It's Official: Arenas Will Test Market

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By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gilbert Arenas said he opted out of the final year of his contract with the Washington Wizards by filing the necessary paperwork with the league office Friday. The move makes Arenas, who was scheduled to earn $12.8 million next season, an unrestricted free agent.

Teams will be able to negotiate with free agents July 1.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld has repeatedly stated that the team plans to re-sign Arenas and all-star forward Antawn Jamison, who will also be an unrestricted free agent.

Arenas has said that he will seek a maximum-level long-term contract, one that could cover up to six years and be worth more than $120 million. However, Arenas has also said that he would be willing to take less if it helps the team retain Jamison and make other moves to improve.

According to a provision in his contract, Arenas had until June 20 to opt out but he elected to do so last week to "get it out of the way."

Arenas, who has undergone two surgeries on his left knee since April 2007, has been working out at Verizon Center in recent days and said he plans to be at full strength in time for the opening of training camp in October.

Arenas, who has not hired an agent and is representing himself, said yesterday that he does not have any visits scheduled with other teams, and he will be traveling in Asia and Europe from June 30 to July 15.

UNC's Lawson Works Out

Yesterday the Wizards worked out six prospects for the June 26 NBA draft, including point guard Ty Lawson, an early entry candidate from North Carolina. Lawson, who is projected to be selected somewhere in the first round, tweaked his left ankle during the workout but said the injury was not serious.

The 5-foot-11 Lawson has not signed with an agent and has the option of returning to the Tar Heels for his junior season but said he will likely play in the NBA if he is drafted in the first round.

The Wizards, who hold the 18th and 47th picks, will take a look at six more players today, including guard Mario Chalmers (Kansas) and guard-forward Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis), who squared off in the NCAA championship game and are projected as possible first-round picks.

Guards Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky) and Rodrique Beaubois (France), forward Richard Hendrix (Alabama) and forward-center Charles Rhodes (Mississippi State) are also scheduled to participate in today's workout.


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