Checking in

It's been quiet so far this weekend. The Wizards and Grizzlies are still working on the details of the Juan Carlos Navarro trade. The Wiz are getting a first rounder but I'm not sure about the lottery protection. I'll update as soon as I know something concrete.

A quick update on a couple of Wiz players: Oleksiy Pecherv and Dominic McGuire have been in Las Vegas the last few days working out at a skills camp. However, the word is that Pesh has been bothered by a sore groin/hamstring and is going to shut it down for a few days.

Nothing new to report on Blatche negotiations. My feel is that the sides will eventually come to an agreement and Andray will be a Wizard when camp opens. Don't be surprised if this is the team you see in October. I've heard that the team has interest in resigning Roger Mason and the final two or three spots may be filled by some of the summer leaguers like Mike Hall and Aaron Miles. After summer league, Eddie said he was impressed by what he saw from Miles and the coaching staff and front office likes what Hall brings to the practice court, lockeroom and bench.

By Ivan Carter |  August 5, 2007; 5:22 PM ET
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first!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2007 5:38 PM

thanks van these a good wizards team i think are bench is going to better

Posted by: brandon | August 5, 2007 5:44 PM

Thanks for the update.

If this is the team we will see in October, what are you hearing about Haywood? Is there a trade brewing to fix the center position and open up salary space to re-sign Gilbert and AJ next year?Can the Wiz continue with Etan and Haywood---chemistry counts.

Any news on what Denver wants for Camby? Haywood, two number 1's,filler and Opec might get it done. Etan seems untradeable but a good backup for us.

What do you think it will take to sign AJ and Gilbert next year. Some analysis of the salary situation next year is needed to understand the moves to be made, if any, this year?

Posted by: wizfanatic | August 5, 2007 5:47 PM

Are the Wizards still interested in using the biannual exception on Calvin Booth?

Posted by: Emmet | August 5, 2007 6:11 PM

"Haywood, two number 1's,filler and Opec might get it done" for Camby? I'm pretty sure Denver would go for that one. Maybe the filler could be McGuire, Blatche, and Young. And maybe throw in a few more 1st round picks while you're at it.

Posted by: Bob | August 5, 2007 6:16 PM

yeah camby is 32 or 33 haywood and a number 1 maybe 2 #1's is all they would get. He's not kevin garnett

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2007 6:34 PM

word is we are trying to package our picks for wilcox or aldridge. Also obviously etan or haywood wouldhave to be involved to make salaries work.

Posted by: scoop | August 5, 2007 6:45 PM

wizfanatic,

i believe that we will have enough money to sign Gil and Jamison next year...because Jamison will sign for about 7 or 8 mil per and those other 8 mil we took off of Jamison's contract..we use about 6 mil and add it to Gils Salary for next year he will make about 17 mil per

Posted by: Fulvio | August 5, 2007 6:45 PM

Good lookin on all the updates Ivan!
So as far as the last 3 or 2 spots, how does it look for Donnell? My gut feelin tells me he might be a victim of numbers but i really hope he somehow sticks wit the team. On the real, i'd take Taylor over Hayes any day!

Posted by: DjB | August 5, 2007 7:18 PM

word is we are trying to package our picks for wilcox or aldridge. Also obviously etan or haywood wouldhave to be involved to make salaries work.

Posted by: scoop | August 5, 2007 06:45 PM

Man the way rumors spread around here is absurd. Some anon yesterday proposed two number ones for wilcox and i responded that that wouldn't work without etan for the salary matching... then today you post exactly that

Posted by: Dante | August 5, 2007 7:19 PM

Thanks again, Ivan.

It seems like the Wizards are flying under the rader, preseason picks wise. Everyone is understandably talking about Boston, but when they talk about other contenders Washington isn't even mentioned. I love it.

I hope Miles makes it.

Posted by: Patrick | August 5, 2007 7:29 PM

Grunfeld's not going to make a 4 for 1, or another big multi-player deal to get a 32 yr. old center.
He's building us to be a longterm contender not a flash in the pan. We're not giving up valuable young assests without getting a valuable young peice in return.
Camby's a nice player, but he's not worth any of the packages mentioned here. Grunfeld's alot smarter than that.

Posted by: GM | August 5, 2007 7:58 PM

Bob---

Come up with something reasonable and cut out the hate. Camby means we win now. The window to win is closing fast. Or maybe you have not noticed the moves made by the other teams in the east.

Posted by: wizfanatic | August 5, 2007 8:07 PM

DjB, the real question isn't Hayes or Taylor. (Although, both are terrible.) The real question is Miles or Taylor, and quite frankly, I liked what I saw from Miles in the summer league more than anything I saw from Taylor during the season. If it's Miles or Taylor, I say Miles.

Posted by: Colin | August 5, 2007 8:45 PM

This Navarro trade is getting better the more I think about it.

Memphis stunk last year and they'll stink this year too. If they're as committed to Gasol as this trade makes me think, they'll probably stink for quite some time. This could end up being a pretty good pick and bargaining chip for Ernie.

Posted by: Wei | August 5, 2007 9:15 PM

"Are the Wizards still interested in using the biannual exception on Calvin Booth?"

Yeah, I like Booth and I was wondering the same.

"word is we are trying to package our picks for wilcox or aldridge."

Where is this "word" from? Personally I can't see it happening, no one is going to give up those guys for a couple picks and Etan.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 5, 2007 9:48 PM

Camby will turn 34 during the next season. Throughout his career, he has missed an average of 26 games a year. That's a third of a season... EVERY YEAR!

It would be crazy to trade Haywood plus two first round picks for him. We'd be lucky to get two 50-game seasons out of Camby before he is done as a player. I wouldn't even trade Haywood and one first rounder for him.

Posted by: nate33 | August 5, 2007 9:54 PM

Hey Ivan,

Before you decide on the Celtics "not being so good" thing remember one thing: The worst of thier "big 3" three shoots 79% from the line.

Again, barring injury they will be a very good team and *possibly* in the Finals this upcoming season.

I really can't see anyone in the East except a healthy Miami taking it to them. And before anyone mentions our very own Wizards, Doc Rivers out-coaches Jordan every time they meet.

The Celtics WILL be a very good team.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 5, 2007 9:55 PM

Yeah we couldn't have picked a better team to get a number one from. My fear is they might be so bad that the 123 protection would kick in. The west is still stacked and if Oden or Durant and Green make their teams better that is just more pressure on Memphis. I like the combo of Navaro and Gasol, but that only gets them so far. Looking forward though, they will be bad for a while and that pick will be appetizing trade bait.

In the mean time, I don't think Grunfeld makes another move unless it is really juicy. This team is well composed with vets and depth, so it will take a nice carrot to mix things up.

Personally, I don't think we need Camby. I wouldn't turn him down if the deal was sweet, but we don't need to pull a Boston and throw the locker room out for a deal.
Boston made a desperation play, and they will live / die by that for a while. Anybody throwing wacky trades around right now is probably trying to make Dan Snyder look better. And that woulda worked too... but these aint your same ole boullez...

Posted by: greg | August 5, 2007 9:55 PM

You read it here. Ray locks in a Boston will be very good pick.

I don't think they will be bad necessarily, but there are a lot of hurdles between here and the regular season.

Not the least of which is chemistry. These guys don't have the strong supporting cast that can help while they work on playing together, finding out where each other likes their shots, etc etc. It is not unheard of for big name players to take a while to gell. Look at AI in Denver last season. Or T-mac in houston. I mean, basically look wherever you want, cause it happens all over he league every year. And the teams that develop the most consistency definitely tend to have a leg up not only in the early season, but also during high pressure situations. Do they have potential? Absolutely. Are they ready to be crowned kings of the east. Not yet, by a long shot. If they struggle early things could come unhinged. There is going to be a lot of pressure in beantown, and not a lot of margin for error. IS miami the only team that can face them? That i seriously doubt. I think a lot of teams are going to look forward to playing that team, and nobody is going to roll over. I think teams like Toronto and NJ that might not even be deep playoff teams could pose serious issues to the Celtics. Let alone teams like Chicago Detroit and Washington. Notice, I didn't even mention miami yet. The east is not the west, but neither is Boston.

How many finals appearances do those guys have?

Posted by: greg | August 5, 2007 10:05 PM

Some here seem to think we've got decent depth. After seeing how we responded to injuries in second half of last season (especially playoffs) I have no confidence in our "depth".

We've got some promising young guys, but don't count on them to make an impact this early. It's possible, but not likely.

We have potential future depth, but if any of our big 3 get injured this season, we're f#%@ed. Look at Phoenix and Dallas - now they've got proven depth. Ours is "hopeful" depth at best. Navarro could have added that spark/insurance that we so dearly need.

Posted by: DCW | August 5, 2007 10:21 PM

We can definitely get in the playoffs with this roster, barring catastrophic injuries or more self-destructive behavior like Andray just exhibited. Can we get past the first round? Maybe. Further than than, I'm not so sure.

I'm just going to hold my breath and hope that Young, McGuire, Pech and Blatche grow up fast, a healthy Songaila provides muscle and savvy underneath, and Ernie/Eddie fix the chemical imbalance between Etan and Haywood.

If everybody comes to camp with the right attitude, there's no reason the Wiz can't contend.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2007 10:26 PM

We can definitely get in the playoffs with this roster, barring catastrophic injuries or more self-destructive behavior like Andray just exhibited. Can we get past the first round? Maybe. Further than than, I'm not so sure.

I'm just going to hold my breath and hope that Young, McGuire, Pech and Blatche grow up fast, a healthy Songaila provides muscle and savvy underneath, and Ernie/Eddie fix the chemical imbalance between Etan and Haywood.

If everybody comes to camp with the right attitude, there's no reason the Wiz can't contend.

[Sorry. Didn't mean to go anonymous.

Posted by: zinger1 | August 5, 2007 10:29 PM

I disagree. I think we have a lot more depth than we did last year at this time.

Sure we have some young guys, but we have a healthy Songaila, a developing O-pec and (hopefully) more seasoned blatch. Last year we didn't have anything approaching that on the bench. Plus we have two solid picks, with MacGuire looking like he could pull some quality minutes. We haven't lost any starters, and even if we wind up going in to this season with both Etan and Brenda they both seem to be healthy. Not the case last season. Do we have all stars riding the pine? Not really, but maybe future all stars. Not too many teams have more depth than us right now. Can we survive having 2 starters out for the season? Maybe not, but name another team that can.

We definitely have some more depth this season, you can tell by the lack of NBADL slots we have open. Last season we carried about five players who had questionable NBA prospects. Hayes, Ruffin, Boothe, Mason, Taylor... and Hall. (some rotated) I like all of these guys, but the fct that we don't have room for them all this season is a good sign for our depth.

Eat a bran muffin and calm down about Dallas and Phoenix. No one has depth like they do, but neither of those teams has won a championship either.

We'll know more about OUR depth by mid-season.

Posted by: greg | August 5, 2007 10:37 PM

I think playoffs should be an expectation, I don't think we should expect all our young guys to be studs. A few may bust, but if one or 2 show some real talent that will be more than we had last year. That is my point. I'm not sitting here imagining that we just hit 4 home runs. But really this team just needs some spot help at this point. Sure if our stars go down it could be a long season, but isn't that a painfully obvious observation that could made around the league without exception.

HEADLINE: Teams need best players healthy. Seasons in peril!

(thanks for the insight)

Posted by: greg | August 5, 2007 10:42 PM

i agree with greg the bench is better and also people have been saying we might not even make the playoffs this year. people forget that at one time this year we were number 1 in the east so we have a good team. and we would go deep in the playoffs if gil caron were healthy so we have a good shot

Posted by: brandon | August 5, 2007 10:46 PM

"Look at Phoenix and Dallas - now they've got proven depth."

I love how Phoenix is cited as an example here. They're seven deep at best -- Nash, Bell, Diaw, Marion, Amare, Hill, and Barbosa. Depth is not their strong suit. Their Top 7 is the best in the league...that's why they're a contender.

Maybe Tucker makes it a Top 8. I doubt it.

Not saying the Wizards' depth is strong...the jury's still out. But Phoenix is not a good comparison.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 5, 2007 10:58 PM

Assuming we fill out the roster with:
Miles, Mason and Booth

Our Bench should be better than last year:
NO Jarvis
NO Taylor
NO Ruffin
More Experienced Blatche
Healthy DSong
Pech (better than Ruffin)
Young & DMac (better than Taylor & Jarvis)

Posted by: Rook | August 5, 2007 11:05 PM

Thanks for the update Ivan. Yeah I really like Miles, he looked real good running the summer Wiz. Without much practice time together, he was setting people up real well, hitting them in good spots, making nice passes, and few mistakes. Good defensively too, and hits his shot when open.

I also like Hall, he improved throughout the summer games. Mason has shown the ability to come off the bench and hit some 3s, and plays solid D.

I like these 3 for the final roster spots to round out the team.

Posted by: Darnell | August 5, 2007 11:18 PM

Rook is exactly right, we not only have added talent we have added with the subtraction of certain people (Arvis and Ruffin in particular!). And Ray when did Doc Rivers outcoach anybody? I know Bill Simmons isn't an unimpeachable source, but have you read what he says about Rivers and he has pretty good examples to back it up.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 5, 2007 11:19 PM

thanks for the update Ivan. soon you'll be giving JLC, Steinbog and Goffinho a run for their money.

Posted by: Dr. no-Know | August 5, 2007 11:23 PM

I saw on bulletsforever I think that the protection for the pick is lottery in 08, and top 3 in 09. Can anyone confirm? And also if we can choose to take it in 09 if we want? I'm sure it will be announced soon, I am just getting antsy.

Also, I don't know where the "word" came from that we were trying to get Aldridge. That would be amazing if we did, but there's almost zero chance that happens.

Posted by: AV | August 5, 2007 11:49 PM

EG says Opec will not see many minutes so why keep him. AJ will cost more than $7m to sign next year---more like $12-15m per year. So if we fail to address our immediate need for interior D, rebounding and toughness we are not a lock for the playoffs and surely will have trouble getting out of the first round. Gil will not like that and we may not be able to afford AJ. All bad.

I like the 1st rounder for Navarro: brilliant move (wiz get a fungible asset and could not sign him anyway). Now lets move it and address the C position. Camby is the only available C that fits the bill and gives us a bona fide shot now. Our 1st rounder will be in the 15 to 20 range---not like we will find an impact player there and wiz record for drafting stinks.

Camby for Haywood, 2 1st rounders and Opec is all good. Give them AD for salary relief to wiz/filler (if we are so lucky) and keep Opec (why people are so high on him I cannot figure out). That's a fair trade that works under the trade rules. Its similar to K.Thomas and two 1st rounders to Seattle for trade exception. The rookies will not have a big impact on the team;it makes me nervous to think that's where our depth comes from. We cannot stand pat with this roster. If we do, its mediocrity baby!

Playoff teams:
1. Chicago
2. Detroit
3. Cleveland
4. Boston
5. Miami
6. Toronto
7. NY
8. Wiz

Orlando and Milwaukee will make it interesting for the 7th and 8th spots. Lets get real and try to win now! Camby is an injury risk and a veteran but if it works out,he gives us what we need. Etan stays a backup. Name a better option that also sets us up for 09!

Posted by: wizfanatic | August 5, 2007 11:57 PM

The Nets are also in the mix for a playoff spot!

Posted by: wizfanatic | August 6, 2007 12:13 AM

ivan, what's the word i have been reading on etan not practicing/working out and turning into a fat ass? if he is such a role model to the public (writing poetry and speaking at left wing political rallies), why can't he find the time to get his ass in shape and dismiss the notion of the lazy/overpaid pro athlete?

Posted by: mark | August 6, 2007 12:16 AM

The bench is not the problem will EJ let the young guys get quality minutes during the season. Guys shouldnt get minutes just because of injuries, let them take there lumps now and by the time the playoffs come around our bench will be one of the best in the east.

Posted by: Rock Star | August 6, 2007 12:23 AM

"They're seven deep at best -- Nash, Bell, Diaw, Marion, Amare, Hill, and Barbosa."

Which makes them 4 deeper than the Wizards were last season. It remains to be seen if the that changes this year, but I'd keep expectations low given that all of the help the Wizards are expecting to have comes in the form of rookies and a teenager with obvious maturity issues.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 12:31 AM

All the trade proposals are fine, esp. if we could get an effective center out of it, but Ivan just told us that the roster is basically set. Barring some last minute "change of heart" by another team, EG apparently has given up trying to trade the dead weight of BH and ET since no one went for JCN and one of them in a trade.

With them around, short of a miracle from AB or Pesh or DS to fill the void, we're stuck with the same combo at center that "imploded" for the Wiz last year. Even with the better bench, they're nothing more than the 6th - 8th best team now. Alas!!

Posted by: Daydreamer | August 6, 2007 7:05 AM

how do some of you guys think the wizards would get the last seed i think

1.pistons
2.clevend
3.chaigo
4.heat if healthy
5.wizards
6.nets
7.raptors
8.magic

Posted by: brandon | August 6, 2007 7:15 AM

Say it ain't so, Ivan. Another year of Haywood and Thomas drama????? I just can not go through another year with situation. Please tell me EG is working on something???

Good updates, by the way. You have now put the naysayers to rest...................

Posted by: Bullets Fever | August 6, 2007 8:21 AM

We need Jermaine O'Neal!

AJ is an equal talent, with O'Neal having an advantage of age, and playing a position of greater importance - and AJ having a better record of staying injury-free.

So...AJ, Etan and the Memphis #1, for O'Neal and Ike Diogu (to make the salaries work). That would provide 700K of salary cap relief for the Wiz, while keeping Indiana under the luxury tax threshold.

How about it?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 9:11 AM

Mike Hall signed the Wizards Qualifying Offer on July 22nd for $862K. The Wizards made him a restricted free agent on June 29, 2007.

Posted by: Future Sports | August 6, 2007 9:11 AM

what are your people smoking with these playoff seedings?

1. Chicago - The growth of Tyrus Thomas will only be tempered by how much Ben Wallace slides. If they manuveur for Kobe this is a given
2. Washington - Best record in East before Antawn's 1st knee problems. The offense will be flawless having the same cast for a 2nd year in a row.
3. Cleveland - LeBron is this good by himself.
4. Boston - Big 3, no bench and no clutch.
5. Detroit - Frustration with Flip Saunders boils over combined w/ they are now scared of LeBron like they were Mike.
6. Toronto - Alooooot of unsung talent, plus a new sharpshooter (that doesnt play D)
7. Miami - They have to play Shaq and that keeps D Wade from being the best in the league
8. Nets - Return of their big 3, plus the boatload of quality big men returning/joining the lineup.

9. NY - I don't see how they play together down low on defense. It's a congo line to the basket all game long.
10. Magic - Rashard Lewis is a DOWNGRADE from Grant Hill when Turgkolu is already on the roster. Nelson is still running point.

Posted by: KD | August 6, 2007 9:17 AM

I still think that as long as the Wiz stay healthy and Songaila is with them out of the box, that we'll be looking at a 3, 4 seed in the East. I see CHI, DET and TOR being the folks we'll contend with, plus MIA if everyone there is healthy.

I'd say the Wizards could even steal a 2 seed -- BUT that depends on if they cut out last season's habit of slipping up against teams with injuries or bad records, close out games better and stop letting unknown players go off (Zaza Pachulia, anyone?).

This is also with the understanding that Boston and NY made major moves in the offseason, but both the Celtics and Knicks have to come together as teams.

Meanwhile, I love that ESPN, and virtually everyone else, keeps ignoring the Wizards. Let 'em sleep.

Posted by: iceberg | August 6, 2007 9:51 AM

I just read that it was Blatche's friend picked up for solicitation and not him. He was picked up on another unrelated charge regarding his driving liscense or somehting. Fact is, you can't always believe what your read and rush to judgement. Let the chips fall where they may first and get both sides.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 9:51 AM

i agree with KD about the seedings...i see no reason why the wizards shouldn't be in the top 5. i think chicago, cleveland, detroit, toronto, and washington will be jockeying within the top 5. and the final three will be determined by boston, miami, nj, orlando, charlotte (yeah i said it) and ny...

Posted by: JC | August 6, 2007 9:59 AM

I'm on board with KD, too for the most part. The Wiz can get by in the regular season on offense. What they do in the playoffs is a different story but no way we fall lower than 3 if we stay healthy. If one (and my vote is on McGuire) of out other bench players comes up big, I can see us being a 1 seed. The Celts will be ok til one of their big 3 get hurt but the Heat is REALLY overrated. Wade can't continue to get the MJ calls with every referee on his best behavior this year. I think it may take a while for Gil to adapt, too. The difference is that Wade travels on every other possession while Gil makes a living on drawing fouls. Shaq is done. He's in the middle echelon of big men. If we play him one on one, we can beat the Heat.

Posted by: Mark | August 6, 2007 10:23 AM

The reason why everyone is ignoring the wizards is because they aint bout nuthin. Gilbert is the only player that will ball on everybody this season, Jamison is finished and Butler wont repeat last season. Stevenson will suck bcuz he isnt playin for a big contract anymore. I think they will make the playoffs but wont make it past round one. My team (PHX) will win it all this year no doubt we were cheated last year by Donaghy. Amare wont have it this year..GO SUNS! good luck in the "tougher" East

Posted by: Victor | August 6, 2007 10:52 AM

http://news10now.com/content/sports/?ArID=115397&SecID=32

Post headline reads "Blatche charged with solicitation" but Blatche says he wasn't.

Posted by: Zonker | August 6, 2007 10:53 AM

Posted by: Andray Blatche | August 6, 2007 10:59 AM

It is interesting to learn that perhaps Blatche was not charged with solicitation, but that probably doesn't change anything from Grunfeld's perspective. I mean, if you are in a car and someone in that car is soliciting a prostitute, it certainly is reasonable to assume that you would have been partaking in those activities once the arrangements were made.

Posted by: Sean | August 6, 2007 11:01 AM

I just got jinxed by Andray Blatche himself... sweet...

Posted by: Zonker | August 6, 2007 11:03 AM

Ivan - you got some 'splaining to do!

Posted by: reispace | August 6, 2007 11:06 AM

We have essentially the same roster as last year. Essentially, we have swapped:

Young for Hayes
McGuire for Ruffin
Pecherov for Booth
Miles for Donell Taylor.

Everything else is the same. I don't see much improvement over next year (though things should be better in the long run). As a rookie, Young won't be better than Hayes. Miles is no better than Taylor. Pecherov is probably worse than Booth. Our only improvement is that McGuire will probably be better than Ruffin.

Our team wasn't that good last year. Everyone wants to rewrite history and blame injuries, but injuries weren't the cause. At the 74-game mark, we were on a 44-win pace. At that point, Arenas had missed 0 games, Butler had missed 4, Jamison had missed 12, and Haywood, Stevenson and Daniels had combined to miss just 4. We were a very healthy ball club that was barely above .500 in a terrible conference.

I don't see much reason for optimism. The East has improved. New Jersey got healthy, Boston made the big trade, and Orlando signed Lewis. Miami will probably be better too if Wade stays healthy. We've done nothing but stand pat.

Our only hope is that EJ sees the light and decides to play Haywood a good 28 minutes a game. Statistically, we are a very good team with Haywood on the floor. Our best stretch last year was when Etan, Ruffin and Songaila were hurt and EJ had no choice but to play Haywood 30+ minutes a game. (We went 17-5 during that period).

Unfortunately, I don't see it happening. EJ hates Haywood and will look for any excuse to bench him. Our only hope is that EG manages to use the 1st round pick acquired in the Navarro trade to dump Etan and force EJ to play Haywood.

Posted by: nate33 | August 6, 2007 11:07 AM

yeah, i don't see how that changes anything materially for blatche. Probably helped him from getting his butt kicked by his mom.

Posted by: greg | August 6, 2007 11:16 AM

I'm sure EJ hates haywood.

Maybe if haywood didn't pull some of his crap it would be a different story. If he acts like he did toward the end of last season EJ isn't going to be his biggest problem. Everybody in the building will be booing him. Haywood is a sleepy player. He can be great, and then he can disappear for long stretches... I can sympathize with EJ wanting a player to show some life.

Posted by: greg | August 6, 2007 11:21 AM

Last year's bench sucked, the starters would build a ten point lead and in five minutes the bench would throw it away.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how good this team is with a bench that can hold or even expand on a lead. Also the team was something like 0-100 when one of the big three was injured, I don't think that'll be the case next year because of the stronger bench.

I'm not afraid of any of the new talent that came to the East this year. Lewis is way overpaid, the Knicks are the Knicks (although they were coming on a little bit towards the end of last season), and Boston is going to look like the Zards did last year -- great starting five builds a ten point lead, completely lousy bench fritters it away. It'll be a challenging year for them, I'll be surprised if they win more than 45 games. Mark the Zards down for 50.

Posted by: Zonker | August 6, 2007 11:24 AM

Those three swaps you detailed nate are big improvements, because they aren't just additions they are also addition by subtraction. Also Dominic McGuire may turn out to be the most important addition of this offseason, some much needed toughness, defense and energy from off the bench.
Don't forget, (this is assuming he isn't hurt this summer) a full year of Songaila and (hopefully) a full year of Butler and Arenas. If everything comes together the Wizards could max out at 50-53 wins.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 6, 2007 11:29 AM

Yeah, the wizards had some ups and downs, but with approximately the same line up they were much improved from the previous season. That is what consistency and maturity gets you. I think the wizards will continue to improve in this regard. Boston is going to take some time to get things going. I think Boston might be more of a concern next year if they manage to get some savvy vets in around those guys... but those vets are going to have to take small contracts. We shall see...

Posted by: greg | August 6, 2007 11:30 AM

Just because mcguire tore up summer league doesn't mean it will translate to the NBA. I think he will be very good eventually but Blatche lit up summer league last year and barely got any playing time during the summer. Also Marcus banks had 42 points in a summer league game and we have already seen what he can do in the league. Mcguire could be a future star love his toughness but come on people you act like he will step in and play regular minutes off the bench and be a stud right away. Also we should be happy if our team is a top 4 seed. We are very talented but we give up way to many easy games because we can't play defense and we didn't improve on D we just brought in more offense. If one of the big 3 go down for 10 games or more the team is done.

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 11:59 AM

Blatche was charged with solicitation. period. He has to report for drug testing right now - weekly. Blatche is "getting out of control."

Also, another club incident(approx 2-3 wks ago) Blatche him assaulting a man in back of head over a "young woman." Bouncer broke it up. They already know when he shows up - its a problem.

Let me say this to you...he lives in VA. Had he been picked up in VA?????

With his repeated charges...
He wouldn't be driving(have to pay a driver) and might not be out on personal recog.

He, like some of the Redskins - drive into DC to get crazy...they know better than to mess with virginia courts.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 12:00 PM

anon anyone can just make up info about blatche. Where is a source that has this info? No one believes ur made up drivel

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 12:03 PM

And Ray when did Doc Rivers outcoach anybody?"

Ok, how many times was Jordan outcoached last year George? Be honest now.

The ONLY thing different is that all of Jordan's "4 minute smallballers" are now gone with one exception: Etan.

"The east is not the west, but neither is Boston."

Oh, I agree with everything you said greg. I'm just saying without Allen and Garnett that Pierce alone is always able to kill the Wiz which goes to what I'm saying to George about coaching.

I just don't see the Wiz beating them in a series is all.

"Unfortunately, I don't see it happening."

I agree nate, and that is why next summer may be rather dismal around here. Jordan is setting himself up to get fired, Gilbert may leave, as well as Jamison.

I hope the Wiz have a GREAT season or it could very well be gloom and doom around here...again.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 6, 2007 12:11 PM

There's no way that Ernie will give up a package of our young players and draft picks for Camby.
Besides Denver is shopping for a deal to get luxury tax releif, the only way we'd be able to put together a package that would help them out there would be something built around Jamison.
I just can't see that happening, Grunfeld still sees a team that was in first place in the East before injuries to the big three exposed a tragic lack of depth.
Two big changes right off the bat, Songalia will be available and Blatche will be a seasoned young player that can contribute from day one. Last year Songalia missed the first 45 games with back surgery and was never 100% all season. It takes a long time to get your legs back after back surgery, he'll be a completely different player this year. He's the ideal smallball center for this team, the few games that Songalia was available when the big three were healthy the Princeton really clicked when he was on the floor with them.
After Blatche's shooting his rookie year was pretty much a wash, last season he was just learning the NBA game. If you remember Jordan was very unhappy with his conditioning level at the start of last year. I'd been reading here and other places that he'd been really working hard this off season, much more dedicated than before. Apparently so much so he hasn't had time for a regular girl friend. This may just spur a little responsibility in the kid. I'm still looking for him to step up this year.
I think Daniels and EJ might have finally figured each other out enough to have a set role for Daniels in the rotation. First 20 to 25 games last year Jordan seemed to be trying to carve out a bigger role for Taylor which in the end didn't work out. Daniels role and time fluctuated and so did his production and attitude. You'd think by year three those two could settle into a solid role and we could get production from day one instead of it taking 40-45 games for Daniels to hit his stride.
Pecherov, Young, and McGuire. We don't have to hit a homerun just get solid contributions. I'm of the opinion that Opec is going to be a very solid NBA player. In Songalia he has the almost ideal mentor for his game, which is very similar. When Opec's done growing, he'll be Songalia with about 4 more inches of height. Which ain't going to be a bad thing to have at center in this offense. That's what I see in him.
Young is the guy that could be the boom or bust player on this team. Boy, does that kid have talent! Now if he can just learn to harness it and hone it. If he's a hard worker and a Gym rat he could be a real player in this league. In the meantime he could get lit up from time to time, right now he doesn't play a lick of D.
McGuire is the one of these guys that could end up playing the most minutes off the bat, he could be the most solid NBA ready player of the group right now. I see a guy that may grow into a player with the ability to defend some ones and in some lineups he'll take the 5. A bigger Pippin style player, and I was surprised to see him handle the ball so well in the open floor. I see why Darnell was so excited that we got him.
I'd like to see Booth brought back to have a vet deep on the bench for his professinalism. Miles, Visser and Hall all earned camp invites from summer league and I wouldn't mind seeing if Mason could fight his way onto the club in a spirited camp competition. Haywood and Etan better come to camp ready to play and compete because if they start pulling each other's hair out Songalia or Opec could start.
This is a much deeper club than last year when Ruffin was down early and Haywood and Etan were out we STARTED Lang at center one game. Where is he now?

Posted by: GM | August 6, 2007 12:12 PM

ok so we have essentially the same team.
Why keep the same bench? They were horrible last year Mason Hall included.

No defensive coach?
We still have Hayes, haywood, Thomas

Did we at least keep Antonio Daniels?
He played well in playoffs..Good Grief..
if they had to do anything at least get a new bench. Keeping the same sorry guys isn't improving to me. Are they trying to keep the same team with the premise they'll be experienced?

Or is this the team Gil put together with Abe's wallet?

Posted by: Bob | August 6, 2007 12:14 PM

A healthy Songaila should make a significant difference off the bench. After that it's all question marks, given the youth and inexperience of every backup contributor. The Wiz really need an experience NBA backcourt vet scorer off the bench (and no, Navarro doesn't count) to provide some perimeter punch when Arenas rests.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 12:20 PM

GM could ur posts be any longer or filled with more nonsense? "I see a guy that may grow into a player with the ability to defend some ones and in some lineups he'll take the 5. A bigger Pippin style player, and I was surprised to see him handle the ball so well in the open floor" That statement is crazy mcguire can't guard the 5 in this league. He himself said he thinks he can guard the 1-4 in this league. Also he is nothing like pippen and will never be. Pippen brought the ball up the floor for the bulls regularly mcguire can't do that and anyways their games just aren't alike at all. Also if you think songalia is going to have a chance to start at the 5 you must be smoking crack. He is an undersized 4 why would he possibly be moved to the starting 5.

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 12:31 PM

The Wiz don't need to open up any "salary space" next year. Arenas might get a few million more, but it will be offset by Jamison getting a few million less. And those guys aren't being paid out of the midlevel or biannual exceptions anyway.

Posted by: Corrections Dept | August 6, 2007 12:31 PM

can somebody post that newsarticle...i cant get to the link becuase it is blocked from my work..thank you

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 12:36 PM

it was posted today that the charges against blatch were false! the media tells u what they want u to think, and we all jumped on the bandwagon, so......... i apologize mr blatche!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 12:43 PM

he was still in the car with someone trying to solicit sex. What do you think he planned on doing watching, sitting in the car until they were done? No reason to apologize to him he is still putting himself in situations he shouldn't be in. He is in the middle of contract negotiations he should be home or in the gym

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 12:48 PM

so we are pretty much gonna be almost the same team as last year with NO IMPROVE BIG MAN...I'm very dissapointed. They always talking about winning however, they never brought in or making a trade for a big man to improve the team, the major area that they really need. As a wizards fan, I'm very very dissapointed, I'm just speechless and upset cause i know they could do better than this!

Posted by: NV | August 6, 2007 12:51 PM

How did Blatche get off? There is something sketchy there? If he was in a car with someone soliciting sex...how is he not charged? Its obvious what he was there for

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 12:52 PM

Nate33,
When AJ went down for 12 games, we were 4-8 in those games. Assuming that we win half of those, that's an additional 4 games. Also, let's count the games at the beginning of the season when Etan started vs. Haywood. We started out the season 11-9 when Etan started. Over the next 20 games, we were 14-6 when Haywood started. Again, assuming that EJ plays the better player (Haywood) we should have a better record. Also, we had no bench last year. How could anyone be worse than Booth? I think Pech would have to work hard to be worse. McGuire can play and is 2 upgrades better than Ruffin. G-Wiz over Hayes is an upgrade. I think there's reason for optimism and I'm a cynic. I don't see Young contributing at all for a couple or maybe a few seasons and Pech will never be more than a sub. We're still better. This, of course, makes one final BIG assumption. If Gilbert is healthy. I've torn cartilage a few times and I know how difficult it is. The reports out of Barry Farms is that he favored the knee. Let's hope he can come back. I have one final opinion about Gil, too. I don't think he opted out because he is unhappy. He's a young guy who got hurt for the first time who realizes that he needs to make as much $$ as he can because you never know when it can all end. Any one of us would have done the same thing whether we're happy or not with the team.

Posted by: mark | August 6, 2007 12:57 PM

correction. we started out 9-11 with Etan starting, not 11-9

Posted by: Mark | August 6, 2007 12:58 PM

we also had a ton of road games with etan in the lineup. Then when haywood started we had a ton of home games. We are terrible on the road and great at home no matter which one starts. They both suck we need a new center. I prefer Etan but wish we could play him at his real position which should be coming off the bench at the 4 but those are songalia's minutes.

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 1:02 PM

personally, i think our bench is much improved overall from last year. last year it was daniels, hayes, injured ruffin, injured songaila, thomas/haywood, and sometimes blatche.

there year it's daniels (same), young (no worse than hayes, possibly better), mcguire (better than hayes or ruffin), pech (better than ruffin/injured songaila), healthy songaila (much better than injured one), seasoned blatche (certainly not worse than last years blatche, and more than likely better).

not too mention our bench is just deeper now. we have more viable bodies. so i see no reason not to expect our bench to at least be marginally better, if not significantly improved. but even with just a slightly better bench, that should give us enough of an edge to be getting to the 50 win mark. our starting five should be just as good as last year, as long as arenas injury is fully healed.

in my opinion, other than boston and charlotte, and possible NY a tiny bit, no one else in the east made any huge leap in improvement. heck, it could be argued that cleveland and detroit actually did less this offseason than washington.

Posted by: JC | August 6, 2007 1:05 PM

"They both suck we need a new center. "
For shizzle. I always wondered why Etan never played the 4 but a couple years ago EJ said that he didn't have the foot speed. If centers beat can him, he'd give up 40 a game to decent PF's. On the bright side, he'd get 6 rebounds with his dreads and elbows swinging.

Posted by: Mark | August 6, 2007 1:19 PM

I really don't know where people get this myth that Thomas is really a PF (4). He's not. Yes, he's only 6' 9"/10" but size doesn't automatically define a position. He's never played any significant minutes at the PF position in the NBA or, to the best of my dim memory, in college. He's always been a(n undersized) C and that's not going to change now.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 1:21 PM

Re: Depth

It's not to early to say that we should have picked Bellinelli. Bellinelli could step in right now and given us good back- up minutes. Young might be ok in a few years, but he looks way-off right now & has a lot to learn.

Posted by: Wizzy | August 6, 2007 1:23 PM

Folks, I saw the report out of Syracuse that has Blatche saying he wasn't charged with solicitation. Because he nor his agent have return my calls I have only been able to report what was in the police report and the report - which was confirmed by a police spokesperson - says AB AND his boy were arrested and charged for solicitation. Again, it's only an allegation right now. His court date is set for Aug. 31. That's all I can tell you right now.

Posted by: The Real Ivan | August 6, 2007 1:30 PM

I think EJ prefers Etan because he leaves it all out on the floor. Effort-wise, EJ brings intensity more consistently than BTH. During that run last year in Oct - Dec when Etan was hurt, BTH played his best ball because he had a chip on his shoulder and because Etan had been named the starter at the beginning of the season. He played his way to stay in the starting lineup but also remember that the Hibachi was on fire during that time. As Etan got back into the picture, BTH slowly began his inconsistency and you could see there were distractions/frustrations both from EJ and with his run-ins with Etan. Bottom line was as a Post article expounded on, BTH and Etan needed each other and still do. If we're stuck with the 2 of them, they need to put the team over themselves. Personally, BTH has the gifts to be a dominant center in the league but there is something lacking athletically and mentally that he's satisfied with mediocrity. I think that is what frustrates EJ most.

Posted by: G$ | August 6, 2007 1:33 PM

once again if he was in the car what do you think he was doing? He wasn't going to sit there and wait til they were done. He was soliciting just like his boy. Now he is just making himself look like more of an idiot by saying he wasn't a part of it. Maybe Andre is dumber than i thought

Posted by: blatche is stupid | August 6, 2007 1:34 PM

haywood sucked in college, he sucks in the nba, he sucks now and will always suck. Etan is not much better

Posted by: haywood hater | August 6, 2007 1:36 PM

the last part of the season...gilby had a shoulder injury against milwaukee..he didn't very well afterthat...this is one of the reasons the wiz lost more games before the nose dive at the end of the season...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 1:38 PM

Uh Scoop!!I'm in agreement with you there..GM's post looks like Route 66 and then some. LOL, LOL

Kalorama, I agree with you as well and;

Ray as sad as I am to say this...I agree with you. If Gil, Antwan leave - yes it will be a sad 2008. Holdin my breath for this year and the defense. I think Song will be a great contributor - Etan's lethargy bothers me. And to be honest - don't mind Haywoods crazy antics...maybe it'll lite a fire under Thomas. I agree Mason, Booth Ruffin and the other bench huggers of last year can be dismissed. work with the most aggressive..we should dispell with the family friend stuff it should be about business.

Posted by: Rob | August 6, 2007 1:38 PM

what G4 said...

Thanks, Ivan.

Posted by: Mark | August 6, 2007 1:39 PM

Here is the story on Blatche:

www.news10now.com

Blatche returns home, charges false
8/6/2007 12:42:20 AM
By: Staff

Andray Blatche
It turns out that former Henninger high school basketball star Andray Blatche was not arrested on sexual solicitation charges as first reported.

Blatche, who plays for the NBA's Washington Wizards was in a car when a friend was busted for solicitaion by an under cover police officer.

Blathce told his side of the story on Sunday night in Syracuse. He was home visiting his family this weekend. Blatche says his friend, Gregory Palmer was arrested on the sex charges.

Blatche was arrested and brought in on a previous and unrelated driving without a licence charge from 2006.

Blatche is currently a restricted free agent, he has a contract offer on the table from the Wizards. He expects to sign the contract later this month.

Posted by: Tim | August 6, 2007 1:41 PM

Blatche was going to get some just like his boy.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 1:43 PM

seeing a lot of talk about our bench production. remember when the Bullets 2nd unit used to get them back in games after the starters fell behind? the Ledell Eckles, Charles Jones and Mark Alaries??? just food for thought. seriously, the bench this year ought to be productive. a lot of it will depend on EJ's rotations. he has a tendency to pull the plug quickly after 1 or 2 mistakes. these guys will only get better with playing time and experience. EJ's gotta find a way to balance that better. problem has been that when the Wiz get a big lead, their lack of d is exposed, there's a 4 or 5 minute lapse and it becomes a tight game again. we've got to get that killer instinct and finish teams off. that's why defensive stoppers and those hustle guys are so important. all of the really good teams have 2 or 3 of em. ruben patterson is out there, can't we sign and trade jarvis for him?

Posted by: G$ | August 6, 2007 1:49 PM

anyone who thinks blatche is innocent is naive beyond belief.

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 1:49 PM

Ivan any update on the memphis draft pick?? When do you think all this will be finalized?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 1:55 PM

Etan never strikes me as lethargic... I mean, in comparison to BTH. I prefer Etan's mentality, he has a bit of warrior in him. Brendan strikes me as more of a punk sometimes.

Ray - I know there are some random players around the league that always seem to have their best games against us. I don't think it is too surprising that Pierce is one of those. ( Earl Boykins? ) But I guess my big fear this year isn't the offensive damage other teams can do to us. I think we can score with about anybody. If Pierce brings it we will step it up a notch too. I am curious to see these two teams play, big 3 vs big 3. I could see Songaila or Blatche having a big game.

Posted by: greg | August 6, 2007 2:14 PM

"Etan's lethargy bothers me" What are you talking about...The only good thing about Etan is his energy. If haywood played with half the energy Etan plays with the Haywood would be the starter hands down. instead haywood plays one game then takes about 5 off. At least Etan gives you effort every night. It might not always be pretty but he always works his ass off.

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 2:19 PM

We can all speculate on what Blatche was or wasn't going to do. What was he actually charged with? If he was not actually charged with sexual solicitation, the Post should report this as soon as possible.

Posted by: Tim | August 6, 2007 2:24 PM

thanks tim for posting that article for me

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 2:26 PM

If there was some way to meld Etan's energy, motor, and competitiveness with Haywood's body, we'd get a double-double form the C position on a near nightly basis.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 2:31 PM

"Etan's lethargy" refers to recent reports that Etan has not been working out this summer, and that he has put on weight - NOT to his prior work on the court...

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 2:34 PM

Tim he was charged with solicitation period. He is just trying to get himself off the hook/make himself look better during contract talks. You don't go riding around with someone who is looking for a prostitute unless you are doing the same thing. Im not speculating its obvious. Like I said in my earlier post you couldn't be anymore naive if you think he is innocent.

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 2:34 PM

rook how can you possibly say what rob was talking about when it comes to etan

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 2:38 PM

"Ray as sad as I am to say this..."

I'm not that bad Rob, lol! ;)

"Ray - I know there are some random players around the league that always seem to have their best games against us."

The thing is, who stops Garnett on the Wiz? Blatche did a wonderful job on him last year when they played, but my only question now is: was Garnett motivated?

I'm one of the ones who believes he is on the best 5 players in the NBA. I mean the guy can get you 25-30 points on any night and 20 rebs to boot.

We'll see I guess, but I think Boston tremendously helped themselves. Beyond Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, Chicago didn't have much else and they won...a lot.

The Wiz can put up a ton of points but until they stop anyone I don't really see them advancing.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 6, 2007 2:40 PM

Well, anon.... why should I even answer you when you can't even put in your name (or nick)

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 2:42 PM

Ray is correct Defense wins championships. Unless the wiz start putting up 120 a game this year they aren't going to make it very far. the sad thing is even with 120 a game they would still lose some game their D is so bad.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 2:43 PM

whats the difference if i put my name. i could put a fake name or i could change my name every post. Ur post made no sense b/c ur just speculating you have no idea what he was talking about rook. You guys are awfully caught up on worthless names

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 2:45 PM

So Rob, I assume your "lethargy" comment about Eton is in reference to reports that he has not worked out this summer and has gained weight?

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 2:45 PM

and im not nick

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 2:45 PM

Scoop, actually I just wanted to know what he was actually charged with.

I did miss the post by "The Real Ivan" above when I was skimming through. Apparently, Ivan has reported what was in the police report confirmed by a police spokesperson and Blatche and his agent have not returned calls. So I guess that is the best information we have so far.

Posted by: Tim | August 6, 2007 2:46 PM

yeah tim the police report says he was charged with solicitation. Blatche is trying to spin it. Blatche is working his PR magic

Posted by: scoop | August 6, 2007 2:47 PM

Ray is talking about the Wiz defense but he likes Boston's ? The next time Jesus Shuttleworth plays defense in the NBA will be his first. The same goes for Pierce. Garnett is a beast defensively and offensively but he can't guard 3 guys. My opinion n championships: Defense has won championships but that mentality has teams trying to duplicate the Pistons or Spurs. I think the Suns have a good shot at a title and they are all about offense. I can't wait til they win one so we put that cliche to rest. I know the sports are completely different but the Colts D wasn't the reason they won the Bowl. Neither was the Skins D the years we won. Offense can win championships, too. It just hasn't been done recently. Magic and Birds teams were NOT about D. They played a little when they had to and had a defensive specialist (Cooper and DJ) but they outscored people primarily. We can, too.

Posted by: Mark | August 6, 2007 2:53 PM

While I agree that Etan might not be a power forward, he is more likely to be a power forward than Jamison is a center, and Jarvis is a power forward. Yet Jordan was willing to experiment with those two (and others) far out of position last season. Hopefully this season there will be better depth and no need to try Etan at the 4, but last season there were a couple of times where the situation screamed out for trying that, but EJ didn't do it.

Posted by: Sean | August 6, 2007 2:53 PM

i think dominic mcguire will be the steal of the draft this year
the past two years it has been the 47th pick of the draft who were steals: Ryan Gomes and Paul Millsap.
i hope andray gets more PT from EJ.

Posted by: TDAV | August 6, 2007 2:54 PM

Thinking about this, I guess my main point is we can't make a guy do what he's not been doing his whole career. Asking Gil to stop scoring and play D is like asking Nash not to pass and to score 30 a game. If we want a defensive team, we should stop drafting guys like Nick Young and trading for guys like Caron. We should either play to our strength (scoring) or get new players. With the team we have, D'Antoni's offense fits us more than San Antonio's defense.

Posted by: Mark | August 6, 2007 2:58 PM

I wish somehow we could get an athletic passing SG but i doubt that would happen w/ deshawn just being resigned.
shaun livingston would be great for us because he's a PG in a SF's body so he plays SG. He is good for 9 and 6 a game and good defense too.

Posted by: TDAV | August 6, 2007 3:00 PM

Ray says, in analyzing Boston's acquisitions this offseason: "Beyond Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, Chicago didn't have much else and they won..."

OK Ray.... normally, your posts are reasonably well thought out... but I think you're completely wrong there.
Steve Kerr
Horace Grant (All-star)
B.J. Armstrong (All-Star)
Bill Cartwright
Will Perdue
Pete Myers
Toni Kukoc
John Paxson
Ron Harper
Bill Wennington
Luc Longley
Did I miss any?

All those were very good NBA players.

In 95-96 they had the perhaps the league's best bench in Kerr, Kukoc, Wennington, Buechler, and Randy Brown. That's the season they won 71 games.

Now, for Boston: (let's call them the Big-3 and a bunch of d-League wanna-be's) They're up against the lux tax, so they'll have to round out their roster using the minimum exception (you can sign any number of minimum salary players)....


Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 3:12 PM

having said all that, I think Boston is more like Washington was last year.

Big-3 scorers... very little else. If they have an injury (or two, or three), they'll be out of it.

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 3:14 PM

Scoop,I guess when Phoenix has Diaw at center, which they do at times, you'd never want a guy like McGuire chasing him around.
Look at Chicago's roster, who plays center once Wallace sits? Teams are going to more and more combos where 1 to 5 are aren't all that different. You need guys that you can plug into different spots to defend.
Since McGuire played almost exclusively inside in college, I was surprised to see him handle the ball in the open floor.
Like it or not this is a deeper team than at this time last summer.

Posted by: GM | August 6, 2007 3:14 PM

I am sick and tired of hearing this "Etan gives you effort every night" myth. Where is Etan in the Cleveland series? He started all 4 game, and averaged what? 5 points a game! Etan wanted a chance to start, and he got it, but he absolutely disappeared in the playoff. And that's not even counting the fact that 40% of the night he is injured and cannot even show up.

Now, let's say in your workspace, if there is someone who is doing exactly the same thing you do. But he only show up 3 days out of a 5 day week, and does not produce as much works as you do, and yet he got a bigger pay, and is praised for all the "effort" he puts in, how would you feel?

Bottom line, Etan got bigger pay, didn't play as many games, and when he did play, did not have better stats than Haywood. Effort? What effort?

Now, no one is saying Haywood is a great center (he is not). But if you want Wizards to win game, don't fool yourself with this "effort" stuff.

Posted by: aka | August 6, 2007 3:27 PM

""Etan's lethargy" refers to recent reports that Etan has not been working out this summer, and that he has put on weight - NOT to his prior work on the court..."

Who cares how much weight he puts on in May, June, or July? As long as he's in shape and ready to go in November when the season starts, that's all that matters.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 3:31 PM

The problem with playing Etan at the 4 is that he'd get torched by quicker, more athletic PFs at the defensive end and do nothing to make it up on the offensive end. Jamison is a lousy defender at the 4, but at least he balances it out on the offensive end with big production.

Putting Thomas on the floor with Haywood not only gives you two players with no on-court chemistry, but it also creates a huge offensive void at two positions.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 3:35 PM

Kalorama - I don't really care if Etan took the summer off either... but that was not the point I was trying to make. Someone mistook Rob's post as meaning Etan does not put out effort.

From now on, I'll attempt to refrain from trying to clarify other's posts, and just state my opinions.

(does anyone here pay attention to the entire blog? or does everyone just read snippets?)

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 3:44 PM

Kalorama - totally agree with your post about Etan at the 4. Not only does he not have the footspeed to keep up with most 4's, he's really uncomfortable guarding on the perimeter.

Unfortunately, I think we're stuck with both Haywood and Thomas for this year.

Maybe "smallball" using DSong at the 5 is not such a bad idea....

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 3:47 PM

Perhaps once Ernie locks up the number 1 pick for Navarro, he can package it in a trade with either Etan or Brendan for a better center.

I think the Wizards could have a much better bench next year. Some have said trade Antonio Daniels because his salary. I say he would be a good veteran presence (along with Songaila) on a young second team that includes Pesh, Young and McGuire.

Posted by: Tim | August 6, 2007 3:53 PM

Good (even decent) Cs are at such a premium in the NBA it's pretty unlikely (bordering on wildly improbable) that a team would be willing to give one up in exchange for a medocre player at the same position and a draft pick that'll probably (barring a huge collapse by the Wiz) end up somewhere in the 20s.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 4:04 PM

So what would you guys say if this was the deal we got for JCN:

Memphis receives J.C. Navarro

Washington will receive a first round pick from the Grizzlies

'08 if the Grizzlies select 20 or further down, it goes to the Wizards (top 19 protected)
'09 if the Grizzlies select 17 or further down, it goes to the Wizards (top 16 protected)
'10- '12 the Grizzlies pick is lottery protected
'13 - the pick is top 12 protected and if it has not been given, cash considerations will be given to the Wizards.

Posted by: Zonker | August 6, 2007 4:14 PM

Good centers are a scarce commodity in the NBA these days. Perhaps Ernie can be more creative now that we may have another number one pick to play with.

Posted by: Tim | August 6, 2007 4:17 PM

Yooo,
I'm gonna drop my two cents on this whole trade talk...not cause any of it is legit or substantiated, but just because its fun. Everyone is all obsessed with Camby..whyy?? The real Nuggets center who would immediately make us a legit contender is Nene, hands down. Nene is an absolute beast..did you see him in the playoffs? Not to mention he has a big salary so the Nuggs would have incentive to give him up for 2 number 1s and a player to make the cap work. He plays solid D and can be an imposing force on offense.

Question for the masses--did anyone see gil or durrant play in that game in SE last night? I'm not sure if gil ended up playin but i know he did last year.

Posted by: dfresh | August 6, 2007 4:19 PM

and that trade absolutely blows zonker..i wish we would have let jcn stay in barca just on principle if thats what we get

Posted by: dfresh | August 6, 2007 4:21 PM

dfresh, I like your thinking as far as Nene goes.

Posted by: Tim | August 6, 2007 4:33 PM

The reason Nene has a big salary is that, despite his early rawness, injury problems, and on-court and struggles, the Nuggets gambled on him breaking big one day and gave him a big payday. Now that the gamble is paying off, there's no way they'd just kick him to the curb. Centers that good are (A) too hard to find and (B) worth paying to hold on to.

Besides, unless the Wiz trade Jamison for him (which isn't going to happen) they can't offer the Nuggets any real cap relief because they don't have enough players with expiring contracts to match up.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 4:38 PM

That's why I was saying it was just for fun kalorama..we aren't pulling any trades with the nuggs mannn....BUUUUUUUUUT

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2963647

J.O. would be ballllllllin

Posted by: dfresh | August 6, 2007 4:53 PM

I actually sat and talked with this guy(Etan) He did'nt work out the summer
nor had any knowledge of what was going on with the team

I guess you can get in shape in a couple of mos. So ok. I'm not a true Wiz fan so no biggy to me...

But that guy showed absolutely interst in his team for this yr.

Posted by: JP | August 6, 2007 5:22 PM

GMs don't call players with weekly updates on the team's offseason dealings. They either hear breaking news from their agents or get their news the same way we do, read about it in the papers. And if Etan had read the papers, he would have seen his name in every trade rumor connected to the Wiz. Not exactly an incentive

If you were on a three month vacation, would you call work every day for updates on hirings, firings, and promotions?

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 5:35 PM

dfresh - the only trade that works is Jamison for O'Neill. You could add draft picks to sweeten the pot.

Problems:
1. The only way Indiana goes for this if they are truly rebuilding and need cap space (Jamison's contract expires after this year) and if Bird can get both 1st round picks from EG.

2. If we trade for O'Neil, next year we would not have enough to re-sign Arenas.

3. We would still have Etan and his cripling contract.

Not a good trade for Wiz.

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 5:38 PM

Anyone else feeling a little deflated now that we traded JCN for exactly what zonker said-a return we wont be seeing for years to come, if ever-and right when its all finalized J.O. is on the market..blehhh what a waste....

Posted by: dfresh | August 6, 2007 5:40 PM

Kalorama - Incentive? If I was making $6.4 MILLION dollars per year .... d*mn straight, I'd be working my butt off.

Posted by: Rook | August 6, 2007 5:40 PM

We'd have money for Arenas, but we'd be going over the luxury tax threshold to re-sign him.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 6, 2007 5:57 PM

So let me get this straight, Kalorama...

You're okay with a player gaining weight, not working out, and not showing any interest in improving his game during the offseason, as long as he gets back into reasonable shape by the time the season starts?

What happened to using the offseason to improve your game? If Etan is consistently praised for his "effort," you'd think that great "effort" he shows would translate into some effort to improve his game and his endurance in the offseason. Is there any wonder why he gets hurt every year???

Personally, I'd rather hear that all of the team's players, and particularly the mediocre ones, are improving themselves during the offseason. (This goes for Etan and Haywood and several other Wizards). I'm not going to give one guy a pass just because I happen to like him more than another.

There is no way you'd be giving Haywood a pass on this.

Posted by: Kam | August 6, 2007 6:14 PM

Is it just me? It is August and yet I have never had so little interest in the Skins, despite a weak NFC East, and so much in the Zards. I think this blog has a lot to do with it. Thanks Ivan and make sure you get a vacation. Most of us know that you deserve it. Your few detractors need to get a life!

Well, I guess EG couldn't get a deal to address the center problem. This is a big disappointment. I never dreamed we would go into the season standing pat at the 5. Ivan talked about the Stromile Swift for Haywood deal on Comcast today and I just wonder of it would have been a good move. He still may have a package up his sleeve. But if he doesn't we still can get it done if all goes well. Great reminder to us all also Ivan that the Eddie-Brenden relationship is the big problem, not the Etan-Brenden relationship. This is often forgotten.

To me there are 5 keys to becoming a team playing in late May and June. I am not sure we can do it if only 4 of these happen. Here they are in order of importance:

1. The Center Position: Brendon, Etan, Songalia, Pech...we need solid year with no drama. I hope we can get more toughness and rebounding from this crew. We really only need 12-16 points per game from the position.

2. Bench scoring: I have lots of hope here. Young, McGuire, a healthy Songalia, Pech, AB if he gets his head together and AD (Mr. Solid) at the point is clearly an upgrade.

3. Coaching: Coach Jordan figuring out a regular rotation and then using his bench wisely. This is the biggest wild card in my mind. I just don't know if he will make the adjustment. I hope he brings McGuire and Young along to the point where they can be in the regular rotation come playoff time. As I have been saying since draft night, I think EG knows that McGuire is our only hope of containing L James next May and that's why he drafted him. A brilliant move. DeShawn is not the answer and even Tough Juice doesn't seem to be able to do an adequate job on him.

4. Gilbert's maturity: We need to see a greater commitment from him to stopping his man from penetrating to the hole. Also he needs to be a little more of a distributer. He needs to average only 26 ppg, not 31. He seems to be saying the right things but so was EJ last summer about playing defense. So I will believe it when I see it.

5. Health: (Especially the big 3) Management of their playing time is important as well as conditioning, but this is still a matter of luck. Cross your fingers and say a few hail Marys! This one is somewhat out of their control. Also Gil and Caron need to continue pushing their games up another gear. AJ has already peaked so we can't expect more from him.

A good camp and getting off to a good start will be very important to the team psyche as well. With all the pressure on the coaching staff, it could get interesting if we don't.

Posted by: BmoreRev | August 6, 2007 7:03 PM

Nice analysis, BmoreRev. Agree the Center position is the biggest concern but don't care about the # of points - I want to see more stops, more rebounds, fewer second (and third) chance scoring opportunities, leading to more fast breaks for the Wiz. Etan's lack of size/speed, Brendan's awkward ball-handling may just be constraints they can't overcome.

Posted by: reispace | August 6, 2007 7:20 PM

Why is everyone saying we still have Jarvis? We do not Jarvis. He has not been offered a contract renewal by the Wiz...

Posted by: No Jarvis | August 6, 2007 8:59 PM

BmoreRev
great thinking, i agree with you 100%

its just too bad we can't get a marcus camby or even chris webber (why are there 0 rumors about him coming to the zards? he would fit in perfectly in our princeton offense and no defense playbook), because if we got a decent center we could be a great team

Posted by: TDAV | August 6, 2007 9:51 PM

If.....
This team could be a serious NBA title contender if:
Brendan Haywood would wake up and change his thinking. He needs to play like Dennis Rodman, like he did in the middle part of last year. If he would just learn to rebound, block shots, his points could come from offensive rebounding and pick and rolls where he rolls to the basket. Brendan biggest kryptonite is when he makes a fade-away turnaround jumper, then he gets in his head that he can make it all the time, its what killed him last year in late March, and Eddie lost patience with him, he does well when he goes strong to the hole. His strengths are his long arms and quickness, he just needs to play to his strength.
If Antwan would learn to play like he did in the playoffs. I know he doesn't play the best D, but he is a good rebounder and he can score from any spot on the floor. I just wish he would post up more like he did in the playoffs. I really thinks this would make a great offensive team even better. He has such an array of moves and can shoot from any angle. I just think he falls in the love with the 3 point shot too much. The Wizards need a consistent inside scoring punch-it gets ugly when the Wizards outside jumpers are not hitting.
If the Wizards stay healthy-I think some people forget we were the top seed at the all-star break and that was without Songalia, who will benefit with playing with a healthy Arenas, Butler and Jamison.
Give Ernie and Eddie a break, I'm sure if Ernie could make a deal for a second tier center who could do the things this team needs him to do, he would do it in a heartbeat. Just look what he's done since he showed up, Arenas signing, Jamison trade, Butler trade!, not signing Hughes and Jeffries to overpriced contracts. Just remember what life was like before they got here, even Michael Jordan couldn't get the Wizards in the playoffs

Posted by: BulletBill'78 | August 6, 2007 9:52 PM

as much as i hate the thought, what if antawn commands 12-15 mil next year (which is way more than he's worth) and we let him go?
could it be all that bad because we could
1. have more than enough money to sign gilbert
2. give andray the starting PF spot (or another player that comes to the team between now and then)
3. give us about 10 mil to get a great player/decent player and stay under the cap

but it would definately hurt us w/out antawns leadership qualities and what he does for the team

Posted by: TDAV | August 6, 2007 9:55 PM

BulletBill'78, your right about EG doing a great job coaching
haywood was (i think) a good part of us going 26-14(i think) heading into the allstar break and having the number one record in the eastern conference
i hate it how he drives and throws up some prayer early in the game and the wizards pretty much don't give him the ball back cuz he took some stupid fadeaway

Posted by: TDAV | August 6, 2007 9:58 PM

I would be shocked if Jamison gets anywhere close to 12-15 million, with his age and defense deficiency. I think he will get somewhere in the 7-8 million dollar range. I'm pretty sure teams won't pay that kind of money to tie up their salary cap.

Posted by: BulletBill'78 | August 6, 2007 10:10 PM

Zonker there is no way Grunfeld made the deal you are talking about for Navarro. It is more likely that it is a lottery protected in 2008, top 3 protected 2009, top 1 or unprotected in 2010.

Posted by: George Templeton | August 6, 2007 10:24 PM

Sign and Trade Blatche...propsed trade by me

Cavs Get:

-Blatche
-AD
-2nd Round Pick (if necccesary for deal to go through)

Wiz Get:

-Anderson Varajao

this would be a great deal we would get our a Shot Blocker, Rebounder with GREAT energy with the team that we currently have i believe he can actually start for us at the 5...i know we would lose AD to a rival but if health we can still beat the Cavs w/ or w/o Daniels....we are going to most likely sign Miles...and he seems like a very good passer and ball handler and not to mention his sneaky defense

Posted by: Fulvio | August 6, 2007 10:52 PM

"So let me get this straight, Kalorama...

You're okay with a player gaining weight, not working out, and not showing any interest in improving his game during the offseason, as long as he gets back into reasonable shape by the time the season starts?

What happened to using the offseason to improve your game? If Etan is consistently praised for his "effort," you'd think that great "effort" he shows would translate into some effort to improve his game and his endurance in the offseason. Is there any wonder why he gets hurt every year???

Personally, I'd rather hear that all of the team's players, and particularly the mediocre ones, are improving themselves during the offseason. (This goes for Etan and Haywood and several other Wizards). I'm not going to give one guy a pass just because I happen to like him more than another.

There is no way you'd be giving Haywood a pass on this. "

That's all quite enlightening, but it has nothing to do with what I said.

The original poster didn't say anything about Etan not being "interested in improving his game." He said he didn't seem interested in what was going on with the team (deals, signings, etc.) That's what I said I didn't care about. You're talking about something that has nothing to do with what I was talking about.

As for gaining weight ... of course guys gain weight when they aren't playing, practicing, working out every day, as they are during the season. Do you know how much weight Etan gained? Because If he ballooned up to 400 lbs (a la Shaq) then if might be an issue. If he put on 10 or 15 pounds, big deal. He can work that off in short time. The point is, we don't know. But I'm guessing if he put on 100 lbs, we would have heard about it. As I said, summer is vacation for these guys. The season starts October 31, last I checked.

Amazing the kinds of conclusions people are willing to jump to with little or no actual info.

Posted by: kalorama | August 6, 2007 11:51 PM

Make it rain on the Wizards....

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Zack:
from Verno

[URL=http://chrisvernon.blogspot.com/]http://chrisvernon.blogspot.com/[/URL]

[QUOTE][b]THE DREADED CVERNON.COM EXCLUSIVE: THE PARTICULARS OF THE JUAN CARLOS NAVARRO TRADE[/b]

I have been told that this is how the Navarro deal shakes out...

Memphis recieves J.C. Navarro

Washington will recieve a first round pick from the Grizzlies (contrary to what has been reported, I am told that this is how it will break down)
I will try to make this as simple as I can, but it is a little tricky

'08 if the Grizzlies select 20 or further down, it goes to the Wizards (top 19 protected)
'09 if the Grizzlies select 17 or futher down, it goes to the Wizards (top 16 protected)
'10- '12 the Grizzlies pick is lottery protected
'13 - the pick is top 12 protected and if it has not been given, cash considerations will be given to the Wizards.

I love the way this shakes out for the Grizzlies and it is much more comforting than the reports that it is simply a lottery protected pick that they are giving up, etc.[/QUOTE]sounds great...

and a big, big thanks to Vernon...


and verno deserves some credit for telling us the details...[/QUOTE]

Posted by: Dre' | August 7, 2007 10:49 AM

I had a feeling that the Wizards were better with Haywood as starter but I didn't have the numbers. Thanks to those posters who rovided them. I don't remember such intense criticism of BH before last season, although he seemed to play better with Larry Hughs as starting SG. Also I don't remember a chemistry problem between him and ET before last season. I think that EJ is largely responsible for that. He hasn't done a very good job of handling his centers.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 12:51 PM

Aaron Miles is a great ball-handler and passer - he'd make a great backup PG.

Posted by: Brian | August 8, 2007 3:36 PM

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