A few days ago, I was about to write something on how it is time to give up on the season and this team, and start the rebuilding process. I have actually been calling for a rebuilding for the past 2 seasons, and the run of close losses to bad teams had put us at a record of 10-20, which was only 3-4 games out of a playoff spot, but about 14 games from being in contention to do anything in the playoffs.
I am of the 'championship or bust mentality' and as many of you know, the Wiz are in an awkward situation because we need to rebuild to have a chance for a championship, but have 1 albatross of a contract that is preventing us from doing so. That 1 contract, of course, belongs to a nut-job named Gilbert Arenas, aka Hibachi, aka Agent Zero (as I said, nut-job).
Outside of the Pistons a few years ago, and the Celtics a couple years ago, every NBA championship team and contender has a top-5 or top-10 player. These elite players are generally acquired at the very top of the draft, so a team stuck in mediocrity is unlikely to ever get one of these guys. My opinion has thus been that the Wiz should trade away all of the other players on the team and try to get a few pieces in place before Arenas's contract expires in 4.5 years. This method is certainly unorthodox, but at least the rebuilding effort will have started. We will have a few bad seasons and thus lottery picks through this method, and maybe will hit the jackpot in the draft lottery in the next 3 years. This rationale is why I freaked out when the Wiz essentially gave up Ricky Rubio and Dajuan Blair in the draft. Sure, we'd have some veterans, but I think Rubio and Blair could combine with Blatche, McGuire, Young, and McGee to give us a few parts of an elite rotation. When you consider that we could get even more young talent from trading Jamison, Tough Juice, and Haywood, the idea suddenly gets very exciting.
That problem is that this young core would have to play with Agent Zero, who in addition to his atrocious contract, also poses the issue of preventing the team from truly tanking enough to likely get a top draft pick. My theory/hope was that there is always the slight chance that the Wiz will somehow be able to rid themselves of Agent Zero's contract, hopefully through him playing well enough to attract anybody to take him in a trade. Now, everyone has seen the news, and I don't want to jinx anything, but Gil might actually be so stupid that after duping the Wiz into giving him this $111 million contract, he's giving us a way to get out from under all that money. You want to know my first thoughts after reading that it was Gil involved in that 'standoff'? First, I thought, 'what an idiot, this team is a train wreck', and then I thought, 'hey, will this allow us to somehow get out of Gil's contract?'
I don't exactly have a law degree, but it has been well-reported that if Gil can be pinned with a felony, then the Wiz can void his contract and jumpstart the rebuilding process. A felony seems to be a stretch, but Gil has already been in trouble with the league and law for possessing a gun, and I can always dream.
Gil has been a light in the dark of DC sports for a few years, and even provided hope while injured, but I can't help but root against him here. Not only is his performance undeserving of that contract, but anyone stupid enough to put 4 guns in public view does not deserve that kind of money. A misdemeanor seems likely, but will not be enough to change the fortunes of this team. Call me an asshole, but I'm rooting for the worst for Gil, which will be the best for the Wizards.
(Image courtesy of www.sitv.com)