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Can John Wall and Gilbert Arenas work? Yes and maybe


Can we play together? See how easily I can form a Zero? (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


Although Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld continues to act like he hasn't made up his mind about the No. 1 pick, Coach Flip Saunders is doing a terrible job of keeping the choice under wraps -- as if there is much suspense with the pick anyway. In an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Saunders said John Wall "might revolutionize the point guard position because of his athleticism, but he has an extremely intelligent mindset as far as running a team."

Okay, whenever a coach believes there is a guy who might "revolutionize the point guard position," you can mark it down. Before the arrival of Shaun Livingston late last season, Saunders spent a good portion of the year lamenting about his options at point guard. And for someone who has had success working with Stephon Marbury, Terrell Brandon, Sam Cassell and Chauncey Billups, Saunders would obviously love to have the opportunity to work with a special talent like Wall.

While there has been a lot of debate about whether Wall would be able to share the backcourt with Gilbert Arenas -- because Arenas plays the same position -- what often gets overlooked is that Arenas is not, nor has he ever been a pure point guard. He often scoffed when people compared him to other elite point guards like Chris Paul or Steve Nash who collect assists within the flow of the offense, because his natural instinct is to attack and score. And hey, he became a three-time all-star with a nine-figure contract playing that way; he did something right.

Wall has made it clear that he has to have the ball in his hands in order to succeed. Wall added that Arenas would have to move over to shooting guard. He encountered a similar situation at Kentucky with Eric Bledsoe, who arrived as a highly touted point guard and will play that position in the NBA. "Look how me and Eric Bledsoe did. Guys said we both needed the ball, and it wasn't going to work together," Wall said last week in Chicago. "Eric did a great job of not pressuring, not worrying about having the ball. He knew I was going to find him and I was the point guard. And just like that, Eric can score just like Gilbert. So if I go there with that pick, I'm going to find him with the ball. He's a scoring person and he's been in the league for a long time. He's a veteran. He's going to help me out and give me advice while I'm going through the process."

Before establishing a new career-high with 7.2 assists last season -- when Saunders put the ball in his hands 90 percent of the time and made him the primary decision-maker -- Arenas's best assists season came when he averaged 6.3 -- in his second season in Golden State. He averages 5.6 assists over his career because he has often been the best ball-handler on his team. But being able to dribble and set up teammates doesn't equate to being a point guard, just that he was a great player.


People act like you never played with another playmaker before. (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

My point is, Arenas could easily switch to shooting guard and be effective playing with Wall. He was a shooting guard in his two seasons at Arizona. And, when he shared the backcourt with Larry Hughes in his first two seasons in Washington, Hughes led the team in assists both seasons. Arenas actually enjoyed not being the lone playmaker on the team. At times, the responsibility frustrated him last season under Saunders's system.

Arenas became a bigger star and scorer when Hughes left, but that was because he shared the backcourt with Jared Jeffries and DeShawn Stevenson; players who got time on the floor because of their ability to defend.

Yes, Arenas needs the ball in his hands to be effective, but as long as he can trust the man next to him to make plays, he wouldn't need the ball all the time. Defensively, a Wall-Arenas backcourt could lead to some ghastly results, but offensively, it really shouldn't be a problem. And, when you consider that Saunders implemented a two-guard front the final three weeks of the season, the Wizards are already prepared for it.

But when it comes to the league, there is often a lot more going on aside from basketball. The question has to be asked how Arenas would truly respond to having the keys to the franchise -- the ones he drop-kicked last season -- handed over to a 19-year-old with star potential.

Arenas hasn't said much since he was suspended, sentenced to a halfway house or released, but he was seriously shaken by what transpired after David Stern gave him that indefinite suspension. It hurt him so deeply that he decided to change his uniform number from 0 to 6 to represent Jan. 6, his birthday, but also the day his relationship with the organization changed.

His banner on the Verizon Center was pulled down and his jersey was no longer sold at the arena or on the Web site. The franchise was moving on without him and that bothered him. He told those close to him that he didn't want to play for Grunfeld again, felt the locker room situation should've been handled much differently (he would've rather had the Wizards simply let him take the guns home instead of turning them over to the authorities).


I have a lot to think about with this latest comeback. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Now, Arenas might be able to put those emotions behind him. This time away from the game, having his career placed in jeopardy might help him put his situation in greater perspective. Who knows for sure? I know that he has been working out frequently at Verizon Center, trying to get back in shape. While talking about Arenas before the draft lottery, Stern mentioned that he spoke to Arenas and "I think he might have put on a couple of pounds. He's going to work it off. He's going to come back as a very successful member of the Wizards."

But I also know that some of those hurt feelings still linger. If Arenas can accept all of that, and that the Wizards will soon belong to Wall, then this transition shouldn't be a problem. But that is a lot to ask. He's reportedly reached out to Wall already. So that should serve as a sign that Arenas is at least willing to try.

Arenas met with prospective owner Ted Leonsis on Sunday, and while neither side has commented on what happened, you have to believe that he was on his best behavior. Leonsis has already said that he's "predisposed to liking him" and I wouldn't expect Arenas was anything less than incredibly charming, witty and contrite.

This will be yet another comeback attempt for Arenas, and the previous three have been gruesome. He was coming back from injuries before, but now he is coming back from a tarnished reputation and a dumb decision that forced nearly all of his previous antics and behavior to be viewed in a different prism. He has to understand that people can only be so forgiving. I'm sure some have already moved on.

Grunfeld has repeatedly said that he expects Arenas to be back next season, but the one phrase that we have yet to hear is that he actually wants Arenas back. Leonsis may have decided to keep Grunfeld around for now, but that gun incident put nearly everyone within that organization in danger of losing their jobs. The Wizards will certainly listen to any team looking to deal for Arenas, but they realize that with his $80.2 million contract, there is a stronger possibility that he will stick around -- unless some team that whiffs in free agency this summer gets desperate.

In the interim, prepare for a Wall and Arenas backcourt - and everything that comes with it.

By Michael Lee  |  May 26, 2010; 3:31 PM ET
 
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Comments

A great post, Michael. Lots of good information, updates, and opinion. Thanks.

Posted by: joe2chase | May 26, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'd be really surprised if Gilbert played a big role on the Wiz in any future season. Things may have died down in the media, and there's a new owner, but the happy-go-lucky fruitcake of past seasons seems to have gone bye-bye, replaced by, well, somebody with real cancerous qualities. Would you want that guy on your team? Think his teammates want him back (public protestations aside)?

I just hope they can trade Gilbert and don't just release him. Much as I hate to admit it, I'd rather watch Nick Young take those unnecessary fallaway 3 pointers than see Arenas out next to John Wall.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 26, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Arenas is almost 10ys older than Wall, a 3time all-star, and a guy guaranteed to earn $80mill on top of what he's already earned. So let's say he comes in, plays good soldier, and starts to excel in his new role. He's going to step aside for Wall in that situation? No ill will if all the reporters are gathered at Wall's locker after each game?

Sorry, it's just hard to envision all of that going smoothly. Hell, Wall is going to be rookie who should be hazed....dung-boot2.0 on the way???

Posted by: divi3 | May 26, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Main reason it doesn't make sense to trade Gil now:

His trade value has NEVER been lower. Let him play...if he plays well...it goes up. If he doesn't...no change. He still has very little value.

Nobody expects the team to win...so they can stink and if he puts up numbers...his value goes up.

It's a nothing to lose situation.

And I agree with this article 100%.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | May 26, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Gil! Who knows how good Wall will be, I hope great but until the ball is tossed up who knows...so Gil just keep the "keys" until then.

This article like most are trying to say what Arenas is thinking or feeling...gimme a break. IF this team realizes that it matters not who scores or who gets playing time and all that matters is winning, the Wiz will be just fine.

People forget that Gil likes to play but he likes to WIN more. As for Nick Young, I'd make the trade with Philly; Brand & the #2 pick for Young and a second round. Just how bad does Philly want to get rid of Brand? The Wiz need size in the front court (No I don't like Brand, I like the options of the first & second pick) and Brand can provide that. If that "pipe dream" does happen I would hope our next pick is Wesley Johnson from the Orange!

Keep Gilbert...I'd bet many will be willing to embrace Gil when the wiz start winning again...fair weather fans...

Posted by: Gooddad | May 26, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Wall said last week in Chicago. "Eric did a great job of not pressuring, not worrying about having the ball..."

Welcome to the NBA John?

You had 439 FGA's while Eric had 312?

Gil is not Eric and after watching Gil play last year he didn't listen to Flip like Eric listened to John Calipari.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 26, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Gil is not Eric and after watching Gil play last year he didn't listen to Flip

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 26, 2010 4:25 PM

Sure he did.

Flip: Hey Gil, do whatever you want.
Gil: Ok.

Posted by: divi3 | May 26, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Samson, I don't know if his teammates wanting Arenas back will be a significant factor because very few, if any, of his previous teammates will still be on the team next season. It'll likely only be 3: Blatche, Young, and McGee. Young will almost certainly be playing a minor role (and I'm pretty sure no one who matters in the Wiz organization cares what he thinks, anyway). Arenas was MIA for most of the 2 seasons McGee's been here, so they were barely teammates (and, like Young, he's not exactly in a position to command attention with his opinion). The only one who might be an issue is Blatche, and he's not exactly baggage- or issue-free in the eyes of the organization.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I do think a fresh start will ultimately be in the best interests of both Arenas and the team. I also think that Arenas is smart enough to know this and realize that playing the good soldier well and long enough to catch some other team's eye is his best course of action.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Great post, Michael.

I agree that these two could definitely compliment one other on the court, but only if Arenas can mentally and emotionally go from being THE franchise player whom everything else was built around to just a superstar support player for Wall -- whom the franchise now plans to build everything around.

That would be tough for any player of Gil's caliber to overcome. Sure he's made his own bed, but he still has an ego just like all the other top players.

Gil has grown accustomed to seeing his face plastered everywhere, being the talk of the town, and suddenly Wall will be that guy and Gil will be asked to move to another role to accommodate Wall.

The worst thing that could happen is Gil resents Wall and creates an unhealthy team chemistry. You definitely don't want your #1 pick (a guy with Wall's potential) to come into that kind of environment. You want him focused on all the right things.

I really like Gil -- admire his work ethic, and his ability to overcome adversity, his eccentric personality, and especially his talent -- but sometimes I think both he and the franchise might be best to part ways at this point. There's just too much potential for Stephon Marbury-like theatrics with this new change.

Posted by: Independent11 | May 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Leonsis has said he wants another first-round pick. I wonder what he and Ernie would use as a bargaining chip. (Forget the Philly deal for Brand and the #2; that's a pipedream.)

Posted by: zinger1 | May 26, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

zinger1,
Where did you read that? Perhaps that will come in the form of a Gil deal. Trade Gil for somewhat lesser players plus first round pick.

Posted by: Independent11 | May 26, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

What about the workout schedule? Does anyone know where to find out who will be working out with the Wiz and when?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 26, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Good article this is what we need more of! I for one and excited at the prospect of a Wall/Arenas backcourt. It will be fun to watch! I think they could be very good together.

I can see Gil and Wall putting alot of pressure on opposing backcourts at both ends of the floor. Gil may not be great defensively but he is pretty adept at getting steals. Wall is a quick in your grill defender... man I remember this one play at Kentucky where he blocked a 3 pt attempt, caught the ball, then took of downcourt for the dunk!

I like the idea of Wall/Arenas with Thornton/Blatche up front. Thornton has great size and a physical style of play that will compliment Blatche. Both guys can give you alittle bit of everything too.

I'd like to keep Miller as a 6th man off the bench. Can come in at the 2 when we want more size, or at the 3 when we want more of a perimeter game. Again, he can give you a little of everthing, plays hard and moves the ball. The team passing will be great with a Wall/Arenas/Miller/Blatche unit.

I'd really like to keep Livingston as Wall's backup. A true pg, and a guy who is very skilled, gives us some good size at point, and is a good example to Wall as a guy who was a high pick and a young pg in the league. A guy who shows not to take things for granted, and how to work hard to overcome.

I'd love to see us use one of our later picks on Vasquez, a guy who can play both G spots. NY can be good to come in when Gil needs a break, as well as Miller. Singleton is a guy we should bring back also to backup Blatche.

McGee at center, great athleticism and potential. Also can use Blatche there for stretches. This is our main area of need though. I'd like to see us use one of our later picks on Duke C Zoubek, I think he's gonna be a solid pro.

As far as free agents, I think I'd put David Lee at the top of my list. He's a guy you could play with either Blatche or McGee. I love the effort he plays with, and it's a style that can be contagious. A Lee/Blatche/Thornton frontcourt has size, physicality, rebounding, and can score and get up and down.


Wall, Arenas, Thornton, Blatche, Lee.

Bench: Livingston, Vasquez, Young, Miller, Singleton, McGee, Zoubek.

Posted by: Darnell1 | May 26, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just to be clear, I was referring to workout schedule for potential draft picks.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 26, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zinger1 | May 26, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Darnell, why would the Wiz draft Wall, retain Livingston and then use a 2nd rounder to draft Vasquez? Are you of the Vinny Cerrato school of drafting - take as many guys as you can at one position and then pray that one can play?

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | May 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks zinger. I read that before, but somehow missed that part.

Posted by: Independent11 | May 26, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the post Michael, I like it for the simple fact that it really knocks down what that other guy wrote last week (that got all that press) about the Wizards looking to trade or buyout Gil's contract. It was utter fiction.

Anyway, Michael wrote (he (Gil) would've rather had the Wizards simply let him take the guns home instead of turning them over to the authorities)

I wish the Wizards would have done this as well, however, I understand why they couldn't. People have big mouths and we found that exact thing out a few days after the incident with Peter Vecsey story in the New York Post. However, after that the Wizards organization could have avoided some of the hurt feeling on Gil's part by not being so public in distancing themselves from Gil.

However, that's over now and both parties need to move forward if they want to win.

I think Wall will help Gil because Wall will help take some of the focus off of Gil and Gil will help Wall by taking some the focus off Wall. It's win win and I'm looking forward to next season.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | May 26, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Re:
starters: Wall, Arenas, Thornton, Blatche, Lee.

Bench: Livingston, Vasquez, Young, Miller, Singleton, McGee, Zoubek

Lee would be a great player to get.

Personally, in that lineup I think Miller should start and Thornton should come off the bench. Miller is a fabulous player who contributes in so many ways.

As far as Livingston, I doubt he'd want to sign with the Wiz. I got that impression at the end of the season when he was asked about it. He didn't sound in the least bit interested in coming here.

And I'd guess after his impressive stats with the Wiz he'd like to use that to spark the interest of teams where he wouldn't be backup to two huge talents like Gil and Wall. He'd probably prefer to be in a situation where he could earn a starting role. That absolutely couldn't happen with Gil and Wall on the roster.

Posted by: Independent11 | May 26, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Leonsis has said he wants another first-round pick. I wonder what he and Ernie would use as a bargaining chip."

Since they've got a ton of cap space, they could use that as a lure, taking an unwanted contract (although not Brand's) off a team's hands in exchange for a pick. It also depends on who they plan on drafting with the other pick. If there's a big man they really like, I could see them using Blatch or maybe McGee as an asset. Other than maybe Thornton, they really don't have much else in the way of bait.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

For as much speculation that Arenas will poison the team with resentment about being pushed aside, let me offer equal speculation from the opposite perspective.

Gilbert has always thrived as the underdog. He performs his best when he's out to prove something to everybody.

He's got an undesirable contract, a history of knee surgeries, and a tarnished reputation. If that's not enough, he's got John Wall breathing down his neck.

People will begin to dismiss Arenas, and just as they do, he may start bearing down and working to prove himself all over again. He may not recapture the "keys to the franchise," but he's got 2-3 years to prove himself as valuable so that he can be traded or get another contract on a quality team.

By the time he's gone, John Wall will be of drinking age and will have the chance to step forward as THE premier point guard in the NBA.

Having both of them on the team at the same time could possibly help Wall's development. with the ability to share some burdens and responsibility, he can focus as much on development as he will "winning."

Posted by: crs-1 | May 26, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Gil is not Eric and after watching Gil play last year he didn't listen to Flip

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 26, 2010 4:25 PM

Sure he did.

Flip: Hey Gil, do whatever you want.
Gil: Ok.
Posted by: divi3 | May 26, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

What evidence do we have that Gil didn't listen to flip?

If anything, gil was listening and trying too hard, trying to take on all the pressure of flip's system, which lead jamison (and even flip at one point) to tell him to just relax and play his game.

Posted by: crs-1 | May 26, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Everybody deseerves a 2nd chance to gain the trust back to the DC community people can be mad at him but he didnt hurt nobody . I like to give this a year try. Because if u can have a back court of Wall and Arenas thats intriguing. And maybe interest a certain Cleveland player. With room to sign to big free agents . with miller, thorton singleton and howard along with blatche and mcgee this team is the most athletic out of any team interested in lebron. If Ted lenosis wants to make a splash he would do it . having both MVP Lebron and Ovie would be epic. This could all work

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | May 26, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

^^ Gil's dad!

Posted by: bobabuie | May 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Once the Wiz draft Wall, he immediately becomes the cornerstone of the franchise. It'll be up to Arenas to adjust to Wall, not vice versa. If he returns to his disruptive ways, see ya. I'd go into camp w/ Arenas as a back-up guard to spell Wall and whoever is the 2. If he's good enough to earn that 2 position, so be it. He really needs to come back and prove himself, not just be handed a starting slot.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 26, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

nothing worse than a $100 million athlete, convicted felon, happened on your property, pouting and not playing team ball.

Posted by: comhendbear | May 26, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Gil might actually welcome Wall as the team's centerpiece and (future) leader. He never really seemed to embrace that role. If Wall is willing to assume it Gil can go back to being the irreverent (but deadly) goof.

Posted by: doogiex | May 26, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"might revolutionize the point guard position"

-- but hey, no pressure!

Posted by: doogiex | May 26, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Great article, Mike. It's almost as if you read our posts and purposely answered a lot of our questions.

Gil + Wall is potentially the best guard combo in the league if we play an uptempo game...ON OFFENSE.

Posted by: original_mark | May 26, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Man I just am picturing Wall driving the lane, kicking it left to Gil on the perimeter, Gil drives and kicks across to Miller who throws a bounce pass in to Blatche who flips it over his shoulder to a cutting Arenas for the one handed slam!

I'm telling you, put Miller and Blatche with Wall and Arenas and it's gonna be some fun ball movement to watch!

Posted by: Darnell1 | May 26, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Gil doesn't have much choice but to come back and do all that he can to fit in whatever way he needs to.

If he comes in with "any" attitude he is just gonna hurt Gil.

If he comes in and does above and beyond then he'll be a valuable asset to the Wizzies and any team needing his talent to put them over the top and maybe get himself a new shoe contract.

It's all about the $$$$$'s.

No one will consider him if they think that he's still the "goofball" that he was.

It's all on you Gil.

Posted by: VBFan | May 26, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

absolutely YES. i think having another GOOD guard will allow gil to take some pressure off himself and simply used his scoring talents when the ball comes his way. i think his passing will get better as will his decision-making. why? i think one of the reasons he's been so flighty is that he doesn't really know how to handle pressure. having someone else handle the ball will make him a better player and better teammate. imho

Posted by: dcjazzman | May 26, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Gil really hasnt had a good G with him since Hughes. Daniels, Dixon, Hayes, Jeffries, Stevenson, Young. Defenses have been able to focus on Gil. Wall running the team takes all the over-thinking away for Gil, he can just play.

Posted by: Darnell1 | May 26, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

i could be wrong, but i don't think vazquez has pro-caliber skills. desire, yes, but neither the skills, nor the athleticism.

Posted by: dcjazzman | May 26, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Mike I could have saved you a long column by simply writing this:

ONLY if Gil moves to the 2 and listens to his coaches. Otherwise it ain't gonna work.

I think Gil will be here one more year and then he's gone.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | May 26, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

This is easily the best group of posts I've read on the WaPo-
1. Staying on the subject
2. No one called anyone else an idiot
3. No one was called out of their race
4. Exchanging ideas and theories with disagreement, but no contempt.

I came here to run my mouth (Fingers?) about the article, but ya'll pretty much said all that needs to be said.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | May 26, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

For as much speculation that Arenas will poison the team with resentment about being pushed aside, let me offer equal speculation from the opposite perspective.

Gilbert has always thrived as the underdog. He performs his best when he's out to prove something to everybody.

He's got an undesirable contract, a history of knee surgeries, and a tarnished reputation. If that's not enough, he's got John Wall breathing down his neck.

People will begin to dismiss Arenas, and just as they do, he may start bearing down and working to prove himself all over again. He may not recapture the "keys to the franchise," but he's got 2-3 years to prove himself as valuable so that he can be traded or get another contract on a quality team.

By the time he's gone, John Wall will be of drinking age and will have the chance to step forward as THE premier point guard in the NBA.

Having both of them on the team at the same time could possibly help Wall's development. with the ability to share some burdens and responsibility, he can focus as much on development as he will "winning."

Posted by: crs-1 | May 26, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I fully agree with crs-1 and hope Gil can resurrect his name and game along side of Wall, too.

Posted by: MDterpfan | May 26, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

why does everyone think that a Gil-Wall back court would be awful on defense. Sure, Gil hasn't been that consistent over the years, but Wall looks to be a top tier defender for years to come. Is it the size issue? Shouldn't be - Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas were both under 6'3'' - Dumars was a great defender, Isiah was so so. The Bad Boys still won 2 Championships.

Posted by: roundabout | May 26, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"Leonsis has said he wants another first-round pick. I wonder what he and Ernie would use as a bargaining chip."

Since they've got a ton of cap space, they could use that as a lure, taking an unwanted contract (although not Brand's) off a team's hands in exchange for a pick. It also depends on who they plan on drafting with the other pick. If there's a big man they really like, I could see them using Blatch or maybe McGee as an asset. Other than maybe Thornton, they really don't have much else in the way of bait.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

It would be absolutely stupid to trade Blatche, who has proven that he can score and recound with the top tier 4's in the league. If Blatche and McGee were 33 and 30 years old like Jamison and Haywood it would make some sense to trade them.

Secondly, lets let John Wall mature and learn the game before he's annointed the next coming of the Messiah. It would do him and the organization well to have a player of Gilbert Arenas's skill set to take the pressure off of of a 19 year old first round draft pick. Just like Rajon Rondo it will take him a couple of years to learn the game and become a respectable enough shooter that he can have the maximum impact on the game. Additionally, his height at 6'2' (and lack of a consistent jump shot will neccesitate that at money time you put the ball in the hands of Arenas). A smart coach would also use his rotation so that Arenas could spell Wall at the point and not have the huge dropoff that we had with a Boykins or Foye.

With the additon of an athletic small forward, to replace the role player Mike Miller,(Say Rudy Gay) and the continued maturation of Blatche and McGee, this team could easily make the playoffs next year.

The bottom line is Arenas is so talented and dedicated to the game of basketball that you ride him out for a year to see what he's got.

Posted by: NewManagement | May 26, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"Gil + Wall is potentially the best guard combo in the league if we play an uptempo game...ON OFFENSE.Posted by: original_mark"

Yeah, maybe the NBA could pass a rule eliminating defense and everybody could play Paul Westhead style.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 26, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

"He told those close to him that he didn't want to play for Grunfeld again, felt the locker room situation should've been handled much differently (he would've rather had the Wizards simply let him take the guns home instead of turning them over to the authorities)."

Just read the above and thing about what it says about Gilbert Arenas.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 26, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Josh Howard, anyone? Don't forget this guy. He can play. Yes, renegotiate his deal, but keep him.

Posted by: joe2chase | May 26, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Understatement of the year:

"he [Arenas] would've rather had the Wizards simply let him take the guns home instead of turning them over to the authorities." Yeah, ya think?

Also, glossed-over issue of the year:

"Defensively, a Wall-Arenas backcourt could lead to some ghastly results, but offensively, it really shouldn't be a problem."

Yeah, no doubt, man. I think offensively it's near perfect and near unstoppable, but I've been wondering nonstop how they'd deal defensively... and no one addresses it. Gil has played off the ball successfully with Jason Gardner (UA), Hughes (GS and DC), and Antonio Daniels (DC). And with age and his knees, he'll be becoming more of a shooter anyways. That should be no problem. But what are they going to do when the Lakers come to town? (Or anyone else with a big strong 2).

Posted by: Urnesto | May 26, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Agree that Gil will welcome not having as much pressure on him at this time. Last year he mentioned everyone speaking of his contract, the knee and all. To have all the attention on Wall, I believe, will be like old times where he could just concentrate on playing and not all the media attention. Especially, after his suspension and all.

Posted by: washwiz | May 26, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"Just read the above and thing about what it says about Gilbert Arenas."

All it really says is that he has a skewed view of how things work in the real world which, let's be honest, makes him no different than most big money pro athletes.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

"Josh Howard, anyone? Don't forget this guy. He can play."

He could play before he got hurt. When and how well he'll be able to do so again is a big unknown, and rebuilding teams have no business giving guaranteed money to a 30+ year old with a history of injuries and question marks hanging over his head (and his knee).

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

why does everyone think that a Gil-Wall back court would be awful on defense. Sure, Gil hasn't been that consistent over the years, but Wall looks to be a top tier defender for years to come. Is it the size issue? Shouldn't be - Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas were both under 6'3'' - Dumars was a great defender, Isiah was so so. The Bad Boys still won 2 Championships.

Posted by: roundabout | May 26, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

roundabout

The guys who will play behind Gil and Wall aren't the same as the guys who had Dumars and Isiah back.

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | May 26, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"It would be absolutely stupid to trade Blatche, who has proven that he can score and recound with the top tier 4's in the league. If Blatche and McGee were 33 and 30 years old like Jamison and Haywood it would make some sense to trade them."

The only thing Blatche has proven is that he can put up big numbers on a terrible team if he plays almost the entire game and shoots most of the shots (and that that still isn't enough to stop him from complaining about his role and his paycheck). He's no more proven himself to be a top tier player than guys like Zach Randolph or Shareef Abdur-Rahim did when they put up meaningless big numbers on a terrible teams all those years. People make an issue of Arenas having never proven he can be productive in a secondary role. Well, Blatche has never proven that either, and if both John Wall and Arenas are on this team next season, secondary is the best he could hope for, and he was largely ineffectual (and disinterested) during the 4 1/2 years he played a supporting role on this team.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

There are no untouchables on a 23 win team.

None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Keeping Gil is a big gamble because of defense, but that's not my biggest concern. Mostly I'm concerned about chemistry issues involving Wall ... you so rarely get opportunities to groom a franchise player, and you only get one chance. Cleveland did a great job with Lebron, the Wiz did a terrible job with Kwame Brown. I just don't want to have Gilbert around having any negative affect on Wall -- we need to surround Wall with guys like Jamison, not Arenas.

If you can get a reasonable offer I think Gil should to be traded. Keeping him is just not worth the risk.

I like David Lee as a starter alongside Blatche. I'd consider a trading Gil for David Lee and Wilson Chandler, if you can't get a more top-tier guy.

Posted by: jimwest20 | May 26, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

i think the real question is...can washington and arenas work?

get rid of the thug already!

Posted by: deadskin | May 26, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Gilby is not a catch and shoot kind of guy. He creates his shot whether it's a drive to the basket or a stop and pop.

If you take the ball away from him, that means he's not going to be the playmaker he was hoping to evolve to.

Also, Gilby's got knee problems, and won't be cutting and running through screens like he used to...nor will he be guarding big SG's effectively.

With that, Gilby could turn into an Albert Haynesworth and refuse to play SG and ask to be traded.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 26, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

There are no untouchables on a 23 win team.

None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 10:14 PM

Wrong. AB is untouchable and will be given the full opportunity this season to become a foundational player for the team. Might as well get used to it.

Posted by: divi3 | May 26, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

"he [Arenas] would've rather had the Wizards simply let him take the guns home instead of turning them over to the authorities."

But he couldn't take them home, remember? He brought them to MCI to keep them away from his newborn ;)

The truth is, Arenas is on the precipice of losing his career. No one wants him, or we wouldn't be stuck with him. He has already lost $50 mil in endorsements, and the only opportunity to the play the game he loves - and, frankly, the only thing he knows how to do aside from incriminating himself in tweets and pooping into shoes - is hanging by a thread. He better do whatever he's told, or he'll be an E-spn True Hollywood Story in no time. He has absolutely no credibility with the organization, the fans or around the league. His only shot at redemption, and a half-court heave at that, is to work hard and be a consummate pro & team guy the remainder of his NBA years

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 26, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"Agree that Gil will welcome not having as much pressure on him at this time. Last year he mentioned everyone speaking of his contract, the knee and all. To have all the attention on Wall, I believe, will be like old times where he could just concentrate on playing and not all the media attention. Especially, after his suspension and all.

Posted by: washwiz | May 26, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse "

It doesn't matter if the Wiz draft Wall.

Gilby still has his max money contract and if he get 16pts and 3 assists/game, he will probably be treated like how Juwan Howard was treated.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 26, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Fantastic article Mike. Great info. Thats the kind of inside stuff that counts.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 26, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SammyT1 | May 26, 2010 11:18 PM

Before you start writing his riches-to-rages story....dont forget he's GUARANTEED $80mill even if he's a bench warmer the rest of his career. Whatever he has to prove is solely based on his own personal feelings on how he wants to be perceived. Financially, he's royalty with nothing left to accomplish

Posted by: divi3 | May 26, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

"Financially, he's royalty with nothing left to accomplish

Posted by: divi3 | May 26, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse "

Easy come, easy go.

Ask Eddy Curry.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | May 26, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

No...stop asking and move on. Zero is done here.

Posted by: kahlua87 | May 26, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

This discussion is great. I think a backcourt of Arenas and Wall would a duo to envy. Imagine being able to start the play at the 1, 2, or 4 (Blatche). Add in McGee and my choice, Josh Howard. Howard stays hurt but gives you what Jamison gave you; hustle and the ability to make your own shot. Arenas will be more of a factor spotting up and making the defender have to choose to play close or off of him. Wall will succeed because the defenses will have to choose which one to put their best defender on. Man this is a win-win situation for Washington and I can't wait.

Posted by: Dconsmuv | May 26, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

There are no untouchables on a 23 win team.

None.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 26, 2010 10:14 PM

This has been one of your favorite by lines. And at first bite, I think most would say it tasted okay.

But you have served it up so many times that the taste has gone kinda sour.

If you actually analyze it... only 23 wins does not necessarily mean that every player on the squad is not keepable.

On this 23 win team going forward, I would definitely keep, Blatche, McGee, Livingston, Howard at renegotiated salary, Young, and Gilbert Arenas.

And since it is impossible to swap out a whole NBA roster anyway, that will put several more names on this list.

So, what is the point to keep saying that everyone is untouchable when you know that you gonna have to keep 8-9 players or more?

I get why you keep making that claim but in actuality, you have to keep the best of the group anyhows' cause you can't get rid of all of them.

Which, makes some of the group untouchable...

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 26, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

On this 23 win team going forward, I would definitely keep, Blatche, McGee, Livingston, Howard at renegotiated salary, Young, and Gilbert Arenas."

Then we should all thank God that you're not GM of the Wizards. Even if Livingston wanted to play here (he doesn't) keeping him, Arenas, and Wall makes no sense. And Howard is 30+ years old coming of an injury that'll keep him out part of the year and likely have him at less than full strength for most or all of it. Signing him to a deal would be foolish.


"I get why you keep making that claim but in actuality, you have to keep the best of the group anyhows' cause you can't get rid of all of them."

Why not? The only player actually under contract that the Wizards would have any trouble moving is Arenas.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 27, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Wizards get rid of Arenas so that we don't have to worry about him at all!

LET US PRAY!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | May 27, 2010 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Why not? The only player actually under contract that the Wizards would have any trouble moving is Arenas.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 27, 2010 12:45 AM

My good gracious man. Technically as you say you can swap out the whole team, except for Arenas, but when is that ever done?

It isn't done and it isn't wise. Is why you just hafta decide what of the poor lot you have too keep.

I don't think any coach knowing he has to keep some of his sorry lot would agree to swapping out the best of it.

I am sure any coach would say to the GM, Boss, I know you are ready to upgrade this team but these 4 or 5 guys here we hafta keep.

Lets look at swapping the rest.

Like I said, I understand your point, but there are certain guys on this team that are untouchable by choice cause you can't just get rid of them all and it just isn't done.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 27, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Give the man a break .He did his time paid his dues for a dumb mistake and I'm sure he's trying to move on with his life.Have you seen any Gilbert quotes since he left the halfway house?Why is everyone down on this man ? "Let he without sin cast the first stone".I feel that the picture of him and John Wall is already giving some coaches pause in the NBA.Go ahead ,sleep on Gil and let that guy slip away.I say he comes back in shape and ready to go,there's no better Gilbert than the one with a chip on his shoulder.Do you forget why he even wore "0" in the first place.Personally I expect my man to play at an Allstar level and maybe even make the allstar team this year...

Posted by: runnolon | May 27, 2010 5:43 AM | Report abuse

Give the man a break .He did his time paid his dues for a dumb mistake and I'm sure he's trying to move on with his life.Have you seen any Gilbert quotes since he left the halfway house?Why is everyone down on this man ? "Let he without sin cast the first stone".I feel that the picture of him and John Wall is already giving some coaches pause in the NBA.Go ahead ,sleep on Gil and let that guy slip away.I say he comes back in shape and ready to go,there's no better Gilbert than the one with a chip on his shoulder.Do you forget why he even wore "0" in the first place.Personally I expect my man to play at an Allstar level and maybe even make the allstar team this year...

Posted by: runnolon | May 27, 2010 5:44 AM | Report abuse

Get rid of Flip!

You all must listen to kornhiser lol
Look nobody going to pickup Arenas not for the cash he's getting.

I know Arenas can play at this level i don't know that about Mr. Wall.
Sounds like a lot of hype!

Seriously these two years guys are not making it in the next leve and its watering down the talent in the NBA.
There are to many teams with one or two quality players.
That's why i say the league is some do do.
Most of you new fans just want to see dunks.
Two things in the NBA if they take away would make it a better game.

The crossover ("a CARRY" but was allowed for jordan because at the time he was the new NBA)
The Dunk (seriously its played out!)
a fingerroll will do in most cases.

Can mister wall check anybody at this level?
Face it most of these guys in the game now just have offense but it takes defense to win championships.

Like i said the NBA is some do do.


Posted by: shamken | May 27, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Now,if we can just get a big man....Oops, sorry, forgot the Curse De Les Boulez!

Posted by: KDSmallJr | May 27, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

^^^ Are you hungover? Why so negative?

Posted by: hardiboiled | May 27, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I've been waiting for an offensive oriented team to win it all so that everyone can stop with the 'defense wins championships' stuff.
Although the Westhead Loyola Marymount/80's Nuggets style hasnt won it, I still believe it an be done. Maybe the Suns will pull it off.
I'm a big believer in run and gun and it's been proven that that style will get you to the playoffs. Once you're in, anything can happen.
Th Lakers ruled the 80's with a fast style. Although we don't have Magic, we could still win AND PLAY EXCITING BASKETBALL by running and gunning. just my humble opinion.

Posted by: original_mark | May 27, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Gil's gotta go. It's better for everybody. I believe the young Foye has a player's option we should pick-up; there's are starting SG. N. Young will be a fine back-up SG. Livingston is a fine back-up PG to go with Wall. Maybe even get Boykins back for that "closer" role again. There is are back-court, no need for a gaudy SG.

Also, ditch Blatche. He's locker room cancer too. We won't get Brand and #2 as some people hope for. Maybe, and I AM really stretching my imagination here, Utah loses Boozer and still wants to compete so we get their pick (#8 or #9) for Arenas and Blatche, and get a PF like Ekpe Udoh. That's the highest pick I could possibly imagine us trading for. Alas, why would anyone trade a first-rounder for a guy with bad knees and huge luggage?

Posted by: mcgratsp | May 27, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

When Gilbert stays with the Wizards and is blazing next season, I have some humble pie and crow for all of these haters to eat. It is incredible how "everyone" seems to know what Gilbert is feeling. Has any of these writers and analysts actually spoken to him? He has kept a low profile and is doing what he does best,preparing himself for next season. It is amazing to me how judgemental and unforgiving people are when I am 100% positive that most have done things that they also wish they hadn't done but were forgiven for allowing them to move on with their lives like Gil is trying to. Everyone has forgotten all of the positive things Gil has done for the community. Beat a man when he is down seems to be the mantra around here. Well, Gil has one fan and I wish him well next year,AS A WIZARD!!!!

Gil and Wall baby!!

Posted by: ivyleague | May 27, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for giving Gil another chance. What hasn't been pointed out in these posts, however, is that Gil isn't the same player he was 5 years ago. If you watched him at all last year, he doesn't have the explosiveness he once had and often got caught in no-man's land in the lane as he couldn't beat his man off the dribble. He also was a little too content to sit on the bench and let Boykins finish out games that were still in the balance for my taste.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 27, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

If anyone needs to just shut up and play, it's Gilbert Arenas.

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | May 27, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

randysbailin,. I agree to an extent. He was still shaking off rust last year. If you look at his numbers month to month, there's a noticeable improvement. He may or may not be the same but he's certainly not a bum like ppl are suggesting. One HUGE difference last year is that he was no longer getting star calls. He would drive, get fouled and get no call. Thats major for a guy that gets to the rim. If he can somehow get the respect back, he may be still capable of being one of the best in the game.

Posted by: original_mark | May 27, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The Wizards have a great opportunity and hopefully will make a wise decision. I think Gilbert Arenas will rise to the occassion, He hasn't really played much in these last few years and sitting on the sidelines I believe he's finally grown up and will conduct himself with maturity; he received grace and has effectively dodged a very big bullet! He has the skills to be a point guard but he's really a player and scoring is his forte. The Wizards need his skills and need to get some benefit out of the major investment the team has in him.

On another note, I hear all the complaints about JaVale but hardly anyone recommends additional coaching, like the Magic has done for Dwight Howard, and like the Lakers did for Bynum. You can't teach the assets that McGee has but you can teach him how to use all that athleticism! Who can and should the Wizards bring in to assist him in his develpment. That would be a major step forward for the team culture and management. I feel confident that Sam Cassell will help John Wall when he gets here. We need some more bulk and ferociousness in the front court---Who should be get? Peace!

Posted by: zbopjazz | May 27, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Last year was his first year back and I think Gurnfeld even pointed out what that his stats were steadily improving before the "incident". He hadn't really played in two seasons and to expect him to come back in top form is unfair. As far as shutting his mouth is concerned, I have not read or heard a thing from him other than that he texted Wall.

Posted by: ivyleague | May 27, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I hope Gil is over his days as pooping in a person's shoes or stealing their sprewell spinners hoops.....Better to offer him a cash buyout, let him go where ever he wants...

Posted by: nowhine | May 27, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

If I was the Wizard's, I wouldn't want John Wall anywhere near that knucklehead Arenas! Trade him for a real hotdog, buy him out, do whatever you have to do, but get him and the last of the bad air out of here!

Posted by: slimjim21787 | May 27, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Let's re-sign Livingston, he was an asset while here. Don't let him get away. Do the Wizards have a sports psychologist on retainer? I look forward to Leonsis' ownership and hope that he builds a new organizational culture. No disrespect intended for Mr. Pollin and family.

Who else should we draft at position 30 and beyond? I wish we could become like Boston and LA in that they historically are always able to add a major player without seemingly paying a step price or trading a major asset. Enough!

Posted by: zbopjazz | May 27, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

To Gil's defense, his baby momma (3x's over)/fiancee cheated on him w/ Shaq. Just think about that prospect, and ask yourself if you wouldn't be a nut case.

The love of your life is Shaq's jumpoff.

So it's sensible to believe that w/ everything that went down, Gil will not only change his attitude, but his work ethic is still there, which is nothing but good for Mr. Wall

Posted by: bernard_thompson | May 27, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for giving Gil another chance. What hasn't been pointed out in these posts, however, is that Gil isn't the same player he was 5 years ago. If you watched him at all last year, he doesn't have the explosiveness he once had and often got caught in no-man's land in the lane as he couldn't beat his man off the dribble. He also was a little too content to sit on the bench and let Boykins finish out games that were still in the balance for my taste.

Posted by: randysbailin | May 27, 2010 8:10 AM

Randy, you be tellin us you are making an evaluation on Gilbert play last on whether or not he can still finish, when medically he was 100% yet.

I think the reports said that he was not as high as 90% medically back last year. I read on on blog the other day that this year his knee should be completely healed.

Lets see him play on a mopletely healed knee before we start saying what he can't do.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 27, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Pretty sure there was no chance of Green and Durant being traded from the Thunder when they were an egg-sucking team in the lottery for two years in a row. There are exceptions to the "no untouchables" rule on a bad team. Blatche is one of them. There is absolutely no chance of his being traded. His recent performance, upside and financial fit are too good to ignore. Mother Nature doesn't make too many playmaking PFs with a sweet jumper and burgeoning low-post moves.

Posted by: bobabuie | May 27, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Keep listening to the media about Gil and we will see him torching the league and us with another team if the "Bullets" want to seriously compete for a championship then they will need both Wall and Gil, yes they can coexist in same backcourt if the two of them really and truly want to win. Ted Leonsis has same thing with Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin,if you want to win then you need firepower in the backcourt remember the NBA is a guards league.

Posted by: dargregmag | May 27, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

He also was a little too content to sit on the bench and let Boykins finish out games that were still in the balance for my taste.

Posted by: randysbailin

Damned if he do, and damned if he don't.

People on here want him to see if he can play a new position and be a "good teammate" but then when he "cheers on Boykins from the bench" who did well in say the Cleveland game, he shouldn't. WOW.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 27, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

exactly bobabuie.

Posted by: divi3 | May 27, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

If I was the Wizard's, I wouldn't want John Wall anywhere near that knucklehead Arenas! Trade him for a real hotdog, buy him out, do whatever you have to do, but get him and the last of the bad air out of here!

Posted by: slimjim21787

What would Gilbert except to be bought out of a $80million+ contract? What would Leonsis be willing to pay to get out of the contract and let Gilbert walk and get nothing in return? How would it effect the salary cap? How much of the buyout would you be willing to cough up?

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 27, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

On another note, I hear all the complaints about JaVale but hardly anyone recommends additional coaching, like the Magic has done for Dwight Howard, and like the Lakers did for Bynum. You can't teach the assets that McGee has but you can teach him how to use all that athleticism! Who can and should the Wizards bring in to assist him in his develpment. That would be a major step forward for the team culture and management. I feel confident that Sam Cassell will help John Wall when he gets here. We need some more bulk and ferociousness in the front court---Who should be get? Peace!

Posted by: zbopjazz | May 27, 2010 8:21 AM

This is one thing that Ted should fix right away as in yesterday, today, like right now.

Flip Saunders counting himself gives the Wizards eight coaches, eight coaches, count them 1, 2, 3, .... and not a single one of them seems, based on last year, to know squat about big man coaching.

Zbopjazz, you're right, a lot of the herky jerky approach that Flip used with McGee last year should be addressed with some big man coaching, not only for McGee, but for a Big Man game philosophy as well.

Ted should have put Flip on notice for that already.

LarryInClinton.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | May 27, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Larry

I thought Gil's reluctance to take off in the paint and finish layups, then landing on the leg was more mental than physical. It appeared to me that him not yet 100% showed itself more when he would get caught from behind when leading the break.

Another thing, how long will it take for him to be 100%. Remember he spent the previous summer with Grover up in Chicago training and I thought we would have been 100% physically, not mentally, by then.

If Gil could get his open court speed back and combined with Wall, look out!

P.S. I read your response the other day as to your Carolina roots so I won't give you a hard time for repping the Tar Heels. You should rep your home.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 27, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Goodad, brought up a trade I had not heard mentioned before. If we could trade Young and a second rounder for Brand and the #2 pick, that is a no brainer. Unless we have a person we want in FA, this is a win-win situation. I havent looked at Brands contract but if he can still play this give Washington great fronline help and teaming Wall and Turner at guard mean that Gilbert better play his butt off, or he can ride the bench and pout. What Gilbert wants and does at that point does not matter. If he wants to be an all-star then all the better, good luck to him. Brand under the boards and getting off a shot will help tremendously. We have two more high draft choices for depth.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | May 27, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"I havent looked at Brands contract..."

The contract's the key to the whole thing -- and why Brand hasn't already been traded.

Posted by: Samson151 | May 27, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I think offensively they should be fine but does anyone want gil defending the premier shooting guards? Kobe bryant, dwayne wade, stephen jackson, ray allen, vince carter. T

Posted by: jefferu | May 27, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Pretty sure there was no chance of Green and Durant being traded from the Thunder when they were an egg-sucking team in the lottery for two years in a row. There are exceptions to the "no untouchables" rule on a bad team. Blatche is one of them. There is absolutely no chance of his being traded. His recent performance, upside and financial fit are too good to ignore. Mother Nature doesn't make too many playmaking PFs with a sweet jumper and burgeoning low-post moves.

Posted by: bobabuie | May 27, 2010 9:01 AM

Agreed. Yes, he has maturity issues, but you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Blatche had a string of games last year where he made opposing fours look like they needed to either retire or go back to school. Size, passing, shooting, low-post presence, rising b-ball IQ. If Ernie Grunfeld trades him, even his most ardent supporters (sorry, Mel Thunk) should want him run out of town.

Posted by: and_1 | May 27, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

i could be wrong, but i don't think vazquez has pro-caliber skills. desire, yes, but neither the skills, nor the athleticism.

Posted by: dcjazzman | May 26, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

you probably guessed right on Steve Nash too huh? 6 6 pgs don't grow on trees. He's got the physical tools to be good and the desire to try to be great. If he doesn't pan out as an everyday player, you can be sure that he's giving wall the bizness in practice. Him practicing against Gila and Wall will make him better, and them having to be guarded everyday by a 6 6 pg can make them better.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 27, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

It makes no sense to me that the FO would trade away virtually the entire veteran core of the team, ie., AJ, CB, BH, and DS, and yet keep the part of that core that is the biggest problem. The logic that dictated moving the others dictates moving GA even more.

Posted by: shovetheplanet | May 27, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Blatche had a string of games last year where he made opposing fours look like they needed to either retire or go back to school. Size, passing, shooting, low-post presence, rising b-ball IQ. If Ernie Grunfeld trades him, even his most ardent supporters (sorry, Mel Thunk) should want him run out of town.

Posted by: and_1 | May 27, 2010 9:47 AM

He can be a knucklehead but is likable enough....surprises me how many fans want him run out of town. What an awesome move that would be...shipping off a 23yr old, 6'11" PF who's considered one of the most talented players in the league and is under contract for $3mill/yr. So we can grab the 3rd or 4th PF taken in this draft. Brilliant!

Posted by: divi3 | May 27, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"My good gracious man. Technically as you say you can swap out the whole team, except for Arenas, but when is that ever done?"

Oklahoma City, 2007-2008. Worked out pretty well for them.

As Kalo_rama said, no player is untouchable on this roster. Not even close.

Except for John Wall (or whoever the #1 pick is), of course.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, reading this thread you'd think Blatche is the second coming of Kevin Garnett.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Some of you guys are craaaaaazzzzzyy.
It's so funny to hear people talk about how Blatche will handle perhaps being the second or third option on offense. They conveniently forget that Blatche is perhaps the most unselfish player on the team and is a willing passer. You can tell he gets a lot of enjoyment and takes pride in making plays for his teammates and getting an assist. That's something that you can't teach, folks. It's either in you or it isn't. It's in Blatche.

Posted by: harrybalz | May 27, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, reading this thread you'd think Blatche is the second coming of Kevin Garnett.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:09 AM

KG certainly saw a young KG in Blatche this year when Blatche was giving him the business!! He really did make KG look like the proverbial stumbling, washed up legend. I say that with all respect.

Posted by: harrybalz | May 27, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

As Kalo_rama said, no player is untouchable on this roster. Not even close.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:02 AM

Hollow refrain that contains more bark than bite. Blatche and Mcgee are going nowhere this offseason as long as EG is calling the shots. You dont draft a project like Mcgee than give up on him after 1/2 season of real minutes because the team won 23 games. When the team stinks, you ship off the likes of AJ/CB/BTH which was already done.

AB was ballin like an all-star last season, no matter how much his detractors want to write it off. He is looking like a lone brightspot on EGs shoddy resume, there is no way EG moves him now to draft Greg Monroe or some other unproven blah player 5th-10th

Posted by: divi3 | May 27, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

With a new owner and 1st pick presumably Walls, a good nucleus in Young, McGee,and Blatche, the Wizards should do all they can to resign Livingston for his size, shooting ability, and ball handling and distribution skills as well. You have some capable veterans in Miller, Josh Howard (rehab), Boykins, and some journeymen that may stick. I can see Arenas sharing the back-court with whoever. He and Hughes were the best scoring tandem when they played together so providing Arenas has had time to heal their can be some resurgence. Maybe all this craziness was a smoke screen so that Arenas could heal, after all, getting those big dollars and knowing you can't perform like you once did why not seek a way out for some time off. Maybe not so unrealistic after all. When the Wizards traded their team away the biggest mistake was to get rid of Haywood. Not a lot of people liked him because of his inconsistency but historically the Wizards never had a big man, a 7-Footer with presence. We also knew that Jamison was best suited for our system where we depended on his scoring and not so much his defense. Cleveland found that out in a hurry.

Posted by: washdc11 | May 27, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

JOE2CHASE,

I agree, that was a very nice article.

Posted by: carterm1 | May 27, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"there is no way EG moves him now to draft Greg Monroe or some other unproven blah player 5th-10th

Posted by: divi3"

If Blatche is as dominant as claimed on here, then his contract, production, and potential should make him THE ideal player for the rumored Brand + #2 pick swap for Philly.

And if that's the case, then I'd take the offer, eat Brand's contract, and draft Favors or Cousins to go along with Wall as the future of the franchise.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

And if that's the case, then I'd take the offer, eat Brand's contract, and draft Favors or Cousins to go along with Wall as the future of the franchise.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:26 AM

Between Gil and Brand, that's $140million in guaranteed money for two guys playing the same position as the "future" you just drafted. But I guess it's a good move since no top draft picks are ever busts?

Posted by: divi3 | May 27, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"It's so funny to hear people talk about how Blatche will handle perhaps being the second or third option on offense. They conveniently forget that Blatche is perhaps the most unselfish player on the team and is a willing passer. You can tell he gets a lot of enjoyment and takes pride in making plays for his teammates and getting an assist. That's something that you can't teach, folks. It's either in you or it isn't. It's in Blatche."

On paper, I agree. It should work given the style we've seen Blatche play.

However, he was the second or third option on the floor every time he played for the 4 years before the AJ+Caron trades. Why couldn't he show that team cohesion and ability then? Why did it only show up once all the other options were gone?

For all the talent Blatche has (and he does have some serious talent) he has yet to prove in any capacity that he can be 'special' sidekick, despite having a plethora of opportunities to show it over the last few years.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Blatche had a string of games last year where he made opposing fours look like they needed to either retire or go back to school. Size, passing, shooting, low-post presence, rising b-ball IQ. If Ernie Grunfeld trades him, even his most ardent supporters (sorry, Mel Thunk) should want him run out of town.

Posted by: and_1 | May 27, 2010 9:47 AM

He can be a knucklehead but is likable enough....surprises me how many fans want him run out of town. What an awesome move that would be...shipping off a 23yr old, 6'11" PF who's considered one of the most talented players in the league and is under contract for $3mill/yr. So we can grab the 3rd or 4th PF taken in this draft. Brilliant!


Posted by: divi3
------------------------------------
Blatche is one of the most talented players in the league? Please don't make me laugh. So is he on the same level talent wise as Amare Stoudamire, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nwitki, Josh Smith, and I can go on an on. Blatche is an intriging talent. He has potential but to call him one of the most talented in the league?

And then you want to mention his performance last year when he was the best player on a horrible team. Any player that is a decent talent can put up good numbers on a bad team.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | May 27, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mr.Lee great job with this post. We appreciate your efforts with the blog, and keeping us updated on everything thats going, and all the different angles to look at with this monumental #1 pick.

Posted by: azinat1 | May 27, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Who says he wont be the primary scoring option this year? Or is Arenas going to be taking 20 shots a night? I sure hope not

Posted by: divi3 | May 27, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"Between Gil and Brand, that's $140million in guaranteed money for two guys playing the same position as the "future" you just drafted. But I guess it's a good move since no top draft picks are ever busts?

Posted by: divi3"

First of all, Cousins doesn't play the same position as Brand. Favors does, and that would have to be taken into account when evaluating the options.

Secondly, you're arguing against acquiring the #2 overall pick for fear of selecting a bust, while simultaneously pimping a 'budding star' based on half a season of play for a team that has won 35 games the last two seasons combined? Come on now. That's outright ridiculous.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Over the last 2 seasons blatche has gotten a little better, hopefully that will continue, but I'm not holding my breath for that kid anymore - he has given us MUCH more than most 2nd round picks in the NBA

Posted by: hardiboiled | May 27, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm arguing against taking on a $60mill contract just to draft Demarcus "bad attitude" Cousins. If you think he's that great, draft him #1 overall. Put him at C and let Gil play pg.

We won the lotto! No need to take on one of the league's worst contracts (we have one of those already, thanks) to get the #2 pick also

Posted by: divi3 | May 27, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"*If Blatche is as dominant as claimed on here, then his contract, production, and potential should make him THE ideal player for the rumored Brand + #2 pick swap for Philly. And if that's the case, then I'd take the offer, eat Brand's contract, and draft Favors or Cousins to go along with Wall as the future of the franchise.*"

Why go with the shorter PFs with a more limited skillset who haven't shown they can be dominant in the NBA or go with a shorter, older, injury-prone, highly-compensated PF who is no longer dominant when you've already got a young PF who was dominant when the dead wood was removed from the roster? It really doesn't make sense.


"*However, he was the second or third option on the floor every time he played for the 4 years before the AJ+Caron trades. Why couldn't he show that team cohesion and ability then? Why did it only show up once all the other options were gone?*"

I don't think that Blatche was the second or third option with those guys on the floor with the exception of the brief stint he had when AJ was injured this year(and coicidentally starting posting career highs in various categories). Further, I don't think Blatche was ever blamed for the team not playing together. That said, there's no doubt that he had some growing up to do since coming out of high school and I think he's ready to take the next step.

Posted by: harrybalz | May 27, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"*Blatche is one of the most talented players in the league? Please don't make me laugh. So is he on the same level talent wise as Amare Stoudamire, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nwitki, Josh Smith, and I can go on an on. Blatche is an intriging talent. He has potential but to call him one of the most talented in the league?*"

Yes, he is one of the most talented power forwards in the league. Compare his numbers after the roster implosion to those of the players mentioned above. Blatche more than holds his own.

Posted by: harrybalz | May 27, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

i dunno is anybody called AB dominant, but he's very talented and skilled. He can finish with either hand, is a good passer, has a decent shooting touch and can face up and put the ball on the floor. I think his little "Taste of success" will inspire him to work harder and elevate his game this season. They say he's been hitting tha weights and is working on his game daily. He's easily as good or better than any big man prospect you're gonna get this year. And as far as Turner with the 2 goes, doesn't that move James Singleton to the starting PF i luv the way this one is working out.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 27, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

some people will just have their minds set. when you say AB all some people think of is Partying,Prostitution and Poor Preparation. It's understandable because those things are all part of his story, but he's one helluva ball player too. If he keeps up the level he was playing at last season he'll b an all star. You don't have to like the person wearing the uni, but you can't deny the work they do while they're wearing the uni it makes you look bad.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 27, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"They say he's been hitting tha weights and is working on his game daily. He's easily as good or better than any big man prospect you're gonna get this year."

That's a bold claim. Next season, yes, he'll likely be better than any big coming out of the draft. Three years down the road is another story.

If Blatche has fully committed himself to being a professional and is ready to take on the day-in and day-out role of playing up to his potential, then I'd be delighted to keep him on the roster. I won't buy it until I see it, though. Half a season out of 4 and a half years is merely a start.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

When you consider how inconsisted Blatche has played behind Jamison for 95% of his career and as good as he looked for 5% of his career, and his age, the Wiz should not bring in somebody to challenge for playing time at his position, THIS YEAR. Let's see him over the year and then evaluate for THE NEXT YEAR.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 27, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

If Blatche has fully committed himself to being a professional and is ready to take on the day-in and day-out role of playing up to his potential, then I'd be delighted to keep him on the roster. I won't buy it until I see it, though. Half a season out of 4 and a half years is merely a start.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse
out of those four years how much time did he log as a starter............half a season, the same half a season that he balled out. If he's a a starter it's a different deal. Unfortunately, he wasn't mature enough to want to prepare himself to be a starter even when he wasn't one. He played PF behind AJ and Song and C behind wood and Etan. he didn't think he was gonna play so he didn't work. I think the flip has been switched.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 27, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Moving up in the draft to get a PF would be very Snyder-ish. Akin to signing Adam Archuletta to a big deal while Ryan Clark was on the team, performing well, and available at a fraction of cost.

NOBODY knows what's going to happen with Favors or Cousins (let alone Monroe, Udoh, Davis, etc) while we know POSITIVELY that AB can make defenders look like fools and throw up great stats. Will he keep it up? Only one way to find out.

Posted by: divi3 | May 27, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

One more word on Blatche.

I think it's harder for an interior player to get decent numbers on a bad team because he's subject to double teams and relies to great degree on the others around him to create opportunities and keep the defense honest with proper spacing and such. By any measure, Blatche is worth keeping on the roster for the duration of his cap-friendly contract. If he continues on his current path, it will be hard to keep him when/if he hits the free agent market.

Posted by: bobabuie | May 27, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"out of those four years how much time did he log as a starter............half a season,

Posted by: lilhollywood10"

Actually, he also started half a season in 2008-2009 when Haywood was hurt. And he had various stretches in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 where he was starting as well. Let's not act like he was never given the opportunity before last season's all-star break.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Blatche had a string of games last year where he made opposing fours look like they needed to either retire or go back to school. Size, passing, shooting, low-post presence, rising b-ball IQ. If Ernie Grunfeld trades him, even his most ardent supporters (sorry, Mel Thunk) should want him run out of town.

Posted by: and_1

Ernest Grunfeld will not trade away the gem he unearthed, so I won't have to cross that bridge. Good Day.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | May 27, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Th Lakers ruled the 80's with a fast style. Although we don't have Magic, we could still win AND PLAY EXCITING BASKETBALL by running and gunning. just my humble opinion.

Posted by: original_mark

If you look back at the Showtime Lakers, in addition to being a high-flying fast paced team, they were also usually in the top 10 in defense. It's much harder to run and gun if you're constantly taking the ball in from out of bounds after the other team scores.

IMO (not just mine), the reason defense is so valuable is that you're going to have some nights where you just can't score, shots aren't falling and there seems to be a lid on the basket, but defense and hustle are there every night.

Posted by: ts35 | May 27, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"Like I said, I understand your point, but there are certain guys on this team that are untouchable by choice cause you can't just get rid of them all and it just isn't done."

Wrong. Just that simple really.

No one is untouchable, and bad teams often trade their best players as a jumpstart to a full rebuild, understanding that being the best player on a terrible team is a pretty worthless distinction.

The Celtics traded Al Jefferson, the Bulls traded Elton Brand (back when he was still a guaranteed 20/10 every season) and later Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry, the Sonics/Thunder traded Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, the Pistons traded Jerry Stackhouse, the Blazers traded Zach Randolph. They all improved in the immediate or very near aftermath of those trades.

So, to reiterate: You're wrong. Period.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 27, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse


Actually, he also started half a season in 2008-2009 when Haywood was hurt. And he had various stretches in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 where he was starting as well. Let's not act like he was never given the opportunity before last season's all-star break.

Posted by: psps23

Outside of this year, he had various brief stretches where he started, sometimes out of position at the C position. The coaches went with the more veteran players, and I'm not saying they were wrong to do so given AB's alleged poor work ethic and their reported fervent desire that he morph into something he's not (a big, strong center).

Posted by: artiesliver | May 27, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"out of those four years how much time did he log as a starter............half a season"

So? I was unaware ot the rule in the NBA regulations Book that says players are only allowed to play with effort and supply positive impact if they're starting.

"he didn't think he was gonna play so he didn't work."

Yeah. That's exactly the problem. He didn't work until he decided it would benefit him. And people have the nerve to call Arenas selfish?

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 27, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

or did he not work because the team started the lesser player between Jamison and Blatche. You can't tell me Jamison shut Blatche down in practice.

Posted by: G-Man11 | May 27, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

"or did he not work because the team started the lesser player between Jamison and Blatche."

Oh, well, that's certainly a much better reason.

good lord.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 27, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

or did he not work because the team started the lesser player between Jamison and Blatche. You can't tell me Jamison shut Blatche down in practice.

Posted by: G-Man11

Being able to beat Jamison is not exactly a high standard. All the stories go that Blatche did some great things in practice. And then some dumb things. When he practiced hard.

If I'm a coach, why am I going to start a player who hasn't proven himself in the NBA if he's not busting his butt in practice? Teams will do it with high draft picks just to try to justify their pick, but Dray wasn't one of those either.

Posted by: ts35 | May 27, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

So? I was unaware ot the rule in the NBA regulations Book that says players are only allowed to play with effort and supply positive impact if they're starting.

I believe it's called the Brendan Haywood rule.

Posted by: djnnnou | May 27, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Actually, he also started half a season in 2008-2009 when Haywood was hurt. And he had various stretches in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 where he was starting as well. Let's not act like he was never given the opportunity before last season's all-star break.

Posted by: psps23 | May 27, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

lets not act like these "stretches in 06-07 07-08" were actual opportunities to vie for AJs penciled in sopt at the 4. I'm not saying he never played, just that he was never the starter. Yes he had some starts, but even when he was starting for AJ while he was hurt last year, he was doing just that, starting FOR him cuz he was hurt. he actually played really well to begin this year while AJ was out, but he could've avg'd a triple double and that wouldn't have moved tawn to the second unit.

out of those four years how much time did he log as a starter............half a season"

So? I was unaware ot the rule in the NBA regulations Book that says players are only allowed to play with effort and supply positive impact if they're starting.

never said there was a rule pardoning his attitude, in fact i followed up that sentence you took out of context with
"out of those four years how much time did he log as a starter............half a season, the same half a season that he balled out. If he's a a starter it's a different deal. Unfortunately, he wasn't mature enough to want to prepare himself to be a starter even when he wasn't one.

the indictment against his maturity and "want to" should've been enough to show that i wasn't trying to absolve AB's work ethic, but more so explain it. There's a lot of young people who take that same attitude into everything they do. It starts at home and the child is conditioned throughout life,in some cases, to feel like they can get by just by doing the minimum. i see it in friends and family members, and even in myself (as i type on WI rather than put in some extra work at the office).

"he didn't think he was gonna play so he didn't work."

Yeah. That's exactly the problem. He didn't work until he decided it would benefit him. And people have the nerve to call Arenas selfish?


You can see it that way, or you can see a young immature man who didn't know what type of real "hard work" was required to succeed in the league (happens all the time). He may have thought he was working hard enough to get minutes. When the mins didn't come like he wanted them he shut it down, he took his ball and went home, just like an immature kid would. I think he realized that the hard work was paying off this year (possibly assisted by the AJ move).


but i was really just responding to psps's comment about this just being a start. If you acknowledge that AB's past was spotty at best, but last year he appeared to get it. If AB's work last year was "...merely a start, don't you wanna see how he progresses"

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"the indictment against his maturity and "want to" should've been enough to show that i wasn't trying to absolve AB's work ethic, but more so explain it."

Just because there's an "explanation" for his being a half-assed lazy slacker for 4 1/2 years doesn't mean there's a justification for it. It doesn't make it okay or give him an acceptable excuse.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 27, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

All this salivating over Blatche because he was the best player on one of the worse teams in the league? Yes Blatche is talented but again he did it on a team that was no where near competitive. Let's wait until he does what he did on a playoff calibar Wizards team. Like I said before any good NBA player can put up points on a terrible team. I like his improvements from season to season though.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | May 27, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I say go ahead and completely clean house since there is a new owner. Replace Grunfeld and let Arenas go. I think, the GM was part of the problem. The chemistry of the team will never be right with Grunfeld and Arenas. Grunfeld did not handle the Arenas incident and basically lost the confidence of his players.
Arenas does not have the talent to lead this team to the chaampionship and neither will Wall in the near future.
I believe though that the Wizards are in the right track.

Posted by: James071 | May 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The conventional wisdom that Gilbert's $80M contract makes him untradeaable lacks any business sense.

Gilbert is likely to be traded because he is worth more elsewhere than in D.C.

Of course, he is worth less than his $80M contract, which means a portion of it will have to be written off from an accounting perspective. But from an economic perspective, the write-off ocurred a while ago.

Posted by: Izman | May 27, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Like I said before any good NBA player can put up points on a terrible team.

Posted by: 6thsense79

A guard might be able to put up some gaudy numbers but I don't think it's so easy for a PF/C. It's too easy to double them and clog up the middle. Can you think of any other NBA power forward or center who averaged what Blatche did once he was named the starter who wasn't legit? Bad team or not?

I sure can't think of one who did and turned out to be a fraud.

Posted by: bobabuie | May 27, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"the indictment against his maturity and "want to" should've been enough to show that i wasn't trying to absolve AB's work ethic, but more so explain it."

Just because there's an "explanation" for his being a half-assed lazy slacker for 4 1/2 years doesn't mean there's a justification for it. It doesn't make it okay or give him an acceptable excuse.

Posted by: kalo_rama | May 27, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

you are trying to say that i am justifying it, but i'm not. just merely explaining what could've been his though process during the period psps was talking about. I am in no way trying to excuse his behavior. However it's not that hard to understand. You gotta build up this straw man to knock out go for it. ALL i said was that it was unfortunate that AB was too immature to be ready to play (his fault) and that he didn't work hard because he didn't think he was gonna play. nowhere did i say it was ok and nowhere did i justify his behavior. so blow me

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 27, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

All this salivating over Blatche because he was the best player on one of the worse teams in the league? Yes Blatche is talented but again he did it on a team that was no where near competitive. Let's wait until he does what he did on a playoff calibar Wizards team. Like I said before any good NBA player can put up points on a terrible team. I like his improvements from season to season though.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | May 27, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

i don't hear anybody saying Nj should trade us Brook Lopez and their pick for our first overall.They were the worst team in the league and nobody is talking about trading him. why do we trade a guy when he finally shows up?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 27, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Ultimately who cares if Arenas and Wall can coexist? Maybe the addition of a young stud like Wall would get Arenas to play at or near his potential, but unlikely. Hopefully he can be shopped and replaced. He is one of those players that when the going got tough, he got going...to IR. Arenas is the definition of a paycheck player. I just hope some ignorant GM would take his bloated contract in exchange for a bench player who understands sacrifice.

Posted by: salbright | May 27, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

If you listen to NBA players when they are asked to make the much bigger jump of becoming a 6th man rather than a starter, the smart ones all say the same thing.

"In the NBA, it's not about who starts the game, it's about who finishes."

With that in mind, I think the real test for Gil will be what happens late in the fourth quarter. If you listen to how often Flip said the team missed their late game closer Gil, I think that Gil will still be the primary late game option. The difference will be that Gil may be run off of screens to get open occasionally (while Wall handles the ball) instead of just being isolated out top.

Posted by: SportzWiz | May 27, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Arenas is the definition of a paycheck player.

Posted by: salbright | May 27, 2010 5:48 PM

I think you need to update your dictionary. There are plenty of ways that Arenas can be criticized, but this is not one of them. He has always been seen as a gym rat and a hard worker (even when it backfired because he foolishly OVER-worked his knee in rehab). This is not a guy like Stephon Marbury who gladly sat in the stands and just collected his checks.

Gil has done many things wrong, but he definitely has not gotten lazy because he got paid. And he is not one of those guys who chases stats just because he wants to get paid. Right or (more likely) wrong, Gil plays the way that he does because he believes that gives his team the best chance of winning.

Posted by: SportzWiz | May 27, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I feel like I've been in a cave for 6 months and have just emerged to hear that Blatche is now the best player in the league. No one's untouchable. Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, Kareem, Earl the Pearl, Elvin Hayes all were traded, but Andray Blatche can't be traded no way, no how?

Posted by: randysbailin | May 27, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Overall you gotta think this is a good situation for Wall. A proven head coach who knows the pg position, an excellent coach in Sam Cassell, and a vet 3-time allstar pg playing next to him.

I'd really like to keep Livingston as Wall's backup. A true pg, and a guy who is very skilled, gives us some good size at point, and is a good example to Wall as a guy who was a high pick and a young pg in the league. A guy who shows not to take things for granted, and how to work hard to overcome.

Leonsis is a huge Georgetown fan... he mentioned the team trying to add another lottery pick. Could this be get Monroe?? Would Nick Young and our #30 get us Monroe?

Imagine the passing ability of a Wall, Arenas, Miller, Blatche, Monroe unit!

Posted by: Darnell1 | May 27, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Gil has thrived as an underdog -- but only in upping his personal play and stats, not in really making the team a winner. The moment the team is on the brink of being something special, he loses his underdog status, can't deal with success, and self-destructs. It's in his psychological make-up and we've seen it again and again. He'll be an integral part of getting a lottery team to .500, but beyond that, nuh uh, baby.

What's to lose with trying? It will affect the whole way a young John Wall comes into the league, who he's mentored by, whether it's Sam Cassell or six-shooting, ubertalented guy who knows his own mindset well-enough to resist being made the team's captain.

I was hoping John Wall's preference to play point if drafted by the Wiz would start Gil seeking a buyout to go be the 1 somewhere else. New York if no Lebron, Toronto if Bosh leaves. Hell, Blatche + Gil for Bosh sounds good to me, and the salaries pretty much match in a sign-and-trade. Build around Wall, Bosh, Howard, McGee... take your time -- do it right.

Posted by: minorthread | May 27, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Cassell can coax his old teammate Hakeem the Dream to come work with McGee?

Posted by: Darnell1 | May 27, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse


No one's untouchable. Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, Kareem, Earl the Pearl, Elvin Hayes all were traded, but Andray Blatche can't be traded no way, no how?

Posted by: randysbailin | May 27, 2010 8:58 PM

Well, if you look at like that, Kobe Bryant is the only guy in the entire NBA that is "untouchable". No way, no how.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | May 27, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

There is an undercover cop working Thomas Circle that begs to differ with the sentiment that Andray Blatche is untouchable.

Trade J-School for a lottery pick? Yuh huh!

Posted by: minorthread | May 27, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

In response to Sportswiz

'He has always been seen as a gym rat and a hard worker (even when it backfired because he foolishly OVER-worked his knee in rehab).'

Oh, is THAT what happened.

My recollection from press at the time was that the Wiz were out of contention and he didn't want to play. I have recently heard Kornheiser talk about Arenas' on PTI about his unwillingness to do what he is told or rehab.

Just because a player is a gym rat, does not necessarily exclude them from the paycheck player label.

Posted by: salbright | May 28, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Just because a player is a gym rat, does not necessarily exclude them from the paycheck player label.

Posted by: salbright | May 28, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

i think it does. A paycheck player only plays for................a paycheck. The assertion that a paycheck player would have his own key to thee gym to work on his game; as Gil did, would be crazy. Do you see any paycheck players hoopin it up on blacktops with regular Joes. Get outta here. He didn't rehab properly. The story wa that he did the rehabbing that he thought he needed agaist doctors orders to tone it down. It was Gil who came back to play without Eddie Jordan knowing about it before the game. If he sat out the rest of that 19 win "Glory Run" it could've been precautionary. How great would the team have looked, when Gil shreds his knee trying to win games ang get out of the lottery.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | May 28, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It really saddens me that DC fans are bailing on Arenas so fast. We have not had a player of his status since Jordon and even MJ was not the scorer that Gil was when he was here. Gil never had a thug reputation before as far as i can tell and although he diserved a suspension for the gun incident, i think it was blown way out of proportion. Its not as if he brought loaded guns to work to shoot the place up. That apparently was the other guy. The players seemed to love Gil despite a few typical squabbles. I just dont see how anyone can justify his sentence or put him in a category below Artest who beat up fans or Stephen Jackson who actaully shot a gun in a crowded place, not to mention the player who choked his coach. I for one think he was scape-goated and just to have everyone say he is a thug and trade him i believe is classless. He was a top 5 player in the league and there was evidence he was getting his form back before all this blew up. You want to throw that out the window for a player (Wall) who we have no idea how he will turn out? Believe me iam of the mindset that we give Arenas a chance and back him as the organization should have all along because he is the only player who can make the team a winner next year and believe me that over-blow gun incident will not affect any teams desire to get him as much as his contract size and reparied knees will.

Posted by: booker777 | May 29, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

When has being a great talent been such a punishment John Wall has no desire to play
with Gilbert Arenas or the Washington
Wizards I wished most players could speak their minds and just say im here (Washington)for a pay day sorry i guess they do with their play on the court.I seriously dout Gilbert wants to be here but give me a ton of money and i'll stay too.John Wall and everyone outside of DC
know their wil be no championship banner
flying in the Verizon Center any time soon. So Wizard fan be happy with you number 1 pick and if all goes well a year
from now you might be in the running for another 1 pick.Last but not least don't feel bad Wizards fans you have another set of loser across town those Redskins.

Posted by: mcggibson89 | May 30, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

John Wall has to be punished for bein a great talent he has no desire to play with Gilbert Arenas or the Washington Wizards.I wish players could speak their minds and say i'm just here (DC) for a pay day sorry i guess they do with their play on the court.Gilbert Arenas probably do not want to be here but give me a ton of money and i
would have stayed too.John Wall and everyone outside of (DC) know their will be no championship banners flying in the
Verizon Center no time soon so Wizards fans be happy with your #1 pick and if all
goes well a year from now you could be in the running for another #1 pick.Last but not least don't feel bad Wizards fans you
have another set of loser across town the
Redskins.

Posted by: mcggibson89 | May 30, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

John Wall has to be punished for bein a great talent he has no desire to play with Gilbert Arenas or the Washington Wizards.I wish players could speak their minds and say i'm just here (DC) for a pay day sorry i guess they do with their play on the court.Gilbert Arenas probably do not want to be here but give me a ton of money and i
would have stayed too.John Wall and everyone outside of (DC) know their will be no championship banners flying in the
Verizon Center no time soon so Wizards fans be happy with your #1 pick and if all
goes well a year from now you could be in the running for another #1 pick.Last but not least don't feel bad Wizards fans you
have another set of loser across town the
Redskins.

Posted by: mcggibson89 | May 30, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

What would you posters think about trading Gil' to Orlando for J.J. Reddick and the seldom used 'stud' Bradon Bass? Not sure about the numbers, but Orlando is looking for another go to guy. Can I some thought on this?

Posted by: bazteal | May 31, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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