Man...we SUCK! It's frustrating when all I have to write about is losing. Even I, a person that always tries to find the positive in things, am losing hope and interest. Oh yeah, we did win a game this week, so to that I say...who the F#^! cares, we're 1-12! If I'm a bit ornery in this post, can you blame me? Anyway, my thoughts below the jump...
The meeeeeeeeedia. I hate y'all. Not all of you, just the ones that don't even watch Wizards games. That's mostly the national ones, but some of the local ones are also included. You sit on your high horses and once a week look at the standings and write down or say whatever jokes you can think of from your failed stand-up comedian days. It's like if you have a stupid relative or friend and somebody else talks bad about them: I can say whatever I want about Mondo, that doesn't give you the right to say whatever you want about him. A lot of the opinions I'm reading/hearing are clearly ignorant. I don't even want to get into naming names and giving them the extra pub, but Adam McGinnis and I know who they are. I hate being the laughingstock of the entire league but the actions and decision-making of our players and front office have made it so. Still, I don't take kindly to some of these so-called experts.
The future? Well, I'm not even sure anymore. At the end of the season, I expect Rashard Lewis to be bought out, and Andray Blatche to be amnestied, if he isn't traded first. For anybody thinking that we should have amnestied Lewis before the season, look, there was a salary cap floor that we had to reach, and I don't know that it would've been a good idea to just go willy nilly overpaying players that weren't worthy just for the sake of spending money and short-term gain. That's how you end up like the Atlanta Hawks. I'm good with us keeping the Rashard Lewis contract (and that's where his value is at this point, his contract, not his physical presence), I just don't think he should be playing much, if at all. I feel like there's a slim chance that his contract could actually be an asset come trade time. If we can't trade him, he can easily be bought out at the end of the season. Only $10 million or so of his salary for next season is guaranteed, which is another reason why the contract may have value on the trade market.
If he can't be traded, the amnesty clause would best be served on Andray Blatche. After this season, he is owed another three years, $23 million. We don't want to pay that, and given that he's hurt, not starting (which by the way is the right decision by Flip. Does he read this blog? I'm not sure, but he sure made me feel like I knew what I was talking about when he benched Lewis and Blatche. It was so obvious.), and out of shape, I don't know if any other team will either. I think Blatche could be a great sixth man, just don't know if it's realistic to expect him to be cool with coming off the bench here. One way or another, it's probably best for all parties that we go in different directions.
If you've been reading me, you know I've touted all year how much JaVale McGee has improved his game, and I stand by that. But is he sucked up in this bad culture of losing as well. He still does boneheaded things, and I still find myself trying to look past them. The now infamous self-oop (which, by the way, came after he pretty much got teabagged earlier in the game by Chandler Parsons.) yesterday is the latest in a string of bad decisions. While I acknowledged that it was yet another stupid thing given that we were losing the game and we are 1-12, when I saw it I kinda brushed it off. But am I enabling the behavior by looking past it? The thing that really irritates me is his shameless attempts to get voted to the All-Star game (have you seen his avi on Twitter?). Maybe I'm getting old, but should that be the priority? I don't expect guys to sit in the dark and cry because we're awful, but I think this is the opposite extreme. It gives the impression that he doesn't care about where the team sits right now. It gives the impression that he is...selfish. It got me to thinking: is JaVale really a core piece? Is he worth the $10-12 million per year that he's certain to ask for at the end of the season? Should we...gulp...explore trading him? I mean this is allegedly a deep draft, right? Don't you think he could at least bring back an extra draft pick or two, maybe even a lottery pick? It's just time to start considering everything, including the fact that John Wall may be the only guy on the current roster that will be here when we're no longer the new Clippers. I love the energy of Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely, and Shelvin Mack, but I'm not sure if any of them are starters on a quality team. Good bench guys though.
With all this talk of buyouts and amnesties and trades, I guess I should come up with some idea on how to put the team together again. Above all else, I guess the biggest decision when the season ends, or before then, is to figure out what to do with Ernie Grunfeld and Flip Saunders. I think they should probably both be gone, but I get the feeling that Ted Leonsis doesn't agree. I think we're about to go through another rebuild, but I'm optimistic that there are things in place that may allow us to be competitive in a year or two. It starts with this year's draft, where we have to pick up a star player, or at the very least a core complement to Wall. This is supposed to be a very good draft, and if things stay the way that they've been we should have a very good pick. As frustrated as I am with McGee, I think he'll be back next season, at the very least at the qualifying offer if a long-term deal can't be reached. Do you know that if Lewis is bought out and Blatche is amnestied, we'll have only $23 million on the cap? I say that to show that as bad as we are the salary cap situation is fluid. If a quality free agent comes available, and he wants to play here, we will be in good position to make a move. This year's free agency class doesn't have many realistic free agents that are unrestricted (not even entertaining Dwight Howard coming here). Jeff Green has been mentioned a bit the last couple of days, but I'm not sure that he's going to be worth a major payday or a good fit for us. There are some restricted free agents that are intriguing, namely Eric Gordon. If not this offseason, next offseason Kevin Martin will be an unrestricted free agent. Just a couple of names to throw out there at shooting guard. I'm throwing out names at swing positions, particularly shooting guard, because it seems pretty obvious that Nick Young won't be back at this point. He appears to be playing out the string, and losing money along the way.