No sooner had the Washington Wizards won the lottery, and the presumed rights to phenom PG John Wall, when the rumors started: current PG Gilbert Arenas is on his way out. And where better than New York, the city of overpaying? Heck, we even have a big contract of our own, Eddy Curry, so the trade makes perfect sense. Well…. there are a few creaks in that proposition.
One, Eddy Curry technically isn’t on the Knicks’ team next year yet. No, no, stop jumping for joy, there hasn’t been some new development. The logistics of his contract is that it ends July 1st unless he opts-in (which we all know he will) and thus he can’t be traded until after that point. So no draft-day trades for him. Second, he makes around $10 million and Arenas around $16 mill, so the numbers don’t quite work. But of course they can add another player or two to make it work.
Washington would looooove to do it. After Arenas’ whole gun incident, they wanted nuthin’ more than to get rid of him. However, they realized that with Isiah Thomas no longer a GM, no one would take on his remaining 4 years at $80+ million. And suddenly they started saying how they would welcome him back with open arms. But make no mistake, they proved they’re in full-blown remake mode by scuttling Antawn Jamison & Caron Butler. They’d love to get young talent for Gilbert, but the next best thing is salary relief, which could be spelled E-d-d-y C-u-r-r-y, now that he’s coming in for his final year.
However, Donnie Walsh has done all this work to get low enough under the cap to sign TWO free max free agents. Even if he could do the trade today, there’s no way would he go for Arenas and jeopardize that cap space. The only way the trade happens is if after July 1st, when the free agency period begins, LeBron says he’ll come to New York but he wants Arenas there too. However, until Arenas proves he can be the dominant force he once was, I don’t see LeBron calling for him.
Likewise, Walsh ain’t Isiah, he’s too smart to trade for a ball-dominating player who hasn’t yet shown that he’s fully recovered from injuries. If it were to happen at all, most likely it would go down during next season. That would enable Walsh to see if Arenas still has it, and similarly give Washington some time to see if perhaps Gil & John Wall can work as a dynamic duo. Also, hopefully Walsh would be smart enough to hold out for a draft pick too if we’re gonna take this huge contract off the Wiz’s hands.
So take a deep breath. This trade likely ain’t gonna happen. And if it does, it won’t be for a while.