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Wizards' morning brew: the Celtics come to town

The Washington Wizards will put their two-game winning streak on the line at home on Monday night against the suddenly reeling Boston Celtics, who lost their third straight game, 90-89 at home to the Lakers. The Celtics have yet to lose four straight; the Wizards have yet to win three straight this season. Something's gotta give.

In Monday's Post, Michael Lee takes a look at the Wizards' improved bench play.

Elsewhere, Mike Prada of Bullets Forever wraps up Saturday's game against the Knicks, where Mike Miller getting aggressive happens.

Speaking of Saturday's game, highlights courtesy of NBA.com below:

Around the League ...

Bethlehem Shoals of Fanhouse weighs in on the ill-timed Nike ad that features LeBron, Kobe and some gun language.

There were nine games on Sunday, with plenty of notable performances. There was Kevin Durant dropping 45 on the Warriors, the Cavaliers scoring 46 in the first quarter and rolling over the Clippers, and Amare Stoudemire scoring 36 in the Suns' overtime win over the Rockets. All the highlights via NBA.com's Daily Zap:

By Ed Guzman  |  February 1, 2010; 9:44 AM ET
Categories:  Morning brew  | Tags: Washington Wizards; NBA; Gilbert Arenas; Flip Saunders; Antawn Jamison; Caron Butler; Randy Foye; Andray Blatche; Boston Celtics; Kobe Bryant  
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Next: Wizards trade rumors: McGrady, Haywood updates

Comments

Wizards Faithful:

This is the month that Ernie Grunfeld changes the direction of this team by trading Jamison, Butler and possibly Haywood.

Rejoice and be patient!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 1, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Don't know if the Wiz will get offered anything respectable for what's being asked from them.

If I could get a 1st rounder for AJ I would do it. A pick as far back as Clevelands, they would have to throw in Hickson though. It's just painfully obvious that the team is not improving with AJ as the "Bell Cow" and stating he is the best they have is just trying to put a ribbon on some sh@t.

Did anyone see Wesley Johnson of Syracuse Sat. (that spin move and dunk) That kid is nasty! Tall, long wing span, can shoot it pretty good, and has the tools to be a good defender. I think that's who we need to have high on our wish list.

Saw Kentucky also. I like Cousins size, but he looks like he could work harder. He also gets mad a lot. (like he thinks his sh@t don't stink) Wizards probably should pass on that at a time like this. We need guys with great work ethic to change the culture.

Posted by: millineumman | February 1, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

(How about we trade DeShawn, Gilbert and Blatche for Labron? We'd have to give Cleveland some money to defray contract cost of Gil. But my gut tells me that LaBron will stay where he's out.)

Posted by: deesy | January 31, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey deesy, that's a great idea! But you know what? I don't think the Cavs would go for it unless the Wiz would throw Fabrico Oberto into the deal. Now, with that added price, I'll bet you are not so sure about that deal, right?

Posted by: EdDC | February 1, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

(How about we trade DeShawn, Gilbert and Blatche for Labron? We'd have to give Cleveland some money to defray contract cost of Gil. But my gut tells me that LaBron will stay where he's out.)

Posted by: deesy | January 31, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Some people should be permanently banned from posting!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Wizards Faithful:

This is the month that Ernie Grunfeld changes the direction of this team by trading Jamison, Butler and possibly Haywood.

Rejoice and be patient!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 1, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

melodious_thunk,

I hope you're wrong the last thing the Wizard fans need is for Ernie to screw things up worse then he already has.

I would prefer that the team remains as it is until the new owner buys the team and brings in his own GM.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 1, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"The Celtics have yet to lose four straight; the Wizards have yet to win three straight this season. Something's gotta give."

Michael, I'm not sure that's really what you wanted to say. If both teams were on win streaks or both teams were on losing streaks, that might make more sense. However, the way you've phrased it, nothing is "going to give" at all. Both patterns will hold true. The Celts will win, maintaining their streak of not losing 4 straight, while the Wiz will lose and maintain their streak of not winning 3 straight.

Posted by: Matte | February 1, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

+1 bulletsfan78, the last thing we fans have is faith in Ernie Grunfeld.

Unfortunately, Ernie is in-place as GM and he is a cornered dog who will make a move to save his job. Ernie has to have something to point when making his case to the new ownership group that he should continue-on after the Pollins have left. Let's hope that he won't be around this summer to blow another draft.

Posted by: closg | February 1, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Ernie has to have something to point when making his case to the new ownership group..

Posted by: closg | February 1, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

closg

He does...the ETaps hiring...a 19 win season last year...not a single draft pick in the starting 5...bad trades and free agent signings...and let's not forget what a joke this season has been?

A resume like that should get him fired.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 1, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

ESPN is now reporting that Grunfeld is talking to Houston about trading Butler/Haywood for McGrady who's got an expiring $23 million contract.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/rumors/post/McGrady-could-move-to-Wizards?urn=nba,216796

Strange how a single incident with Gil makes the franchise decide to throw out every one of its babies with the bathwater.

Haywood is having the best year of his career, and just where do they think they're going to get a 7' center who puts up his numbers unless they pay an extraordinary amount.

Caron and Antawn are hard to replace in my opinion.

I never understood this kind of general managing where the formula they have hasn't worked, so every single positive on the team gets thrown out, as if the grass is always better wherever you're not.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Re Ernie,

If you have screwed up in your job for years, and you get a new boss, can you win your boss over by spending tens of millions (buying out Gilbert and taking on contracts other teams do not want) undoing your mistakes? Gee, that would have to be one forgiving boss!

I hope the Wiz start collecting draft picks, even if it means adding some awful short-term contracts of lousy players as part of the salary-balancing deals. But I can't imagine that would save Ernie's job, unless he is locked into some serious long-term money. Even then, it is a tough call. Ted (hopefully) may want a fresh start.

Posted by: EdDC | February 1, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Wizards Faithful:

This is the month that Ernie Grunfeld changes the direction of this team by trading Jamison, Butler and possibly Haywood.

Rejoice and be patient!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | February 1

You folks who want to get happy about the prospect of the Wiz trading away all their players might want to think twice. As bad as you might think THIS team is now, once these lopsided trades start happening, this team is going to be worse than any expansion team in history. At least expansion teams get to pick the players they want. But after Butler, Jamison, Arenas, Haywood, Miller and Foye are gone DON'T CRY ABOUT THE LACK OF TALENT ON THE ROSTER! It is going to be REAL UGLY here in D.C. for 5-6 years before they can turn this disaster around! As one well-known local sportscaster used to correctly say: BEFORE you scream "Off with their heads!" you need to have some good heads to replace them with! Be careful what you ask for--you just might get it!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | February 1, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

A resume like that should get him fired.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 1, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

You forgot that he's been blaming it all on a dead man and many delusional on this blog gave him credit for a couple of good trades but when it came to his bad moves, it was "all Abe's fault"!

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 1, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

You folks who want to get happy about the prospect of the Wiz trading away all their players might want to think twice. As bad as you might think THIS team is now, once these lopsided trades start happening, this team is going to be worse than any expansion team in history. At least expansion teams get to pick the players they want. But after Butler, Jamison, Arenas, Haywood, Miller and Foye are gone DON'T CRY ABOUT THE LACK OF TALENT ON THE ROSTER! It is going to be REAL UGLY here in D.C. for 5-6 years before they can turn this disaster around! As one well-known local sportscaster used to correctly say: BEFORE you scream "Off with their heads!" you need to have some good heads to replace them with! Be careful what you ask for--you just might get it!

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | February 1, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Not sure where you have been the past few months but things have been really bad already. And that's with the 8th highest payroll in the league...

Posted by: Utilityman1 | February 1, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

" "The Celtics have yet to lose four straight; the Wizards have yet to win three straight this season. Something's gotta give."

Michael, I'm not sure that's really what you wanted to say. If both teams were on win streaks or both teams were on losing streaks, that might make more sense. However, the way you've phrased it, nothing is "going to give" at all. Both patterns will hold true. The Celts will win, maintaining their streak of not losing 4 straight, while the Wiz will lose and maintain their streak of not winning 3 straight."


Funny, I was going to say the exact same thing and figured why bother. Thx for doing it for me.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 1, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

NothingButTheTruth wrote:
"As bad as you might think THIS team is now, once these lopsided trades start happening, this team is going to be worse than any expansion team in history. At least expansion teams get to pick the players they want. But after Butler, Jamison, Arenas, Haywood, Miller and Foye are gone DON'T CRY ABOUT THE LACK OF TALENT ON THE ROSTER! It is going to be REAL UGLY here in D.C. for 5-6 years before they can turn this disaster around!"
___________________________________

My sentiments EXACTLY. Booting Caron, Jamison, Haywood, Miller, Foye, etc. will put the Wiz in a place where it will take MANY years to find equivalent talent at prices they are willing to pay.

What a bonehead move. They have a new coach this year with an entirely new system. They've been plagued by injuries, and then Gil does something stupid and they toss everyone out, like that is the solution. This team has A LOT of talent that other clubs are drooling over. It's extremely difficult to put together a roster like we have now.

So let's become something worse than an expansion team for the next decade. If they do this, I may as well just find another team to watch. IDIOT Grunfeld!

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Regarding whether to keep some players or just start over, this site is useful:

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/washington.htm

A lot of these guys are going to be free agents soon. I imagine that not many of them are thrilled with the Wiz at this point. So you are going to lose them anyway. So get draft picks while you still can. Sure, you can try to re-sign BH, but he will be unrestricted.

You do have Antawn for two more seasons after this. However, he is getting older, and is better suited to a veteran team capable of winning now. He is less valuable to the Wiz (since they are going nowhere), so a trade is clearly in order.

Posted by: EdDC | February 1, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Independent11

So you would prefer "Wait till next year " again?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 1, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Haywood is having the best year of his career, and just where do they think they're going to get a 7' center who puts up his numbers unless they pay an extraordinary amount."

Aside from the fact that BTH isnt very good....he's a full blown FA after the season and will get more money than our sorry franchise should possibly pay a guy his age as we're looking at a few years (minimum) of lousiness. So it makes no sense to pay anyone not named Durant much money.

Mcgee is cheap, young, and a 7 footer. I'm glad to see that EG is trying to move haywood now and get Mcgee serious minutes for the rest of this lost season

Posted by: divi3 | February 1, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Foye can be kept, he's a restricted FA. Miller wont get paid much anywhere, he's injury prone. But he might want to leave here, and you cant blame him.

Obviously Arenas' fate is far and away the biggest factor, so until that outcome is known....

Posted by: divi3 | February 1, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,
So they trade these guys assuming they wouldn't stay anyways. Considering trading Caron and Haywood for McGrady, whose contract is expiring, leaves them in a position they can't even LURE equivalent talent to the team, because there will be no talent here to entice them.

That's the problem. If you think it will be hard to convince Caron, Miller, Foye, Haywood to stay -- so Grunfeld trades them for expiring contracts -- imagine how hard it will be to get anyone else to come here. Those guys might stay if they could use the saved money from Gil's and Mike James' contract to sign other big talent. Then all of the sudden, Washington becomes a contender.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

bulletsfan78,
I'm not saying they shouldn't make some trades to fine-tune, or if they know someone with an expiring contract WILL NOT resign here. In that case, trade.

But to clear house completely leaves the Wiz in a position that no players will want to come here, no players will want to stay here, etc.

Frustration over injuries and a new system is not a reason to start over completely.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"But to clear house completely leaves the Wiz in a position that no players will want to come here, no players will want to stay here, etc."

Let's say the Rockets trade happens- does TMac suit up and starting playing 38mins a night? That would seem to be counterproductive.

I'd be happy to see:

Foye
NY
AJ
AB
Mcgee

as the starting lineup for several weeks, with NY taking 10+ shots every night and JM allowed to play through mistakes.

Posted by: divi3 | February 1, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

lol..yeah, it's obvious things will get worse before they get better, but that is when hopefully you get lucky in the draft or sign a FA that really changes the fortunes of your franchise as GA did a few seasons ago. Unfortunately, the recipe we got on this team right now is stale and not working. What the hell we going to miss? Mediocrity at best with plenty of losing mixed in. It's over for this group. Done. Toast. Time to move on and inject new blood and hopefully new life into the franchise in the near future.

As far as EG is concerned, bulletsfan78, is once again on his bull horn spouting nonsense. One, you better have a really good hire on tap if you fire EG bc he is a very good GM. Two, the resigning of the "Big 3" was Pollin's wish as opposed to when they were originally brought here which was EG's decision that took us to the playoffs four straight seasons. Three, every pick EG's had here has been late first rounders or second rounders due in part to his success at putting a good team on the court with the exception of this year when he turned the 5th pick in a very weak draft into two very solid pros. Unfortunately, the go-for-it-now mentality spurred on by the dying Pollin has crashed and burned leaving the team in full on rebuild mode once again. A job that EG already did pretty well once here and in two other cities.

He would do just fine doing it again as he is the best GM we've had when it comes to trades and I think his eye for talent in the draft is pretty solid as well. From what I read on this past draft, EG was interested in Tyreke Evans and Griffin only in this past draft. When he couldn't get either one, he bailed. Blatche is best second rounder of his draft, which may or may not be saying much, but still. McGee, touted as the steal of his draft and he still may be in a couple of years. He has the tools, but does he have the brain. NY talented if not erratic. I think if the rest of the team was solid and professional (not all goofballs) around him he might prosper. Ship him to the Spurs and he'll either completely flounder or prosper. Anyway, point being EG drafted a lot of talent and drafted needs. Some pan out and some don't as with all GM's draft picks. It's not like he picked Kenny Green with the 3rd pick in the draft.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 1, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

TO add: when you see they are looking at a deal to trade Caron/Brendan for Tracy McGrady only because McGrady's contract is expiring, then they've lost serious talent, and haven't improved, and they've made Washington an unattractive place to play.

If they were to trade Caron/Brendan for some serious talent with several years left, then one can say they've improved or at least kept the franchise attractive to other prospective players.

But to just try to clear the roster completely, so they can start from scratch, is like taking a shotgun, placing it in your mouth, and somehow pulling the trigger twice.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"You forgot that he's been blaming it all on a dead man and many delusional on this blog gave him credit for a couple of good trades but when it came to his bad moves, it was "all Abe's fault"!Posted by: Utilityman1"

Actually, a certain type of 'bad move' almost has to be motivated by the owner, simply because so much $$ is involved. Something like the Kwame Brown/ Caron Butler trade is relatively simple because Jordan was already history and the owner had no personal investment in Kwame. But a decision like signing Gilbert and the others to those big contracts is something no rich owner is going to leave in the hands of an employee. Too much money at stake.

Really bad big-dollar decisions are ultimately made by owners, not employees. Witness the Redskins.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 1, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"My sentiments EXACTLY. Booting Caron, Jamison, Haywood, Miller, Foye, etc. will put the Wiz in a place where it will take MANY years to find equivalent talent at prices they are willing to pay."

Caron - obvious he is tired of playing for the Wiz - body language, production etc....

Jamison - an aging professional veteran who deserves a chance at a title and not to be saddled trying to carry this franchise to mediocrity at best.

Haywood - under different circumstances (the team actually performed well this year) I might have tried to keep him around, but he will be too expensive and too old to keep him around for a rebuild.

Miller - left Minnesota bc he was sick of losing...lol. Think he is going to resign here? Not. Love his game though. Probably highest basketball IQ on the team. Love watching him read plays whether it's to make a pass, get a rebound, or whatever his head is always in the game. Put his head on McGee or NY and you got an all-star.

Foye - I would try to keep, but not at an outrageous price.

The point is this team is toast whether you like it or not and getting either cap space or draft picks is the only move to make at this point. Unless you want to maintain mediocrity at best for the next 5 years. I would rather tank then surge ala the Caps, OK Thunder etc....

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 1, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Look at it this way, if the Haywood/Butler trade happens, which I can't see why it wouldn't, McGee gets to play a lot of center for the remainder of the year. Hopefully, he learns something bc right now he usually looks lost out there.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 1, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

when you see they are looking at a deal to trade Caron/Brendan for Tracy McGrady only because McGrady's contract is expiring, then they've lost serious talent, and haven't improved, and they've made Washington an unattractive place to play.

Posted by: Independent11

What is to say they dont trade for McGrady and make him their starter at a reduced price that would give him incentive to do good and prove critics wrong that he is no longer a elite player .

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 1, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

rphilli721,
Your entire premise is that the team sucks, so Miller and no one else would possibly want to stay.

So trade Haywood/Caron for a Carlos Boozer or a Chris Bosh. Trade Jamison for someone comparable.

All of a sudden, Miller and others want to stay. Others want to come here and are willing to for less money.

The NBA is a bartering system first and foremost. Don't give away all your chips, and not get anything in return, or you're left with nothing, but Cash, and we know with the salary cap how difficult it is to put a team together with only cash.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"when you see they are looking at a deal to trade Caron/Brendan for Tracy McGrady only because McGrady's contract is expiring, then they've lost serious talent, and haven't improved, and they've made Washington an unattractive place to play."

It's already an unattractive place to play, judging by the paucity of significant FAs that have shown an interest here over the years.

Retooling and tweaking isn't going to matter. This team is fundamentally flawed, and trying to build on a flawed foundation only results in a structure that's likely to collapse from instability. Keeping Jamison and Butler only makes sense if there's reason to think that they'll be key components of the team's eventual turnaround.

The cold hard truth is that they won't be.

Jamison is about 4 months removed from his 34th birthday and while he's playing at a very high level, Father Time is undefeated and will end up winning that battle. His trade value is as high now as it ever will be. Butler will be a FA after next season with almost no chance of re-signing here (why would he?), so what reason is there not to move him while there's interest? Add to that the fact that either his game or his attitude or both appear to have regressed and there's even more reason to strike while the iron is hot.

Will the Wizards get top value in return for either player? Nope. But what reason is there to think that they'll get better value if they wait, either on the court or off? None that I can see. A full-scale rebuilding is inevitable for this team, and there's nothing to be gained by putting it off.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

"So trade Haywood/Caron for a Carlos Boozer or a Chris Bosh. Trade Jamison for someone comparable."

Those deals are simply not going to happen.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

"So trade Haywood/Caron for a Carlos Boozer or a Chris Bosh"

How about Mike James expiring contract for Kobe? Just as likely.

Posted by: divi3 | February 1, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"What is to say they dont trade for McGrady and make him their starter at a reduced price that would give him incentive to do good and prove critics wrong that he is no longer a elite player ."

Other than the fact that he's not an elite player any more (if he ever really was, which is debatable, really)?

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,
So they trade these guys assuming they wouldn't stay anyways. Considering trading Caron and Haywood for McGrady, whose contract is expiring, leaves them in a position they can't even LURE equivalent talent to the team, because there will be no talent here to entice them.

That's the problem. If you think it will be hard to convince Caron, Miller, Foye, Haywood to stay -- so Grunfeld trades them for expiring contracts -- imagine how hard it will be to get anyone else to come here. Those guys might stay if they could use the saved money from Gil's and Mike James' contract to sign other big talent. Then all of the sudden, Washington becomes a contender.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine the Wiz CAN lure new talent to the team. That's why I don't understand the wisdom of taking on McGrady's expiring contract. It frees up cap space, but so what, if no one having any real talent wants to come here.

The Wiz can only build through the draft now, which means they have to trade the vets while they still can and collect draft picks. When you get a core of young talent in a few years, then a talented vet will want to come here.

The Wiz should be through with trying to get respectable. That is like trying for a C. When you do that (in school and as GM) sometimes you get an F.

Posted by: EdDC | February 1, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,
My point isn't that Caron and Jamison should not be traded. My point is they are highly sought. Get something back of value (other than cap space) -- something tradeable, something that gives others incentive to come here at a discount.

Every team faces this same dilemma. The great GMs are the ones who can get an Antawn Jamison for a Jerry Stackhouse. The ones who can get a Caron Butler for a Kwame Brown.

What you don't do is give away two highly sought after players (from everything I've been reading Jamison and Butler are both highly sought after) to start from scratch.

An expansion team offers no incentive for a decent player to come there. Therefore they pay top dollar for every bit of talent they get.

A team with talent can often get others at a discount.

This team has talent it can barter for other talent. You don't have to be the shiny city on the hill, but you sure as hell don't want to start luring players to Siberia. They appear to be opting to begin anew as Siberia.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"My point isn't that Caron and Jamison should not be traded. My point is they are highly sought. Get something back of value (other than cap space) -- something tradeable, something that gives others incentive to come here at a discount."

That's a nice idea, but it's not going to happen. No one is giving up high lottery picks or young players with obvious all-star potential for those guys. The Wizards are dealing from a weak bargaining position and every GM in the NBA knows it.

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

divi3 and kalorama,
I guess it depends how bad Bosh wants out, and whether his team is afraid of getting nothing for him.

Not saying that is the case, but there's a reason that teams often give up more than they get. Sometimes the player isn't going to resign, and the team becomes desperate to get anything in return.

But he might resign in Washington, if they keep some talent, and use his being there to attract others.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,
My guess is that years ago you'd have said "That's a nice idea, but it's not going to happen. No one is giving up high lottery picks or young players with obvious all-star potential for those guys." where "those guys" would be Jerry Stackhouse or Kwame Brown.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"But he might resign in Washington, if they keep some talent, and use his being there to attract others."

In the utterly-not-going-to-happen event that he was traded here, there is absolutely zero chance Bosh would re-sign with the Wizards. Why would he sign on to a rebuilding team that's years away from being seriously competitive? If his bar for success was that low, he'd just re-sign with the Raptors. If he leaves Toronto it'll be to go to a team with better prospects for success. That is not Washington.

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

This is often the problem on this board: people here know Washington's situation better than all the other team's situations. Me included.

They assume "no one would want him for anything of value," just because they wouldn't. Every single team in the NBA is saying the exact same thing about comparable players. Every single team faces this exact same dilemma, and so everyone is resigned to throwing their hands up and saying "just start over from scratch. No one would want Caron, or Brenda, or an aging Jamison."

Good thing you guys are not General Managers, or you'd be certain to have a losing franchise year after year.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"My guess is that years ago you'd have said "That's a nice idea, but it's not going to happen. No one is giving up high lottery picks or young players with obvious all-star potential for those guys." where "those guys" would be Jerry Stackhouse or Kwame Brown."

Apples and oranges

Kwame was a still young big man with upside who was generally thought to have been mishandled in DC. There was a sense that a fresh start might help him achieve his potential. Plus, the Lakers were desperate for a big man and Butler was expendable because they already had Kobe and Odom. It was a gamble, but the kind GMs take all the time on big men. The deal that sent Stackhouse (and a bunch of other players) to Dallas for Jamison included a top 5 pick and a lot of cap space via expiring contracts. Neither of those scenarios parallels trading a 34 year old Jamison with a couple of years left on his deal at $10 mill plus, or a backsliding Caron Butler.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 1, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"a backsliding Caron Butler."

Unbelievable statement! So you've written Caron's career off, because he hasn't taken to the new system, he's down from all the injuries, etc.

Yet, you saw promise in Kwame after all the years he was here?

I see ...

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Other than the fact that he's not an elite player any more (if he ever really was, which is debatable, really)?

Posted by: kalo_rama

Before he hurt his Knee half the experts were comparing him to Kobe

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 1, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are not "every team." This Wiz team truly does need to be blown up and rebuilt.

Look at the Knicks and NJ. They have been starting a new rebuilding process, and are on the road to recovery believe it or not. Watch them rise. Miami is ready to add serious talent this off-season.

In years past, Sacramento and Phoenix blew up their teams and rebuilt on young talent. They didn't quite make it (Phoenix almost did, and would have won it all without Stern's penalty for leaving the bench).

Currently, the Hawks and Memphis are rebuilding with youth. It can be done.

Posted by: EdDC | February 1, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Before he hurt his Knee half the experts were comparing him to Kobe

Posted by: rnorris6

he was kobe without the defense effort, which may as well be Gil

Posted by: divi3 | February 1, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

We gave up Rip for Stackhouse, where Rip was a young up-and-comer and Stack had peaked out. Kwame for Caron was a gamble by L.A. on a big for a player who didn't fit. L.A. parlayed Kwame into Gasol, meaning L.A. got the better in the end. Sure you can make trades, but in the end, once you trade Antawn, Butler, Haywood you will NOT get equivalent in return.

Considering that you trade contracts, not players, Butler and Haywood are on cap-friendly contracts for their skill-levels. That means that they are not being paid true value. You will be trading for contracts/and or players NOT at their level but with similar contracts. The wizards will stink AND have no hope. We will be well below the cap but nobody good will want the money.

You will be looking at a long time of not being competitive. The bright side is this:

We may break the Nets record this year for most losses in a season.

Posted by: G-Man11 | February 1, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

G-Man11,
You are correct about Stack for Rip. Thanks for the correction.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse


Time for Washington to swallow the bitter pill of rebuilding (think Chicago ten years ago) and hope they get lucky (kinda ironic that Chicago got the first pick in the draft AFTER they went through their really sucky period). You've got to have luck and the Wizards have had little of it.
If they can get rid of Jamison and/or Butler without taking on long-term contracts, it's probably the best solution for the organization's future.

Posted by: artiesliver | February 1, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

he was kobe without the defense effort, which may as well be Gil

Posted by: divi3 | February


One big difference McGrady was a leader where Gilbert never was and being a leader you either have it or you dont no one can teach you to be a leader

Posted by: rnorris6 | February 1, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

G-Man,
I take that back. I was right. Jamison got traded for Christian Laettner, Jerry Stackhouse and the draft rights to Devin Harris. http://www.nba.com/mavericks/news/mavs_trade_jamison062404.html

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

G-Man,
Sorry about the confusion. :)

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Even though I think they're making a huge mistake to give all this talent away for free cap space, I still think Ernie has done a very good job here getting exceptional players for stuff we here were placing little value on.

I don't think Ernie can be blamed for the Wizards' woes. They have an exceptionally talented team right now. On paper, most were predicting they'd be one of the top few teams in the East.

This team is cursed with injuries, and nonsense. You can't blame Ernie for that.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

When you think about it, Wes Unseld traded Chris Webber just before he peaked all because he got busted smoking some weed. One of the biggest stars during that era (and I became a huge Sacramento fan after they traded him) and now weed is probably about to become legal. :)

Can you imagine if they traded Babe Ruth (not that Chris was his equivalent) for drinking a beer during prohibition?

That's the kind of GM we had before Ernie.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Cb's+ BH money is not = to TMc's.If we try to send another player it has to be Ds, still the money does not much, Are we going to give up an other 1st round pick for such a useless trade?If we add JC, at least the money will be close but Rockets already have 14 players + TMc for this season, how do you think this trade will work? They said they do not want to take MJ.
Can some one explain to me?
thank you

Posted by: gtefferra | February 1, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

So how many of you masochists are going to watch tonight's game?

Posted by: MeviousMan | February 1, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

trade all of our players for a bag of magic beans

Posted by: G-Man11 | February 1, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'll be there, hoping that the impending Haywood/Caron trade means Javale will get real burn tonight

Posted by: divi3 | February 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Time for Washington to swallow the bitter pill of rebuilding (think Chicago ten years ago) and hope they get lucky (kinda ironic that Chicago got the first pick in the draft AFTER they went through their really sucky period). You've got to have luck and the Wizards have had little of it.
If they can get rid of Jamison and/or Butler without taking on long-term contracts, it's probably the best solution for the organization's future."

Absolutely correct as are Kal's posts. There really is no other option. Clear cap space, get some younger talent if you can (Fernandez, Hickson), and perhaps some later draft picks we could possibly get lucky with. And, although I still seriously doubt it, there is a possibility that Arenas returns next year after a serious mea culpa. The best case scenario there is that with the time away and more rest he comes back even healthier next season and returns to near "hibatchi" level albeit with a far less talented team around him. But, with this scenario, the cupboard is not completely bare for possible free agents. So, you could possibly end up with Arenas, Foye, McGee, Fernandez, Miller, Hickson, a couple of new first rounders with one being a lottery pick most likely. With NY and Blatche still around on the bench. And a possible FA signing! Not the end of the world talent wise and then you proceed from there. That is probably the best case scenario from a rebuilding on the fly standpoint. Remember MJ's contract is off the books as well and DS will probably be gone one way or another. I actually kind of like this scenario the more I think about it.

By the way, no "expert" in his right mind ever compared Tracy McGrady to KB. No way!

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 1, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"Haywood is having the best year of his career, and just where do they think they're going to get a 7' center who puts up his numbers unless they pay an extraordinary amount."

Aside from the fact that BTH isnt very good....he's a full blown FA after the season and will get more money than our sorry franchise should possibly pay a guy his age as we're looking at a few years (minimum) of lousiness. So it makes no sense to pay anyone not named Durant much money.

Mcgee is cheap, young, and a 7 footer. I'm glad to see that EG is trying to move haywood now and get Mcgee serious minutes for the rest of this lost season

Posted by: divi3 | February 1, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse


Tru dat! I guess Independent wasn't paying attention when I listed 20 centers as good or better than Haywood. And not one of those 20 included College players coming out.


Lastly - yes, Haywood is having the bestyear of his career, and I would say it probably will remain the best year of his career no matter how many more years he plays. But beyond that, his best year is still only mediocre.

Posted by: Blurred | February 1, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Haywood is averaging 10 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. It feels like the first season where we've had a significant presence at Center.

I've never seen the guy play with such aggressive determination as he has this year. I think he's turned a new leaf.

Look at his stats just for the last two weeks:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3532/gamelog;_ylt=Ak6xv3yNab_WpLiUxbyw.9acPKB4

He's been having games with like 20 rebounds, 18 rebounds, two games with 15 rebounds, etc. and his scoring is going through the roof.

Posted by: Independent11 | February 1, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

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