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State of the Cap: Washington Wizards

Fri, 07/11/2008 - 11:21pm


By Josh Redetzke

7/12/08


2008/09 Washington Wizards Payroll: $72.3 million
2008/09 Estimated Salary Cap: $58 million
Roughly $14.3 million over cap

(assumes an $18.5 million average on Gilbert Arenas’s contract, terms were not yet disclosed)

The Good:
[img_assist|nid=1335|title=Gilbert Arenas|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=301]After playing one of the best seasons of his career, averaging a double-double for the first time with 21.4 points and 10.2 rebounds, the Wizards didn't know if they were going to be able to keep Antawn Jamison in town. Not only did they re-sign him, they also got Jamison to accept a $6 million dollar pay cut, a surprising move for an unrestricted free agent of his caliber. Jamison will be paid just $10.7 million next season, the first in a four-year, $50 million extension. That is significantly less than what he might have received elsewhere and it's definitely a worthy contract for his services. Jamison took less in order to keep the team together and make it easier for the club to re-sign Gilbert Arenas. Mission accomplished.

Caron Butler just keeps getting better every year, to the point where he can now be considered one of the best all-around players in the league. His stats are eye-popping; 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.2 steals, and a career high 4.9 assists per game. Caron has even added a decent three point shot to his arsenal. At $29.3 million over the next three years, he is an incredible bargain. The only knock on Butler, and it's a major one, is that he has a problem staying healthy. He played in just 63 games last year and 58 this season. If Butler can stay on the court, the Wizards will be getting extremely high value for their money.

Speaking of high value, the cheap contracts given to DeShawn Stevenson and Andray Blatche are well worth the price. Blatche averaged 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in a bench role and was the team's second best shot blocker. Stevenson's 11.2 scoring average was third on the team (if you don't count Gilbert's brief stint) and he is a solid three point shooter. For that, Washington only has to pay about $3 to $4 million each of the next few years. It's much easier to sign (or re-sign) great players when your role players have worthy deals.


The Bad:
Heart surgery took away an entire season from Etan Thomas. It looks like Thomas will recover from this unfortunate ailment and be able to play next year. He will need to return to full strength if the Wizards have any hope of him earning the $6.8 and $7.3 million left on his contract the following two seasons.

Darius Songaila is signed for the next three years at about $4.5 million per year, which means he makes roughly $1.5 million more each year than Andray Blatche over the same time frame. However, Blatche has outplayed him in nearly every statistical category. Songaila brings toughness and his contract isn't very expensive, but the team should be getting a little more out of him.


The Future:
The summer began with a lot of uncertainty for the Wizards but it ended with a flurry of dollar signs. After securing Jamison with a lower-than-expected $50 million, they threw $127 million towards Gilbert Arenas to show how serious they were to keep their roster intact. In another surprise move, Arenas generously lowered the offer by $16 million, telling the Washington Post "What can I do for my family with $127 million that I can't do with $111 million?" If only more superstars thought this way. Sure, over six years that only amounts to about $2.5 million per year, but that could be enough to lure an extra free agent someday. Arenas truly showed that he was committed to winning a championship in Washington and every little sacrifice will help.

However, since the team hasn't been at full strength in the past two playoffs, no one really knows how far they can go. It is a huge risk sinking that much cash into such an unproven commodity, especially with Arenas not yet fully recovered from his injury. Are role players like Brendan Haywood and Antonio Daniels good enough to help win a playoff series? Both guys improved this year, Haywood no doubt because of the absence of Etan Thomas, and they earned their $6 million each. Re-signing Jamison and Arenas means that the top nine players in their rotation are locked up for at least the next two years. Considering the lack of good teams in the Eastern Conference, it's not beyond the realm of possibility for the Wizards to become a major factor in the postseason. For the amount of money they'll be shelling out, they had better be winning a lot of games. Otherwise, Washington is simply blowing away money on mediocrity.


Free Throw:
Have you noticed that every time Kwame Brown was traded, his former team ended up getting a huge steal in return? First, he went from Washington to L.A. for Caron Butler, who became an All-Star. Then, he went from L.A. to Memphis for Pau Gasol, who helped the Lakers reach the NBA Finals. If Memphis was smart, they would re-sign Kwame and trade him away somewhere. Maybe they could get Dwight Howard?

Grade: B-

Main State of the Cap Page

NathanStacey
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That picture looks like a

That picture looks like a video game

elandfried
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Grading criteria?

I don't understand the grading criteria for these State of the Cap things. What are they based on? It seems like it should be come combination of the amount of money they are over (or under) the cap, what investment they have for that money, and how much flexibility they have to make deals.

If that's the case, then I don't really see why Washington would get an decent grade. They are way over the cap, they have talent, but have never gotten out of the first round...in the East, and don't really have any flexibility. Their most tradeable players are Butler and Stevenson, but how would they get that is better than those two at the $ amounts they are making? To me the Wizards are the epitome of bad spending. Sure they may win 45-50 games and make the playoffs every year, but is this really a title contender? And can they make a trade to become a title contender? Not likely since they don't have expiring contracts or great young talent other teams might want. So how can they be a B-?

ANTMAN
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Grading Criteria

I think you are wrong elandfried the Wizards are a solid B grade. Lets look at there play off history against the Cavs. There first year after they beat the Bulls they met the Cavs in the 2nd rd. Look at the make up of the team. They didnt have Caron that year it was Kawme Brown, Ruffin, and Jarvis Hayes coming off the bench. Jefferies was the starting small forward at the time. They only had 2 pieces of the puzzle. Gilbert and Antwan. The next season they lost Larry Hughes and signed Stevenson and brought in Butler when they traded K Brown. They lost Caron with the hand injury and Gilbert with the knee. They only had Jamison and they got swept that year. This past season Gilbert came back to fast and they only had Caron and Jamison and they lost the series 4-2 against the Cavs. This year they have a deeper bench I would have loved to have kept Mason but I think N Young could have a solid year with some playing time. The Cavs have not gone against the Wiz team at full strenght yet. I think you are making a pre mature judgement on this team. If the Cavs still beat them with all of there weapon then I'll have to agree with you then, but for now lets see what happens

J.Lopez
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NBA

Teammates Malik Hairston and Maarty Luenen unexpectedly heard their names called but Taylor didn’t.
Chat Sohbet Muhabbet Egitim Egitim eJJe Egitim ATATURK Ruya Tabirleri
Siirler Hikayeler Fikralar Programlar Guzel Sozler Resimler freetemplates Taylor was arguably Oregon’s best player last season, but his 6-foot-4 frame makes him a undersized at the next level. Nonetheless, his scoring ability, length and athleticism give him a chance to make in in the league.

TyChO
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