Washington Wizards Complete Mock 2016 Off-season Version 2.0

Jan 18, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) is fouled while dribbling the ball by Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe (23) in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Blazers won 108-98. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 18, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) is fouled while dribbling the ball by Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe (23) in the third quarter at Verizon Center. The Blazers won 108-98. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

In this mock, the Washington Wizards miss out on signing a star but they do end up landing a couple of key, game-changing role players

In my Mock Offseason 1.0, the Washington Wizards addressed the Center position long-term by acquiring Hassan Whiteside as a max free agent.

In Version 2.0 I shift my attention away from the Center position and look for help on the wings. Before I start, let’s re-set the stage.

The Washington Wizards enter the 2016 offseason with only five players under contract and Bradley Beal as a restricted free agent.

Assuming those six roster spots are set, that leaves potentially nine roster spots open.

To fill those roster spots the Wizards have approximately $30 million in cap room. To get there, I’m making the following assumptions:

  • Washington retains the current core and maintains their cap hold of approximately $14.2 million for Beal
  • The Wizards will maintain Garrett Temple’s cap hold at $980,431
  • $543,417 for five roster spots to get to minimum 12 for cap purposes
  • Because Martell Webster was waived using the stretch provision, $830K of his salary counts towards the 2016 cap. That salary, however, does not occupy a roster spot.
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So, that leaves the Washington Wizards with approximately $30 million in cap space to fill out their roster. Additionally, Washington will also have the room exception of $2,898,000.

A point of clarification: any player signed will slide into a minimum salary slot so the hit against the cap won’t be $1 for $1.

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Priority Needs – Star power, a wing scorer, backcourt depth, and a third big

Scenario 2: Add a playmaking wing

Why? Otto Porter had a solid third season in the NBA, improving statistically across the board.

Porter had career highs in terms of player efficiency, true shooting percentage, offensive rating, field goal and three point percentage, and points per game.

At 22-years-old, you would be right to naturally question why an upgrade on the wing is necessary when the Washington Wizards have an ascending player in-house at the position.

The answer lies in what this team needs: further scoring and facilitating from the perimeter.

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Porter is a solid player and someone who does many things well on the basketball court, he doesn’t stand out in any one area.

He is not projected to develop into the type of player who can take over a game on the offensive end or create his own shot consistently, and struggles at times versus physical wing players.

This is not meant as a knock against Porter – it’s just not who he is nor who he was ever projected to be coming out of Georgetown.

However, with Bradley Beal failing to make the leap to date and John Wall continuing to struggle with bouts of inefficiency, this team is in dire need of a scoring punch and/or playmaking from the small forward position.

Kelly Oubre might be able to develop into that player but at 20-years-old and coming off a rookie season where he played less than 700 minutes, expectations must be realistic.

Available free agent Small Forwards (ordered by preference)

Kevin Durant has been discussed ad nauseam.

Nobody except for Durant knows what his future beholds but as Ben Mehic pointed out, it’s tough to imagine him leaving OKC with the Thunder rolling like they are.

It’s worth mentioning, though, that if he left OKC the notion “why would he want to go to Washington?” is absurd.

Washington is flawed and similar to every team in the Eastern Conference not named Cleveland. The margin between teams 2-10 is thin and is largely based on coaching, depth, and health. Whichever Eastern Conference team hypothetically lands Kevin Durant immediately jumps to the no. 2 seed and the primary competition for LeBron James.

James is going nowhere and requires no further discussion. Nicolas Batum is where the intrigue starts and ends.

Batum is coming off a career year and would provide this team with a little bit of everything.

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He can score, play defense, and help on the glass.

His greatest contribution would be as a facilitator, adding another ball-handler and distributor to a team which as of now is entirely dependent on John Wall to create offense.

Batum is really priority 1, 2, and 3 after Kevin Durant for Washington.

He is the only available small forward entering the market that adds a clear upgrade and different element to what they have in-house.

Chandler Parsons would be a good fit to the team, adding another 3-point threat to the roster who’s capable of playing both forward positions.

His recent injury history makes pursuing him problematic and even if you could get comfortable there, can the Washington Wizards pry a free agent away from Mark Cuban?

Kent Bazemore will draw interest as n athletic 3-and-D player capable of guarding multiple positions and an improving 3-point shooter. Does he add anything to the roster that they don’t potentially already have, though? He won’t add ball-handling or a go-to type of scorer.

Harrison Barnes was a name that intrigued me until this year’s playoffs.

After a strong statement to the basketball world during the NBA Playoffs in his rookie season, it looked like Barnes was ready to live up to his big reputation coming out of UNC. That has proven far from the case and Barnes is rarely anything more than the 4th/5th option when he’s on the floor.

Move #1:

The Washington Wizards sign Ryan Anderson to a 4-year/$65 million contract in free agency. Anderson’s contract would start at approximately $15.2 Million with 4.5% annual raises leaving Washington with $14 million in cap room.

Before you say anything – yes, I know Ryan Anderson is not a playmaking wing! Why is a stretch-4 my first acquisition for Washington then? The only realistic free agent wing worth pursuing in my opinion is Nicolas Batum.

Back to my earlier point.

All of the other small forwards listed below him on the list above are either limited offensively or carry injury risk, so is it worth the significant investment given the Washington Wizards have Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre Jr. on the roster? I’d say no.

Batum will be highly pursued and in this scenario Washington misses on him and quickly moves on to plan B (or C if #KD2DC still counts as plan A).

The other problematic aspect of pursuing Batum at a max contract is it leaves little in terms of cap space to fill out the balance of the roster with.

A Ryan Anderson signing would probably be met with some reservation.

While Anderson can score, his rebounding numbers were down and his defense leaves much to be desired. That being said, he can flat out score and this team needs that in the frontcourt.

Anderson averaged 17 points largely in a reserve role.

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His Per-36 minutes stats look like this: 20.2 points and just over seven rebounds per game.

He’d come on to this roster and immediately be one of their top 2-3 scorers, which is a need.

How many times has Washington’s inability to scorer efficiently late in ball games cost them?

Additionally, his ability to play off the bench makes him an ideal third big in a rotation with Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris, and would allow the Washington Wizards to play small-ball with two effective perimeter shooting big men.

Anderson is a knock down shooter who should thrive playing with John Wall. Washington has had players capable of shooting but a knockdown 3-point shooter in frontcourt would open the floor in a way they haven’t been able to since Wall’s arrival to the District of Columbia.

Wing depth is still needed, which leads us to…

Move #2:

Washington signs Allen Crabbe to a 4-year/$45 million contract.

Crabbe isn’t a go-to scorer and may slip into a 3-and-D role, but he provides a versatile skill-set, yet another knockdown shooter, and ascending player who might out-produce his contract before all is said and done.

Allen would give Washington flexibility at both wings and would be a much needed insurance policy behind Bradley Beal at the shooting guard spot.

With Allen’s first year salary starting at $10.5 Million, Washington is left with approximately $5.5 Million in cap space plus the room exception to fill out the remaining 5-7 spots on the roster. The roster currently stands as-follows:

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The priority needs at that point are backcourt depth behind to John Wall and a young rim protector behind 32-year-old Marcin Gortat.

Move #3:

Washington signs Tomas Satoransky to a 3-year/$17 million contract.

I’m sticking to my guns that Satoransky will finally come across the Atlantic and suit up for the Washington Wizards.

If they do fail to come to an agreement with him, other alternatives in this price range could include Ty Lawson, Mario Chalmers, Greivis Vasquez, and DJ Augustin (in that order of preference).

Washington now is out of cap space. That doesn’t mean we’re done though.

Move #4:

Using the room exception, Washington signs Miles Plumlee to a 2-year/$6 million contract.

There was rumored interest in Plumlee at the trade deadline, and while that didn’t materialize then, it does now as he fills the needs for a young rim protector, is active on the glass, and can run the floor.

Just two years ago, Plumlee was two rebounds and two points away from averaging a double-double for the Phoenix Suns in 24 minutes per game.

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The Wizards are now left with little ammunition and 3-5 roster spots to fill.

Move #5:

Washington re-signs Garrett Temple to a 2-Year/$5 Million Contract using his Bird Rights.

Given that Washington is limited to veteran minimum contracts, using Bird Rights on Garrett Temple represents the best use of available tools to fill out the back end of the roster.

The roster now stands at 11 and Washington will have to look at the veteran minimum free agent market, camp invites, and last year’s second round pick Aaron White, who spent last season playing in Germany to fill out the roster.

Some wild guesses as to who can fill out these roster spots:

Final Depth Chart

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What I like about this scenario:

Washington did not address the need for a star but added a scorer, shooting, versatility, and a potential rim protector.

Ryan Anderson can potentially help solve many of the issues this team has scoring in the half-court. Allen Crabbe, Tomas Satoransky, and Miles Plumlee are all players that, if utilized and developed correctly, have the potential to exceed the level of play that the contracts they signed would merit.

What I don’t like about this scenario:

Star power is still missing.

This roster should be able to compete with any team in the East outside of Cleveland. Their best chance at unseating James will still lie in development from within. Can Bradley Beal finally make the leap? Can Kelly Oubre Jr. put his raw potential together?

We’re back to those questions as free agency has solidified the roster under this scenario, but hasn’t found its greatest missing ingredient.

Another issue I have with this roster is while Tomas Satoransky does give Washington a second ball-handler, unless they play heavy minutes together, the team still with often have only one ball handler on the floor at the time. No starting player in the frontcourt adds that dynamic under this scenario.

Next: Complete Wizards Mock Offseason 1.0

Note 1: Washington should have the advantage when it comes to signing priority undrafted free agents given the number of open roster spots they have and the limited cap room. Agents likely will view Washington as a landing spot where a fringe player can stick due to their cap constraints.