Tuesday night I watched The 0-8 Wizards kill my hometown “Craptors” (MEGA-ZING!!) to get their first win. Over at Grantland, Joe House is about as pumped up as you can for what he calls “ the worst team in the National Basketball Association, and possibly life” and has a fpoint plan of his own to continue the momentum. Sadly, Wednesday night saw the Wizards travel to Chicago and lose to the Rose-less Bulls during which they did many Wizardy type things.
Anyways, I’m going to assume for the purpose of me criticizing that Joe House is not at all tongue in cheek with any of his suggestions. So, with that disclaimer, here’s why you don’t amnesty Rashard Lewis:
1 – Sure Shard has become a nuisance. His only value at this point is as a spot up shooter off the bench and as a veteran leadership guy and has as recently as last week apparently shirked that duty. But the amnesty is a last resort in my eyes. It’s the nuclear option. What if Ernie Grunfeld just sent Lewis home? What if he skipped the benching and emptied his locker, removed his name plate and told him to pack his bags? No more Four Seasons hotel rooms and no more charter airlines. Tell Shard that maybe he can come back if the Wiz decide they need him (which they don’t/won’t). Send Shard to his room without his per-diem dinner and don’t let him out till he apologizes for being a jackass. One of two things happens here. Either he stays home for two years and kills any chance of ever playing NBA ball again OR he saves face by putting on his Wizard hat and realizing he’s making more money than anyone but Kobe. #NoDinnerForShard
2 – You have to pay him regardless. His salary doesn’t just disappear. Uncle Ted (notice who he doesn’t credit in that link) has to CTC even if Shard is amnestied. The $21.1 million this year is already sunk because the amnesty window is closed until July so we’re talking about $22.69 million next season. But…
3 – Next year Shard’s deal ends and is non-guaranteed. Next year’s money is $10m guaranteed with the rest as performance based. Again, If he’s so epically persona non grata SEND HIM HOME. He can’t reach his performance bonus’s if he’s playing 2k on his damn couch. To be noted, I’m sure the
Trade Association Players Association would file a grievance based on this point. Also, if the performance bonus’s are prorated per the length of the deal it dilutes this point to a degree.
4 – Even if the Wiz use the amnesty on Shard and Uncle Ted cuts that cheque, who are the Wiz going to use that cap space on? NOBODY of consequence is signing with this squad. John Wall ain’t no Derrick Rose and having Derrick Rose apparently can’t convince Dwight to sign in Chicago.
5 – Andray Blatche. This is a guy who openly questions his coach on day one of the season an follows up by preaching team accountability. Ok, so traditional leadership isn’t his strong suit. No problem, he can lead by example and make a statement with hustle and smart play. Most importantly, John Wall LOVES playing with the guy, right? I’m not so sure the Wizards want to hold that deal to 2015. More so, I’m not so sure Blatche holds any sort of trade value.
This is why you don’t just through away the amnesty on Shard. I mean, even Joe House thinks that Blatche has to go. Everyone at the Wiz/Raps begged Flip to bench Blatche. THIS IS THE GUY YOU AMNESTY.
The Wizards have 2(00) problems, Blatche and Lewis (are but two) and only one amnesty to disappear one of said problems. So who’s the bigger problem in the house of Leonsis? Well, only time can tell which overpaid, malcontented, non-leader should get the axe but there is a way to take care of both of them.