Pre-Training Camp Player Power Rankings for Washington Wizards
As the Washington Wizards prepare to enter training camp, fans have plenty of reasons to be excited for the 2013-14 season.
Now that the hype surrounding the NBA draft has quieted down, and Washington had a quiet yet productive free agent period, it's time to look at what pieces the Wizards have.
The biggest story this offseason was obviously the drafting of small forward Otto Porter, a D.C. native, followed by the signing of veteran stretch power forward Al Harrington.
Fans are also watching to see if John Wall's max contract extension was a good move for Washington, and if Wall can work with the younger players on the roster to make the team's first push for the playoffs in five seasons.
Larger questions aside, it's important for fans and coaches to consider Washington's roster, and look at who are the best players on the team heading into training camp.
1. John Wall
When John Wall returned from injury halfway through last season and led the Wizards to a .500 record in the second half, there was no doubt he was the best player in Washington.
If he had been playing the whole year, the Wizards may have even been able to steal a No. 8 or No. 7 seed in the playoffs.
Wall finished the season averaging career-highs in points, free-throw percentage, field-goal percentage and pulled down his turnover average.
He cemented his dominant season on March 25 against the Memphis Grizzlies when he scored a career-high 47 points in Memphis, and also had point totals of 33 points or more three times.
On an overall young roster, Wall is the leader on and off the court for the Wizards, and needs to perform well if the team has playoff aspirations.
Statistical projections (per game): 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds, 44 percent shooting
2. Bradley Beal
Although he is just entering his second season, Beal is one of the most exciting players on the Wizards.
The shooting guard, who averaged almost 14 points in his rookie year out of Florida, is the top shooting guard in Washington and is the best scorer outside of John Wall.
Beal did struggle with his shot selection last year, only shooting 41 percent from the floor, but was able to score in bunches when he was healthy.
The 20-year-old had some injury issues toward the end of the season, and didn't get a full season under his belt to work out rookie kinks, but is primed to have a big 2013-14 season.
The addition of Al Harrington will allow the Wizards to stretch the floor more often, giving Beal open looks from three. Beal finished third on the team in three-point shooting, and was the scoring leader the entire time Wall was out for the first part of the season.
If he can start shooting better from mid-range and allow Harrington and Martell Webster to shoot from the perimeter, he will easily pass his numbers from his rookie year.
Statistical projections (per game): 16 points, two assists, four rebounds, 44 percent shooting, 35 percent three-point shooting
3. Martell Webster
The Wizards made free-agent small forward Martell Webster their main target in the offseason, eventually re-signing him to a four-year, $22 million contract.
Despite the addition of Otto Porter through the draft, the Wizards still stuck to Webster, who will likely start at small forward for most of the this season.
Webster had a career year last season, averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and three-point shooting.
Once John Wall returned to the lineup in the second half, he and Webster meshed well together. According to ESPN, Webster averaged just over three more points per game in the last three months of the season than the first three months.
Webster also led the team in three-point shooting, shooting 42 percent from behind the line.
With the addition of Porter, Webster could see his minutes go down, but he will be a valuable asset to the Wizards this season as a three-point shooter and as a mentor for the 20-year-old Porter.
Projected stats (per game): 12 points per game, two assists, four rebounds, 45 percent shooting, 43 percent three-point shooting
Nenê has a higher ceiling than Martell Webster in terms of his talent, but because of how injured he's been with the Wizards he can't get any higher than fourth on this list.
Nenê missed 21 games last season, and didn't start in 12 of the games that he appeared in because of various injuries.
It was his first full year with the Wizards after coming over from the Denver Nuggets and his numbers dropped in points, blocks, steals and field-goal percentage from the 2011-12 season.
Now that Al Harrington has the ability to start for the Wizards, he could take away some starts from Nenê, although Nenê should pick up the majority of the starts but his minutes will be cut.
Last season the Wizards mainly settled for power forwards who shot mainly from under the basket, as Nenê struggled mightily shooting from mid-range.
With Harrington on the floor to stretch the floor and shoot from three, Nenê can come in and score the down-and-dirty points.
Projected stats (per game): 11 points, two assists, seven rebounds, 48 percent shooting
5. Emeka Okafor
Heading into the last year of his contract with the Wizards, Emeka Okafor is showing that even at 30, he can still be a viable starting center in the NBA.
Okafor led the Wizards in rebounds and blocks per game last season, and he only missed three games last year.
The 10-year veteran could get traded by the end of the season, or could wind up getting a less expensive extension from Washington to keep him around for a few more years to mentor the younger Kevin Seraphin.
One of the more underrated players for the Wizards in 2012-13, Okafor was a defensive force, helping Washington to finish eighth in the league in scoring defense.
If head coach Randy Wittman wants to rely on Washington's defense first and offense second, Okafor could become a larger force on the team.
Projected stats (per game): Nine points, one assist, one block, nine rebounds, 48 percent shooting
6. Otto Porter
Although he hasn't played a regular season game, Otto Porter is the most promising player on Washington's roster.
Porter, drafted out of Georgetown in June, will most likely play behind Martell Webster at small forward.
He doesn't have superstar upside, but he does have the ability to be a multiple-time All Star and one of the better shooters in the NBA.
While at Georgetown, Porter averaged just over 16 points and seven rebounds, but he struggled during the Summer League.
Prior to being injured and missing the last two Summer League games, Porter was only shooting 30 percent and averaged just over six points per game in 21 minutes per game.
He won't be thrown right into it off the bench, but if he comes out strong it'll give the Wizards a great scoring option next to Webster, John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Projected stats (per game): 14 points, five rebounds, one assist, 43 percent shooting
7. Al Harrington
Although the Wizards were quiet most of the offseason outside of the draft, they finally made a big move and picked up Al Harrington to be a stretch power forward off the bench.
With a one-year, $1.4 million deal, the contract was very low-risk for Washington that could pay off by the end of the season.
A 35 percent career three-point shooter, Harrington is the long-range shooter the Wizards don't have on the bench, especially with losing Cartier Martin.
Harrington can also pull down rebounds and is just an overall quality scorer.
The biggest question surrounding Harrington is his health. He missed most of last season with the Orlando Magic because of a staph infection and hasn't played in all 82 games since the 2002-03 season.
Even if he only plays 60 games, he still is a good x-factor for the Wizards who brings a new dimension to Washington's offense.
Projected stats (per game): 12 points, five rebounds, one assist, 47 percent shooting, 35 percent three-point shooting
8. Trevor Ariza
Although Ariza could find himself on the trade block midway through the season because of his expiring contract, he still provides valuable experience when he's on the court, no matter how many games he ends up playing.
Ariza is making about $7.7 million this season and is third on the depth chart behind Martell Webster and Otto Porter at small forward, so it's very likely he could end the season with another team.
But having Ariza on the roster does give Washington a good spark plug off the bench who can shoot the three. In about 21 minutes per game last season, Ariza averaged nine points and shot 36 percent from three.
On an otherwise young team, Ariza's nine years of NBA experience are valuable, and he puts in good crunch time minutes, but with his position on the depth chart there just aren't enough minutes to go around.
Projected stats (per game): 10 points, two assists, three rebounds, 43 percent shooting, 37 percent three-point shooting
9. Kevin Seraphin
At only 23, Kevin Seraphin rounds out Washington's young roster.
The fourth-year center has only started 30 games in his career, only starting in eight games last season but appearing in 71 others behind Emeka Okafor.
Seraphin had the best statistical year of his career last season, averaging nine points and four rebounds, shooting 46 percent from the floor.
With Okafor's age and expiring contract, Seraphin could see some more starts this season in preparation for a possible full-time starting role in the 2014-15 season.
In games where he was featured more prominently, Seraphin was able to score some big points, posting point totals of 19, 18 and 17 twice. In another year of 70 or so games with 20-plus minutes, Seraphin will only get better.
Projected stats (per game): Nine points, four rebounds, one assist, 49 percent shooting
10. Trevor Booker
Booker is by no means a bad basketball player, he just hasn't done enough in his three years in the league to warrant higher marks on this list.
Booker only averages six points per game for his career, but did start 14 games last season for the Wizards.
In those starts at power forward, Booker didn't put up many points, but did shoot 50 percent and averaged six rebounds, according to ESPN.
With questions surrounding the health of Nenê and Al Harrington, it wouldn't be a long shot to say Booker could see double-digit starts, but if they both can stay healthy, Booker won't be on the floor for any more than 10 minutes per game.
Projected stats (per game): Six points, five rebounds, one assist, 50 percent shooting
11. Glen Rice J, r.
Rice could turn out to be the steal of the 2013 NBA Draft, going in the second round to the Wizards after they traded picks with the Philadelphia 76ers. Rice had a solid Summer League, averaging over 11 points and three rebounds in five games. Rice is incredibly far down the depth chart at small forward, so he could see some time at shooting guard but for now he's nothing more than a project.
12. Eric Maynor
Maynor was brought in over the summer to back up John Wall at point guard, but he's been fairly underwhelming in his four years in the league. He's never averaged more than 4.2 points for a season and has already played for three different teams prior to coming to Washington. Given Wall's injury history, though, Maynor should be ready to start some games this year.
13. Garrett Temple
Temple bounced around between shooting guard and point guard, filling in for Wall and Bradley Beal when they were hurt at various points throughout the season. Even though he played in about 22 minutes per game, Temple only averaged five points and two rebounds along with only shooting 40 percent from the floor.
14. Chris Singleton
Singleton is so far down on the depth chart at this point, there's almost no way he'll see more than seven minutes per game. He'll have to fight for minutes over Nenê, Al Harrington, Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely and sometimes even Kevin Seraphin. In two years in the NBA, Singleton only averages four points and three rebounds, so don't expect to see Singleton on the court very often.
15. Jan Vesely
Vesely is probably a better player than Singleton and Temple, but because of how disappointing he's been in terms of a draft pick, he gets the last spot. Vesely is the butt of almost every joke surrounding Washington basketball, and he only shot 30 percent from the free-throw line last season. Simply put, Vesely just isn't very good.