With all the problems Gilbert Arenas has had over the past three years, and the incredible financial strain his contract puts on the team, many thought the draft lottery was a clear indication that Arenas was on his way out of town. According to Mike Jones of CSN Washington, however, the Wizards plan to keep their Arenas, and see next year as an opportunity to start fresh with a clean slate.
Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld confirmed Monday’s meeting between Arenas and Leonsis, but wouldn't go into specifics. For the second time in as many weeks, however, Grunfeld reiterated the team's intentions of hanging onto Arenas despite outside speculation that the team and its controversial former star would part ways.
“As I've said all along, Gilbert will be a Washington Wizard next season,” said Grunfeld, who also maintained that landing the top pick (which is expected to be Wall) had no bearing on Arenas.
Many have questioned how Arenas will fit next to John Wall, the presumed number one pick and the franchise's point guard of the future. Neither Arenas nor the Organization consider this an issue.
Arenas, according to sources, has spoken with John Wall since the Wizards landed the No. 1 pick in last week's draft lottery, and is confident that the two can play together. The drafting of Wall likely will force Arenas out of the point guard spot and over to shooting guard, which many believe is his more natural position anyway. Although Arenas was suspended, Flip Saunders late this past season added a new wrinkle to his already extensive offense, and expects to feature more of a two-guard attack rather than his typical point-guard-initiated schemes. Saunders said in April that the new look relieves some of the pressure on the point guard and also gives the team flexibility having two guards sharing ball-handling and facilitating duties.