Excellent article by David Aldridge about the return of Gilbert Arenas and what that means to the Wizards.
Two things from the article struck me :
The Wiz are hoping to dispatch a couple of their knucklehead youngsters this summer, anyway.
Hmmm.... It's been speculated on Bullets Forever and other places (Insider) that the Wizards might want to move some young talent and try to get some veteran help over the summer - but this is the first time I've seen a Nationally syndicated columnist say it with almost certainty.
My question is: Which knucklehead youngsters is he talking about? Young? McGee? Blatche? All three?
"We need him to understand how important he is to this team," Jamison said. "The same with Caron, the same with myself. Not just Gil, but big-time players on this team have to sacrifice next year. I like the example of the Paul Pierce situation. When Garnett and Ray Allen came, Paul was giving you 24, 25 a night. But he realized that that's not what it's all about anymore. It's about sacrificing for the sake of the team. That 24 can go down to 19, 20. But guess what? Number one seed, I'm understanding my role ... Gil can average 30 if he wants to. But what's wrong with dropping that down to 25, 26, and getting everyone else involved, and taking over at certain points of time?"
I wonder if Jamison is really willing to sacrifice for the sake of the team. In my mind, the only way this team will be able to compete for a Championship will be to embrace playing solid defense. Jamison is NO defender; and he's not going to turn into a solid defender, no matter what defensive "scheme" the new Coach comes up with. Would he be willing to "sacrifice for the sake of the team", and step aside (go to the bench) and allow the Wizards to draft (Griffin) or trade for a better defensive PF?
The remaining Wizard's projected starters, with the exception of Arenas are all at least passable one-on-one defenders (Haywood, Stevenson, Butler) - and there are very good defenders on the bench (McGuire, Songaila, Crittenton); with some others with good defensive potential, and still learning (McGee, Blatche, Young).
The addition of a good defensive coach, with a good defensive scheme; one that does not allow WIDE OPEN 3-POINT SHOOTERS; would still have defensive holes with Jamison in the line up.
If the Wizards cannot get Blake Griffin in the draft - they should trade for a Power Forward. I'm not suggesting trading Jamison - mainly because I don't think that will ever happen while Abe Polin is still the Owner - But rather using the Wizard's assets (expiring contracts, draft picks, young talent) to bring in a defensive minded, rebounding Power Forward - and send Jamison, and his instant Offense to the bench, using him as a 6th man.