5 Inexpensive Free Agents John Wall and the Washington Wizards Should Target

Dan LewisContributor IIIJuly 3, 2012

5 Inexpensive Free Agents John Wall and the Washington Wizards Should Target

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    The Washington Wizards really started the off-season with a bang, when they traded away disgruntled forward Rashard Lewis (and his ridiculous contract) to the New Orleans Hornets, in exchange for forward Trevor Ariza and forward/center Emeka Okafor. 

    For the Hornets, the trade created much desired cap space in order to help them build around their two lottery picks, who ended up being Anthony Davis at No. 1 and Austin Rivers at No. 10.  For the Wizards, it added two defensive-minded veterans who can contribute on a nightly basis, something that has been absent from the Wizards for the last two or three seasons. 

    A couple weeks later, the Wizards used their No. 3 overall selection in the NBA draft to select Florida SG Bradley Beal.  Beal is a clear upgrade over current SG Jordan Crawford, whose high volume scoring is better suited coming off the bench and providing a spark. 

    Because the Wizards are now taking on the contracts of Ariza and Okafor, Washington has little to work with in terms of spending money for free-agency.  To help free up more money, while also getting rid of dead weight, it is expected that the Wizards will amnesty disappointing forward Andray Blatche next week, which will give them roughly $12 million to use this summer, if they so choose.

    While the Wizards won’t be able to woo in any “sexy” names this summer, there are a few above-average players that could fill needs at a relatively inexpensive price tag.

5. Shannon Brown, SG

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    2011-2012 Season Statistics:










    One thing the Wizards were really missing last year were athletic finishers who could run the floor with John Wall.  The additions of Beal and Ariza will definitely help improve this area, but adding Michigan State product Shannon Brown, a proven finisher with post season experience will really help. 

    He has improved dramatically on the defensive side of the ball over the course of his career and has shown he is comfortable coming off the bench. 

    While he isn’t a knockdown three-point shooter, he has shown the ability to get hot and stroke it from deep from time to time.  In addition, dude's still only 26 years old. 

    Can you imagine Wall leading a fast break with Brown and Beal on the wings?  The possibilities are endless.

4. Carlos Delfino, SG/SF

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    2011-2012 Season Statistics:










    Because Delfino has been stuck up in Milwaukee the past three seasons, people forget how great a finisher he really is.  While some of the European players that cross the ocean to play in the NBA struggle with trying to shake the “soft” label, Delfino has no problem throwing it down on someone’s head.  Just ask Emeka Okafor.

    While having somewhat of an inconsistent career, Delfino is a mobile and athletic wing who plays the passing lanes excellently and can finish on the break. 

    He averaged nearly two steals per game last year, something that could immediately ignite the Wizards' fast break.

    Like Brown, he is not known as a “great” three-point shooter, but definitely can hit the open three when it’s there. 

3. Courtney Lee, SG

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    2011-2012 Season Statistics:










    While being in the league for 4 years, Courtney Lee is still somewhat of an enigma.  He has already been on three teams, and has had trouble finding a role with each team. 

    Despite this, the fact is that Lee is still an excellent player who uses a great blend of athletic ability and smooth shooting to be effective.   Last year with the Rockets, Lee regularly shared time with Chandler Parsons and Chase Budinger.  It was often that Coach Kevin McHale would go with whichever one had the hot hand. 

    This clearly had an effect on Lee, who was often times largely inconsistent and prone to mistakes.  However, Lee can improve the Wizards' shooting woes, while also providing another finisher to go with Wall and Beal.

    After bouncing around the league for a few years, the only concern is that with two other shooting guards on the roster (Beal and Crawford), Lee might elect to sign with a team where he could compete for a starting spot, something that he would unlikely be able to do in Washington. 

2. Danny Green, SG/SF

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    2011-2012 Season Statistics:










    Danny Green enjoyed a career year with the Spurs this past season.  Some might argue it was Gregg Popovich and the system that he runs that allows relatively unknown players to succeed. 

    But Green was a standout in college and helped North Carolina win the national title, and once he was given minutes in the NBA, showed he more than belongs in the league. 

    Green would drastically improve the Wizards' overall three-point percentage, as he shot around 44 percent last season. He showed he was comfortable both starting or coming off the bench, and continued his reliable shooting well into the playoffs. 

    In addition, Green is a great perimeter defender, and is not a liability on defense like most other three-point specialists are. 

    Green would be an excellent pick up for the improving Wizards, and because of his height, would allow them to sometimes go with a three guard line-up, which is becoming a more common practice in today’s NBA.

1. Steve Novak, SF/PF

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    2011-2012 Season Statistics:










    If the Wizards were to sign Steve Novak, he would have one job, and one job only on the team.  SHOOT.  All that would be asked of Novak would be to let it fly.  Stand outside on the perimeter and wait for John Wall to penetrate and dish. 

    Novak would almost certainly cure the Wizards' shooting problems, as he shot an NBA best from deep last season at 47 percent.  He would spread the floor for the Wizards so much more than they did last season, giving Wall much more room to operate and almost surely cutting down on his forced turnovers and poor decision making. 

    Novak would surely get more minutes in Washington than he did last season in New York, something that is surely intriguing to him.  In addition, with one of the rising point guards in the NBA on the roster, you can bet he would be licking his chops thinking about all the open looks he would get in D.C. 

    Novak’s size allows him to play either forward spot, something that would allow Coach Randy Wittman to experiment with a variety of line-ups. 

    If all the Wizards did the rest of the off-season was amnesty Blatche and sign Novak, then Washington would surely contend for a playoff spot and show major improvement from last season.