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Why the Washington Wizards Need Veterans Alongside John Wall Right Now

John Wall.
John Wall.Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IJune 21, 2012

The Washington Wizards may have made a move that could help them in the short-term, although it could hurt them in terms of their overall salary cap number down the road.

However, if the Wizards want to be a competitive team in the Eastern Conference, bringing in veterans and finding a balance to their roster is the way to go.

Sometimes teams have to take a stand in terms of how much youth and veteran players they want to have on their roster. Youth may be more for the future, but veteran players can help carry a team also.

The Wizards do have a franchise-caliber player in point guard John Wall—who is still developing his game, but maybe with the right supporting cast, could take his game to another level.

The Wizards (per ESPN.com) acquired veterans Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza from the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday in exchange for the partially guaranteed contract of Rashard Lewis and the 46th overall draft pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

With the likes of Okafor, Ariza and Nene, the Wizards do have an interesting lineup. The Wizards also have the third pick in the upcoming draft and could find another piece to add to their roster.

Okafor—who is more of a defensive-oriented center—will share the frontcourt with Nene, while Ariza provides depth at both the shooting guard and small forward positions. Despite sharing minutes with younger players, Okafor averaged 9.9 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Hornets last season, while Ariza averaged 10.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last season.

It will be interesting to see how these two veteran additions impact the Washington Wizards come next season.

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