From amidst the burning mud
Summertime NBA means feeding on scraps or, in FreeDarko's case, occasionally remembering that we have humanly functions to tend to. Sometimes this takes the form of felicitous healing, as with J.R.'s deliverance; today, it's a bit less glamorous.
From the "WHERE IS TREVOR ARIZA" files, I would now like to take notice of the Wizards' acquisition of Darius Songaila. Since I generally find myself uncharacteristically invested in Arenas's playoff run each spring, I know exactly what this team so sorely lacks. And Songaila, another one of those solid, solid players who for some reason never gets fit in the way everyone brags he could, provides the kind of connective glue the Wiz Joint sorely requires. The White Darius is tough and skilled, inside and outsider, a fantastic complement to Jamison that allows the witless inside presences like Haywood and Thomas to underachieve without tremendous consequence. Washington played its damnedest this May when Michael Ruffin manned the post; what's Songaila if not a younger, more versatile Michael Ruffin? Play them together, or pair one with one of the two limp shot-blockers, and suddenly that frontline has a palette to work with.
I am perfectly willing to accept that I might be falling prey to the mindless funk known as "fandom," in which self-serving projection temporarily replaces the possibility of real knowledge. Though I think that I'm on relatively rational ground here—"younger, more versatile Michael Ruffin" is something you'd ask of a mid-first rounder, which Songaila is certainly the equivalent of.
(To the best of my Cyrillic knowledge, the bobblehead is Songaila.)