It seems like a lot of people are wary of paying Ariza the 9-11 million he wants on principle. The argument is something like: a) his production isn't worth that much money, and b) he ties up salary cap room in the future, so the Wiz will miss out on players like Durant.
I don't want to contest the first point. 9-11 million is a slight overpay for his services. But what I want to suggest is that this isn't such a big deal if we don't just assume the second point.
What the Wizards are acquiring by slightly overpaying Ariza is not just a player who can produce for their team: if he duplicates his production from this last year for the foreseeable future, then they're acquiring the kind of player that just about any team that wants to beat Lebron will covet at the trade deadline for the next few years. Think the Clippers will suddenly lose interest? Say the Bulls miss out on Carmelo, don't you think Thibs admired Ariza's work these last playoffs? Teams like that can, and I think will, take on Ariza's contract if they think they have a legit chance at a championship. This means that the Wiz will get 9-11 million in contract value back from such teams (either in multiple players to fulfill more positions of need, or say one large contract that expires sooner). And the Wiz will STILL have Otto and Webster to step in when the timing is right.
Contracts are just that: contracts. We're not marrying the players, we're acquiring his rights.