Saturday , Jan , 02 , 2010 Oly Sandor

To Void or Not To Void His Contract: How Washington Wizards benefit from Gilbert Arenas’ gun-tooting

In case you missed it: before Christmas, Arenas reportedly pulled a gun on teammate Javaris Crittenton in an attempt to collect on a gambling debt. If Arenas is convicted of a felony, the remaining four years and $67 million on his contract become null and void. One the one hand, the Wizards must be troubled by Arenas’ behaviour. The organization has always liked him and tolerated his idiosyncrasies because it gave them a national following and much-needed publicity …

To Void or Not To Void His Contract: How Washington Wizards benefit from Gilbert Arenas'  gun-tootingMy Quick Take: A problem can become an opportunity.

For instance, Gilbert Arenas’ recent Clint Eastwood impersonation and soon-to-be legal drama will present the Washington Wizards with an opportunity to escape from under his bloated contract.

In case you missed it: before Christmas, Arenas reportedly pulled a gun on teammate Javaris Crittenton in an attempt to collect on a gambling debt. If Arenas is convicted of a felony, the remaining four years and $67 million on his contract become void.

One the one hand, the Wizards must be troubled by Arenas’ behaviour. The organization has always liked him and tolerated his idiosyncrasies because it gave them a much needed national following and publicity.

On the other hand, the club’s affinity for The Hibachi persona, his world famous blog, and bizarre attitude influenced their decision to re-sign him to a six year, $111 million contract, despite several knee injuries.

Arenas’ knee never fully healed. He’s not the All-Star who averaged 29 points per game in 2005-06 or cold-as- ice, clutch scorer who nailed a game-winning jump shot against the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs. And he never will be, either.  

Only Arenas doesn’t know that. He’s in a time warp, acting like a first-option in coach Flip Saunders’ sets, which has ruined his chemistry with Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and the rest of his teammates. And the results have been terrible: Washington, with their pitiful record, is broken and beyond repair because they can’t rid themselves of Arenas’ contract.

Until now.

Arenas’ contract would be nullified if convicted of a felony. Instead of having a team salary of $79 million, the Wizards would sit at a far more manageable $62 million, with their largest, long-term obligation magically off the books.

Best of all, the team would no longer belong to Arenas. Saunders and GM Ernie Grunfeld could regroup on the fly around veterans such as Butler and Jamison or begin a legitimate rebuilding project.

Simply put, the Washington Wizards are better without Arenas’ contract. Of course, they’ll never admit that his problems could become their opportunity to prosper.

Are the Wizards better without Arenas? Get at us in the comment box below and follow Oly on HoopsVibe The Blog and Twitter. Photo courtesy of Keith Allison.