Even though we’re still a few months away from the start of the regular season, speculation regarding the fate of some of Washington’s young forwards has already begun. The Wizards have acquired free agent Al Harrington, who’ll likely get a chunk of minutes off the bench, creating an even larger logjam at the forward spot.
Washington has done a pretty good job establishing roles for their core group of players, but their third and fourth year forwards haven’t done enough to carve out specific roles for themselves. Kevin Seraphin, who is also entering his fourth year in the NBA, seems to be the only player the Wizards have had legitimate hope in the past. Though he’s coming off a rather unspectacular season, Seraphin has shown his ability to score in an array of ways, which will likely earn him the backup center spot for this upcoming season.
Unlike Seraphin, the other guys I’ve previously mentioned don’t really know what to expect during the 2013-2014 NBA season. Jan Vesely looked more confident during Washington’s summer league run, averaging nearly 12 points and 7 rebounds per game. His lack of confidence has been his Achilles heel during his short NBA career, but we’ve finally got to see what Vesely could become if he continues to improve. The problem is, the Wizards don’t have much time to continue developing Vesely. Next season will be the last season in Vesely’s guaranteed contract, with a team option for the next season. If he doesn’t remain aggressive and drastically improve every aspect of his game, Vesely’s time in the NBA could be coming to an end. Luckily, he may have bought himself more time with the coaching staff during the summer league.
I think he opened up a lot of eyes on our staff,” Cassell said. “Our staff understands that, if he plays the way he played the last 4-5 games, he can get some minutes.
Disappointingly enough, the same cannot be said for Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker. Singleton had an opportunity to separate himself from the other group of guys during the summer league, but his inconsistent play and lack of showed improvement painted the same picture that we got during the regular season. Singleton was billed as a lock down defender coming out of FSU, but the Wizards have tried to transition his game so he’d become a more productive offensive player. Before signing Al Harrington, the Wizards were in desperate need of a stretch 4 and wanted Singleton to transition into that role. Unfortunately, Singleton’s jump shot was just as inconsistent during summer league as it was during the regular season.
Booker was once viewed as the heart and soul of the Wizards team, but due to his inability to stay healthy, he’s completely fallen into obscurity in the nation’s capital. Like Singleton, Booker is also in the final year of his contract. Prior to his various injuries, Booker brought the hustle and tenacity the Wizards lacked during the first few seasons of his career. Washington has improved from a roster standpoint since then, and Booker hasn’t been able to get much playing time. Even though Singleton is probably in the worst situation of all the forwards because he doesn’t have a true position and the Wizards are loaded at small forward, Trevor Booker is a very close second.
If the Wizards want to clear space on their roster and avoid dealing with future contracts, I’d suspect one if not more of their forwards will be included in any potential deal. All three guys have to try and separate themselves from each other, or all of their futures with Washington will become grim.