- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SEEN AND HEARD AT AMWAY ARENA

ORLANDO, Fla. — Some players will experience a degree of anxiety Wednesday at 6 p.m., the deadline for teams to waive nonguaranteed players to save money on their salaries and prevent their deals from turning into fully guaranteed contracts. The only Wizards player on a nonguaranteed deal is Juan Dixon. But despite the former Maryland guard’s fluctuating playing time, the Wizards seem intent on keeping Dixon on board.

“As of right now, we have no plans of waiving Juan,” Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said during a phone interview Tuesday.

Grunfeld and his staff likely will monitor the activities of other teams, and their plans could change if a player that they believe could help the team hits the waiver wire. But it appears unlikely, and if Dixon — who is averaging 6.7 points and 3.1 assists in 19.0 minutes a game — is still on the Wizards roster by Saturday, his partially guaranteed deal ($1.03 million) becomes good for the rest of the season. Grunfeld said the Wizards would remain under the luxury-tax threshold even if Dixon remained on the roster.

Mike Jones

TODAY’S GAME

TORONTO RAPTORS at WASHINGTON WIZARDS

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Verizon Center

TV/radio: CSN+, TCN, ESPN 980

Probable starters: Raptors — F Chris Bosh, F Jamario Moon, C Andrea Bargnani, G Anthony Parker, G Will Solomon. Wizards; F Dominic McGuire, F Antawn Jamison, C Andray Blatche, G Caron Butler, G Mike James.

Injuries: Raptors — Out: G Jose Calderon (hamstring), C Jermaine O’Neal (knee). Wizards; Out: C Brendan Haywood (wrist), G DeShawn Stevenson (back) G Gilbert Arenas (knee).

Outlook: The Wizards face the Raptors for the first time this season in the second half of a back-to-back. Starting with the 14-21 Raptors, the Wizards play their next eight games against teams with losing records. … Chris Bosh leads the Raptors with 23.7 points and 9.8 rebounds. Jose Calderon who sets the table for Toronto, is out with injury. So is Jermaine O’Neal, whose acquisition has failed to give the Raptors the boost they expected when they acquired him from Indiana this past summer.

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