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Grunfeld discusses trade flurry and future

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld pulled out one final trade before the trade deadline, making a "minor" deal that sent Dominic McGuire to Sacramento and brought the team just under the luxury tax line. Grunfeld sat down with reporters just after the deadline passed to discuss the whirlwind of the past week, which his seen him ship Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison out of town and officially closed the books on the most successful Wizards team of the past 25 years.

After the dust settled from the roster makeover, the Wizards came away with a former all-star in Josh Howard, a promising young prospect in Al Thornton, Cleveland's 2010 first-round pick and a protected second-round pick from Sacramento. And, after facing a nearly $10-miliion luxury tax penalty at the start of the calendar year, the Wizards earned a $4 million savings from the season ending suspensions for Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, and shed the remaining money in their three trades. That's some seven-week turnaround.

The most interesting comments Grunfeld were about Gilbert Arenas possibly returning to the team next season. (I've heard varying opinions about the Wizards actual plans, but many around the league still believe that Arenas has played his last game in Washington). But Grunfeld had a lot to say about the failings of the team, the reason for his rapid talent dump and the direction of the franchise.

On the difficulty of trading Jamison: "Antawn has always been one of our favorite players. There's no question about that. Tremendous individual, true professional - on and off the floor. It's always difficult to trade a player like that. I probably have more respect than any player I've been around. He's right up there with Patrick Ewing as far as I'm concerned. It was difficult from that point of view, but we're going in a different direction. Our players tell us what to do. Teams tell us what to do. They weren't playing up to the expectations that we had. We weren't winning as many games as we wanted to win, and I thought it was time to go in a different direction. This move gets us some cap relief, a draft pick; it helps us with the luxury tax. It gives us flexibility this year and going forward in the salary cap standpoint."

On the legacy of the "Big Three": "I think that was an entertaining ball club. I think the city enjoyed these players. It happened quickly, in our second year here we went to the playoffs and we went to the second round. And then we added Caron the following summer, and I think that they were entertaining group. They were good guys. The city enjoyed watching these players play, and unfortunately, injuries hit us hard last year, to Brendan and to Gilbert and even the seasons before in the playoffs, we didn¹t have Gilbert and Caron for one playoffs and Gilbert for another so the injury situations hurt us, especially in playoff time, last year of course, and then this year again. We thought we had a solid ball club, and again, we had a lot of situations that were really out of our hands. But maybe that group got stale. Not maybe, I think it got stale, and went about as far as I think we could go, and I thought now was the right time to make changes and put us in a situation where we can have a bright future, and I think we do."

On the struggles of the franchise since re-signing Arenas and Jamison in the summer of 2008: "We've had things that were out of our hands as far as injuries were concerned. We had a nice four-year run. After not being in the playoffs for almost 18 years, we had a good four-year run. Two years ago, we had injuries to Gilbert and to Brendan Haywood where they missed the whole season. Obviously in the off-season, we made a couple of key acquisitions in Randy Foye and Mike Miller, and had Gilbert and Brendan come back. We had high hopes - as did everyone in this room - to be one of the top four or five teams in the East and win between 45 and 50 games, and it didn't happen.
"It didn't come together for a variety of reasons. Maybe it's injuries, Mr. Pollin's situation, then of course the situation in the locker room. The reason the team did not live up to expectations. I don't think the chemistry was good. We didn't play with the fire you need to play with and a certain competitiveness. I thought for the best interest of the organization, we need to make some changes. We had these players playing together. We were only 17-34 (actually 18-33), and that's not what we want around here. We don't want to be 17-34. We had players who were putting up big numbers and doing statistically well, but we weren't winning, and the bottom line is we want to put together a team to win ballgames. This group together had gotten stale. It wasn't going in the right direction, and I thought for the best interest of the franchise _ short-term and long-term, moves needed to be made."

On the plan going forward: "Only time will tell. First we have to see what happens with the rest of this season and evaluate the current players that we have. Obviously, then we have to go through the whole draft process, and we have to go through free agency. It doesn't necessarily mean that since we have a lot of cap room this summer that you have to go out and use all your cap room this summer.
You might be able to save your powder for the following summer, but a plan will be in place. But it's not something that happens overnight. It's going to be a process, and the next part of this process is to see how this team comes together, who plays hard, who works well together and how these players perform, and then we have to go through the whole draft process and then we¹ll see how free agency goes for us, But there¹s really no urgency to go out and try to get everything put together right away because it doesn¹t
always work like that. If we have an opportunity to add significant players this summer, we¹ll look at it. If not, we'll still have a very solid team next year and save the big money possibly for the following summer. But that will all be determined as we progress along."

On the sales pitch he plans to give the fans: "I don't know what you're talking about as far as sales pitch is concerned. I don't think this team was playing up to our abilities. A change needed to be made. We need to go in a different direction. We've put ourselves in a real good position to improve this ball club. We've gathered some young players: Al Thornton, who is a first-team All-Rookie two years ago. We've got our own draft pick. We've got another draft pick. Our young players are going to get more of an opportunity to play consistent minutes going forward so we'll be able to more accurately evaluate them. We have great cap flexibility going down the road to improve our team from that standpoint. Some of the things we wanted to accomplish are four things: One is get tax relief for this year, get some promising young players, and then get cap flexibility going forward."

On whether having eight free agents and another seeking an extension created chemistry problems: "The players that were in the rotation, really on three of them were going to be free agents. And that was Mike Miller, who's probably our most unselfish player and Brendan Haywood, whose mainly a defensive player, rebounder and shot blocker. The other players are players who didn't get too many minutes, so I don't know how much that had to do with it. Caron was under contract for this year and one more, so he wasn't a free agent. Everything played with it and went into it. I've been on teams before where there were a lot of free agents and that makes them play that much harder and that much better because they are trying to show something. I don't think it's one specific thing, but a lot of things that came together. But the bottom line is, we weren't winning as much as we wanted to win and it was frustrating for our players and frankly for all of us, because expectations were higher and we probably didn't achieve as much as we would like to."

On his confidence about his job with new owner expected to take over: "I'm not concerned about my own situation. I¹m trying to do what¹s in the best interest of this organization, short term and long term. I think that this was the best move at this time for us going forward. We have put ourselves in a situation where we can improve going down and we have 30 games to evaluate the players that we have. We¹re going to have a lot of cap flexibility and some of these players hopefully will be with us. But it's really going to be up the players and their performance and how they come together will determine who we keep going forward."

By Michael Lee  |  February 18, 2010; 11:18 PM ET
 
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Next: Thornton arrives, Howard responds to "partying" report

Comments

"We've put ourselves in a real good position to improve this ball club. We've gathered some young players: Al Thornton, who is a first-team All-Rookie two years ago."

Wow...he's sold me now.

Posted by: AshrafEl-Arini | February 18, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if anybody asked him who he's taking orders from, Irene or TL?

Posted by: Mark_Edwin | February 18, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Ernie is so very stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupid.

He takes no responsibility. It is all Caron's fault. The players tell him what to do.

Ok boss.

Posted by: SteveC28 | February 18, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

SteveC28: Have you watched this team at all this season? If Caron had played like he used to, this team would have been considerably better. Add a non-suspended Arenas to the mix, and this team would have been excellent. I don't think you can blame either of those failings on Grunfeld. And he deserves high praise for blowing it up so speedily and efficiently once it truly tanked.

I agree with pretty much everything EG said. Relative to every other incarnation of this team I've had to suffer with, the Big 3 were a lot of fun for a while. But Caron never seemed comfortable this year, then Gil f'ed up, and Caron stayed uncomfortable, then it was too late. If last night was anything to go by, this group of players might turn out to be pretty entertaining, which is honestly all I really hope for. It's not like them winning a championship is going to affect any of OUR lives.

Posted by: IrenePollin | February 19, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Ernie has to go, the blue and gold has to go, the name Wizards has to go.

Completely blow everything up and give us a real franchise for the first time in ever.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | February 19, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards paid the Kings $300,000 to take Dominic McGuire. So all the Kings are liable for is about $150,000 or so for a rental SF for the rest of the season. So the Wiz are back to a roster of 15 (not counting Ilgauskas). They had a surfeit of small forwards, and actually need one more PF and another Center. Is Singleton really a power forward? And people around here were calling Jamison undersized for a power forward.

And to top it all Ilgauskas still refuses to report for work? He expects the Wizards to pay him about half of his $11.5M contract to go away? What a nightmare of a team. Howard, Blatche maybe Miller and Young might try to play out of their minds but I don't think they will win many more games.

Posted by: rickgonz | February 19, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Irene...

This team would've been far from excellent with Gil. That's a delusional statement. I like your homerish posts but come on. We were going nowhere with this group before the guns came out.

Hopefully these guys listen to Flip and let him coach them. I think the old guard resented him because they wish Eddie was still there.

I think we have the potential to play 500 ball the rest of the way. Only time will tell.

Posted by: DMoney28 | February 19, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Next year the Wizard's Big 3:

Arenas, Howard, Blatche.

Marketing slogan:

"Just give us a chance!"

Posted by: MeviousMan | February 19, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Or,

"Hey, we're not that bad"

Posted by: MeviousMan | February 19, 2010 1:36 AM | Report abuse

Quick point: Ilgauskas is not going to get half of his $11.5 Mil to leave. That's what would happen if they just CUT him.

A buyout means that you negotiate a LOWER amount and the player gets his freedom while the team saves money both in reality and against the cap.

Posted by: SportzWiz | February 19, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully no one really believes Irene Pollin posted that :) ... the F bomb pretty much ensures that.

Posted by: cooldavej | February 19, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Ernie decided to speak publicly about the state of the franchise and really talked about some of the things it seemed he used to avoid. I always thought he should have been doing some of this the whole time. I'm in the camp of having mixed feelings about Grunfeld. He has done some good things and then some things I kind of disagree with. I was glad to hear him say there was no need to spend all the cap money this summer.

Sidebar;
I hope our future includes Wesley Johnson from Syracuse. He's going to be a monster in the pro's!

Posted by: millineumman | February 19, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"But there's really no urgency to go out and try to get everything put together right away because it doesn't always work like that."

I'm going to use that exact same quote when they call me to renew my season tickets.

Posted by: bryc3 | February 19, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Michael, your blog is the first place I go for Wizards' news. Thanks. It must be tough to cover the rearrangement of the Titanic chairs. Plus, you've got a captain that hit something 2 years ago and he is still in denial. Sometime we will need an explanation as to why success is defined as poor drafting, poor signings and then trade away for cap room. Was this really a fun team?

Posted by: Beeb1 | February 19, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Quick point: Ilgauskas is not going to get half of his $11.5 Mil to leave. That's what would happen if they just CUT him.

A buyout means that you negotiate a LOWER amount and the player gets his freedom while the team saves money both in reality and against the cap.

Posted by: SportzWiz | February 19, 2010 1:48 AM


If they just cut him he gets it all as NBA contracts are guaranteed.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand contract buyout deals. I know the Wizards get some salary cap relief by buying out Big Z but something just doesn't seem right with paying a player $5m to go back and play for the team you just got him from. So we traded with the Cavs, gave up AJ, got some players and pick and now we have to pay one of those players to go back? What exactly did the Cavs give up in this deal?

Posted by: tundey | February 19, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

It's not what the Cavs gave up, it's what they took on- namely the $28mill owed to AJ over the next two seasons. I think taking Telfair from Lal allowed us to send Gooden there for Thorton as well

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to me how someone nobody likes here (Jamison)...the best team in the league sees as the last piece of the championship puzzle.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 19, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to me how someone nobody likes here (Jamison)...the best team in the league sees as the last piece of the championship puzzle.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 19, 2010 8:45 AM

Because that's what he is--the last piece, not a centerpiece.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 19, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand contract buyout deals. I know the Wizards get some salary cap relief by buying out Big Z but something just doesn't seem right with paying a player $5m to go back and play for the team you just got him from. So we traded with the Cavs, gave up AJ, got some players and pick and now we have to pay one of those players to go back? What exactly did the Cavs give up in this deal?

Posted by: tundey | February 19, 2010 8:33 AM

They gave us cap space. You see that is what the Wizards want right now.

Cap space and a shrinking bottom line which seems to fit our short term and long term goals.

Short term, it increases the sale price of the Team for the Pollins (sshussh, Kalo_rama doesn't like me to talk about that) and;

Long term, theorectically it puts us in a better position going forward to be a lot more flexible to build and acquire a more competitve Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to me how someone nobody likes here (Jamison)...the best team in the league sees as the last piece of the championship puzzle.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

certain people get really caught up in the $$$ aspect though they'd never admit it

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

i love how people criticize the team for trying to get under the luxury tax, as if an 18win team is forgoing a championship run for the sake of saving some money.

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

And, after facing a nearly $10-miliion luxury tax penalty at the start of the calendar year, the Wizards earned a $4 million savings from the season ending suspensions for Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, and shed the remaining money in their three trades. That's some seven-week turnaround?

Does anyone think the season ticket holders will see any of this money?

NO! It has always been and will always be about the money as long as the Pollin family own the Wizards.

I think Irene really wrote the above post because they never cared about winning a championship they just wanted to con the fans in believing that so they would come to the games.

Ernie was the perfect GM (for a team who wanted to make the playoffs on the cheap) since he's capable of putting together a team that's exciting but not a champion.

Ted, Fire Ernie!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

i love how people criticize the team for trying to get under the luxury tax, as if an 18win team is forgoing a championship run for the sake of saving some money.

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

They had a 19 win season last year but traded the 5th pick in the draft for Foye who isn't a point guard and is a below average shooting guard?

Ernie believed that trade was going to make a difference which only proves my point he is clueless and needs to be fired by the new owner.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

b78- ted just raises ticket prices for the Caps yet again, something the Pollins always tried to avoid

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Dear Ted, Let the Pollins take Grunfeld with them when they go. Include in the price of sale... Grunfelds bloated salary. Speaking of bloated, anybody see Grunfeld lately?

Posted by: horace1 | February 19, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

With a clean slate, the Wiz under new ownership can start the process of building toward a championship. With some luck in the draft, it can happen.

If Gil returns, that changes. Then, for the next few years, the focus goes back to trying to get above .500 and make the playoffs. That is the ceiling--the same ceiling we have become used to. The idea, with Gil back, is to build a few players around Gil, get lucky with the draft, and put a decent product out on the floor until Gil's contract expires in 2014. Why? Because you can't fill your franchise player slot under the NBA salary cap with a far-less-than-franchise player. So you just have to wait the bad contract out.

Obviously, a buy out is better and EG knows it. Therefore, you have to intepret EG's recent statement about Gil as early stage buy out negotiations.

What's fair for Gil? If Gil feels he can get $40 million from another team during the bought-out years, then the Wiz' buy out price is around $40 million. If Gil is truly sorry for what he did, then the price becomes a little less, as "penance."

Posted by: EdDC | February 19, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I am thrilled with what Eg has done in a month in which the obvious became reality.
This team and the chemistry was dead in the water. Now we have hope of getting more physical,, talented and team oriented compliments to the selfish but very talented Ga.
I do not know or care if Ga plays another day with us, but if he does we will be a better team than with the discards.
Bh is.a glorified back up and Cb and Aj were without a legitimate position.
They were very uninspired defensive players and certainly stat oriented.
Granted Cb and Aj were good men, but this is not the Nobel Peace Awards. It is a team oriented bball competition.
Bh is and will always be a pain in the arse, complainer and over stated personal evaluation.
I truly love the possibilities of this team for the first time in a long time.
And please you EJ apologists. He was terrible and at the wheel when this insanity was starting to unfold. BTW how is he doing with a very athletic and talented 76 er team, that was one of the most improving franchises when he arrived?
EJ was at the forefront of the personnel explosions that started to destroy this franchise. Princeton offense my arse.
So let's move on and allow the professionals to make the decisions and enjoy the process and possibilities.


Posted by: mricklen | February 19, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Ernie traded Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison and Dominic McGuire for...

Al Thornton, Cleveland's 2010 first-round pick and a protected second-round pick from Sacramento and a $4 million luxury cap savings?

I wonder what his real motive was?

Where are all of you people who gave me grief about saying this organization was all about money?

Wait didn't they accidentally go over the cap this year and weren't you all telling me how they aren't cheap because for once (turns out now it's really never) went over the cap?


Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

It's funny to me how someone nobody likes here (Jamison)...the best team in the league sees as the last piece of the championship puzzle.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

Speak for yourself - I love (LOVED) Jamison. Can't root for him in a Cavs uni, though.

It's obvious from Ernie's comments that he could care less about the fans.

Posted by: Lisa_R | February 19, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:29 AM

you say 'blow the team up' for months, so then they do and you complain it was just because they're cheap.

can you see how ridiculous that is?

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Mevious Man, How about "Just give us a shot"?

But really, unless Howard agree's to a cut rate deal I'm not thinking he's in the mix. But the market's going to be down, and he's some what tainted, Ernie could have found a two that can work in Flip's system. Flip's got a 30 game test drive, it don't work out, Ernie moves him off the lot and pockets the extra cap space.

Thornton might turn out to be a real solid pickup, back at the time he came out I thought he was a real bargain where the Clippers got him. Was hoping he fell a few more spots to the Wiz. Big physical guy for a 3 that plays with a high motor.

At the moment we've got a boatload of 3's, McGuire wasn't going to get any run so he's the odd man out in the group. I never heard of a protected 2 before, well it's been a wild week, anything can happen.

Mike Miller may want to move to greener pastures, but my quess is he likes playing in Flip's system, he's become a fan favorite, and I think he likes DC. All depends, a for sure playoff contender offers him a big deal, he's gone. But most playoff contenders aren't going to have big deals to offer.

If Eddie would end up with Thornton, Miller, and Howard at the 2 & 3, he could do a lot worse.

Rumor is the owners will be pushing for a harder cap next time around. The Luxury Tax threshold could contract for the 2nd striaght year anyway. Only a few select guys are getting max level deals next summer. Everybody is looking to cut salaries.

The Wiz could be in position to get either a big man or a point guard in the draft. Now it's down to hoping for some luck and smart scouting with this lottery pick.
Got to get a major rebuilding block with that pick.

McGee and Blatche gets a 30 game test drive to see what they've got.
Blatche has been freed at last, no more excuses, it's time to see if he's a real NBA player. McGee's test drive will be longer, he's just got to show consistant improvement.

Can't see Suanders going forward with Foye. I like Foye, but Suanders was quoted as calling him Curley Neel. When you run a passing offense, that's not a compliment.
So I'm thinking the team's really looking for a point guard some way, some how.

Hindsight is always 20/20, Ricky Rubio's rights wouldn't look to bad to be holding right now. If Miller walks and Foye gets nontendered, boy that looks bad. The kind of move that can have a GM looking for work. Then it ends up looking like the Wiz sold a #5 pick for cap space. That's why I think Ernie resigns Miller and tries to salvage something for Foye.

If Ernie goes, the new GM clears them out and moves on.

Something will be gotten in return for Gil, not an Allstar, but something. My quess is he'll end up in NY or LA. A lot to ponder while watching the next 30 games...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 19, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

We had a great run with Jamison, Butler, and Haywood. But it was clearly time to rebuild. Hopefully Arenas agrees to a reasonable buyout or the Knicks trade for him after Lebron, Wade, and Bosh turn them down. And hopefully two of the following develop into above average players: Foye, Young, Thornton, Blatche, McGee. With two high lottery picks the next couple years, I really think this team can be back on its playoff feet by '12-'13.

Posted by: Dellis2 | February 19, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

or that AJ is "metawn" and the worst PF in the nba...but then EG didnt get enough for him.

see how that's contradictory?

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

I like everything Grunfeld has done up to this point except for considering to keep Arenas. Doesn't he get it? Arenas could care less about this team. He's only concerned about his fame and getting his numbers up. He's proven that he's a selfish and rude person who tries to pass it off as if he's a "jokingly fun" guy.

I tell you what, if Grunfeld keeps him, he's (Arenas) got him fooled. He (Grunfeld) might be the one who ends up traded.

Posted by: carterm1 | February 19, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

you say 'blow the team up' for months, so then they do and you complain it was just because they're cheap.

can you see how ridiculous that is?

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Boston blew up their team and won a championship?

Entering the day, the Wizards were about $500,000 above the luxury tax penalty, but by moving McGuire's $825,000 contract to the Kings, they moved under the tax line - and made another $4 million. Teams that don't pay the luxury tax actually receive a dispersal check from the pool of money from teams that pay the penalty.

Why didn't they keep McGuire he was young?

Why didn't Ernie make trades that brought back young talent?

He made trades based on getting the Pollin family under the cap!


Ernie blew up the team and made the Pollin 4 million?

I know the Pollin's are having a hard time making ends meet but aren't they going to make big bucks by selling the club?

I love it because Abe's legacy will always be he never went over the cap to try and win a championship!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Gilbert and histronics created this mess, so it is only fair that he has to stay here and play in it. They are going to have to pay him one way or another so don't pay him and then send him somewhere else make him stew in the mess he helped create. I don't hate Gilbert and has always been a huge supporter and defender but it is time for him to shape up, grow up and give the team who gave to him, his very best.

Posted by: ivyleague | February 19, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

What do you think our chances are to get Haywood back? Would he sign here? Would EG go after him?

Posted by: leopsan | February 19, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@SportsWiz,

Actually a buy out for Big Z would be much less than $6 Mill. We're over half way through the regular season and he's already received more than half that $11.5 Mil.

Someone said if he were cut he'd get roughly $6 Mil. A buy outs going to be about half that.

The Wiz could needle the Cavs and just hold on to him pass March 1, and he won't be able to be added to a playoff roster.

Posted by: bozomoeman | February 19, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"I love it because Abe's legacy will always be he never went over the cap to try and win a championship!"

Except for the last several years, when the team was over the cap (and, last season, over the luxury tax threshold) because he thought the Big 3 could win a championship. So other than that part where you're utterly and completely wrong, you're spot on!

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse


What do you think our chances are to get Haywood back? Would he sign here? Would EG go after him?

Posted by: leopsan | February 19, 2010 9:49 AM

That will never happen. He's never going to play as hard as he did this year and Ernie knows it.

Posted by: Firuz1 | February 19, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

EDIT:

Make that "(and, this season, over the luxury tax threshold)"

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't they keep McGuire he was young?

Why didn't Ernie make trades that brought back young talent?

He made trades based on getting the Pollin family under the cap!


Ernie blew up the team and made the Pollin 4 million?

I know the Pollin's are having a hard time making ends meet but aren't they going to make big bucks by selling the club?

I love it because Abe's legacy will always be he never went over the cap to try and win a championship!

Posted by: bulletsfan78

This statement is absolutely, totally useless.

#1, With the acquisitions, McGuire is expendable.

#2, Why do you want them to blow it up and gain no money?

#3, You "loving it" shows your immaturity

and

#4 TALK TO THE HAND!!!! I'm out

Posted by: G-Man11 | February 19, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

BergerSphere: Trade Deadline: Winners and Losers

Winners

Cavaliers: Everybody was in agreement that Antawn Jamison was the better fit for Cleveland than Amar’e Stoudemire, and GM Danny Ferry was able to get him without giving up J.J. Hickson. LeBron gets what LeBron wants, and now he wants the Wizards to buy out Zydrunas Ilgauskas so he can re-sign with the Cavs and celebrate a championship after all the years he’s put in. The Wizards won’t have the heart to deny Z, but since they were able to maneuver beneath the luxury tax line, Washington will be able to drive a hard bargain. Sentimentality aside, the Cavs have to be viewed as the clear favorite to come out of the East and the biggest threat to win a title since LeBron left Akron-St. Vincent-St .Mary’s.


Wizards: As much criticism as GM Ernie Grunfeld deserves for the implosion of the Wizards this season, he should be lauded for digging out of it this quickly. Nobody knows if Grunfeld will keep his job through the Wizards’ ownership transition, but he was able to move nearly $40 million in future salary and get Washington under the tax line – which seemed impossible only a few weeks ago. In terms of assets, Washington gets Josh Howard and Al Thornton, who will have a chance to prove they’re worth keeping around, Cleveland’s 2010 first-round pick, and Sacramento’s 2010 second-round pick (for Dominic McGuire and cash, in the deal that pushed them under the tax line). Next up: Dealing with Gilbert Arenas and the $80 million he’s owed over the next four seasons.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

If I'm Grunfeld, I hold onto Ilgauskas as payback for the Cavs not ponying up Hickson in the Jamison deal. Seriously, they got the Kings to do the dirty work while they gave up almost nothing to get Jamison. There's gotta be some karmic balance somewhere.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

If I'm Grunfeld, I hold onto Ilgauskas as payback for the Cavs not ponying up Hickson in the Jamison deal. Seriously, they got the Kings to do the dirty work while they gave up almost nothing to get Jamison. There's gotta be some karmic balance somewhere.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 10:01 AM

Agreed and I we know you meant the Clippers.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 19, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It is kind of stunning to think that the only significant player back for this team next year will be one Gilbert Arenas.

I'm really surprised that apparently no team took a run for Miller. He's an ideal 6th/7th man for somebody. If I were a contender, I'd overpay to get him even if for just the playoffs.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 19, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"I'm really surprised that apparently no team took a run for Miller. He's an ideal 6th/7th man for somebody. If I were a contender, I'd overpay to get him even if for just the playoffs."

The Wiz like him and apparently entertain fantasies about re-signing him this summer. And it's unlikely that any contending team would offer attractive enough assets to make it worth the Wizards' while. He's already an expiring contract so (unlike Jamison), it would have taken more than a deal built around cap space.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

There's gotta be some karmic balance somewhere.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 10:01 AM


Maybe equilibrium is found this summer when LeBron leaves Cleveland to play for the Knicks (with Arenas). ;-)

Posted by: Firuz1 | February 19, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

"How will the wizards market the team to the fans?"

Easy, they don't. They should revert back to the early to late 90s and market the OTHER team's stars.

"Come purchase wizards all-star package featuring the leagues top allstars: Wade, Kobe, Durant, Melo"

Posted by: Havemercyplz | February 19, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

on the prev comment - the Sixers aren't talented.. newsflash

I don't blame EG for everything. He's made some good moves - some questionable ones (both Caron trades come to mind as one good one bad, the Jamison trade being decent). I think the re-signings were def strongly backed by the owner at the time so lets keep some perspective. He's really been a victim of some terrible luck. And as the business goes - luck plays a large portion in your success/failure. He's culpable for sure, but not completely the blame, just partial.

He says we have the ability to improve - which of course is obvious b/c there isn't much more room to get worse.

Yes they have a lot of money to spend and some draft picks. But who wants to sit here and watch a bunch of young guys get their heads smashed in every night? I mean honestly. You can't win. Losing isn't fun. Lebron and Wade most likely stay with their current teams. Will the Wiz be a top destination for a Bosh or Boozer or Stoudemire, etc? who knows. But just one of those guys on this roster with their present young guys, their new young draft picks and Gil still isn't scaring anybody.

The biggest problem here is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. No direction is visible. There are a lot of question marks and there isn't anyone on the current roster that you look at and say he's a real keeper. They could turn over the entire roster in less than year. This is not the way to win. When are they going to win? how many years? They peaked at mediocrity. Their losing ways for the past 30 years is tiresome to watch and hard to root for.

also - yes the team name, colors and logo all suck and need to be changed. When I think of DC I don't think of Wizards, elves, and trolls.

Posted by: unkonchus | February 19, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

No, I would not hold on to Z to spite the Cavs. What I would do though is bargain hard with Z to see how bad he wants back to the Cav's.

"Zurunas, you like the Cavs, you like that deal, huh', let me make you an offer you can't refuse. Take this 1 mil and we'll call it even.

Will Zee walk for 1 mil? Hah! Hah! Maybe 2. It would be Auerbach like if Ernie could get Z to walk with 2 mil back to Cleveland.

Wizards get last laugh for change. Huh!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 19, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

What do you think our chances are to get Haywood back? Would he sign here? Would EG go after him?

Posted by: leopsan | February 19, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse


OMG...still with the Haywood love?

oy Vey!

I am looking for McGee to have another good night.

Posted by: Blurred | February 19, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Given McGuire getting traded he is virtually assured of being the next Ben Wallace!

Only partly kidding on that .. truth be told maybe a good business move, but hate to see him go. He was one player that laid it all out there on the floor and had a great attitude.

Posted by: boblas | February 19, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

EDIT:

Make that "(and, this season, over the luxury tax threshold)"

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Kal,

I know it's hard for you to read a person's whole post but what part of the following don't you understand?

Entering the day, the Wizards were about $500,000 above the luxury tax penalty, but by moving McGuire's $825,000 contract to the Kings, they moved under the tax line - and made another $4 million. Teams that don't pay the luxury tax actually receive a dispersal check from the pool of money from teams that pay the penalty.

Isn't that "THIS SEASON"?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Abe's legacy was he never was willing to go over the "LUXURY CAP" to give the Wizard fans a championship.

He prefered to take the money from the clubs who are.

If the Cav's win a championship this year just remember the Pollin family is going to get 4 million.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't think you guys understand...Ernie was the face but he had specific orders with this ownership group. He has proven to be fearless and skilled. See the trades this summer and at tht deadline. There are not many better than him at being a GM. Now we do have some talent evaluation issues. We should have never drafted Nick Young. or Blatche for that manner. They are just too immature for the team that they were joining.

Posted by: jtrob_1 | February 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Ernie hold as much weight as everyone else. Just like the players job is to play, the coaching job is to teach, Ernie's job is to construct a winning team.

Did he do that, NO! My issue is that we knew this before the 18th of Feb. We knew it before last year. We gave a shoot 1st point guard too much money when we knew that he was not interested in making the players around him better (ie. PASS THE BALL). To his credit, when he looked to pass he saw lesser players such as Stevenson ( = a guy who had 1 good year in Orlando), young guys who just were not ready. And then Antwan and Caron.. ( guys who were capable of carrying the team at times, but did not share his 'me 1st' playing style which had to create conflict between the 3)

I type all that to say (and I could go on and on and on...) The organization as a whole failed to create a completive team. The only ones who are currently part of this organization who I can not put equal blame on are Flip (just got in town...) and McGee (just his 2nd yr)

On the positive side, we are on the right track. Under the cap for next year and have a few players under contract for next year (Al Thornton?, McGee, Young???, Blatche??,). We also should have a top 5 draft pick (if creative maybe we could do a 'Portland'... flip 1 top 5 pick into 2 early 1st round picks).

Is Ernie creative enough to take us from cleaning house to playoff team? I am worried, based on his past in NY and current DC track recorded.

Posted by: fishin41 | February 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

There are not many better than Ernie at being a GM.

Posted by: jtrob_1 | February 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I would say there are at least 16 GM's(teams that made the playoffs) that did a better job then he did.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Our best player to a team in our division... great job EG.

Posted by: horace1 | February 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

If I'm Grunfeld, I hold onto Ilgauskas as payback for the Cavs not ponying up Hickson in the Jamison deal. Seriously, they got the Kings to do the dirty work while they gave up almost nothing to get Jamison. There's gotta be some karmic balance somewhere.

That's right. I guess this is a little fly in the oinment the Cavs never expected. Blah, ha ha

Posted by: thecomedian1 | February 19, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

We should have never drafted Nick Young. or Blatche for that manner. They are just too immature for the team that they were joining.

Posted by: jtrob_1 | February 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Going back to the 2007 draft, with the full benefit of 20-20 hindsight, who in the first round should EG have taken instead of Nick Young? Seriously, who?

Blatche was a second rounder! You don't get regrets with second rounders who actually contribute.

Posted by: EdDC | February 19, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"I know it's hard for you to read a person's whole post but what part of the following don't you understand?"

The part where not a single solitary word of it does a single thing to make this . . .

he (Pollin) never went over the cap to try and win a championship!"

. . . even remotely true.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"Abe's legacy was he never was willing to go over the "LUXURY CAP" to give the Wizard fans a championship."

Nice try.

There is no "LUXURY CAP" genius. There's a "salary cap" and a luxury tax." No wonder you can't mount a coherent argument. It's hard to make a point when the meaning of the very words you use escapes your comprehension.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"Going back to the 2007 draft, with the full benefit of 20-20 hindsight, who in the first round should EG have taken instead of Nick Young? Seriously, who?"

Take your pick:

Rudy Fernandez, Aaron Brooks, Aaron Afflalo, Carl Landry, Marc Gasol

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It is kind of stunning to think that the only significant player back for this team next year will be one Gilbert Arenas.

Posted by: SteveMG | February 19, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Howard might be back and Thornton might turn out to be significant.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

You're right, though, the cupboard will be pretty bare.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 19, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Blatche is officially the best 49th pick in the draft of the past 30 years.

compare his stats to all the others. I did it in August and he has passed the 2nd place 49th pick - Haywoode Workman - already this season.

Doesn't mean he is great, but he was a great pick at 49.

Posted by: Blurred | February 19, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Our best player to a team in our division... great job EG.

Posted by: horace1 | February 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

None of the teams with which we traded are in our division. Cleveland is in our conference, though.

Posted by: Blurred | February 19, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Our best player to a team in our division... great job EG.

Posted by: horace1 | February 19, 2010 10:39 AM

we're in the "sucks dogs balls" division right now, so it doesnt matter that much who we trade vet players too

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Gil will be in a Wizards uni next season, might as well get used to that. Look at the economics of the nba right now, nobody is taking on his salary for at least another year

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I think Ernie has done a pretty good job since he got here. He put together a team that made it to the playoffs four times. This year, things didn't work out (that happens sometimes), so it's time to reboot. I like the moves he's made. Josh Howard may have screwed things up for himself in Dallas, but he can still play, and he's better at the defensive end than Caron was. Singleton and Ross are actually pretty decent players, too. I'm not sure where they're going to play Thornton, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have a guy who can score like that coming off the bench. It would have been even better if Ernie could have gotten Dallas or Cleveland to take Mike James, too, but their GMs are too smart for that.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 19, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Our best player to a team in our division... great job EG.

Posted by: horace1 | February 19, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Cleveland is not in the southeast division notwithstanding, trading with the Cavs is a two-way street. Cleveland fans could reasonably argue that their front office betrayed them by helping the Wiz get under the cap to POTENTIALLY land a big free agent.

Posted by: Firuz1 | February 19, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Grunfeld won't be retained by Leonsis.

Ernie quite simply failed to make the most of the assets he acquired to put together the best team.

It was clear 3 years ago that despite the scoring from the big three that this team didn't play enough defense and was not strong enough inside to be a contender.

Instead of using Butler, Arenas or Jamison as potential trade pieces to settle on a bit different but more effective product on the court, he simply stayed pat and tried to massage things around the edges with the acquisition of players like Foye and Miller.

A top GM would have seen this was a team that needed a shakeup and gotten greater value for some of the pieces here when circumstances were more favorable.

Having to deal players in a firesale is rarely a time when you get value.

Posted by: leopard09 | February 19, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

if you're team stinks and you dont avoid the luxury tax thus saving your employer a few million dollars...you should be fired. Kevin Mchale said as much last night as the crew discussed every sorry team in the league trying to move under the Cap.

but yeah, the Pollins and EG are just being cheap

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Gil will be in a Wizards uni next season, might as well get used to that. Look at the economics of the nba right now, nobody is taking on his salary for at least another year

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 11:28 AM

You might be right, but it's far from a certainty as there are more teams with money to spend than there are big-name free agents. I still think the Knicks might come a-callin' this summer (especially if he's not in a prison uni).

Posted by: Firuz1 | February 19, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Going back to the 2007 draft, with the full benefit of 20-20 hindsight, who in the first round should EG have taken instead of Nick Young? Seriously, who?

Blatche was a second rounder! You don't get regrets with second rounders who actually contribute.

----------------------------------------
Here is a short list --

Jared Dudley, Forward, Boston College
Wilson Chandler, Forward, DePaul
Rudy Fernandez, Guard, Spain (to Portland)
Marc Gasol, Center, Spain

Posted by: jtrob_1 | February 19, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Grunfeld could have gotten someone to take James, if he'd been willing to take on salary attached to a mediocre player, which is all anyone would have likely offered for him. James' expiring deal is more valuable to the Wizards than any of the scrubs they could have traded him for.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

For the sake of argument, let's just say that AB and JM develop into solid but not spectacular nba starters. A tall, long, frontcourt that plays D, hustles, and has good hands.

Wouldnt that put the team in a very good position with a top5 pick on the way, 3-4 other picks in the next 2 seasons, and "stuck" with an all-star talent in Arenas?

There's no reason to think in terms of wallowing in the basement for years.

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"There's no reason to think in terms of wallowing in the basement for years."

Yes there is: History.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Yes there is: History.

Posted by: kalo_rama

which history? recent history would be that ernie assembled a competitive team and for various reasons it didnt work out. Is it beyond the realm to think another competitive team can be assembled within a few seasons, that may or may not work out?

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"Going back to the 2007 draft, with the full benefit of 20-20 hindsight, who in the first round should EG have taken instead of Nick Young? Seriously, who?"

Take your pick:

Rudy Fernandez, Aaron Brooks, Aaron Afflalo, Carl Landry, Marc Gasol

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

OK, I'll trade Young for Fernandez or Brooks. Maybe Affalo as well, since he can shoot. Good ones!

Marc Gasol and Carl Landry were second rounders, so it would be hard to expect EG to make that kind of reach. But it does raise a good point: it would be good for the Wiz to use both of their high second rounders rather than selling them as the Wiz will be tempted to do.

Posted by: EdDC | February 19, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"which history?"

The history of NBA rebuilding projects in general. Teams that embark on the path the Wizards are taking (i.e., starting from scratch, building through young talent and the draft as a foundation for possibly luring a big name FA) generally go through several years in the wilderness before finding the light at the end of the tunnel. Assuming they ever find it at all.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

"Marc Gasol and Carl Landry were second rounders, so it would be hard to expect EG to make that kind of reach."

Nope. You said:

Going back to the 2007 draft, with the full benefit of 20-20 hindsight

That means basing the decision based entirely on what we know about the players today, regardless of what we knew about them then. What we know today is that Landry and Gasol are highly productive big men of the kind any team would take over a guy like Young.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Hanging on to Arenas is a shrewd move. He could easily have a career year next year. He's played only half a season on that knee and so now has extra time to rehab it fully, and we all know that it is his "zero" reputation (2nd rounder etc.) that is the fuel that drives him. Since he is now more "zero" than he's ever been, I'm sure even now he's absolutely Jonesing to get out there and prove everyone wrong again.

The issue is whether Flip can check his ego and system for a year (since the Wiz are going to be terrible anyway) and can agree to let Gil off the leash next year to freelance and rack up big numbers, so we can see his trade value soar and maybe start shopping him around this time next year.

Posted by: ArchieTambo | February 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"I would say there are at least 16 GM's(teams that made the playoffs) that did a better job then he did.Posted by: bulletsfan78"

So that means that in 2006, when the Celts finished with 24 wins, there were sixteen or seventeen GMs in the NBA who were smarter than Danny Ainge. But then the next year they won a championship and Ainge was suddenly the smartest GM in the whole league.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Entering the day, the Wizards were about $500,000 above the luxury tax penalty, but by moving McGuire's $825,000 contract to the Kings, they moved under the tax line - and made another $4 million. Teams that don't pay the luxury tax actually receive a dispersal check from the pool of money from teams that pay the penalty.

Why didn't they keep McGuire he was young?"

"I love it because Abe's legacy will always be he never went over the cap to try and win a championship!"

I agree. If I was the owner or GM of an 18-win team, I'd give up $4 million and a 2nd round draft choice in order to keep a former 2nd round, 3rd tier bench player on the roster. Apparently, that's the formula for winning championships.

Posted by: psps23 | February 19, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

So that means that in 2006, when the Celts finished with 24 wins, there were sixteen or seventeen GMs in the NBA who were smarter than Danny Ainge. But then the next year they won a championship and Ainge was suddenly the smartest GM in the whole league.

You can't use logic or try to use sense with someone who has none. I mean come on...78 had a full mid-season slurpfest on Petrie from Sacremento and what has Sacremento done in the last 7 years?

I'll wait.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 19, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"We also should have a top 5 draft pick (if creative maybe we could do a 'Portland'... flip 1 top 5 pick into 2 early 1st round picks). "

Well, let's see who's going to go Top Five. John Wall, of course. Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech. Either Evan Turner or Wes Johnson, or possibly both. DeMarcus Cousins looks like a strong candidate. Maybe an outsider like Aminu of Wake Forest or one of those really tall European jump-shooters. At one time you might have put Ed Davis in that group, but not now.

See a game-changer in that group? Wall, probably. Is there a Tyreke Evans?

You could draft a really good player who contributed right away and still not get much impact in terms of victories. Wall is the sort of player you can build a club around, but is there anybody else?


Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

When Grunfeld said that the team doesn't necessarily have to spend the cap space this summer, he is really saying that the team will not be spending any money the next few years and that it will be constructed with a bunch of minimum deal players to fatten up Irene's pockets.
That lady must throwing out parties left and right celebrating all the savings..

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 19, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Because that's who you're going to be looking for -- a club that will give up too much in the hope of getting a game-changer.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

When Grunfeld said that the team doesn't necessarily have to spend the cap space this summer, he is really saying that the team will not be spending any money the next few years and that it will be constructed with a bunch of minimum deal players to fatten up Irene's pockets.

Or he could be saying that throwing a max contract at someone this year isn't going to make the Wizards good next year. Just right back to mediocrity.

You can't win with some people. You want the tema blown up...BOOM.

Now it's okay they won't spend money...they're cheap.

I would much rather them let Nick, Dray, McGee, Thornton, and Foye play along with the 4 picks next season with Gil, and go after Durant in 2011.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

All these trades around the league -- only a few of them are about basketball. The Cavs wanted Jamison to help put them over the top. The Wiz wanted to get rid of Jamison for purely business reasons.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 19, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Big Z is already paid for 52 games ,what he needs is to be paid for 30 games.He has to give up a minimum 50% of the payment to buy him out.The wiz are not getting any advantage like a cup space in the negotiation so he will loss money.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 19, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

You could draft a really good player who contributed right away and still not get much impact in terms of victories.

-------------------------------------------

I agree with this statement!

Posted by: jtrob_1 | February 19, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

grunfeld said publically that the pollins were running the wizards.. enuf said
Having to deal players in a fire sale u r just looking to cover ur ass.hey grunfeld got us into this.. that part is easy, the hard part is getting out of it.
the marketing/PR people over at Verizon are doing a good job of confusing the issues. Maybe Wash Post in on it too.

Posted by: horace1 | February 19, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

ILgauskas suffered with the Cavs since 97 and then has to take a bullet, so to speak, for the Cavs to pick up Jamison just as the title comes clearly into focus. I hope he gets back to Cleveland this season, Washington is currently on a shake down cruise, just playing for a lottery pick at this point, not really in need of Z's services. In fact he'll just get in the way of JM's audtion.

When EG talks about the free agent market and says, "You might be able to save your powder for the following summer." I have to agree with those who are hearing the suggestion that Durant is in their sites. As noted by others, of all the headliner talent, he may be the only one interested in playing in Washington.

EG needs to assemble a viable cast of supporting players and still maintain cap space, making Washington an attractive possibility for a Durant homecoming.

Posted by: midlevex | February 19, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I would much rather them let Nick, Dray, McGee, Thornton, and Foye play along with the 4 picks next season with Gil, and go after Durant in 2011.

Posted by: SDMDTSU

YES!! That is what I've been thinking too. The Durantula is the one mega-FA who maybe, just maybe, would come home for the right price even if it doesnt look like the ideal situation.

Which is also why I've been thinking that if AB and JM pan out to be just solid, you add in some top5 talent, a few other picks, plus GA...and there's no reason the team cant think postseason next year and make DC look like an attractive organization again especially with a new owner to wash away the current stank

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

There's only one guy that is worth max money that would even consider coming here within the next year or so and that's Durant. Get a nice lottery pick this year and shoot our wad next year on Durant.
By 2011 or 12, we're a top 5 seed.

Posted by: original_mark | February 19, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

what's ABs contract status?

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"I love it because Abe's legacy will always be he never went over the cap to try and win a championship!"

This statement is patently false, and it is false on these grounds. BF78, you act as if the ONLY component necessary to win a championship is to spend as much money as you can, even if you don't have it.

The Danny has disproved it, the Knicks have disproved it.

What is more upsetting is how your statement is patently classless. Abe had his share of faults as an owner. Well, he's gone now. And the team will no longer be in his family in the near future. Please leave him and his memory, whether good, bad or ugly, in peace.

There is enough dirt over his grave, you don't need to kick any more.

Posted by: mabkhar | February 19, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I think AB is undeer contract for 2 more years reletively cheap. Maybe 3.5 million?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 19, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Mike, nice job on covering the trades - except for one thing...

You might want to post a correction/update on the supposed Sacramento pick we got. More than likely, we are not getting a pick. According to RealGM.com, the pick is top 41 protected, and we get zippy in future years even if the protection kicks in - which it almost certainly will.

Ernie or his assistant should have told you. I hope you give them heck.

Posted by: Giveussomehope | February 19, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I actually hope the Wiz don't get the first pick. I've watched Wall this year and he looks like he will be a really good ball player, but they need a point guard who will run the offence, not be the offence. I like Scottie Reynolds out of Villanova. I think for all the hype Wall is getting, Reynolds is better suited to lead an NBA team.

Posted by: ronjon629 | February 19, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

what's ABs contract status?

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

go to Hoops Hype salaries Wizards.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 19, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I taught Mello is also a free agent after 2011.There will be more team oriented players in market after 2011.The young center in Atlanta might not be happy with the contract extension,CB3 might opt out in 2012(i am not saying he is coming here).
In 2012 OC will be in a difficult situation to give extension to three potential all star level players(durant,green and the point gard),when there is money on line good things can happen, there is no need to rash on any of the 2010 bigs.Wade and James are not looking here, I will not even try to take a shoot to get the toronto forward here&,Boozer is old , i think EG is right.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 19, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Tiger Woods did what he had to do. It's over.

Posted by: Firuz1 | February 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"YES!! That is what I've been thinking too. The Durantula is the one mega-FA who maybe, just maybe, would come home for the right price even if it doesnt look like the ideal situation."

Why? Why would he leave an Oklahoma team that is quickly climbing the ranks and has been built with the specific purpose of supporting him to join a Wizards team that, come 2001, will still be clawing its way out of a deep hole?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Oops, make that "come 2011" . . .

To say nothing of the fact that, assuming the Thunder haven't already signed him to an extension by then, Durant will only be a restricted FA in 2011, with the Thunder having the option to match any other offer he receives (which they undoubtedly will).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

"Abe's legacy was he never was willing to go over the "LUXURY CAP" to give the Wizard fans a championship."

Nice try.

There is no "LUXURY CAP" genius. There's a "salary cap" and a luxury tax." No wonder you can't mount a coherent argument. It's hard to make a point when the meaning of the very words you use escapes your comprehension.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Abe's new legacy according to kal...

"Abe's legacy was he never was willing to pay a penny of luxury cap money to give the Wizard fans a championship."

I know it's hard for you to accept that I've been right about this organization for all of these years!

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 19, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to consider:

The current CBA expires after next season, and every indication is that the new one will be a lot less max-money friendly for player contracts. If Durant waits until 2011 a new deal (with anyone), that deal would likely end up being signed under the new CBA (and after the almost certain lockout), which could result in him losing millions of dollars compared to what he would make if he signed a max extension before his FA time hits.

Bottom line, regardless of whether he values money or winning, the Thunder can and will offer him more of both than the Wiz will be in a position to.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Why? Why would he leave an Oklahoma team that is quickly climbing the ranks and has been built with the specific purpose of supporting him to join a Wizards team that, come 2001, will still be clawing its way out of a deep hole?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 2:38 PM

Mama's home cooking?

DC is a superior market to Okl and it's his hometown, kid grew up in the shadow of RFK for heaven's sake. Who knows what the financial situation will be in Okl come 2011 either. Point being, of all the guys out there, he's the singular one that is worth making the offer to AND could possibly accept given the right circumstances.

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah, blah.

You said Abe's "legacy" would be that he never went over the "luxury cap" (Jesus, you can't even get something that simple right) and then, in the very next breath, you castigate his heirs for dumping salary for the sole purpose of . . . getting below the luxury tax, the very same thing you claimed his "legacy" would damn him for having never done in the first place.

Congrats. You have accomplished the nigh-anatomically impossible feat of talking out of three different sides of your mouth at the same time.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Not to harp on the past but EG surely cited a lot of injuries. he clearly felt they were no excuse for Eddie jordan.

I think Eddie's offensive brain has to get a lot of credit for the Jamison, Butler and Arenas. folks wonder where butler's game went and why was he forcing things. Maybe you should ask Flip why he did not create opportunities for Butler.

Posted by: oknow1 | February 19, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Why? Why would he leave an Oklahoma team that is quickly climbing the ranks and has been built with the specific purpose of supporting him to join a Wizards team that, come 2001, will still be clawing its way out of a deep hole?

Well, I dont know the dude personally but a case could be made for a hometown advantage. I know that if I was a baller and I had a chance to play for a team I grew up idolizing and the money was the same everywhere I would strongly consider it.

I'd leave the NO Saints for the Redskins, for example, if they were both paying the same. And who's to say that by the summer of 2011 we dont have Wall, AB, JM on the verge of the playoffs?
I think we have a legit shot.

Posted by: original_mark | February 19, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you should ask Flip why he did not create opportunities for Butler.

Because Rogue Agent Caron did it for himself.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 19, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"DC is a superior market to Okl and it's his hometown, kid grew up in the shadow of RFK for heaven's sake. Who knows what the financial situation will be in Okl come 2011 either. Point being, of all the guys out there, he's the singular one that is worth making the offer to AND could possibly accept given the right circumstances."

So he's going to (A) leave money (a lot of money) on the table and (B) take a serious step back in moving towards contention . . . so he can play pickup games in his old H.S. gym? Come on. Please. To quote Mark Jackson, "You're better than that."

Durant hasn't lived in D.C. for half a decade now, and he doesn't appear to be suffering from such crippling homesickness that it's affecting either his game or his life. And any of his homeys that he misses, he can fly up on to OKC on a private jet.

This isn't the 1950s, when a couple hundred miles distance could be a world away. Athletes at Durant's level don't walk away from money and winning just because they want to "go home." The last one (and only one in semi-recent memory to do anything close was Marbury when he left Minnesota to go to NJ. And that (A) had more to do with his ego not being willing to accept being second fiddle to Garnett and (B) didn't work out so well for him.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"I know that if I was a baller and I had a chance to play for a team I grew up idolizing and the money was the same everywhere I would strongly consider it."

Except the money's not the same everywhere. OKC can offer Durant more money on a max contract than any other team. That's one of the advantages of having his Bird rights (and the difference is even greater if he sings an extension before the end of next season and the expiration of the current CBA).

"I'd leave the NO Saints for the Redskins, for example, if they were both paying the same. And who's to say that by the summer of 2011 we dont have Wall, AB, JM on the verge of the playoffs?
I think we have a legit shot."

And who's to say we will have that?

And come 2011, OKC will have already been in the playoffs at least once (this season) and probably twice (this season and next). Don't see any logical reason he'd leave that for a team that MAY be "on the verge" of the playoffs.

Again, if it's money, OKC can offer more. If it's winning, they can offer more. If he misses his old house, he can have it airlifted to OKC.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and ask the Cleveland Cavaliers how much the "hometown advantage" is putting their minds at ease right now.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"I would say there are at least 16 GM's(teams that made the playoffs) that did a better job then he did."

I would agree.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Arenas will not be back in 2010-11.

I guarantee it.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's worry about who will come here in 2011 until at least the end of this season. Lots can change in 18 months.

Maybe Javale/Blatche becomes the power duo of the new decade. Maybe there is a season long lockout. Maybe Durant (I am not wishing for it, just saying it could happen) has a debilitating injury. Maybe grunfeld gets fired here and hired in OKC.

No one has a clue whether Z will ever play here this season, so to speculate about 2 seasons from now is just silly.

By the way...is there a game tonight? I got out of synch with the schedule over the all star break.

Posted by: Blurred | February 19, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's worry about who will come here in 2011 until at least the end of this season. Lots can change in 18 months.

Maybe Javale/Blatche becomes the power duo of the new decade. Maybe there is a season long lockout. Maybe Durant (I am not wishing for it, just saying it could happen) has a debilitating injury. Maybe grunfeld gets fired here and hired in OKC.

No one has a clue whether Z will ever play here this season, so to speculate about 2 seasons from now is just silly.

By the way...is there a game tonight? I got out of synch with the schedule over the all star break.

Posted by: Blurred | February 19, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"Why? Why would he leave an Oklahoma team..."

Precisely because it is an Oklahoma team. The bigger question, why pick Washington when he could go to any NBA market, including NYC and LA?

That's where the argument loses traction though some think his remarks about enjoying playing in front of Washington fans is the reason to hope. The other arguments against his signing in DC, his restricted status in 2011 and the new CBA contract, are hard to refute.

One thing about Durant, he may be on the cusp of becoming a big enough star to start pulling down more money in endorsements and non NBA salary income, freeing him somewhat to choose preferred locale over salary.

Posted by: midlevex | February 19, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

We'll be heading out in a little while for the game tonight. Looking forward to seeing the new-look Wiz...especially McGee. And with the best of all scenarios last night---- the Nuggets having to go to overtime but finally winning, I'm seeing an upset in the Wizards immediate future. Should be fun.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 19, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

'Oh, and ask the Cleveland Cavaliers how much the "hometown advantage" is putting their minds at ease right now.'

It doesn't hurt. In fact your argument for Durant staying in Oklahoma is on some level counter intuitive to LJ's possible exit from Cleveland, though Durant's FA status and the team option is a sticking point.

Posted by: midlevex | February 19, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"Why? Why would he leave an Oklahoma team that is quickly climbing the ranks and has been built with the specific purpose of supporting him to join a Wizards team that, come 2001, will still be clawing its way out of a deep hole?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 2:38 PM"

The same reasons that Lebron would think about leaving a Cleveland team that is quickly climbing (or has climbed) the ranks and has been built with the specific purpose of supporting him to join a Knicks team that, come summer 2010, will still be clawing its way out of a deep hole.

Sure, there are plenty of reasons either of them might not do it, but the notion is not far-fetched.

Posted by: psps23 | February 19, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Thinking about doing it and actually doing it are two different things aren't they? Check back with me when Lebron is actually playing in NY.

Also, the argument I was responding to was one that said, specifically, that Durant would leave OKC for DC because of the irresistible lure of "going home." Lebron leaving Clevlenad (his "home") to go somewhere else actually works in favor of my point (which is why I brought Lebron up in the first place).

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"It doesn't hurt. "

The fact that Danny Ferry is pissing his pants at the prospect of James leaving says, quite clearly, that it doesn't help, which is, of course, the crux of my point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

One other thing on the Lebron situation, something I would think would go without saying . . . D.C. is not NYC. I assume most people will understand what that means.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 19, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

and Oklahoma is Oklahoma no matter how you slice it. Quite possibly the single least appealing place for a young, black superstar to live.

Posted by: divi3 | February 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"Lebron leaving Clevlenad (his "home") to go somewhere else actually works in favor of my point (which is why I brought Lebron up in the first place)."

The greater point behind the singular aspect of "coming home" is that Washington is a more attractive destination than OKC, independent of current franchise status and contract size capability. Included in that is the "home" aspect, but it extends beyond that -- including market value.

Your point was that the lure of coming home isn't enough to eschew the extremely favorable situation of playing for a successful team that has been built specifically for a certain player while also being able to offer more money than any other team. That may be true. But that argument doesn't hold the same water when speaking on the lure of a bigger market.

Lebron leaving Cleveland for a less successful franchise in a larger market like NY would provide direct evidence against your point.

And that's assuming the Wizards are still a joke with little to no prospects next season. There's still a very real possibility the Wizards improve their future prospects significantly within the next year. Arenas is seen as dead weight right now (and rightfully so), but he's still a talented athlete, and he's still under contract with the Wizards. Say the Wizards land a top 5 pick, hit on the selection, and Arenas returns with 22/7/4 averages. That gives the Wizards 2 top-level teammates with which to lure a stud FA with a max contract, along with whatever other assets the team has (Blatche, McGee, 3 other draft picks in 2010, other FA pickups, etc.). Is it really that far-fetched to consider Washington a legit destination for a premier FA? I certainly don't think so.

Posted by: psps23 | February 19, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

is the same guy saying we can't sign durant the same guy who told me the clips wouldn't trade us thornton? to quote KG "anything is possible." That OKC team could look totally different by the time KD hits FA. They have a lot of young guys who thet'll have to renew to keep that team together. Losing a jeff green,sefalosha, or westbrook for any reason (trade,injury,FA) could affect KD's decision process when the situation arises. It's really too early to say where he is or isn't going. I think we'd have a shot either way. Even on the money end. I mean Gil took less money from the wiz than the clips offered him on his first deal here. i mean i know that's Gil, but come on. If they aren't a championship contender and a playoff mainstay by the time KD hits FA i think he'd have a tough decision if the wiz had the bread. once again way too early to try to predict where people are moving in the next 2 yrs.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 19, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

What does a protected second round pick actually mean?

Posted by: 1bmffwb | February 20, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

In Ernie we Trust.

Posted by: free5 | February 21, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

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