and Arenas to have freed up enough cap space to even have gone after a player like Elton Brand (and it wasn't too likely he would have signed on with a rebuilding effort). EG and Abe were between a rock and a hard place with two FA's and a team that had been to the playoffs 4 years straight.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 9, 2009 1:03 PM

We have a good team this year. It's scary knowing the whole season rides on gil's knee or caron's wrist etc.. we have so many injuries on this team. One injury, and we could easily have another 20-30 win season. That being said, its the way its going to be. D.C. has been with GA, CB, AJ for a long time, so i like that we have them all back.
Its frustrating though, you turn on ESPN and you see all these teams making big time FA signs, and the wizards never come up in the conversation. why not spend some money, to bring a title run to DC???
Wouldnt mind bringing a player like Channing Frye into town... we need another solid big to complement haywood, mcgee is still a few years away. Frye seems like the best option.
Gil, Caron, jamison and haywood all need to stay healthy though, no matter what happens. or were not gonna do anything again this year. (The foye/Miller trade was nice, were still one or two moves away from being a title contender)

Posted by: k14baker | July 9, 2009 1:07 PM

"Arenas was smart enough to know that a lot of his success with the Wiz was because he played with a guy like Jamison who scored a lot of his points on outside jumpers and follow shots. They also had a chemistry that had been built from playing together for years in GS and with the Wiz. People shouldn't discount the fact that we wouldn't have had the cap room to sign anyone close to Jamison's caliber if he had walked unless we had let Arenas leave as well.

If you check where we were salary cap wise last summer, it would have taken not resigning both AJ and Arenas to have freed up enough cap space to even have gone after a player like Elton Brand (and it wasn't too likely he would have signed on with a rebuilding effort). EG and Abe were between a rock and a hard place with two FA's and a team that had been to the playoffs 4 years straight.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 9, 2009 1:03 PM "

Get over your fascination with having Gilby and MeTawn on the team. They haven't won anything with Les BouleS.

The bottom line is winning, and if Les BouleS can do that with a bunch of YMCA players, then that'll work for me.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 9, 2009 7:43 PM

so many people know more than the actual guys running the show and owning the team. It's incredible. I just wonder why none of these folks have jobs in NBA front offices??

Posted by: unkonchus | July 10, 2009 9:53 AM

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