Arenas needs to slow down return
The Washington Wizards were finishing a shootaround before a recent game against New Orleans when
Here's the question: Why?
Certainly there's a case to be made that Arenas can and should take the court as he returns from his third knee surgery in two years. If he's healthy -- which Arenas now claims to be and league sources confirm -- and wants to play (he has targeted Saturday's game against Detroit), Washington would have a tough time denying the noted gym rat.
And maybe the Wizards don't want to. Maybe general manager
Those are all good reasons ...
Think about it: What does Washington have to gain by bringing Arenas back now? Would playing improve his timing? Spending a week in the Las Vegas summer league would do that. Would it placate the fans? The buzz in Washington in recent weeks has been more about what adding a young big man such as
Say Arenas comes back. Say he is successful. Do you think D.C. fans would want a few extra victories if it meant losing out on a top three pick in June? Do you think they believe the chance to draft Griffin or Rubio is worth a couple of losses to the Raptors? Or would they rather beat Toronto and watch
Then there is the biggest question of all: What if Arenas gets hurt? Ask
True, Stoudemire's and Arenas' situations are different: Amar'e underwent dreaded microfracture surgery while Arenas had a simpler arthroscopic lavage procedure, during which a moderate amount of debris was removed after saline solution was washed through the knee. But that was Stoudemire's first surgery; Arenas had an invasive procedure to repair his torn MCL in April 2007 and a form of microfracture surgery to repair further damage just seven months later.
The bottom line is that the Wizards don't need Arenas this season. They need him next season. They need him to lead a team that will be expected to make a Tampa Bay Rays-type turnaround and battle with Boston, Cleveland and Orlando for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. They need him to be the player they thought they were getting when they re-signed him to a six-year, $111 million contract last summer. They need him to be 100 percent. For that, they should be willing to wait a few more months.
The comparison people are making to Rubio is former NBA great
"The skills he doesn't have you can teach," one NBA scout said. "Some of the ones he has you can't."
One GM mentioned that the 18-year-old Rubio already has the respect of his older teammates -- some of whom are 10 years his senior. That bodes well for a move to the NBA.
A more likely scenario to me is that Kidd would take less money somewhere else to play for a championship contender. Kidd's not stupid. He knows he won't get anywhere close to the $21.4 million he is making this season. And in a depressed economy, the market for Kidd will probably be less than what it would be in other years. So a two- or three-year contract starting at the mid-level exception might be enough to get a deal done.
The Raptors probably won't initiate any trade calls on Bosh, but they won't turn their ringer off either. This has been a brutal season for Bosh. His knee has been hurting, his personal life has been rocky and he has yet to see any signs that the Raptors are building a legitimate championship contender around him. He's miserable. Another season like this will probably push him out the door in 2010.
Oh, I was absolutely wrong. But in my defense, anyone who thought the Rockets would be
Can they win a playoff series? Maybe. The Rockets have pulled out some close games recently (including a two-point victory at San Antonio on Sunday), partially dispelling the notion that they can't win down the stretch without a go-to scorer. But Houston