After the Washington Wizards won the right to pick John Wall, the first question on everyone’s lips was what about Gilbert Arenas?
This is pure speculation, but one idea that is circulating is that the Wizards could trade Agent Zero to the Knicks for Eddy Curry’s expiring contract. This would have to happen after July 1, because Curry has to opt in to the final year of his contract. (And he will opt in.)
This should be a no-brainer for the Wizards because they can put Arenas’ tumultuous season behind them and start to truly rebuild around Wall. Arenas has four years and $80 million remaining on his contract, so if they were able to move him for an expiring deal, they’d have a ton of cap space in the summer of 2011.
For the Knicks, the decision is not quite as easy, but it is intriguing. A healthy Arenas could fit into Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system as a two guard who could also run the point if necessary. GM Donnie Walsh has the cap space to sign two big-name free agents, and he shouldn’t use this space to acquire Arenas. He should sign the two best players he can in July, and then think about adding Arenas to that mix, if he’s a fit.
As Alex David (of Buckets Over Broadway) writes, Walsh may be served to wait and see how Arenas looks at the start of the season.
If it were to happen at all, most likely it would go down during next season. That would enable Walsh to see if Arenas still has it, and similarly give Washington some time to see if perhaps Gil & John Wall can work as a dynamic duo. Also, hopefully Walsh would be smart enough to hold out for a draft pick too if we’re gonna take this huge contract off the Wiz’s hands.
So take a deep breath. This trade likely ain’t gonna happen. And if it does, it won’t be for a while.
I thought the deal that the Wizards gave Arenas was ridiculous even before the ink was dry, but the Knicks don’t care too much about payroll once they lock in their two big-name free agents this summer. Maybe it will be LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Or maybe it will be Rudy Gay and Carlos Boozer. Either way, Arenas, if healthy, is an All-Star caliber player that could be a very dangerous combo guard under Mike D’Antoni. Once the Knicks have their stars and are over the cap, it won’t matter if he’s making $10 million or $20 million a season.
Do I think that Gilbert Arenas will ever win an NBA championship? No. But he can help the Knicks become relevant again.
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