Ivan's latest blog entry is filled with all sorts of interesting notes, but here's the most interesting one.
Now, the Wizards can and likely will match any offer made to Blatche, the team's second round pick in the 2005 draft, but unless president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld can clear some cap space with moves this summer, doing so could make it difficult to retain shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson, who will opt out of the final year of his contract on July 1, or sign other free agents in what is shaping up to be a tight market.
Here's the deal: if the Wiz have the cap room, they can sign Blatche without using the mid-level exception (a first-year salary of just over $5 million). If they can't, and if teams make the kind of offers detailed above, they would have to use the ML on Blatche. Essentially, they could be put in the position of choosing between Blatche and Stevenson and as one smart basketball man I spoke with put it yesterday: "That's a no brainer. You pay 6-11 every time and don't think twice." Good point. Consider this: if Blatche were coming out of college this summer, where would he go in the draft? Lottery baby.
I mean, wow. I always felt like Blatche was a kept-secret of sorts, but I guess that's not really true. Either way, it might mean that the likely impending Brendan Haywood trade will have to be a salary dump (maybe to Charlotte?), because how else will this team re-sign both Blatche and Stevenson?
Much, much more to come tomorrow morning, because that blog entry is full of interesting insights.