By J.A. Adande
The consensus from both members of the Washington Wizards organization and the NBA office is that actually voiding the remainder of Gilbert Arenas' contract for his violation of league rules by bringing guns into the locker room is unlikely unless he is convicted of a felony. That is one of the actions that can automatically terminate a contract. Short of that, the Wizards would be forced to invoke the "moral turpitude" clause, which can be difficult to define. The thinking is that if Latrell Sprewell and Ron Artest could have their contracts remain intact after choking a coach and fighting in the stands, respectively, Arenas could not be cut loose for an act in which no one was physically harmed. Perhaps Arenas' antics have strengthened the resolve of Stern to at least give it a try.
But even if Arenas avoids the most drastic punishment this time, it's possible it could rally owners to push for stronger language in collective bargaining negotiations next year. They could make it easier to void contracts. Perhaps they even attempt to go after NBA players' greatest asset: fully guaranteed contracts. As one team executive said: "Thats the first thing I thought of when this thing happened." Make no mistake, the owners are mad. One called the Arenas situation "ridiculous."
Could they be angry enough to put the most sacred covenant in the league on the bargaining table? We'll see if they sustain their current emotions.