The Washington Times - December 11, 2008, 09:10AM

As Ernie Grunfeld said yesterday, the trades for Mike James and Mike Crittenton weren’t any sort of indication that Gilbert Arenas had suffered a setback in his rehab. And when I traded a few text messages with Agent Zero himself, he said everything remains on schedule with his program, and that he likes the new wrinkles James and Crittenton will give the Wizards once he returns.



“Naw, I’m good,” he said in reference to his rehab. “They wanted bigger guards so when I come back they can play me at the two.”


Playing shooting guard won’t be a perminent thing, though.


“[Just a] Switch up,” Arenas said. “They’re bringing them in to help me and Desteve.”


Ed Tapscott said he had been working on a script for Arenas’ return, and not being restricted totally to running the point obviously is part of that script.


James is just 6-foot-2, but is a solid 188 pounds. Crittenton, however, at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, gives the Wizards good size. And because both can play either point or shooting guard, they can take the court with Arenas at times and serve as the creator for him. DeShawn Stevenson has said one of the reasons he has struggled this season is because he has regularly had to switch off to point guard. But now, with two point guards added to the mix, he can return to getting free for shots on the perimeter.


“I get to go back to playing my regular spot of [shooting] guard,” Stevenson said. “Both of those guys are true point guards, and that makes it easier: someone else can create and I can spot up.”


And throw 6-foot-7 Nick Young in the mix, and the Wizards have the potential for another long combination in the back court if they pair him with Crittenton, who in 2006-07 averaged 14.4 points and 5.3 assists for Georgia Tech.


As has been the case for a minute now, there’s no real set return date for Agent Zero. He’s steadily able to do more, but hasn’t been cleared for full-contact work yet. So, it could be longer than just after Jan. 1. OR, you never know Gil, he could surprise us all and burst onto the scene sooner than we expect.