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Thursday, September 4, 2008
Updated: September 19, 3:34 PM ET
Concerned about Arenas, Wizards


Sorry I've been out of action for awhile, but I'm deep, deep undercover. Can't say where I am, but I've trekked through mountains recently, hunting down my story (joking of course, sort of).

Anyway, I saw the news about Gilbert Arenas being out until December or January after undergoing yet another left knee surgery.

Wow, this is beginning to look bad for the Wizards.

Look, every GM makes mistakes, even the league's best. Joe Dumars drafted Darko Milicic over Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. Bryan Colangelo drafted Andrea Bargnani over Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. Kiki Vandeweghe signed Kenyon Martin to a max contract. And so on.

So Ernie Grunfeld's decision to sign Arenas to a $111 million contract doesn't mean he is a bad GM. In fact, he's a very good one.

But the decision could haunt the franchise for years.

I thought Washington overpaid Arenas this offseason whether he was healthy or not. My thinking was that if the Wizards pay him $111 million when they've already invested big money in Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, that trio had better be able to lead the Wiz to the Finals.

I don't believe they can. In fact, with the East getting stronger, they may not even get the Wizards out of the first round every year (or any year). So the Wizards potentially locked themselves up financially for an exciting team that would be first- or second-round and out every year.

But I guess they could've hung their hat on the fact that at least Gil would've filled up the arena.

Now, he may not even do that. We have to seriously wonder if he'll ever be the same player again. He'll be back no doubt, but will he be as good as he was before his knee injuries set in?

For the sake of the Wizards and their fans (and Gilbert, too), I hope so.

But we certainly can't be sure.