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Wizards face Bobcats tonight

Morning brew

The Wizards (17-32) play their last game before the all-star break tonight in Charlotte. In this morning's newspaper, Michael Lee writes about how this could also be the last game they play before a drastic makeover. Caron Butler, the subject of numerous trade rumors, says this disappointing season could have been viewed differently if the Wizards had more success in close games.

Here is Ken Berger's roundup of trade rumors on CBSSports.com.

Antawn Jamison did not make it back to Orlando for practice yesterday after spending Sunday in Miami for the Super Bowl. He was scheduled to join the team today in Charlotte.

The snowed-out Wizards-Hawks game from Saturday has been rescheduled for March 11. That means Washington will play games on three consecutive nights. The team visits the Detroit Pistons on March 12 and hosts the Orlando Magic on March 13. As Michael Lee tweeted yesterday:

Even worse, the Wizards start a 4-game West Coast trip 2 days later. So that's 7 games in 11 days. ... not to me[n]tion a day off on the 14th then back2back out in Utah and Denver on the 15th and 16th

Around the League ...

There were three games last night, highlighted by Vince Carter scoring 48 points in Orlando's 123-117 win over the Hornets.

Highlights of that and more are below, courtesy of NBA.com's Daily Zap:

By Alexa Steele  |  February 9, 2010; 10:38 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wizards-Hawks game rescheduled for March 11
Next: Jamison fined for missing practice

Comments

Does Flip bench AJ for missing practice like he would if it were AB?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

AJ is a full fledged card carrying Veteran. He can't be benched. In this org' only young guys get benched whom don't have their cards yet.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

David Aldridge, NBA.com: "The Wizards' desire to move [Caron] Butler has only increased in recent days, since they found out they will indeed get some cap relief from the NBA this season after losing Gilbert Arenas(notes) and Javaris Crittenton(notes) to suspension for the rest of the season. Washington's cap number will be reduced almost $4 million, according to sources — pro-rated amounts of the remainder of Arenas's $16.1 million and Crittenton's $1.47 million salaries — taking its cap number to a little more than $74 million. The cap threshhold is $69.9 million, meaning Washington could avoid paying tax if it can pare another $4 to $5 million in salaries off its books. That means Butler, though I suspect the Wizards will ask inquiring teams to remove Mike James(notes) and/or DeShawn Stevenson(notes) from their payroll as well. Butler winding up somewhere in Texas is most likely, with Washington probably deciding between Dallas' and Houston's competing offers before next week's All-Star Game. The Wizards are determined to get a young player back, though, and the Mavericks' only non-geezer is rookie guard Rod Beaubois — while Houston has a young guard like Kyle Lowry(notes) and an expiring big man contract in forward Luis Scola(notes) to pair with McGrady's $22 million expiring deal."

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 9, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

AJ is a full fledged card carrying Veteran. He can't be benched. In this org' only young guys get benched whom don't have their cards yet.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with you on this one Larry.
Although Jamison has proved himself in the past, I am convinced that in order to have all players on the same page with the "I have you back" attitude, rules should be the same for everybody on the TEAM (since it stands for Together Everyone Achives More ;-). So either, you bench everyone if they miss practise or you don't bench them. But the present approach of protecting your vets and putting your young players in the dogghouse is unacceptable. You have to rely on them someday (very soon with the trade deadline coming up)when your vets are gone.

Posted by: Goelez | February 9, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Well, lets hope so Goelez, that would be a coaching technique long overdue here.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I absolutely love how Jamison gets a free pass for this. He's led the team to the lottery for two straight seasons, he's the worst defensive player in the league, he's incredibly overpaid, and he won't even get a slap on the wrist because of the collective mancrush on him. It's embarrassing.

Everyone makes mistakes, and I have certainly missed work for staying out partying a little too late, but the lack of accountability is everything that's wrong with the Wizards.

It's a two way street, folks. The attack on Gilbert was based on the idea that you'd be in trouble at your job if you brought guns to work. I don't know your boss, but chances are she'd want to have a word with you if you called in hungover the day after the Super Bowl, especially if you're supposed to be the most important person on your team.

Posted by: bryc3 | February 9, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Wow, can't argue with that bryc3

Posted by: millineumman | February 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Berger: • Another active buyer in trade talks, the Mavericks, haven’t pushed hard for Kevin Martin in their conversations with Sacramento, sources say. That’s an indication that the Mavs are focused on another wing who’d fit their needs – Washington’s Caron Butler. How aggressively the Wizards look to unload contracts as they try to pick up the pieces from Gilbert Arenas’ suspension depends on how a fundamental internal disagreement is resolved. Some elements of the Wizards’ power structure favor “completely blowing it up,” according to one source, while others are holding out for a more patient approach. “How badly does Dallas want Caron Butler?” one rival executive said. “Washington will find out.” The Mavs have not been pushing for Antawn Jamison in their talks with the Wizards, believing they have enough 30-somethings on the roster.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 9, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Berger: • An important factor to remember in trying to decipher the Wizards’ strategy is their ownership situation. Despite a recent hangup in the transfer of power from the family of late owner Abe Pollin to Ted Leonsis, rival executives believe a completed sale to Leonsis is a foregone conclusion. The Wizards have little hope of trading enough contracts to get under the luxury tax, but any savings derived from pre-deadline deals would produce double the benefit in tax payments – a scenario that would appease both the owner and the seller in that transaction.

• If the Wizards take the “blowing it up” route, their exploratory conversations with Houston involving Tracy McGrady would become more serious. But a high-level source familiar with the situation said T-Mac’s best chance to play again this season is in New York, which would willingly take on his $23 million expiring contract if it meant clearing some 2010-11 money off the books. The Knicks aren’t willing to part with anything Houston would want, however, so a third team would need to be recruited. • Miami and Charlotte remain in the mix with the Rockets and Trail Blazers for Wizards center Brendan Haywood. The Blazers continue to steadfastly reject any scenario that includes Rudy Fernandez or Nicolas Batum.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 9, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Sheridan Chat ESPN: Evan (Portland, OR)


The Wizards are greedy. Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake should be more than enough to bring Haywood to Portland. On top of more cap relief, those two players fill needs for Washington. What gives?
Chris Sheridan
(3:34 PM)


Washington wants Rudy Fernandez in a Haywood deal, and the Blazers haven't been willing to trade Rudy because owner Paul Allen thinks he'll be an All-Star one day. But if it gets to the 11th hour and all the Wiz can get is Blake/Outlaw, I think they'd probably do it.

Posted by: anacostia85 | February 9, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Based upon what is said above about tax savings for the new owner if trades put them closer to the cap, I am still curious about this.

In Ted's case the trades being discussed are major decisions for the Team. Why would he want all this being done not on his watch?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"It's a two way street, folks. The attack on Gilbert was based on the idea that you'd be in trouble at your job if you brought guns to work. I don't know your boss, but chances are she'd want to have a word with you if you called in hungover the day after the Super Bowl, especially if you're supposed to be the most important person on your team."

Oh please.

First of all, Arenas was not "attacked" by anyone. That's silly. Second, comparing what Arenas did to what Jamison did is ludicrous. Third, Jamison didn't "call in hungover." Yes, he missed the flight out, but he arrived in Charlotte in plenty time for shootaround and the game. The practice he missed was basically the equivalent of a routine weekly staff meeting. Fourth, I'm sure Flip and or Ernie did, in fact, "have a word with Jamison" so if that's all you're worried about, problem solved.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

a 10% chance of resigning haywood is better than a 3 month rental of blake and outlaw (it's not like center isnt a need position either). there's absolutely no reason to do that portland trade without rudy or a pick. it doesnt prevent the luxtax, it doesnt make the team better and it doesnt help the team in the future.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | February 9, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Fourth, I'm sure Flip and or Ernie did, in fact, "have a word with Jamison" so if that's all you're worried about, problem solved.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Why are you sure? Were you there? NO!

And if they did knowing those two spineless fools probaly kissed his A$$.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 9, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"The Wizards are greedy. Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake should be more than enough to bring Haywood to Portland. On top of more cap relief, those two players fill needs for Washington. What gives?
Chris Sheridan"

That's a terrible deal. Not because they aren't good players; they are. But both of them have contracts that expire at the end of the season, just like Haywood. Now, since Outlaw and Blake make a combined $8 mill and Haywood only makes $6, the Wiz would have to include someone else (Crittenton, Boykins, Young, or McGee) to balance salaries. But in the end, all Washington gets out of that deal is cap space (because it's unlikely either guy re-signs here). They can get that just by holding onto Haywood and letting him walk at the end of the season. They need to get some tangible assets for the future.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I won't be surprised if there is no trade made.
Making a trade just to make a trade makes no sense. There isn't any Labron's or Kobe's that we're gonna get for anybody we have.

This team has talent even without Gilbert. It is gonna take some big time coaching to get them playing each game like they play against the upper echelon. They showed that they can beat the Mav's, Cav's & Magic but they can't beat the Knick's or the Clip's.
That's a coaching problem that needs to be solved. I say keep what we got and if the starters come out flat against the Bobcats sit them. I thought that it was effective the one time that Flip did it. He needs to do everytime.
The Wizzies might be slow but I think that it will eventually sink in that they have to bring it every game.

Posted by: VBFan | February 9, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Plus, Haywood might be inclined to resign with a Leonsis led organization.

Haywood simply isn't a clutz, he is a servicable NBA center and depending on how Leonsis runs this show he could be a nice piece going forward.

Leonsis, and I have no clue to this atall, might change the coach and GM to ones that are more inclined to develop and push their players.

Leonsis could bring the type of environment that would entice players to come or stay here.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"Plus, Haywood might be inclined to resign with a Leonsis led organization."

He's a 31-year-old (when next season starts) journeyman coming off the most productive season of his career, with a shortage of decent players at his position. This could well be the last NBA contract he signs. Why would he commit to spending the rest of his career on a mediocre at best team (and unless the Wizards get very, very lucky, that's what they'll be for the next few years) when there will be actual good teams interested in him?

Leonsis hasn't done anything to give him that kind of drawing powert with players at this point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Again, why would Ted Leonsis want major trade decisions being made not on his watch?

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what Leonsis wants. Until he actually buys the team, he has no say in what deals they do or don't make.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis hasn't done anything to give him that kind of drawing powert with players at this point.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 12:48 PM |

Wouldn't you consider his handling/luck with the Capitals of some influence?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter what Leonsis wants. Until he actually buys the team, he has no say in what deals they do or don't make.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 12:54 PM

True. But, if I were EG and Flip, I might certainly be keeping my eye on the shadow coming through the door and my decisions might be made with that in mind.

Mr. Pollin tendered Leonsis a contract that can only be voided by Leonsis, so it is apparently evident that the Leonsis shadow is coming through the door.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Too bad there isnt more interest in Haywood out there, because what Portland is offering is worthless and there is no way they'll offer up Rudy.

Posted by: divi3 | February 9, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

@VBFan,
I also wouldn't be surprised if no trade went down. Everything else I have to disagree with you on.

I keep hearing "this team has talent"
Caron and AJ could possibly start for another team, everyone else its up for grabs.

They can beat the Mavs, and Magic here and there only because every 5 or 6 games or so they will shoot really well. Every other game thay cannot perform consistantly enough in any facets of the game to be a serious team.

Flip has done well in Minnesota, and Detriot. Both teams with decent rosters but not the best in the league. He did not bring them down. The Wizards have proven how bad they can be before he got here. They have been getting worse and worse ever since Gils injury.

I gotta give Flip more time before call him a bum.

Posted by: millineumman | February 9, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"True. But, if I were EG and Flip, I might certainly be keeping my eye on the shadow coming through the door and my decisions might be made with that in mind."

There's nothing even close to a guarantee that Leonsis will end up being the one to buy the team. That being the case, there's no particular reason for the people currently running the team to act like his ownership is a given. And even if it were, they have no way of anticipating what he would or wouldn't want done.

"Wouldn't you consider his handling/luck with the Capitals of some influence?"

No. Because (A) His handling of the Capitals has yet to pay off big dividends and (B) the NHL is not the NBA. He hasn't accomplished anything that would make a player in Haywood's position spurn offers from good, playoff, possibly contending teams to re-sign with the Wizards.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Portland does look like the best setting for Haywood -- a talented team that doesn't need scoring from the center position. The only problem from his perspective is Oden, if he comes back, retaking the starting job.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 9, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Too bad there isnt more interest in Haywood out there, because what Portland is offering is worthless and there is no way they'll offer up Rudy.

Posted by: divi3 | February 9, 2010 1:08 PM

Portland does not really have to have Haywood. Haywood isn't going to do anything to change their position this year.

Plus, Haywood has all the cards because he doesn't hasn't to stay with whomever he is traded too.

Remember Haywood, isn't like Shaq, where Shag's impact can almost guarantee a legit championship run. Haywood is just a role piece who is a FA at the end of the year.

I would rather see a coach that would want Haywood, Blatche, McGee, and another big all playing together. A different approach could mean everthing.

I envisioned at the beginning of the year that our frontcourt would be an asset for us.

But I had no idea that Flip would try to win by not using our bigs together. I really thought he would move AJ to the three and allow the C and PF positions to be handled by BH, AB, JM, FO, and DM.

Boy was I wrong.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"I gotta give Flip more time before call him a bum.Posted by: millineumman"

Thing is, Saunders isn't a 'bum', and won't be even if you eventually decide to call him that.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 9, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Portland does look like the best setting for Haywood -- a talented team that doesn't need scoring from the center position. The only problem from his perspective is Oden, if he comes back, retaking the starting job."

Oden's very unlikely to come back this season, and even if he does, I could see them keeping Haywood as the starter (assuming he's successful in the role) so as not to disrupt chemistry. It's what they did initially with Przybilla when Oden came back from his last injury. In this case, if Oden does come back, it would be so late in the season that a change would be unlikely.

And it probably won't be an issue going forward, because they aren't likely to re-sign Haywood.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"I would rather see a coach that would want Haywood, Blatche, McGee, and another big all playing together. "

So in that lineup, I'm guessing Blatche would be the PG?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

millineumman
I wasn't calling Flip a bum.
I think he can coach.
It just may take him a while to get this group (not team) "coached up" as an old Skins coach used to say.

Posted by: VBFan | February 9, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll go ahead and call Flip a bum, at least in relation to what I've seen with him this year with this team.

A $5mill/yr coach is supposed to win you a few games through their in-game coaching acumen and as far as I can tell all Flip does is lean heavily on predetermined players and rotations no matter how ineffective they may be on a given night.

Posted by: divi3 | February 9, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing even close to a guarantee that Leonsis will end up being the one to buy the team. That being the case, there's no particular reason for the people currently running the team to act like his ownership is a given. And even if it were, they have no way of anticipating what he would or wouldn't want done.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 1:30 PM

The only thing that will be a surprise is if Leonsis dosen't buy the Team. As it stands now it is a certainty that he will.

The Pollins have infused sentimental value into the selling price. Their value even includes value that Leonsis already owns.

The appraiser will probably come back with a value less that what Leonsis already offered the Pollins. That memo they put out was a weak non-binding attempt to undercut the binding agreement that Leonsis has to buy the Team.

Flip and Ernie would be fools not to consider what his wishes are and if they don't know they better find out.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"As it stands now it is a certainty that he will."

Wrong. Does he have the best chance of doing so? Sure. But that falls far, far short of a certainty. They're currently in negotiations, and negotiations frequently break down and fall through. There is nothing remotely resembling "certainty" about Leonsis' ownership.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"I would rather see a coach that would want Haywood, Blatche, McGee, and another big all playing together. "

So in that lineup, I'm guessing Blatche would be the PG?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 1:41 PM

Lineup? Lineup? Center and Power Forward are the only positions I mentioned for those guys.

I think it is rather obvious that I was indicating that the bigs play those two positions and kick AJ to the three.

I guess it goes downhill from here.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"know they better find out."

They can't find out until he actually buys the team. Until he does they take their orders from the Pollins, not Leonsis. And the Pollins aren't going to turn management of the team over to Leonsis prematurely because, unlike you, they understand the reality of business negotiations.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"I think it is rather obvious that I was indicating that the bigs play those two positions and kick AJ to the three."

I have no idea what you were "indicating" but I know what you said:

"I would rather see a coach that would want Haywood, Blatche, McGee, and another big all playing together."

That implies those three and another big on the floor at the same time. If that's not what you meant, then perhaps you should be a little more precise in your choice of words.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"As it stands now it is a certainty that he will."

Wrong. Does he have the best chance of doing so? Sure. But that falls far, far short of a certainty. They're currently in negotiations, and negotiations frequently break down and fall through. There is nothing remotely resembling "certainty" about Leonsis' ownership.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 1:59 PM

The only negotiation left is the price to come by the appraiser. The Pollins ended negotiation with Leonsis when they did not accept his price.

Once the apprasal price is in the deal is done. The Pollins don't have any further say so in the matter. Ted has all the cards based upon the agreement that was made with Abe Pollin.

Have you checked? I have.

LarryInClintonMD

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 9, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Ted Lenosis, and Lincoln Financial Holdings, certainly will be the owners of the Washington Wizards, Verizon Center, and the operator of the Ticketmaster Franchise for this region.

Trust me..

Posted by: kevenjones | February 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Ted has all the cards based upon the agreement that was made with Abe Pollin."

Unless the appraiser comes back with a price that he doesn't like, in which case he could decide to walk away.

As I said: Does he have the best chance of buying the team? Sure. Is it a certainty? Not at all.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

And, again, it still doesn't matter. until the money changes and the contracts are signed, he is not the owner and cannot make ownership decisions.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

They already own 44% of WS&E..

Only think Mr. Leonsis has against him is that he NEEDS verizon center in order to turn a profit, finally, with the Caps franchise.

Regardless of what happens, worst case scenario is he will match whatever offer is presented but it probably won't come 2 that. But either way, this ain't gettn away from Ted..

Posted by: kevenjones | February 9, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm not denying that he will most likely end up owning the team. But in a business deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars, "most likely" doesn't a damn thing. Until the deal is done and signed off on, there is no deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 9, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

@kalo_rama,

You are 100% correct in what you are saying.

I'm just stating that come hell or high water, LFH will be the owner.

And you are also correct that he has absolutely no say so in Wizards matters until the process is complete..

Posted by: kevenjones | February 9, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

the 3rd appraisal is not likely to settle matters quickly imho, not with $10s of millions at stake

the Pollins should be frantically searching for another russian billionaire wanting to buy into the nba. There's probably somebody over there who doesnt know how miserable the wizards are and would love to own the building Ovie rolls in. Drive up the price.

Posted by: divi3 | February 9, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I am curious how the make up of your roster effects the valuation process. For example are they using a income approach in which case the percieved value of the of the players name effect the value, are they using a balnce sheet approach where assets minus liabilities gives you value, is it a replacement cost approach or recent sale approach. who benifits the buyer or seller with a luxury tax. What percent of value is the salary. this would all make a good case study for some sports management course imo,

Posted by: Rvf0509 | February 9, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I mean at what point do they litigate can a suitor say the decisions being made intentionally devalue the asset and therefore are a breech of contract. man I am getting excited this is good stuff. I hate being snowed in. I have way to much time on my hands

Posted by: Rvf0509 | February 9, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh one more thing did jerry west put together that trade for memphis if so that supports my notion that some gm s just have an eye.

Posted by: Rvf0509 | February 9, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

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