NBA Commissioner David Stern has finally thrown down the hammer on Gilbert Arenas in the form of an indefinite suspension.
Big real-life implications, and those of the fantasy sort, abound with this news.
Here’s Stern’s official statement:
“The possession of firearms by an NBA player in an NBA arena is a matter of the utmost concern to us. I initially thought it prudent to refrain from taking immediate action because of the pendency of a criminal investigation involving the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and the Metropolitan Police Department, and the consideration of this matter by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia. For the same reason, I directed the Wizards to refrain from taking any action.
Wizards personnel continue to be interviewed by law enforcement authorities, some are scheduled for appearance before the grand jury and the investigation is proceeding with the intensity that one would expect for such a serious incident.
“Although it is clear that the actions of Mr. Arenas will ultimately result in a substantial suspension, and perhaps worse, his ongoing conduct has led me to conclude that he is not currently fit to take the court in an NBA game. Accordingly, I am suspending Mr. Arenas indefinitely, without pay, effective immediately pending the completion of the investigation by the NBA.”
This is far from surprising, and it’s probably just the beginning of a string of bad news for Arenas, who called Stern “mean” last night in a post-game chat with a group of reporters.
Obviously, this has huge implications for the Wizards, which is a team stuck in a downward spiral. This is the nail in the coffin and a demolition is about to take place.
Here are the quick and dirty fantasy takeaways for now:
- Arenas is probably safe to drop. Trading him isn’t going to get owners anything right now and holding him will be difficult at best, and pointless at worst. Owners who want to wait until the dust settles are free to do so, but it could prove to be a fruitless endeavor. This is a downright shame for his owners, since Arenas was getting back to being an elite fantasy point guard.
- Randy Foye is the front-runner to take over the starting PG job in Washington. He becomes a very appealing pickup for the time being. Earl Boykins also seems set to receive a big boost in playing time, so if Foye’s taken in your league, feel free to pick him up as a consolation prize.
- Mike Miller, who is set to return from a calf injury this week, also becomes a must-own waiver wire commodity. He’s only owned in about one-third of leagues right now but will be picked up very quickly after this bit of news. With his ball handling skills, Miller’s value has huge upside now. Add to this the very real possibility of the remaining star players on the Wizards being traded away in the near future and it’s clear that owners should go and grab Miller immediately.
- Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler now become huge trade targets in the NBA. Both will likely be on different teams after the trade deadline. They probably have at least a couple more weeks with the Wizards, but depending on where each goes, their values could be negatively affected. There’s word that the Cavs are eyeing Jamison, which would mean that his fantasy value would decline. Butler has been the subject of rumors of a trade to Chicago for Kirk Hinrich, which wouldn’t affect his value much at all. Keep a close eye on this situation and sell high on them if you want to avoid the risk.
The drama is just unfolding and there’s sure to be many other consequences that come as a result of this. Monitor the continued coverage closely, as the ripples of this splash could end up affecting your fantasy squad, even if you don’t currently own any Wizards.