Unlike last offseason, the Washington Wizards didn’t waste much time filling out their roster spots for this upcoming season. Wizards general manager, Ernie Grunfeld, had acquired Eric Maynor and re-signed Martell Webster/Garrett Temple in a matter of weeks, and has put together the roster we’ll likely see heading into training camp. But are the Washington Wizards done making moves? Despite numerous claims by Ernie Grunfeld and contradictory statements by Randy Wittman, it appears as if the Wizards are still trying add some depth to their roster.
Even though it doesn’t seem like it, it’s still a long way to go here this summer and we’re not done, Ernie’s not done, and we’re trying to explore, whether it’s through trades or free agency,” Wittman said. “If it doesn’t make any sense, we’re not just going to take up a roster spot. I don’t want to do that. I want it to be a spot that can help us contribute and become a better team.
Ernie Grunfeld has a tendency to be very vague in his offseason plans, but Randy Wittman has been quite blunt in his expectations. Washington has filled 14 of their 15 roster spots and only have the veteran’s minimum to offer to targeted free agents. The Eastern Conference has improved and the Wizards will have plenty of competition for the 6-8 spots for the post season. It’s evident that the Wizards are pretty confident in their chances, but health and roster depth are two key factors Washington desperately has to improve on. If John Wall and Bradley Beal can remain healthy next season, they’ll undoubtedly become more competitive than they were this past season.
But who could the Wizards target through trades and free agency in order to add some needed depth? Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor are virtually the only moveable assets on the roster, since both of them have just one year left on their contracts respectively. Washington has a bit of a logjam at the forward spot on their second unit, and Ariza seems to be the only tradeable piece from that batch of players. Could they potentially swap Ariza for a stretch 4 they’ve been seeking throughout this entire offseason? The Milwaukee Bucks seem to be in the hunt for a top lottery pick and they may look to deal Ersan Ilyasova for an expiring deal and a draft pick(s).
The Wizards don’t have too many options regarding free agency. Unless they pursue a sign-and-trade, they’re only able to offer the veterans minimum and there aren’t many players left in the pool that are worth filling the last roster spot for. Al Harrington, who was recently waived by the Orlando Magic, is a name that has come up amongst Wizards fans, but I’m not necessarily sure he’d be willing to spend this upcoming season on a team not contending for a championship.
Washington is pretty good at keeping the cards close to their chest, so I’d be surprised if rumors involving them surface much anymore this summer. We’ll keep an eye out, but it certainly looks like the Wizards aren’t yet complacent with their playoff hopeful roster.