Michael Lee of the Washington Post has a piece out on how the Washington Wizards are "still haunted" by Gilbert Arenas' massive contract extension in 2008. The headline and subsequent article is a roundabout way of saying what we noted a few weeks ago: the decision to trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza appears to be a $43 million mistake unless the two dramatically pick it up. Forty-three million, of course, is what the two players are owed over the next two years. In essence, the Wizards took whatever money they saved by dealing Arenas for Rashard Lewis and reapplied it to Okafor and Ariza.
Lee's piece noted a couple other alternate paths that we have discussed that would have been better uses of that money. Veterans Luis Scola and Elton Brand are noted, as well as shooters Kyle Korver and Dorell Wright.
For posterity's sake, though, here's a list of several non-minumum, sub-mid-level-exception-contract wings and bigs that the Wizards could have acquired instead of trading for Okafor or Ariza before the draft. I'm not suggesting that all of these players would have signed here or even been preferable options. I'm just providing the list to help inform our discussions about the deal going forward.
(All salaries via Sham Sports).
- Done nothing and filled out roster with minimum contracts. Lewis' $13.9 million buyout would have stayed on the cap, ensuring the Wizards wouldn't be under the team minimum salary.
- Scola (claimed off amnesty by the Suns for 3 years and $13.5 million).
- Brand (claimed off amnesty by the Mavericks for 1 year and $2.1 million).
- Brendan Haywood (claimed off amnesty by the Bobcats for four years and $16.7 million, but final year at $10.5 million is completely unguaranteed).
- Korver (traded to the Hawks for a second-round pick and a trade exception, owed $5 million this year).
- Wright (traded to the 76ers for the rights to Edin Bavcic, owed $4.1 million this year).
- Wes Johnson (salary-dumped to the Suns in the Robin Lopez deal, owed $4.5 million this year).
- James Johnson (traded to the Kings for a second-round pick, owed $2.8 million this year).
- Courtney Lee (netted 4-year, $26 million deal with Celtics in sign-and-trade).
- Jamal Crawford (signed 4-year, $21 million deal with Clippers).
- Michael Beasley (signed 3-year, $18 million deal with Suns, third year not fully guaranteed).
- Lou Williams (signed 3-year, $15.75 million contract with Hawks).
- Jason Terry (signed 3-year, $15.75 million contract with Celtics).
- Danny Green (signed 3-year, $11 million contract with Spurs).
- Boris Diaw (signed 2-year, $9 million deal with Spurs).
- O.J, Mayo (signed 2-year, $8 million contract with Mavericks).
- Brandon Rush (signed 2-year, $8 million contract with Warriors).
- Carl Landry (signed 2-year, $8 million contract with Warriors).
- Gerald Green (signed 3-year, $10.5 million contract with Pacers).
- Shannon Brown (signed 2-year, $7 million contract with Suns, second year not fully guaranteed).
- Jerryd Bayless (signed 2-year, $6.1 million contract with Grizzlies).
- Carlos Delfino (signed 2-year, $6 million contract with Rockets, second year not fully guaranteed).
- J.R. Smith (signed 2-year, $5.7 million contract with Knicks).
- Greg Stiemsma (signed 2-year, $5.4 million contract with Timberwolves, second year not fully guaranteed).
- C.J, Miles (signed 2-year, $4.4 million deal with Cavaliers, second year not fully guaranteed).
- J.J. Hickson (signed 1-year, $4 million deal with Blazers).
- Randy Foye (signed 1-year, $2.5 million deal with Jazz).
- Marco Belinelli (signed 1-year, $1.975 deal with Bulls).
- Jodie Meeks (signed 1-year, $1.5 million deal with Lakers).
- Willie Green (signed 3-year, $4.22 million deal with Clippers, last two years unguaranteed).
- Nick Young (just kidding).
- Kwame Brown (also just kidding).
- Hasheem Thabeet (sorta just kidding).