Tuesday , Mar , 18 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Is Washington’s Gilbert Arenas A ‘Max’ Player?

I hear you Gil. You’re opting out. Every few days, new quotes drop about your plan to leave the final 12 million dollars of your contract on the table, hit free agency hard in July, and ink a ‘max’ contract. Hey, your choice. I’m not saying the brinks trucks aren’t waiting. Since last April, you’ve spent more time in the hospital than an out-of-control pop star and had more MRIs than Sam Bowie and Ralph Sampson put together …

Is Washington's Gilbert Arenas A 'Max' Player?The AM Take/Max Series: I hear you Gil. You’re opting out. Every few days, new quotes drop about your plan to leave the final 12 million dollars of your contract on the table, hit free agency hard in July, and ink a ‘max’ contract.

Hey, your choice. I’m not saying the brinks trucks aren’t waiting. Since last April, you’ve spent more time in the hospital than an out-of-control pop star and had more MRIs than Sam Bowie and Ralph Sampson put together.

Frankly Gil, the Wizards may be better without you. Washington, minus The Hibachi, plays defense, moves the ball, and has chemistry. Unintentionally, your showmanship and offensive gifts sometimes limits teammates.

Still, opting-out is your decision. Believe it or not, HoopsVibe The Blog are fans. And we’re here to help. Every week, we focus on whether a player is worthy of a ‘max’ contract –again, something you want.  We’ll break down your situation and decide if you’re still a max guy.

I know you don’t have an agent. No worries. Our readers have love for you, so we won’t charge for  our advice. Just break us off an invite to your next million dollar birthday party.

HoopsVibe masses: read the post, form an opinion, and let our boy Arenas know if he’ll receive a ‘max’ contract this summer in the comment box below.

Is Gilbert Arenas (7th year, 12 million dollars per season) a ‘max’ player?

Why: All NBA players want the ball for the first three quarter, but few want the rock in the game’s dying moments. The goat or hero thing doesn’t scare Arenas; he’s a legit playoff closer with ice-water veins.

 

          (Game five of the Bulls-Wizards playoff series in 2005-05)

His regular season numbers are superb. Twice in his career, Arenas has averaged over 28 points, while also chipping-in with six assists. Only a select few like Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant have posted those kinds of stats.

Arenas has marketable charisma. Hoop fans follow his NBA.com blog. Gamers follow his Halo skills. And everyone seems intrigued by his odd ways known as ‘Gilbertology’.

Why not: His health is a concern. Eight regular season games aside, Arenas has been out since last April with knee injuries. Those late-night practice sessions may have caught up with him.

His individual success has sometimes come at the expense of team success. For example, Arenas doesn’t always make those around him better, while co-stars Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison do a better job raising their team’s play.

There is a fine line between charismatic and difficult. While entertaining for fans, Arenas’ personal vendettas and idiosyncrasies sometimes overshadows Washington winning or losing.

Our call:  Right now, Arenas is not ‘max’ worthy. Opting-out in July would be a mistake. He should play the final year of his current contract with Washington, re-establish his market value in 2008-09, and then ink his big extension next summer.

Is Arenas max’ worthy? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts. The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA appearing Sunday through Friday on HoopsVibe NBA Blog. Errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another coffee.

Image appears courtesy of  photographer Eric F. Hernandez at flickr.com.