Spotlighting and Breaking Down Washington Wizards' Power Forward Position

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Spotlighting and Breaking Down Washington Wizards' Power Forward Position
Harry How/Getty Images
Al Harrington is the newest addition to Washington's roster, coming to the Wizards from the Orlando Magic in the offseason.

Following the NBA draft, perhaps no position on the Washington Wizards received more attention than power forward. 

After the team drafted Otto Porter in June, fans turned their attention toward the NBA Summer League, where Jan Vesely worked to improve his game. Shortly after, Washington brought in Al Harrington to stretch the floor at power forward. 

Now, it is the position must up-in-the-air. With Nenê's health constantly in flux, the addition of Harrington, the struggles of Vesely and Trevor Booker's spot on the roster, minutes will constantly be changing this season.

So, which power forwards will get the most minutes and have the most influence on the court? Let's find out.

 

Nenê

Coming off a season when he almost retired, Nenê is looking to stay healthy and be the antithesis of Al Harrington. 

NenĂª has constantly struggled with injuries throughout his career but is effective below the rim when healthy.
Nenê is the best low-post power forward on the roster, shooting 70 percent when he was at the rim last season, according to Basketball Reference

However, he continued to struggle from mid-range and was once again unable to stay healthy, missing 21 games.

Despite recording lower point and rebound averages last season than during the 2011-12 season, his assists and free-throw percentage increased.

With the addition of Harrington, Nenê's minutes should go down, which could increase the number of games he can play. 

Harrington could steal a few starts from Nenê, but because of his large salary ($13 million), it wouldn't make much sense to have him come off the bench consistently.

Projected stats (per game): Six rebounds, 10 points, two assists and 49 percent FG%

 

Al Harrington

Because of a lack of cap space, the Wizards weren't able to make many free-agent signings outside of minor moves such as the signing of Eric Maynor

But Washington was able to make a splash in the free-agent pool by signing Harrington a few weeks ago. He now gives the Wizards the ability to stretch the floor.

He is a lifetime 35 percent shooter from three and averaged 14 points during the 2011-12 season when he was with the Denver Nuggets.

Al Harrington stats (2009-2011)
Season PPG Rebounds Assists 3P%
2009-10 17.7 5.6 1.5 34.2
2010-11 10.5 4.5 1.4 35.7
2011-12 14.2 6.1 1.4 33.3

Basketball Reference

Like Nenê, Harrington's biggest question is his health. He hasn't played a full season since the 2002-03 season when he was with the Indiana Pacers. He only appeared in 10 games last season with the Orlando Magic because of a staph infection

With he shares the court with John Wall and Emeka Okafor, they will be able to drive the ball down low and find Harrington open from three.

Harrington was exactly what the Wizards needed at power forward. He will be a valuable asset to them as long as he can stay healthy coming off the bench as the sixth man.

Projected stats (per game): Five rebounds, 14 points, two assists, 45 percent FG% and 38 percent 3P%

 

Jan Vesely

With a team option on the horizon next offseason, this is essentially Vesely's last chance to prove his worth to the Wizards.

After going as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 draft, he has been a flop thus far, only averaging three points and three rebounds along with a laughable 30 percent free-throw shooting last season.

He looked to improve in the NBA Summer League, averaging 11 points on 58 percent shooting in five summer games. 

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Jan Vesely, who was drafted No. 6 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, has been a bust in the first two years of his time in the NBA.
With the depth at power forward this year, he could become a trade piece if he can improve his game or could still log around 10 minutes per game. 

Like Nenê, Vesely's greatest strength is when he's under the rim. He shot 66 percent from there last year, via Basketball Reference.

The Czech player has some talent, but he has yet to show it on the court. This could be the year that he ends up proving to be a valuable asset.

Projected stats (per game): Four rebounds, five points, one assist and 50 percent FG%

 

Trevor Booker

Lost at the bottom of the pile of power forwards is Trevor Booker. That's not because he's untalented; it's just that between the upside of Nenê and Harrington and the talk surrounding Vesely's poor play, he's been kind of forgotten.

Who will have a better year?

Submit Vote vote to see results
He logged about 18 minutes per game last season, averaging five points and five rebounds in 48 games. He also finished second on the team in field-goal percentage.

The problem is that he doesn't bring anything to the table that Nenê or Vesely don't. He is a good low-post shooter and rebounds, and he is only on the roster for depth at this point. 

If Vesely doesn't pan out, keeping Booker around would be worth Washington's time and effort, with Harrington only on a one-year contract and Nenê aging.

Projected stats (per game): Five rebounds, five points, two assists and 47 percent FG%

 

 

Load More Stories

Follow Washington Wizards from B/R on Facebook

Follow Washington Wizards from B/R on Facebook and get the latest updates straight to your newsfeed!

Washington Wizards

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.