WASHINGTON WIZARDS-WHAT NOW?
I think most Wizards fans agree that moving JaVale McGee and Nick Young was the right thing to do.
Both are expecting big money in the off season and both have a lot of room to improve.
What did the Wizards get in return? Nene is a solid big man, who might take another step as a power forward.
The second round pick from Charlotte is virtually a first rounder, easily could be atop the round.
Who is under contract for next season?
Nene- Will make $13 million each of the next four seasons
Andray Blatche- Averages $8 million over next three seasons
- Due another 24 million next season, team will use amnesty clause on him.
John Wall- $6 million next season, followed by a team option and qualifying offer the following two.
Jan Vesley- $3-5 million over next four seasons
Chris Singleton- $2-4 million over next four seasons
Kevin Seraphin- $2-4 million over next three seasons
Trevor Booker- $1-3 million over next three seasons
Jordan Crawford- $1-3 million over next three seasons
Who to Re-sign?
Shelvin Mack- High 2nd round pick a year ago, reasonably sound backup for Wall who logs heavy minutes. If Wall was the get hurt or becomes injury prone, the Wizards would need to improve this spot.
Brian Cook- Came from Clippers to help balance salary cap in three team deal.
Roger Mason- Reserve shooting guard on wrong side of 30 might fit better on a contender.
Maurice Evans- Wizards need to stock roster with young players with upside.
Where does that leave the roster?
C- Nene, Seraphin
PF- Blatche, Booker
SF- Singleton, Vesley
PG- Wall, Mack
The Wizards are in excellent shape when it comes to the salary cap, and the situation becomes better when Rashard Lewis is bought out.
The Wizards will again be in the lottery and are armed with two of the highest 2nd round selections (their own and Charlotte's).
Washington is currently tied for the second worst record with New Orleans (Charlotte dead last with four less wins).
It appears the Association may move to a 13 man active roster after success this season increasing by one due to shortened training camp.
Ted Leonsis and staff will most likely target one elite free agent and utilize the three draft picks to fill out the roster.
Center- Picking up a legitimate center would allow Nene to move to power forward, more suitable for his size.
Shooting Guard- Crawford seems better suited for coming off the bench, may be position where free agency is utilized.
Reserve Guard- Combo guard to develop, perhaps a point guard with upside to eventually push Mack.
Small forward- With Vesley versatile enough to play both forward slots, a natural small forward to push Singleton would be advised.
Potential Draft Targets
1st Round (If things continue as is, Washington will pick no worst than 3rd)
Anthony Davis Kentucky 6'10 220 PF Freshman
Andre Drummond Connecticut 6'10" 270 C Freshman
Jared Sullinger Ohio State 6'10" 280 PF Sophomore
Jeremy Lamb Connecticut 6'5" 185 SG Sophomore
Harrison Barnes North Carolina 6'8" 225 SF Sophomore
2nd Round (A pair of selections at or near the top of round two)
Festus Ezeli Vanderbilt 6'11" 255 C Senior
Fab Melo Syracuse 7'0" 255 Center Sophomore
Mason Plumlee Duke 6'10" 235 PF Junior
Kris Joseph Syracuse 6'7" 220 SF Senior
Doron Lamb Kentucky 6'4" 200 SG Sophomore
Marquis Teague Kentucky 6'2" 190 PG Freshman
William Buford Ohio State 6'5" 190 SG Senior
Potential Free Agent Targets
Landry Fields- New York Knicks SG- unrestricted
Shannon Brown- Phoenix SG- unrestricted
Chris Kaman- New Orleans C- unrestricted
Spencer Hawes- Philadelphia C- unrestricted
Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard and others will not have Washington on their "wish list". There are restricted free agents that would require compensation, and others that are past 30 years old and are of more interest to immediate contenders.
Restricted Free Agents
Brook Lopez New Jersey
Roy Hibbert Indiana
Eric Gordon New Orleans
The NBA draft is June 28th with free agency beginning on July 2nd.
Tom Blaz is Chief Editor of DC PRO and co-owner of The Recruiting Eagle a website focusing on Auburn University Athletics.