Wizards already trying to move Arenas?

Former Washington Times reporter John Mitchell thinks so

The Washington Wizards are going to use their number one draft pick to select John Wall, the freshman point guard out of the University of Kentucky. They see Wall as the cornerstone of the franchise for at least “the next decade”, which is why they are going to do everything in their power to prevent the player from ever sharing a locker room with controversial guard Gilbert Arenas, according to two league sources with knowledge of the team’s future plans.

According to one source with intimate knowledge of the team’s plans, the Wizards front office, headed up by President Ernie Grunfeld, doesn’t want Arenas – released earlier this month from a Washington DC halfway house after serving 30 days for a felony gun conviction – anywhere near Wall, whom the team has already decided it will select with the top pick in the June draft. After Arenas was convicted Grunfeld traded away four starters.

One source tagged Arenas as “the reason why a core of players that reached the playoffs” on multiple occasions had to be broken up, “and it was entirely due to what he did. He poisoned the team. He is a cancer.”

The Wizards’ options include trying to trade Arenas, who has four years and more than $80 million in salary remaining on his contract. But that is not the only option. According to a source the team will “definitely consider buying out” Arenas’ contract. This flies in the face of the public position the Wizards have taken with Arenas.

Trading Arenas before next season is not going to be easy. We’re talking about a 28-year-old, shoot-first point guard with knee problems, a contract that still has four years and $80 million remaining, and a propensity to bring loaded firearms into work. Needless to say, in this economy, it’s going to be very tough to move him.

How much would it take to buy him out? And if the Wizards have to resort to that, why are they keeping the man that signed him to this ridiculous contract, general manager Ernie Grunfeld, on board? Instead of taking a cautious approach with Arenas, who was coming off of knee surgery two seasons ago, Grunfeld panicked swung for the fences and offered him a contract that no other team would even dream of.

One team that could potentially use Arenas’s services are the Knicks. Once they sign their two “big-name” free agents — whether it’s LeBron James and Chris Bosh or Rudy Gay and David Lee — they could trade Eddy Curry’s expiring contract for Arenas. Once the Knicks have their two stars locked up, they’re probably not going to care how far over the cap they go. Owner James Dolan will do what it takes to build a winner, and if Arenas looks like he’s still All-Star caliber, they may pull the trigger.

(Note to Knicks fans: I don’t think acquiring Arenas is a good idea.)

But that raises the question — how long will the Wizards wait? Arenas missed the last few months of last season and teams will want to see how he plays before taking on his monstrous contract and adding his quirky personality to their locker room. How does this happen if the Wizards are intent on keeping Arenas and Wall apart?


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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