As any head coach would certainly tell you, including Randy Wittman, training camp will ultimately be the place where players earn their respective roles. For guys like Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely, and Trevor Booker, training camp could possibly become the difference between employment and unemployment.
We’re just a few weeks away from the start of training camp, and our eyes are definitely set on Washington’s forwards heading into the season. Despite their efforts to improve their depth by acquiring Eric Maynor and Al Harrington (who I think may potentially earn most of the minutes backing up Nene if he could remain healthy) in free agency, the Wizards are still stuck with a logjam on their bench.
Right now, Kevin Seraphin is probably the most polished offensive player of all of Washington’s young power forwards. He’s displayed his unique ability to score the ball in the post as well as shooting face up jump shots, which is unheard of in this day and age. Seraphin has drastically improved his offensive game ever since his rookie season, but his inefficiency combined with inability to rebound or defend really hinders his game. Although he lacks some size, Seraphin will likely remain Washington’s backup center; for better or worse.
That basically leaves us with Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker, excluding Chris Singleton who I don’t anticipate playing the 4 spot very often this season, especially since the Wizards are loaded with power forwards. Prior to exiling JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche, who obviously weren’t known for their work ethic or hustle, Trevor Booker was widely recognized as the heart and soul of the Wizards. Unfortunately, Booker has dealt with numerous injuries throughout the years, rendering him virtually useless and undependable. When healthy, I honestly believe that Booker could contribute, especially since he brings the toughness and athleticism a defensive oriented team such as the Wizards covet. If he cannot stay healthy and claw his way into the rotation, he’ll probably find himself without a job sooner rather than later.
On the other hand, Jan Vesely has shown massive improvement throughout the offseason. Unlike Trevor Booker who’s completely fell out of our radar, Vesely dominated this years offseason news feed by participating in EuroBasket , leading the competition in a number of statistical categories. If you were to tell me that Vesely could average 18 points and over 10 rebounds per game in any basketball circuit, I’d probably call you crazy. To everyone’s surprise, Vesely’s improved confidence in the summer league carried over to Europe, where he completely dominated the tournament. Of course, the international game is a lot different than the NBA, but his improved confidence and rebounding is something that can translate over to the nation’s capital.
The battle between the young forwards will probably become one of the most intriguing story lines heading into camp. Who will become the primary backup at power forward? Have Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely, or Trevor Booker improved enough this offseason where they could be depended on a consistent basis?