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2012-13 Washington Wizards

Team Needs, Free Agents, Season Preview

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Washington Bullets (Last Year: 29-53)

2012-13 Season Summary:
The year got off to an immediately rocky start when the face of the franchise, John Wall, suffered a knee injury that caused him to pretty much miss the first half of the season. When Wall returned to 100%, he played at an All-Star level the final two months of the season and was a huge reason the Wizards went through a stretch in March in which they won 11 of 19 games which was encouraging, but also killed their draft position.

Washington also found its backcourt mate of the future for Wall in rookie Bradley Beal, who battled through injuries of his own during the season, but ended up third among all rookies in scoring. His play also allowed the Wizards to trade away Jordan Crawford for next to nothing since Crawford's reputation of being selfish was not earning him many fans in the District.

Saying the frontcourt was average at best is probably giving it too much praise. Newly acquired Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza didn't add much to the equation and combined with Nene, eat up about $33.8 million of Washington's salary cap. You are not going to win many games when that trio is getting crazy money and not nearly living up to the expectations.

Speaking of not living up to expectations, the Wizards' 2011 draft class of Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton has been horrific. Both players took steps back from less than stellar rookie seasons to the point where Washington turned to journeymen Martell Webster and Cartier Martin. Webster had a rejuvenation of sorts, providing some offensive punch on the wing.

All in all, Washington managed to produce its highest win total in five seasons ... winning just 29 games.

2013-14 Projected Depth Chart:

C: *Emeka Okafor/Kevin Seraphin

PF: Nene Hilario/Trevor Booker

SF: #Trevor Ariza/Chris Singleton/Jan Vesely

SG: Bradley Beal/^Garrett Temple

PG: John Wall

NBA Free Agents:

*C-Emeka Okafor (ETO)

#SF-Trevor Ariza (PO)

^SG-Garrett Temple (RFA)

SF-Martell Webster (UFA)

PF-Cartier Martin (UFA)

PG-A.J. Price (UFA)

C-Jason Collins (UFA)

SG-Leandro Barbosa (UFA)

2013-14 Team Salary: Approximately $58.1 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Power Forward: The Wizards had to use a "twin towers" approach up front last season by starting Okafor and Nene. Both guys are more suited for the center position, but because the power forward play was so pathetic, that was the team's best option. Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker are more suited as role players off the bench, and with Okafor entering the final year of his contract, Washington needs to find an upgrade at the power forward position.

2. Scoring Small Forward: Ariza will also be a free agent next summer, and neither Singleton nor Vesely have shown any resemblance of being ready to take over this position in the future. Re-signing Webster is an option, but more of a short-term fix.

3. Guard Depth: The Wizards used a handful of guys to fill in for Wall when he was banged up or in a reserve role once he returned to full strength. It would be wise for Washington to find a more reliable option to play behind Wall. The same could be said about the shooting guard position and Beal.

4. Lock Up Wall: Wall is entering the final year of guaranteed money from his rookie contract and becomes a restricted free agent 12 months from now. He hasn't become an NBA superstar quite yet, but has shown flashes and is worth a max contract. There is no sense in playing around and waiting until next summer to see what happens, so Washington needs to jump the gun and lock up its franchise player.

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hosch kabosch 06-01-2012 06:09 pm (total posts: 2)
14     40


1. Ernie Grunfeld is incompetent

2. Ernie Grunfeld is incompetent

What they should do but Grunfeld will combat it because he is incompetent.

1. Amensty Blatche. Only reason this hasn't been done is Leonsis is impressed with how Grunfeld has handled the team's financials. Biting the bullet on this massive mistake would blemish the team's financials so he's trying to find any takers for this clown. No one is going to pick your trash Grunfeld get this guy out of town. Going to boo him till you have to.

2. Jordan Crawford. Horrific volume shooter. Guy kills the offense and when he isn't on the court it's like fresh air into the offense. John Wall would play a lot better w/ a non ball dominant 2 guard, someone who doesn't dribble himself into ridiculous 25 foot fade aways with a full shot clock. Kim English would be a great answer in the 2nd round. Ray Allen would be a nice FA but Grunfeld destroyed the Bucks franchise back in the day by trading Ray Allen for breaking down Gary Payton. He was fired the next year. Similar move with the McGee for Nene trade, I don't think McGee is a great player but the trade reeks of a lack of intellectual development from Grunfeld.
Bullets reality 05-31-2012 02:09 am (total posts: 6)
22     16

Fairly good look at what the Wizzies need.

I like the PG combo as Mack played really well off the bench late in the season.

Chris Singleton, while unable to create his own shot, did hit 34.6% on 3PT and 68.2% on FT. If those numbers become something like 38% and 75% he could be a longer Bruce Bowen type with his defense. I really like adding MKG to the mix as he and Singleton could bring some superb wing defense and help the team get more fast break points.

Depending on how the 2nd pick goes, it's got to be MKG, Beal or Barnes for the Wizzies. Whichever one they land, they should look to add the veteran at the other position instead of as a backup PG.

Lewis will be shopped to teams looking for an expiring contract and could even be packaged with someone else to upgrade a position if needed.

Agree completely on going the amnesty route with Blech. He's been a joke for years now and he's the last of the knuckleheads that needs to go (it was an enormous boost to the team to be able to dump both Brick Young and Magoo Magee last year).

This team could legitimately start next season with 4 hard working post players, all of which are good scorers, a double salvo of long defenders at SF, a sweet young PG combo and a youngster/veteran duo at SG. That, along with the potential of the Blech and Lewis contracts being gone, seems like a pipe dream from just 1 year ago that actually came true.
Concerned Wiz Fan 06-28-2011 06:56 pm (total posts: 1)
52     53

I'm very cautiously optimistic about the wizards' draft this year.

While I am as excited as the next guy about visions of Vesley running the break alongside JaVale and J-Wall, I'm really worried that Jan will turn out to be more of a liability than anything else. From what I've read, opposing Euro-league coaches already mark him as a weak defender when he plays SF because, despite his great length, he doesn't have the lateral quickness to keep up with smaller, quicker opponents...consequently putting him into foul trouble quickly. On top of that, his career rates from 3-point range, which is suppose to be one of his major points of interest, and the free throw line are below average (correct me if I'm wrong) and he's pretty much exclusively a spot shooter (which I don't consider to be too big of a deal because J-wall will be able to create plenty of open shots for the rest of the team.
Aside from those points, I love his athleticism given his height, but his highlights really only show him dunking over scared euro-league players that don't look like they've seen a dunk in their lives (although I must admit he gets up there pretty high). I kinda have a hard time seeing Dwight Howard shy away from swatting the dunk of a skinny European next year...
The important thing will be to decide what Vesley is going to be and stick with it. If he's going to be a post player and develop moves with his back to the basket, he needs to add some pounds and get tougher. If he's going to play more SF, the wiz probably need to set up a help defense that conceals some of his lack of lateral quickness...which could actually work since JaVale is really only interested in help defense to get a blocked shot instead of guarding his man...

Beyond that, I absolutely love the Singleton and Mack picks as they add great toughness and defensive prowess of the bench. Love the point of Singleton as our defensive stopper after watching him do just that all the time in ACC play, hopefully he can develop a little more offensive ability tongo with it

All in all, I think the draft rests on the success of Vesley (no surprise there) which worries me because he seems to have a lot of the characteristics of the typical Euro-bust of the early/mid-2000s
mprofetta 06-24-2011 10:07 am (total posts: 1)
41     27

I think that the "is he a SF or PF?" question has become kind of outdated in today's NBA game. While there will always be a place for your classic, Buck Williams-type PF on an NBA roster, today's game is all about long, versatile athletes who can run the floor and beat you in a variety of ways. The Mavs just won the title with Shawn Marion (the prototypical SF/PF 'tweener)as a key contributor. Vesely will be murder on the break with Wall.
Better than Walter 06-23-2011 09:26 pm (total posts: 1)
35     31

Don't forget that they have the length of Seraphin and the pure bulk of Booker on that front line as well. That's really 6 guys to split up the SF/PF/C positions.

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