- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Washington Wizards center Brendan Haywood has told president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld he wants to be traded this summer, according to two team sources and a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Haywood, 27 , told Grunfeld during exit interviews last week following the team’s elimination from the playoffs that his relationship with coach Eddie Jordan had deteriorated beyond repair, the three sources said.

“He pretty much said that the relationship between himself and Eddie had gotten to the point where he didn’t want to be in Washington anymore because he doesn’t feel that he’ll be treated fairly,” the league source said.

Attempts to reach both Jordan and Haywood last night were unsuccessful.

Grunfeld told Haywood he would try to accommodate him, one of the team sources said. However, it is believed Grunfeld will not trade Haywood unless he feels he can get another big man of value. Haywood made $4.5 million last season and still has three years and $16.5 million left on his contract.

An on-again-off-again starter since he joined the Wizards in 2001 via a trade with Cleveland, Haywood just completed a rocky season that concluded with his benching in the final game of the playoffs, a 97-90 home loss April 30.

In Game 3 of the series, Haywood was held without a point or a rebound in 10 minutes. The Cavaliers won the first-round series 4-0.

Haywood was the only player to dress for the final game and not play.

When asked whether he wanted to be traded last week, Haywood refused to answer the question directly.

“You know, that’s for Ernie Grunfeld, management and my agent to sit down and decide. I’m a player. I can’t force a trade,” Haywood said. “I’m not going to say in the paper whether I want out of here or not. All I know is I’m going to be a professional, I’m going to work hard and I’m going to let the chips fall where they may. The fact that I didn’t play, that’s just Eddie Jordan’s decision as a coach, and I can respect that.”

Haywood lost his job as a starter to Etan Thomas during the preseason, and shortly thereafter his agent, Andy Miller, who also did not return a phone call last night, blasted Jordan, saying the demotion had nothing to do with basketball ability.

While Haywood didn’t say much about the issue, he and Thomas had two fights during the regular season, and they also had a fight last season.

The 7-foot Haywood averaged 6.6 points and 6.2 rebounds during the regular season. In six seasons, Haywood has averaged 6.9 points and 5.7 rebounds. However, his 49 starts this past season are the fewest he has made since starting just twice as a rookie.

Haywood came off the bench for the first 20 games of the regular season and replaced Thomas as the starter after Thomas suffered a sprained ankle Dec. 9 against Houston .

Haywood played well, and the team improved, winning 15 of its next 20 with him as the starter.

But late in the season Jordan opted to take Haywood out of the starting lineup for good after a four-game stretch from March 24 to 30 in which he scored a total of three points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

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