More and more, it's looking like there's no way Gilbert Arenas is taking that Golden State offer. Ivan's story today says "it did not appear yesterday that Arenas was seriously contemplating the offer," and he also quotes an anonymous source who said "he's going to be here." ESPN says it's a "virtual certainty" he'll be back, and Antawn Jamison is already talking like Gilbert is on his team.
The holdup is over whether Gilbert is willing to take less money to help the team maintain some form of cap flexibility. The reality is that we're talking about three or four million dollars under the luxury tax instead of no room, but it appears that Gilbert is taking Ernie's request seriously. As mentioned yesterday, Gilbert wants to see the latest salary cap figures before he makes a decision, which clearly indicates taking less is on his mind.
Adding more weight to that is this quote:
Arenas is close to agreeing to a deal with the Wizards, the source said, but he likely will take less than the max out of a desire to give the team more flexibility to re-sign Mason and/or another free agent this summer or future years.
Arenas, according to multiple sources, told the team he wants to wait until the NBA releases the salary cap and luxury tax figures for the coming year - which happens July 8. Then after seeing how much money the Wizards have to work with, he will decide how much "to leave on the table to help the team" and agree to a deal.
I'm overjoyed about this, but I'm also a little worried. What happens when Arenas hears about the new luxury tax and finds out that he'd have to take way less if we want our full mid-level exception? Because that's what it's going to take to sign James Posey. I don't anticipate that becoming an issue, but it might.
No matter, because Gilbert's official decision is still days away. As much as I wish Antawn made a similar concession with his contract, the fact is that Antawn never publicly said he'd take less money for the good of the team. Gilbert has said that. Now, we get to see if he's a man of his word. From all preliminary indications, it sounds like he will be.
For today's thread, I'm curious how everyone feels we approached this negotiation. This quote from an anonymous player agent in Ivan's article can serve as a jumping-off point.
"They're making it clear that, 'Hey, we love you, we want you here, we didn't lowball you, we made a big offer,' but at the same time, they're putting the onus on him to think about the direction of the franchise," said the agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did want to be quoted speaking about a player who is not his client. "It's an interesting strategy and makes sense when you think about how he is. This way, he can still get way more from them than he can get anywhere else and he can say to the fans, 'Hey, I took less to help the team.' "