With yesterday's decision to use the amnesty clause on Andray Blatche, the Washington Wizards officially removed every player on the roster that was present when Gilbert Arenas brought guns into the locker room. John Wall, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin are now the longest-tenured Wizards players under contract.
In noting that, owner Ted Leonsis made a striking statement on his blog today, essentially declaring this the end of one stage of the rebuilding job.
We stated we would have to rebuild the team, and focus on change and now we can say we delivered in that regard. Rebuilding a team is messy. I am pleased we have had this huge amount of change in such a short period of time. Now it is time to settle in and work on continuity, teamwork and becoming competitive. Then it’s on to becoming a playoff team by continuing to rebuild and invest – and then to becoming a destination, and competing for a ring.
We can’t short-circuit the process, but the first wave of massive change has been completed.
Leonsis does use the word "rebuild," but it's pretty clear that it's in a different context. If we break down the rebuilding of a team into three stages, as Leonsis does, then Stage 1 is complete. I would consider Stage 1 to be "rebuilding," Stage 2 to be "building" and Stage 3 to be "enhancing," but I suppose that we can always use different words to describe these things.
The bottom line, though, is that the Wizards think now is time to advance to the next stage. Their recent moves have spoken to that feeling, but now it's been expressed very specifically.