The Wizards faced nothing but trouble last season for reasons you already know. With Abe Pollin’s passing, the franchise falls into good hands with Ted Leonsis, who bought the remaining 56% of the the Wizards and Verizon Center along with the assets of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. The question going forward is how to rebuild the team with just $29 million owed in contracts for the 2010-11 season.
The likely number one pick, Kentucky’s John Wall will obviously bloat that number for the next few years, but who else will contend in the starting five for the franchise? All indications point to Gilbert Arenas staying in DC because of his large contract (owed $17.7 million next year with that number expanding to $22.3 million in 2013-14). The team has yet to announce whether they will pick Josh Howard’s team option worth $11.8 million, though I believe they will do so.
Andre Blatche ($3.26 million), Randy Foye ($4.79 million), Nick Young ($2.6 million), Al Thornton ($2.8 million), JaVall McGee ($2.46 million) are the other five players with contracts for the 2010-11 season.
Quinton Ross has also informed the team he will pick up the player option on his $1.1 million contract.
I’ll come out and say it here: I do not believe they will pick up any other players from the 2009-10 season. That leaves just eight players under contrac and even some of those could be moved.
Add the Wizards #1, #30, and #35 picks and that’s ten players. That’s a Build Your Own Franchise: NBA edition if I’ve ever seen it.
Leonsis already has what he wants in front of him. With the Capitals, Leonsis put people that knew the game in the front office and built the team with the draft. With the current Wizards, he has three draft picks and are also shopping players currently on the roster for another pick in the late first, early second round.
There’s also the possibility of free agency, especially with Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and of course, LeBron James on the market. The only possibility the Wizards could take a player in free agency would be Bosh. He adds power in the paint and can easily detract attention from Arenas on the outside. The team does not need another point guard and we all know DC fans wouldn’t want LeBron in the nations capital.
General Manager Ernie Grunfield has control over what the team will do personnel wise and Leonsis has already said he will stay on the outside of decision makign as it pertains to the squad.
The rebuilding starts tomorrow at seven p.m. Build Your Own Franchise: NBA edition… begins.