Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The Washington Post recently had an article in which it said that Wizards' guard Gilbert Arenas told the media that "he is done being an entertainer and that he is focused on playing basketball and being a leader for the team."
Oh, how I wish this were true.
When Arenas is playing like the All-Star talent which we have all seen, he is a superstar fantasy contributor.
Just look at the statistics.
From 2004 through 2007, when he was at his peak, he averaged no less than 25.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 5.1 apg. That's Top-10 material.
But from 2007 through the end of last season, Arenas has been mostly sitting on the sidelines watching the game like the rest of us. He played 13 games in 2007 and just two games last year as he tried to rehabilitate from injuries. During that span of time, Arenas criticized the Wizards organization for pressuring him into earlier comebacks and mishandling his rehab.
In November 2007 he underwent surgery to repair a partial tear in his left meniscus as well as a microfracture surgery. He played just 13 games that season averaging less than 20 points. And he missed all but two games of the 2008-09 season.
So the question for 2009 is when, if at all, should you take a chance and draft him?
In my current league, Arenas was drafted 34th overall, in front of the likes of David Lee, Kevin Martin, Troy Murphy, Stephen Jackson and JaMarcus Aldridge. That's a huge gamble for a player who essentially hasn't played in two years. And too big a gamble for me. I might be willing to gamble with a fifth or sixth-round selection, but using a No.3 pick just doesn't work with so many good, and more reliable, players still on the board at the time.
I passed on him in the third round and so should you. Despite all the good reports coming out of Washington, drafting Arenas is an too high-risk, high-reward option.
Gilbert Arenas Statistics since 2004