Apr. 17, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Atlanta Hawks small forward Dahntay Jones (30) shoots a free throw against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency: Washington Wizards Waived Melvin Ely, Have One Roster Spot Available

The Melvin Ely era is over for the Washington Wizards. Ely, who was acquired by the Wizards in a three-team deal involving Trevor Ariza, was on a non-guaranteed contract and was inevitably waived.

Now that Mevlin Ely is officially off the roster, the Washington Wizards’ 15th and final roster spot is open.

The Washington Wizards are reportedly interested in brining back Al Harrington, who dealt with injuries all of last season but served as a veteran leader and assistant coach for Washington’s summer league team in Las Vegas. Harrington has not been able to stay healthy in two seasons, but still seems to want to continue his playing career before pursuing other basketball ventures.

All of the reports point to Washington bringing back Al Harrington, but after acquiring DeJuan Blair, Kris Humphries and re-signing Drew Gooden, Kevin Seraphin, the Wizards have a lot of depth for both front court positions, so bringing back Harrington might not be ideal. Although Harrington is a different type of player than the ones I mentioned, especially since he’s known for his ability to stretch the floor, he has not been able to stay healthy and would probably contribute more on the sidelines as an assistant coach rather than an actual player on the floor.

With that said, it looks like the Washington Wizards are also looking at other options in case they don’t end up retaining Harrington.

Washington was one of many teams who watched veteran free agent Dahntay Jones work out a few days ago. Jones, a 6‘6″ wing man, would give the Wizards energy and defense off the bench, which is something they could use after losing Trevor Ariza to the Houston Rockets.

The Washington Wizards have addressed many of their glaring issues this off-season, including their need for front court depth, but they still don’t have much help on the wing positions. John Wall will continue to get backed up by Andre Miller and Garrett Temple, while the back up shooting guard and small forward positions are still a bit concerning.

Glen Rice Jr. won the Summer League MVP after averaging 25 points per game, while former third overall pick Otto Porter chipped in with 19 per game and flashes of why Washington took him with the third overall pick two seasons ago, but the jump from summer league competition to NBA competition is a big one, to say the least.

Washington will certainly give both Rice and Porter a shot to play this upcoming season, but there’s still going to be some growing pains, and the Wizards could definitely use another veteran shooting guard or small forward on the roster.

As of right now, there are still a few decent free agent options available that could fill that position.

Shawn Marion could be someone the Wizards take a look at, but at this point, I think he may opt to sign with a team that he could play a bigger role for. Paul Pierce will be Washington Wizards’ starting small forward, while Otto Porter will likely take the backup position until Martell Webster returns to the lineup.

Christopher Douglas-Roberts is also still an unrestricted free agent and could provide some scoring and defense off the bench.

The Washington Wizards could also leave the roster spot open for flexibility, or bring on a lesser known veteran like Dahntay Jones.


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Tags: Al Harrington Dahntay Jones Melvin Ely Nba Free Agency 2014 Washington Wizards

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