Some clarity on David Stern's advice and Hamady Ndiaye's contract situation
I wanted to clarify a few things that I've reported over the past few days. First off, David Stern's advice to Gilbert Arenas and the Wizards to remain silent on his gun incident is not a "gag order" but rather a strong suggestion. No one would get fined for making comments, however, it would be frowned upon with the franchise looking to move in a new direction, with a new owner and some fresh new faces.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis told me that he wasn't going to go against Stern's recommendation for fear of getting fined, but team spokesman Kurt Kehl told the Associated Press on Thursday that the organization was never issued the threat of a financial penalty. "The idea of being fined was never intimated to him at all," Kehl said.
As I wrote in my blog post on Thursday, they have been advised not to talk about the situation. Arenas will assuredly be asked about it, either Monday at media day or some time throughout the season, but Stern supports him should the three-time all-star decide to issue no comment on the matter. Since he has been given permission to avoid the subject, Arenas is expected to follow those orders.
Secondly, while Hamady Ndiaye is working out at Verizon Center and expected to participate in training camp with the Wizards beginning next week, he has yet to accept the non-qualifying tender. Ndiaye most likely will take it, with only a few days left before camp and him unable to get offers from elsewhere.
Ndiaye and the Wizards remain hopeful that he finds employment overseas before the regular season begins, because the longer he sticks around, the more problems it could possibly present for both sides. Unless Ndiaye completely blows away the Wizards in training camp and the preseason, the team does not plan on having him in uniform in the upcoming season.
The Wizards don't want to use a roster spot and send him down to the NBA Developmental League, either. They would like to maintain some roster flexibility by going into the season with either 13 or 14 players. Having that 15th roster spot available could help the Wizards if they feel the need to add some veteran help in an area of need or to take back another player in a possible trade down the road.
The dilemma for both sides is that the Wizards would lose Ndiaye's rights if they have to cut him in training camp. Ndiaye is seen as an extra asset for the organization, since the Wizards only asked for the 57th pick from Minnesota after they had already agreed to move up to get Trevor Booker. They would like to have Ndiaye in a Wizards uniform at some point, just not before he has developed and received some playing time and experience elsewhere. The way the Wizards are currently constructed, Ndiaye is unlikely to gain sufficient playing time this season.
I hope that clears up any confusion for you guys.
| September 24, 2010; 9:19 AM ET
Categories: Gilbert Arenas, Hamady Ndiaye
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