Winning No. 1 in NBA draft not to affect Wizards' plans for Arenas

15:41, May 19, 2010      

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Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas rests during a free throw break during the second quarter of their NBA game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, in this October 31, 2007 file photo. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The Washington Wizards' plans for Gilbert Arenas, who was on suspension following a felony gun possession, will not be affected by winning the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, according to the Associated Press Wednesday.

Gilbert Arenas, the franchise star and a three-time All-Star guard, pleaded guilty after a locker-room confrontation with a teammate. He was suspended for most of the season by the league. He has four years left on his Wizards contract.

In a conference call with reporters after winning the draft, President Ernie Grunfeld said that Arenas is still with them.

"He's been down at our gym, working out and getting ready. The more good players you have, the better."

The two players considered likeliest to go first in the draft are guards Kentucky's John Wall and Ohio State's Evan Turner.

The Wizards endured the most chaotic and controversy-filled season in their history. In February, the team traded their two remaining stars, sending Antawn Jamison to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Caron Butler to the Dallas Mavericks.

Grunfeld also said that winning the draft would help the team rebuild.

"We were going in a direction of rebuilding," he said. "We made a lot of trades in the middle of the season and were looking to go younger and get core pieces that we can go with for many years to come."

He added, "There's no better way than to do it through the draft, and there's no better start than to start with the No. 1 pick."

The Philadelphia 76ers got the No. 2 pick, following by the team with the worst record in the league, the New Jersey Nets.



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