The Washington Times - February 17, 2009, 06:27PM

The Wizards are set to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves, and hope to kick off the final stretch run with an improved effort that helps them take a step or two redemption.



And as they do, it appears that the grace period for the younger members of the team has ended and that they will be counted on to contribute on a consistent level.


“I said, it gets to a point where you can’t put the same thing down every year on your tax form, things change. That’s what I’m telling our young guys, at a certain point when you play two thirds of the season, you can’t keep calling yourselves ‘young guys,’ you can’t keep saying, ‘I’m a young guy’ and make the same mistakes repeatedly. At some point, you have to step up and show you can evolve.”


The Wizards will start Dominic McGuire, Antawn Jamison, Darius Songaila, Caron Butler and Mike James. Andray Blatche will be back in uniform tonight, but will be worked into the game at a gradual pace off the bench.


With Thursday’s trade deadline quickly approaching, the Wizards continue to be included in rumors here and there. Today’s latest has the Cavaliers offering Wally Szczerbiak for Antawn Jamison and Etan Thomas. reported it, and ESPN’s Chad Ford also had it as a trade that should happen. Well I can tell you that it’s definitely not happening. I checked it with a reliable team source and his reply was a laugh and “That’s garbage! No chance.” The only way the Wizards will part with Jamison is if a major player, as in a stud, was offered. The Wizards are resigned to waiting until the summer to do something in regards to freeing themselves of Thomas’ contract. But as far as Jamison and Butler go, as has been reported before, Wizards management has no plans to part with them. I double-checked on this that there have been no developments on Butler, either, and said, “So, both Butler and Jamison are still going to be here?” The reply: “Hell, yeah.”