It’s no secret that the majority of teams around the NBA waited for the big chips to fall before pursuing some of the less coveted free agents on the market.
For the Washington Wizards, that meant waiting for the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to choose their destinations before attempting to re-sign their own free agents. After retaining Marcin Gortat with a 5-year deal, the Washington Wizards tried to re-sign Trevor Ariza, but unfortunately lost him to the Houston Rockets. Washington quickly bounced back and acquired future Hall-of-Famer Paul Pierce via the mid-level exception, a much cheaper deal than most people expected.
Despite losing Trevor Ariza to free agency, Washington added a large trade exception in a sign-and-trade with Houston which they used to acquire big man Kris Humphries, who became a cheaper replacement for Trevor Booker. The Washington Wizards also used one of their smaller trade exceptions to acquire DeJuan Blair from the Dallas Mavericks.
After all of the movement, the Washington Wizards have a total of 14 players on their roster. The NBA allows a maximum of 15 players on the team, but the Washington Wizards have typically left one roster spot open for flexibility.
So, are the Washington Wizards done making moves this off-season?
Unless something unforeseen occurs, I think the Washington Wizards will start training camp with the roster they currently have. Washington is coming off a very successful NBA Summer League run, where Glen Rice Jr. was named the MVP and Otto Porter was put on the “first team” after displaying why the Wizards took him third overall in last year’s NBA Draft.
The Washington Wizards had multiple holes that they needed to fill this off-season, and in my opinion, they did a great job at addressing their needs. After losing Trevor Ariza to free agency and Martell Webster to back surgery, the Wizards needed to get deeper in the wing positions. Despite not adding any wing players this off-season besides Paul Pierce, Washington seems to have a solid rotation at those spots.
Glen Rice Jr. averaged 25 points per game in Summer League, while Otto Porter chipped in with an average of 19 points, nearly 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Washington desperately needed to add some scoring off the bench, and though Paul Pierce will be the starter, Porter and Rice have shown that they’re capable of holding the position down until Martell Webster returns. Both Rice and Porter have shown their ability to shoot from the outside, but they’ve also played terrific defense during summer league, making them an even better fit for the Wizards off the bench.
The Washington Wizards were also looking to get more front court depth this summer and did a terrific job of acquiring cheap, yet effective big men. Kris Humphries is capable of both starting and coming off the bench, and although the Washington Wizards did lose Trevor Booker to the Utah Jazz, Humphries is more versatile offensively and will give the team another weapon on that side of the floor. DeJuan Blair will also give the Wizards more depth and he’ll provide the rebounding they lost after Booker left.
Washington will undoubtedly look to make a push to the Eastern Conference Finals after getting bounced out of the semi-finals by the Indiana Pacers, who lost Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets this summer. The Washington Wizards could potentially lock up home court advantage in the playoffs in a balanced Southeast division, especially now that LeBron James has left Miami. Although they’ll have a better chance at improving from last year, nothing will come easy.
The roster the Washington Wizards currently have should be capable of making a push, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t make any more moves this off-season. Should they make any more moves? Let me know in the comments section.