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Update [2007-3-22 15:20:57 by Pradamaster]: On second thought, Caron Butler is not going to fly out to Oakland after all. The confusion continues...

Who knew that a random regular-season game against the Sonics could produce so much Wizards news that I have to go Bullet style (ha ha).  Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all night

  • As Mac G mentioned in the comments, it appears Caron Butler is coming back early.  According to the Post, he's going to fly out to Oakland today and could potentially play against Golden State, the Clippers, or Utah.  When asked about the chances of Tuff Juice playing, Eddie Jordan simply responded, "There is a chance."

Hmm...interesting.  I guess I have tempered optimism here.  There's no doubt that the Wizards are so much better with a healthy Butler, and there's no doubt that, with three difficult road games looming, a healthy Butler would do wonders.  But at the same time, Butler has tried to come back early from this knee injury, only to end up back on the sidelines.  When he has played, he's let it bother him too much, and he has not been the same player that he was in the first half.  If Butler is really healthy, he should come back, but if he's going to play passively, stink on defense, and not rebound like he usually does, it's not worth it.  I think he should wait to play until the Utah game, and then see how it feels afterwards.

  • Also in that article, the Wizards announced that they signed Mike Hall for the rest of the season, even though he has yet to appear in a single game.  Strange, but whatever.  I guess he's a good practice player.
  • Jarvis Hayes missed yesterday's game with a sprained right foot, and I'm not sure what his status is.  Interestingly enough, it appeared that his playing time was going to be scaled down anyway.  At least that's what I'm thinking.  Sounds like Hayes will be day-to-day, but I'll update if I hear about it.
  • After Gilbert's dud against Portland, the new ESPN True Hoop wrote about it, and it prompted a lot of dumb, unsophisticated comments.  Today, per True Hoop, Gilbert Arenas updated his blog, and responded directly to all his critics.  It's always nice to know that bloggers aren't the only people that wish Skip Bayless would shut his trap.  The whole thing is a great read, but here are a couple snippets.
I'm a fan. I enjoy the game.

So if that's "crazy" or "quirky," just give me season tickets to any arena and let me sit there with 20,000 other "crazy" and "quirky" people.

So when I hear critics say, "Just play basketball," I say, from the age of 14, that's all I've been doing - playing basketball.

I've been playing from a fan's view.

There's hundreds of NBA players, but there's a few basketball-playing fans.

What I mean is that there's a few NBA players that's actually a fan of the game of basketball. There's a few players, if you take the money away, they will still play it as hard as they do.

Only a few.

"Gilbertology" and "Gilbert being Gilbert" means Gilbert enjoying his time in the NBA. From predictions that I say I'm going to do, to pranks, that I have fun doing with my teammates.

I'm going to enjoy it because you never know when it's going to end.

He also responded directly to all his critics, pointing out the flaws in their reasoning.

When we step inside that court and people come into those arenas and sit down, it's not about what they did that day, it's not about their rent, their jobs, how bad their day is going. It's about, "I'm going to forget about it for two hours."

Two hours while this basketball game is going on.

Same thing with a player, no matter what's going on outside of the arena, when you get in there it's my job to entertain for two hours.

The antics aren't taking away from my level of concentration. I'm sleeping in the gym. I'm working out three times a day. I spent my whole summer to get back at two so-called teams.

So I think I have the right to put baby powder on somebody from my team's donuts for five minutes. All powder takes is five minutes. I think a good prank takes 15 good minutes.

It's a job. Like when you're done with your job, what do most people do? Go get a glass of wine, relax themselves ... because they work, that's what they do.

How come we can't do the same thing?

It's funny how we're not human anymore. It's like once we sign that big deal we're not human anymore.

I'm with Henry.  Gilbert's own explanations of himself are surprisingly believable.  The man is so self-aware, and that, I think, is what separates him from other lunatics like TO.  

Arlington, Va.: Hi Guys -- I know that this is premature, but I'm interested in how the team will approach this offseason. Although we don't know how things will end this year, the team's strengths and weaknesses are there for all to see. Do you see any trades in the summer? What kinds of players do you see them going after in the draft? I'm a GW guy, so do you see Mike Hall getting a contract for next year with the Wizards?

Ivan Carter: Three keys: The team is over the salary cap and not very far under the luxury tax which, like most owners, Abe Pollin won't touch. Ernie will do his best to dump Etan's contract if he can find a taker which will be difficult. Jarvis Hayes is up, Calvin Booth is up, DeShawn Stevenson can opt out (and will) and Andray Blatche is restricted. Unless Ernie can clear space by moving Etan or otherwise moving a bigger salary, he'll have the mid-level exception (a little over $5 million) to split up between DeShawn and Andray or use to go get someone else. Not really sure what DeShawn will command but I can't see some team giving him the entire mid-level. We'll see. I know for a fact that Ernie wants to keep Andray and, you can expect last year's first round pick, Oleksiy Pecherov, to come over from the Ukraine.

Basically, the Wizards have little flexibility, especially if they re-sign Stevenson.  To me, this is all the more reason why they need to draft well.  The Wizards could really use an immediate impact player, someone like Acie Law or Nick Young.  No more Euro projects!  

The box score shows that Ruffin didn't attempt a shot and finished with one rebound and two fouls in 5:16 of action Wednesday night but his two blocks loomed large in the final outcome.

"If I can get in there and help the team get a stop then I feel like I did my job," Ruffin said.

I mean, even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes.  Hopefully, this doesn't mean we'll see Ruffin take away more of Andray Blatche's minutes.