Gilbert Arenas: Five Possible Trade Destinations for the Wizard of Flaws
The Washington Wizards had high expectations for the 2009-10 season.
So high, in fact, that they traded away their No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft (the pick could have landed them Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, or Brandon Jennings).
New head coach Flip Saunders brought a new mindset to the DC squad.
It was Gilbert Arenas' return from injury that gave the Wiz the most optimism.
However, with the team floundering at 7-15 and currently out of the playoff picture, changes are being called for.
In a couple of recent games, Washington has lost due to Arenas missing pivotal free throws to close out games.
With all the baggage Gilbert carries and the personality quirks that define "Agent Zero," moving the star may be an option worth considering.
With the general perception of Arenas and the doubts that surround him, he may prove to be a difficult piece to move. Here are some of the teams that might be willing to take that chance.
With any trade rumors involving high profile superstars in the NBA, the Cavs have to be mentioned as a possibility.
Considering LeBron James' upcoming free agent status, Cleveland is put in a difficult situation.
For starters, they must provide James with a team that can win a title now and for years to come, to have any chance of him re-signing.
In the event that James moves on, Cleveland must plan for their own future. Losing "King James" would leave the Cavs with one of the weakest teams around.
If the Arenas/James combo works, LeBron has much more incentive to stay, coach Mike Brown keeps his job, and GM Danny Ferry looks like a genius.
If it doesn't work, at least they tried. James moves out, and the Cavs build around "Agent Zero."
The Sixers brought Allen Iverson in to fill seats and provide scoring.
The AI effect may not be the most viable "answer," though. Iverson is a stopgap signing and a short term solution to the loss of Lou Williams.
Gilbert Arenas could fill seats long-term, work within the Eddie Jordan system (as he has most of his career), and turn Philly into serious title contenders.
Andre Iguodala is a great player who requires a facilitator, like Arenas can be when he wants. This would give the Sixers a foundation going forward and a marquee name for years.
It may also be a way to get out of the Elton Brand deal, which would be a plus at this point.
Given the struggles of the Bulls as of late, a shakeup is certainly needed.
One of the biggest reasons for the recent failures is the loss of Ben Gordon to the Detroit Pistons.
With the up-and-coming PG Derrick Rose running the offense, Chicago desperately needs a shooter like Arenas.
The team's front office seems reluctant to let head coach Vinnie Del Negro go, even though he is losing and isn't running the most efficient offense.
A seasoned vet and experienced leader like Gilbert Arenas might be the missing piece the Bulls seek.
There hasn't been a superstar-level player in Chicago since Michael Jordan, and they may not want to risk striking out in the 2010 free agent sweepstakes.
New York Knicks
With lots of question marks surrounding the future of the Knicks, anything is possible.
They run the risk of the big names in the 2010 free agent class (James, Wade, and Bosh) passing on the unstable franchise and signing elsewhere. That would leave New York in a major rut, with no major signings and no first round picks (having traded an unprotected pick to the Utah Jazz).
Bringing in second-tier talent like Amare Stoudemire will help, but may not be enough to jumpstart the team.
By bringing in Gilbert to run the fast-paced offense and targeting Amare next year, Donnie Walsh could accomplish the impossible: appeasing the NY fanbase without signing LeBron James.
The Clippers are about to undergo a major shift over the next few seasons. When Blake Griffin gets healthy, Los Angeles will have to do whatever it takes to surround him with talent conducive to winning.
The Clips are currently loaded with talent, but still may be lacking an integral component: the reliable court general. Baron Davis is slowing down and looks uninterested half of the time.
Gilbert and Griffin could be a dominant duo going forward. Add in Chris Kaman as a solid anchor at center, and an impressive supporting cast, and the Clips could be competing with the Lakers and other NBA elites in no time.