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Or all will be well in Tony Cheng’s neighborhood.

That is easy to emphasize in September, just as it was easy to say Arenas was ready to go last year at this time. We know how that turned out. And we know how it turned out after Arenas was seeking to ride to the team’s rescue in April.

So here we go again, with the Wizards hoping to stay afloat until Arenas returns in the winter, if he returns then.

That challenge will be more problematic because of the departure of Roger Mason, who was no small element in the playoff push of the Wizards last season.

He extended defenses with his 3-point shooting and fashioned a number of high-scoring games. His absence could shift more scoring burden to Nick Young, whose ability is sometimes trumped by the excesses of youth.

See where this is going again?

The Wizards are going to need many of their complementary parts to exceed their customary production levels.

The worries extend to 33-year-old point guard Antonio Daniels, who likes to spend half the game mopping the floor with his body.

He probably will not hold up. Nor will Caron Butler, the team’s leading player with Arenas on the shelf. Butler has missed a combined 50 games in his three seasons with the Wizards.

Pollin and Grunfeld were correct in re-signing Arenas with what they knew at the time.

There was no talk of Arenas missing the first month of the season then. There was no talk of Arenas possibly facing another surgical procedure. There was only talk of the team going deep into the playoffs.

That was in July.

Now the talk is of Arenas being relegated to street clothes again.

“I wasn’t planning on playing until January anyway,” Arenas told The Washington Times’ Mike Jones.

Oh, really?

Story Continues →