NBA / Apr 10, 2009 / 4:59 pm

Caron will be a workout beast; Wizards better follow suit

Caron Butler, Dime #36

Caron Butler, Dime #36

The Washington Wizards are walking, stinking proof that the Yankees/Red Sox Strategy — spend more money, get more wins — doesn’t always work. Having re-signed Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas to $160 million worth of contract last summer, the Wizards will spend this summer working out Lottery picks, as they’ll finish with the East’s worst record (18-61 as of today) and have a good shot at the No. 1 overall pick.

Caron Butler isn’t standing for a repeat. Talking to the Washington Post, Caron says he’s going to be a beast in the gym this offseason, and he expects Arenas, Jamison and the rest of his teammates to follow suit:

Butler also said he will focus on strengthening his body and becoming more durable after missing at least 15 games for the third consecutive season. He plans to train with (LeBron) James and former teammates Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant this summer.

“I know, personally, I will be in the best shape of my life, the best condition of my life,” Butler said. “Physically, mentally, I will be better than ever. I will have the best year of my career next year. I’m putting that on paper. I will have the best year of my career, on the court and off the court. I will be seriously ready.

“I think everybody is going to be hungry like that this summer,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of time to [play around]. This is our moment.”

Butler goes on to compare his team to the pre-Big Three Celtics, hoping to go from Lottery to championship given the additions of a healthy Arenas and Brendan Haywood. And just like Paul Pierce told the C’s going into the ’07 Draft, he’s more interested in using that Lottery pick to help bring in a vet (i.e. Boston using it’s No. 5 pick to get Ray Allen) rather than taking a college kid.

Butler said he is “not playing for no lottery pick” but he believes that Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin, the favorite to go No. 1 in the NBA draft, is the only player from the college ranks who can help the Wizards right away. “We’re going to be left with a lot of decisions for the GM, because you have the options. Do you trade a pick? Do you package a player with a pick, all those types of things, and get a quality player? If you look at our window for opportunity, we have a four-year window right now. Guys are not getting no younger. Antawn is 32, I’m 29, Gilbert is 27. DeShawn [Stevenson] is 28. Brendan is approaching 30. The core guys are in the prime of their careers. Right now, we don’t have time to have another developing year.”

“That’s where I stand,” Butler said. “If it’s not Blake Griffin or somebody that can make an immediate impact, then I would prefer having a veteran come in to help us. The time is now.”

How good can the Wizards be next year if everyone’s healthy and they have a No. 1 or No. 2 pick at their disposal?

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  • http://www.geocities.com/dagomardeg Dagomar

    If everything pans out perfectly: fifth, maybe fourth seed. That’s assuming the other teams in the East don’t improve as well, which they surely will.

  • doc

    They gonna stink.At best a first round ass whipping like any other year.Next question.

  • craig990

    They should package that #1 pick along with Antawn Jamison for a better vet.

    They also need a back-up P.G, and their Big guys need to improve. McGee and Blatche(sp)? need to work their asses off in the off season.
    But other than that.. they are a #4 # 5 seed behind Clev, Bos, and Orl of course.

  • wiz

    Sleep on them all ya’ll want wait till next year and i also hope they trade the pick to get someone who can contribute. If they do actually use the pick they dont need a point guard (pls no rubio or jennings) i wouldnt mind seeing them trade down and get maybe Earl Clark i think he might be a good back up for caron.

  • me

    did you say you want earl clark instead of rubio? Really? @ #4

    That’s how you really feel?

    If you were the GM and you just traded away the rights to rubio for earl clark, would you want to be the one to tell that to caron?


    Didn’t the wizards already draft a couple guys recently that were basically earl clarks coming out of college?

  • Mike

    I think the Wizards could surprise a lot of people. When their core players are healthy, they can easily be the 4th seed in the East. If they get Griffin or trade that pick for a nice veteran, they can contend with the Celtics, Magic, and Cavs.

    Teams are desperate to move salaries and there are a lot of big name players that are not happy with their situation. A top 3 draft pick could be a very desired asset this off season.

  • DEJ

    i think if the wizards are healthy they could definitely contend in the east. to “doc”, when we’re healthy we can run with anybody which we showed when we beat the cavs with Brendan and Gil there.

    in the draft it should be Blake Griffin or trade down to get a solid contributor and a backup PG like Ty Lawson or someone like that.

  • Chaos

    They def can surprise people. With a healthy Arenas, butler and jamison with an improved mcgee, blatche, dominic mcguire and nick young, they are gonna be a suprise in the L. The need to get stevenson, haywood and james out there and get a vet big and back up pg

  • http://deleted Luigi

    Are u fucking kidding me? a Wizards article?!?!? thats so rare henced the fact that ive been here throughout the bad times for the wiz all this year n ppl were rippin on me for it….

    okay i love the optimism. but i think were gonna get the 3rd seed. over Orlando. IF EVERYTHING GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN!!!….

    i mean you guys were jumpin on Gils nuts in the TWO games he played this year..and Antwan is a double double machine!. Caron does his thing day n night and doesnt complain….

    okay i think we should package Deshawn. Etan Thomas. Mike James n that pick for a decent Vet..or we could rob somebody for it like the Lakers did…

    Blake in DC in 09!
    My predicted record…48-34 4th seed.

  • yentron zero

    Wiz are going to lose to Orlando in the eastern conference finals after taking out the cavs. They basically have the same squad they did 2 years ago when they were leading the east before injuries, the difference is the young guys (and new guys) got a tit-ton of playing time this year.

  • AY

    Deshawn is one of the core guys? Caron said that? Everytime i see deshawn’s name, i think of the picture y’all posted a while back and someone said his fade looks like patrick chewing without the down syndrome. hey ryan.

  • Big Island

    Mike, they could draft God and still not be as good as the Cavs, Magic or Celtics… Aside from Caron, they are good numbers on bad teams guys. Outside of him, not a single player on that team would sacrifice one shot a game for a win.

  • dagwaller

    I love love LOVE when pro athletes make statements like these. Instead of going Kobe and complaining about his team’s past mistakes (Roger Mason should have stayed, for instance), he’s committing to get better. As he should, for the contract that he’s under, but still.

    As for the pick – as a fan, of course I want to see them win now, but keeping in mind that the three stars of the team make about 19284 million dollars, I don’t know how many vets they can afford to take on.

  • http://dimemag.com Big Freeze

    I don’t understand why anyone thinks the Wizards are going to do much next season. They had their big three healthy a couple seasons ago, and they got pounded in the playoffs every year. Unless they get a dominant big man, the Wizards are destined for mediocrity along side the Raptors and Knicks next year.

  • Tha Boddy “Agent Zero Still DMV Hero”

    The Wizards have been having injured players for the past 3 seasons.When all of the Big 3 were healthy they had the top seed in the east over the Magic,Pistons and Cavs.Gilbert and Caron got hurt and that dropped them down afew seeds.All of you haters don’t understand this fact. If Lebron had to miss say umm…12games the Cavs would go 1-11 if Kobe missed the same they would go prolly 3-8. Stop hating on a team that was not able to perform to it’s highest capacity because people got injured doing their job.The Wizards with a healthy Big 3 and a solid young backup for Caron-Jamison will be this shit next season.Ship out Stevenson,Mike James and either Thomas(who is a good player just short for his position)or Haywood out and make room for the youth movement with a highly talented older core

  • Bron42 aka Had Springs Before Slamball

    i didn’t even realize deshawn was 28, late alone older than agent zero. And rubio? really what has he done to warrant going #4? playing ok for a few minutes against a team usa group who weren’t even worried about him? Didn’t caron just say its Griffin or trade it, so obviously he doesn’t care too much about the darko of pgs, or earl clark since they have young, mcguire, etc.. already.

  • Watchingandhi

    Rubio would be perfect for that team. At age 18 he was able to legitimately contribute to an Olympic silver medal team. I realize that people slept on Rondo before last season, but he is a lot better than Mike James and Javaris Crittendon. Neither of those players is a championship (or Olympic, for that matter) caliber point guard. While we’re on the subject, your team also won’t win many games if Gilbert Arenas is the man responsible for running your offense.

  • bola

    The Wiz are talented and could greatly improve having Griffin with them but I don’t think they could do a Boston-like-rerun next season.. Blake ain’t no KG.. Gilbert is no hero when he is not on the court.. but i do like Antawn’s game.. but still.. another first/second round exit next year.. unless Dwight dishes the Disney State for D.C… nah! too far fetched!

  • Steve

    Trade Butler to the HEAT for Michael Beasley and then somehow get rid of Anawn Jamison for an expiring contract and build around Beasley + Arenas + Lotto pick (Plus Nick Young and Javale McGee and them)