The 2014 off-season looms as a turning point for the Washington Wizards franchise.
Who projects as a free agent in the Summer of '14? At this point, it appears front court heavy, especially at small forward. Back court options are limited, but hopefully the Wizards will have John Wall signed, sealed and delivered long term and Bradley Beal soon to follow.
The following projected roster doesn't take into effect potential trades, contract extensions or other changes with the club. Additionally, players at the qualifying offer period of their rookie deals will have passed through team options, which the club may pass upon. Qualifying offers may also result in players leaving for better offers, should the Wizards not pursue.
With the contracts of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza expiring following the 2013-'14 seasons, here who is under contract moving forward;
G Wall* will have qualifying offer of $9.7 million
G Beal* is under team options in '14 and '15 ($4.5m and $5.7m) with qualifying offer ($7.5 m) in '16
G Jordan Crawford* under $3.2 m qualifying offer
G Tomas Satoransky* will presumably be under contract and playing for the Wizards
F Cartier Martin with $3.2 m qualifying offer
F Chris Singleton* has $2.6 m team option in '14 and $3.7 m qualifying offer in '15
F Jan Vesely* with team option ($4.5,m) in '14 and qualifying offer ($6 m) in '15
F Trevor Booker* playing under $3.4 m qualifying offer
C Nene $13 million for 2014 and 2015 seasons
C Kevin Seraphin* with $3.9 qualifying offer in '14
(Team salary approxmately $48 million, not counting Satoransky, nor 1st round picks in 2013 and '14.)
*Rookie contract (8 of 10 players above still on rookie contracts)
The Wizards will also have a pair of draft picks in the summer of 2013 and 2014. Adding the four drafted players and Satoransky to existing contracts, Washington will have 14 players on their roster. During the shortened 2011-'12 season, NBA clubs were allowed to have 14 active players. Reportedly, the Association is planning on 13 active players and a 15 man roster maximum moving forward. For the sake of this exercise, lets assume that only the first round picks make the roster, bringing us to a dozen players counting the '13 and '14 NBA drafts. Making further assumptions, Ariza and Okafor will be allowed to walk and Washington will sign a pair of free agents.
In the free agent listing, we have identified players of local interest (Jordan Williams, Steve Blake) with an interesting mix of the young developing stars (Williams, Lance Stephenson, Isiah Thomas) and aging future Hall of Famers (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwayne Wade).
Following the players name, current NBA team, '14 contract, contract status and '14 season age.
Marcin Gortat Phoenix $7.7 million (unrestricted) 31
Andrew Bogut Golden State $14 million (unrestricted) 30
Chris Bosh Miami $20.6 million* (player option) 31
Pau Gasol LA Lakers $19.3 million (unrestricted) 34
Andrea Bargnani Toronto $10.8 million* (player option) 29
Jordan Williams New Jersey $0.9 million (unrestricted) 24
Lebron James Miami $20.6 million* (player option) 30
Carmelo Anthony New York $22.6 million* (player option) 30
Rudy Gay Memphis $19.3 million (player option) 28
Danny Granger Indiana $14.0 million (unrestricted) 31
Luol Deng Chicago $14.3 million (unrestricted) 29
Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Dwayne Wade Miami $20.0 million* (player option) 33
Kobe Bryant LA Lakers $30.5 million (unrestricted) 36
Thabo Sefolosha Oklahoma City $3.9 million (unrestricted) 30
Lance Stephenson Indiana $1.0 million (unrestricted) 24
Steve Blake LA Lakers $4.0 million (unrestricted) 35
Rodney Stuckey Detroit $8.5 million (unrestricted) 28
Isiah Thomas Sacramento $0.9 million (unrestricted) 26
* A number of stars have early termination options, effectively a player option. We saw this with the Miami big three in '10. Elite players with this option in 2014 include Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony.
Of note; Ariza (29) and Okafor (32) are relatively the same age as many of the free agents of interest.
Who do you like? If signing a free agent long term, I would rather have them on the upside of their career. My very, way too early, projection? Former Maryland big man Jordan Williams and athletic swingman Lance Stephenson. Offer them both four to five year deals and they are still south of 30 years old when the deals end.
Salaries and free agent information courtesy of HoopsWorld and HoopsHype.