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Something is about to happen

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I can't really give an educated guess because Ernie Grunfeld is never one to tip his hand, but based on yesterday's events, there's going to be change in this organization, both on and off the court.

The first indication is the announcement that Susan O'Malley will step down at the end of the month.  O'Malley's role has always been kind of unclear to me, but there's no denying that she wielded some sort of power within the organization.  She's been with this organization a long time, even though she's only 45, so it's not like we're talking a sudden change, but as Ivan wrote in the blog, the timing seems a bit odd.

Now, what to make of Susan's departure? She said she's leaving to pursue other things and after being in the business for 20 years, that's understandable but the timing is interesting. Does it mean that Abe Pollin is considering selling the team? He's always stated that he's not interested in doing that yet but then again, Caps owner Ted Leonsis is waiting to buy in the moment Abe says so. Is Susan leaving before a new group takes over? Does her departure give Ernie more power in the overall structure of the franchise and if that's the case, what does that mean for Eddie's future if the Wiz struggle early next season or otherwise fail to meet expectations? Yes, it must be repeated: Ernie did not hire Eddie. Abe Pollin did. Just throwing that out there.

The other sign that Ernie's gaining more power within the organization?  He's interviewing former Houston Rockets assistant Tom Thibodeau for the lead assistant job vacated by Tom Young.  This is significant because Thibodeau, having been Jeff Van Gundy's lead assistant, is a defense-first guy.  It's also significant because Thibodeau has no relationship with Eddie Jordan.  None of Eddie's assistant are even under contract yet for next year.  Could Ernie be considering a coaching change down the road?  Remember, as stated above, Eddie was hired by Abe, not be Ernie.  If Thibodeau is hired (and, for the record, I really hope he is), how will Eddie feel having to deal with a lead assistant he doesn't really know?  It almost seems like interviewing him is an act of defiance on Ernie's part.

As far as the on-court product, you can tell something is in the works.  I doubt any of the Big 3 gets traded, but it seems like everyone else is fair game.  According to a league source, Antonio Daniels and Etan Thomas are on the block, and according to yesterday's Wizards  Post chat, Brendan Haywood is still being shopped around.  It's also interesting to me that the Wizards have been working out so many guys that are projected to go in the 20s and 30s, and not many guys who are projected to go higher than 16.  Perhaps that indicates they plan on trading down, maybe using Haywood as bait.

The good news is that, unlike reported yesterday , the Wizards do have Bird rights on Andray Blatche, thanks to the Gilbert Arenas rule instituted after Arenas defected to DC.  Before, if your team was over the cap, you had to use your mid-level exception to re-sign second-round picks, which explains why Golden State was out of the running for Arenas a couple years ago.  With Blatche, the Wizards can pay him anything and still be able to use their mid-level exception to upgrade the rest of the team.  That increases the likelihood that DeShawn Stevenson will also be back, which, I think, is good news.

As far as a trade, I'd say there's about a 70 percent chance Haywood leaves, a 30-35 percent chance AD goes, and a 20 percent chance Thomas leaves.  I can't think of anyone who would take on Etan's contract, but you never know.  Some team might take on AD just because of his really strong postseason, but his contract is also a bit of an albatross.  Brendan's contract is pretty reasonable, and because he's 7 feet, a lot of teams will be willing to roll the dice with his attitude.

You guys have any ideas as far as trading any of those guys?  Remember to follow the primer and make sure the salaries match.  I personally would be very surprised if all three of those guys are around by the end of draft day.