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Trade Deadline Passes Without Wizards Making a Move

Along with Caron Butler, Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, above, drew interest from the Cavaliers.
Along with Caron Butler, Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, above, drew interest from the Cavaliers. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)
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As currently constructed, the Wizards have about $75.9 million committed to contracts for next season, when the luxury tax threshold could drop from $71.1 million to the $69 million range.

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The salary cap and luxury tax figures, which are based on league revenue, usually rise between $2.5 million and $3.5 million but could also continue to drop for the 2010-11 season.

Teams that go over the threshold must pay a dollar-for-dollar tax after the season. That money is then pooled and split among teams that stayed under.

For Wizards owner Abe Pollin, not paying the tax earned him an extra $3 million to $4 million last season, and he could earn a similar amount for staying under after this season.

Grunfeld must also consider that adding a lottery pick could cost the Wizards between $2.7 million and $4.2 million, depending on how high the team drafts.

Unless Grunfeld finds a way to dump salaries over the summer or before next season's trade deadline, the Wizards will either have to trade the pick or be willing to pay a hefty tax after next season. Though hardly an ideal situation, it's also possible that Pollin decides to pay the tax.

"Those are issues that will be looked at in the offseason," Grunfeld said of the team's looming luxury tax situation. "We didn't want to give up a good player just for financial reasons. We have flexibility. You want to be responsible, but at the same time we don't want to give up any assets that can help us as a basketball team."

Wizards Notes: Butler practiced yesterday after sitting out Wednesday's practice with a sore right hip. Butler said he is day-to-day, and his status for tonight's game will be determined at the shoot-around.

Interim coach Ed Tapscott said Darius Songaila will continue to start at center. Andray Blatche, who had started, returned Tuesday night after missing nine games, but Tapscott said he wants Blatche to get back into game condition before moving him back into the starting lineup.


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