Breaking news: We landed on the moon! Also, Gil agreed to a six-year, $111 million deal with the Wiz, which is about $16 million less than they offered him. The thinking here, I guess, is that this affords the Wiz a bit more flexibility to sign marginal players like Roger Mason Jr. To quote the man of the hour:
“This way, I’m still getting paid a lot of money and we can make the moves we need to make. I want to win a championship here in D.C. I want to have a parade that goes right past the White House. Me and Barack Obama. How cool would that be?”
Good for Gil, good for the Wiz and good for us. They/we got our man, and for market value too (Golden State had offered five years and $100 million, which comes out to $1.5 million more per season). Now, though, Michael Wilbon says Washington must play into June for Arenas to be worth it.
It’s a somewhat obvious sentiment to express, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. I think the Wiz can — and will — make it deep into the playoffs, but I’m not much for predictions. So let’s read Wilbon on the past:
“A big reason to give the Wizards the benefit of the doubt is that Ernie Grunfeld is making these decisions. He’s the one who built the Knicks into an NBA Finals team in 1994 and 1999. Grunfeld found Olympian Michael Redd in the second round, and stole a young Arenas from Golden State when the Warriors didn’t know quite what they had.”
That’s a nice list of achievements and all, but how do you leave KWAME BROWN-FOR-CARON BUTLER off the Big Ern highlight reel? That move was at least on par with signing a 21 year-old Arenas or drafting Redd. It’s an especially glaring omission considering Caron is the Beta to Gilbert’s Alpha (Alpha Beta!). Unless, of course, you’re just mailing it in on the 4th of July.
Yay, America! Yay, Agent Zero in D.C.! Boo, Wilbon!
Footnote: Looks like the Times’ Mike Jones had this story first. Yay, him.