Blog Entry

Weekly Post-Ups

Posted on: January 10, 2010 8:51 pm
The firearms fiasco in Washington remains in the hands of the legal authorities and David Stern. What happens next could include a grand jury indictment of Arenas and the arrest of Javaris Crittenton, if eyewitness accounts of his involvement given to people close to the two players in recent days are true.

Whatever happens in the criminal investigation and in Stern’s Manhattan office won’t stop the Wizards’ efforts to move on from this scandal with sweeping changes. Make no mistake: This goes well beyond the P.R.-motivated removal of Arenas’ image from outside Verizon Center and from the team’s pre-game video show. The changes could be far more significant than that.

With $80 million left on his contract over the next four years, Arenas is an albatross. He’s impossible to trade until the length of his suspension is known, and even if Stern doesn’t ban him for the rest of the season, potential trade suitors are extremely wary of importing such colossal baggage – even given that Arenas, according to people who know him well, had no intentions of hurting or threatening anyone. Poor judgment, in this case, was enough to tip the scales severely against him.

There are no untouchables on the Wizards’ roster, with the possible exception of JaVale McGee. Several contenders, including the Cavs, are hoping the Wizards’ desire to break with the past will compel them to make Antawn Jamison available. Caron Butler, with $10.6 million due next season, has played all season like a guy who can’t wait to be traded. But the player who could be in the most demand is Brendan Haywood, whose defensive impact and effort on both ends have not waned through all the Wizards’ misery. Add the fact that he’s on a $6 million expiring contract, and contenders in search of a big man – i.e. Denver and Portland – would seem to be good fits.

Then there’s the ownership shift following the death of Abe Pollin, with strong indications that the next owner, Ted Leonsis, will look to clean house once he takes over.

With five weeks to go before the Feb. 18 trade deadline, there’s plenty more buzz in the Weekly Post-Ups:

• The Nuggets were close to a deal for a big man last week – so close that one scenario was on the verge of being presented to ownership for approval before it fell through. The deal, discussed at high levels of the organization’s hierarchy, would’ve been more than a minor deal, sources said. Denver is known to covet Jeff Foster, but hasn’t been able to agree on the particulars with Indiana. The Nuggets’ $3.2 million trade exception from the Chucky Atkins deal, which expired last week, wasn’t a factor since Foster makes $6.1 million. The Nuggets still have a $3.7 million exception from the Steven Hunter trade that expires next summer.

• Speaking of the Nuggets, front office officials aren’t overly concerned about J.R. Smith’s inconsistent play, pointing out that he’s historically been a slow starter. Smith is shooting 34 percent from the field since his 41-point outburst against Atlanta on Dec. 23.

• Expect more money-saving deals like the one that sent Eric Maynor and Matt Harpring from Utah to Oklahoma City, which got the Jazz started on what rival executives say is a commitment to getting under the luxury tax. (Join the club.) But executives aren’t convinced Utah GM Kevin O’Connor is resigned to the fact that he needs to deal Carlos Boozer and his $12.7 million expiring contract to accomplish that goal.

• After the Thunder used their space to acquire Maynor, whom they’ll groom to be their backup point guard, they came off the list of teams with real cap space that can be used as a home for salary-dump trades. Sacramento ($4.1 million), Memphis (about $2 million), and Portland ($1.25 million) are open for business as places where teams could send unwanted salary in exchange for draft picks, cash, or other assets.

• While the Blazers continue to mull whether they need to add a big man after losing Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla for the season, the key piece of the equation is Andre Miller. The veteran point guard’s uncomfortable tenure in Portland got worse last week when he had a 30-minute shouting match with coach Nate McMillan. GM Kevin Pritchard and McMillan have downplayed the incident, and a source indicated that Miller has snapped back into line after the blowup. But rival executives don’t believe Miller is long for Portland, and his three-year, $21 million deal is enticing because the third year isn’t guaranteed. The Blazers, who are getting excellent contributions from Jerryd Bayless and will get Steve Blake back soon from a bout with pneumonia, need a big man more than they need Miller’s drama.

• The countdown to the end of the Chris Bosh era in Toronto has officially begun. The Rockets, who have Tracy McGrady’s insurance-protected $23 million expiring deal, are believed to be interested, and sources believe there could be legs to a scenario that would send Bosh to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum. Bynum’s base-year compensation status complicates matters slightly, but sources believe a workable deal could be consummated. The next five weeks are critical for the Raptors, who at 19-19 are still very much in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. If they fall out of contention, the temptation to deal Bosh and get something in return rather than lose him as an unrestricted free agent summer and get nothing could rise to irresistible levels. A trade would give Bosh the option of signing an extension with his new team rather than opting out of his contract and signing a new deal after the season. That option also exists with the Raptors, but there’s been no movement in that direction.

• League executives are wondering if the Nets’ recent rumblings – buying out Rafer Alston, acquiring Chris Quinn from Miami, agreeing to send Eduardo Najera to Dallas, and attempting to deal Josh Boone or buy out several other bench players – means the team is no longer encumbered from making trades by the pending ownership change. In recent weeks, all New Jersey transactions essentially have been on hold, but the flurry of activity indicates that moratorium has been lifted. Team president Rod Thorn won’t jeopardize 2010 cap space in any deals, but he’s on the prowl for short-term upgrades that could help New Jersey (3-32) avoid eclipsing the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, whose 9-73 record was the worst in NBA history.
Category: NBA

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2010 7:59 pm


"There are no untouchables on the Wizards’ roster, with the possible exception of
Are you serious?  The Wizards are going to build their team around the 18th pick in the 2008 draft? The 22 year old guy who averages 2.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per game this year? REALLY BERGER? REALLY?

Also, I love how you NBA BLOGGOS repeat each others theories on trades that a team "could" make. One tool thinks something up, writes about it, then it gets repeated and repeated.  Bosh for Bynum? SURE! Where did you get that one from? I would love to know who your "source" is that thinks this senerio has "legs".

Since: Nov 22, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2010 3:41 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

ARENAS....He just doesn't get it!

I live in NYC. And when I first heard of this...I was appalled, but not entirely disgusted by it. Agent Zero took care of the latter. Before I even comment on the 'chutzpah' of this guy, after what had happened, I must say he has to be totally brain dead! He can claim to be a 'practical joker' but this was basically a first class ticket to being suspended. And the fact that he and is iditot teammates planned to go one step further in their next game, with a mock 10-pace draw scenario, further proves how screwed up the NBA is.

The entire Wizards team (or should I refer to them as the aforementioned Bullets name) were whooping it up. What does that say about David Stern's NBA? Lets be frank, I am a white american and the writing is on the wall. Even Al Sharpton has weighed in. The NBA and its players are out of control. They are a primarily African-American league making ridiculous money at an early age. What did they think would eventually happen? That isn't being racist...Its being real! Most of the percentage of the players of African American descent come from very poor backgrounds. Where they were spoon fed grades because they could dunk a basketball. And it continued for the one year of college they were required to go to before entering the NBA. Arenas is just one example.

These kids, and that is what they are mentally, have never matured before they are rich beyond their dreams. And they have never been told "no" their entire lives. So that is why things like this happen. And why Arenas and his 'band of brothers' whooped it up as he made a mockery of a very serious situation.

I don't know the facts of this incident in the lockerroom with the guns being drawn etc. But Arenas should be made the example. Whether that is too harsh or not? Doesn't matter. It is the only way to get the attention of the entire league. Because the NBA is really teetering on going into the abyss. The Tim Donaghy scandal, whether Stern wants to admit it or not, damaged them. And now this Arenas situation, and the aftermath of it, has really turned people off.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2010 2:54 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

Are not NBA contracts totally guaranteed for the full amount, like baseball? If so, cutting Arenas accomplishes nothing.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2010 10:27 am

Weekly Post-Ups

Rebuilding with this free agent class for the Wizards actually requires some free agents who want to go there (or overpaying a lesser free agent with a max contract). Without Arenas (who I agree should be cut), Butler and Jamison, there is nothing to entice in Washington. Especially if Haywood goes to the Blazers.

Big Brad
Since: Jul 3, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2010 2:09 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2010 5:40 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

All I know is that if the Lakers add CB with Pau and KB its a wrap for the L for a LONG time! If they give Bynum up who shows upside, then takes 2 steps back for every step forward ppl would shit themselves. I would prolly piss myself laughing at all the haters coming out of the woodwork if LA were to swing this deal. Cavs fans, cross your fingers, nevermind THE WHOLE LEAGUE please cross your fingers, say a prayer anything to help save this season to make it competitive.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2010 4:32 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

Sad the see the state the Wiz are in. They were supposed to contend- now blowing up the team is more likely.

I hope they are able to void the Arenas contract. They don't need that hanging over their heads. The pregame gun play should be the end of that guy in a Wizard jersey and the end of his big contract. I suspect that will be more difficult to void the contract than easy to do.

Since: Sep 18, 2009
Posted on: January 11, 2010 4:24 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

if the cavs added chris bosh it would mess up thier whole offense and chemistry. thier just now gettin used to shaq in the lineup. Antawn Jamison would be a good fit cause he is a good jump shooter and would go good playing off of Lebron

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2010 3:43 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

I think the Cavs will also be interested in acquiring Bosh. At this point, it would be hard to pull off though. I think Bosh is a better fit than Antawn Jamison.

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