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Gilbert Arenas: This is 100% About the Money

6/14/2007

In his most recent NBA.com blog entry, Gilbert Arenas tells Wizard fans not to worry -- he'll be in Washington for a long time. His decision to opt out of his contract is not, he says, about flirting with other teams. It is entirely motivated by the collective bargaining agreement, and his need to get maximum Wizard bucks:

The NBA allows a 12.5 percent increase on what you make. So for any player who is making the max, all they do is extend. They get the extension and get the 12.5 percent increase on what they already make.

Now, if you don't make the max money but you become a max player during the time frame of your original contract, you have to opt out to get the max money.

When I signed my original deal, I believed that I would become a max player so I had a player's option. So, I make 11 and 12 million the next two years and then the extension would put me at 12.5, 13, 14 in the three years of the extension. The part that I got frustrated about the extension was that I have to play next year at that figure no matter what and then if I extend, all I'm getting is four years guaranteed. But, if I opt out after next year, I'll have six years guaranteed because I'll sign a whole new six year contract.

So at the end of the day, it will be a six-year deal instead of a four-year deal and instead of starting at 12.5 or 13 million, I'll be starting at 14 or 15 million and I'll be a max player.

That's just the beginning. He also gives an update on his rehabilitation (going well) and even finds time for light tampering with Carmelo Anthony:

I had seen Melo in our arena. Carmelo is doing a documentary of him working out for the Olympics back in D.C. When I saw him, for some weird reason I thought he was traded to us. I wish. He's going to be in D.C. for about two weeks working out before he goes back to Denver. He works hard.