I used to love Gilbert Arenas. He was a fun personality, a great player, and a he brought life to an often boring NBA regular season. However, ever since knee injuries derailed his once promising career, the 28-year old Arenas is now just a punchline. Reports of Shaq sleeping with his fiance in 2009 never became a big story, but his gun related saga involving Javaris Crittenton led to roster overhaul in Washington and will forever sully his name. And just when I thought Arenas would work to clean up his image this season as John Wall’s mentor, “Agent 0″ is back and it is obvious Gil has failed to learn from his mistakes. If the Wizards and Arenas want to experience any success during the 2010-11 season, a trade is a necessity, but unfortunately that is easier said than done.
Arenas still has four years and roughly $80-million left on his contract, which makes a trade extremely difficult. Finding a trading partner means taking on numerous expiring contracts (which teams usually try trading for, not trading away), or a swap of max contract guys. However, if a team has signed a player to a max contract, it is unlikely they are trying to trade the face of their franchise, especially for a guy coming off a gun related suspension. A dream scenario would be if the Nuggets were to trade Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony to the Wizards for Arenas and other parts, but the Nuggets could find a much better replacement than Arenas, plus Denver already has Chauncey Billups. David Aldridge, a longtime NBA man for TNT, said recently on Tony Kornheiser’s radio show that he couldn’t find a single team that would be willing to take Arenas and/or have the financial means to do so. If Isiah Thomas were a consultant for the Knicks, perhaps he could further ruin that franchise by making a trade for Gil, but unfortunately for Wiz fans, Thomas is content with ruining FIU’s basketball program instead.
So how will Flip Saunders, Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld deal with the fake injured/now actually injured Arenas? A contract buyout is possible, but highly unlikely considering who Washington is dealing with, so they will have to make due for the first few months of the season at least. Arenas can still be a very good shooting guard, but if his heart isn’t in playing basketball and being second fiddle, he will only be a detriment to a young Wizards team. I’m done with Arenas, and so are most Wizards fans I’ve spoken to, but I feel like Leonsis will give Gilbert time to make his way back into the lineup before he makes a decision on what to do with the former superstar. His trade value is at an all-time low right now, and perhaps a hot start to the season could see a contender decide to make a move. There is no doubt that this young Wiz team has a bright future, but unfortunately for the time being that future will still include Arenas.
About the Author
Written by Robert Bode
A sports die-hard through and through. I grew up playing almost every sport possible, and to this day I try to stay as active as possible. However, since I'm not a professional athlete, talking and writing about sports is the next best thing. A University of Florida graduate but living in my hometown of Washington D.C. (well Northern Virginia), my favorite teams are the Florida Gators, Miami Dolphins, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Real Madrid, good up-tempo NBA teams (so not the Knicks), and Washington Capitals.