Spotlighting and Breaking Down Washington Wizards' Small Forward Position

Jonathan MunshawCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2013

Martell Webster is one of four true small forwards currently a part of the Washington Wizards.
Martell Webster is one of four true small forwards currently a part of the Washington Wizards.Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Of all the positions for the Washington Wizards, small forward has the most depth by far. 

Both draft picks for the Wizards this summer were small forwards. And they brought in Josh Childress for training camp, who has traditionally played at both the 3 and 2.

But who will come out on top of the depth chart this season? And who will get the most minutes on the floor with John Wall and Bradley?

Martell Webster

The Wizards re-signed Webster in the offseason, showing that he was their top priority in the offseason. 

After spending the first part of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers, Webster caught on with the Wizards last season, especially when he was able to play minutes with a healthy John Wall. 

It was expected that Webster would be the starter at small forward, but he is currently battling with Trevor Ariza. 

Just a few days into training camp, Webster said that Ariza should be the starter, according to Comcast SportsNet Washington

Ariza is a much better defensive player than Webster, but Webster's offensive numbers were relatively much better last season. 

During the last four months of the season, Webster averaged about 12.3 points, compared to nine during the first three months, according to ESPN

Although Ariza has a shot at getting the starting job, Webster is just more talented at this point and gives the Wizards a better chance to win. 

Projected stats (per game): 27 minutes, 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, 44 percent shooting

Trevor Ariza

Coming in to the last year of his contract with the Wizards, Ariza is playing to either be traded or to receive an extension from the Wizards in the offseason. 

With the young depth at small forward, Ariza is a trade possibility. However, he's a great defensive asset for Washington to have. 

Ariza averaged 1.3 steals and four defensive rebounds last season, and he is great at anticipating where passes will go on the court. 

Veteran Trevor Ariza could start for the Wizards if they choose to go with a defense-first approach.
Veteran Trevor Ariza could start for the Wizards if they choose to go with a defense-first approach.Ned Dishman/Getty Images

However, he only shot 41.7 percent from the floor and had his lowest scoring average since the 2007-08 season. 

Heading into his 10th season, Ariza could prove to be a valuable mentor to the much younger Glen Rice Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. 

There's no doubt Ariza is worth keeping in the lineup this year, so the Wizards likely won't trade him. But it could happen. 

As long as Porter stays injured, Ariza is the No. 2 small forward and will get the majority of the minutes besides Webster. 

Projected stats (per game): 20 minutes, 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, 40 percent shooting

Otto Porter Jr. 

The No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, Porter is going to be hidden on the bench for most of the year. 

At only 20, the Wizards are planning to take things slow with Porter and allow him to develop rather than throw him into major minutes. 

He struggled in the Summer League, only shooting 30 percent in three games, and since then, he has had to fight the injury bug. 

Porter missed the second half of the Summer League with a hamstring injury and is now dealing with a hip flexor. 

In his last year at Georgetown, Porter was a team leader and averaged over 16 points and seven rebounds, so there's no doubt about his talent. 

But the Wizards, as they have been for the past three years, are building for the future and don't want to rush Porter. 

Even coming off the bench, Porter brings a spark to the Wizards and could see some more minutes as the season goes on. 

Projected stats (per game): 14 minutes, nine points, three rebounds, two assists, 45 percent shooting

Glen Rice Jr.

The Wizards may have gotten the steal of the draft in the second round when they traded the Philadelphia 76ers for Rice. 

Rice has been unreliable since he was kicked off the team at Georgia Tech during the 2011-12 season. And since then has played in the D-League. 

After spending time in the D-League, Glen Rice Jr. will have to compete for minutes with Otto Porter Jr. and Garrett Temple.
After spending time in the D-League, Glen Rice Jr. will have to compete for minutes with Otto Porter Jr. and Garrett Temple.Randy Belice/Getty Images

Rice's jump shot is easily his best quality as a player, which would be a great asset for the Wizards who were one of the worst shooting teams last season. 

In five Summer League games, Rice averaged just over 11 points, tying Jan Vesely for the team lead. 

Besides Beal, however, there are no true shooting guards on the Wizards' roster, so Rice could see some time at shooting guard alongside Ariza or Porter. 

If Washington continues to be a defense-first team, Rice may not see as many minutes though, and Garrett Temple is still on the roster as well. 

Temple has carved out his own role in Randy Wittman's offense, so minutes for Rice will be hard to come by. 

Projected stats (per game): Eight minutes, five points, one rebound, one assist, 50 percent shooting

Josh Childress

At this point, Childress is only an unofficial member of the Wizards. He received a training camp contract, but the Wizards simply don't seem to have a spot for him at this point. 

Childress is a traditional swingman, and could potentially fill in at small forward or shooting guard. 

After playing for the Atlanta Hawks for four seasons, Childress left for Europe. Now, he's an outsider trying to make it onto the Wizards. 

Childress isn't much of an outside shooter (only attempting 0.3 shots from behind the arc per game for his career) but does shoot over 52 percent from the floor. 

Assuming there are no injuries in training camp, Childress likely won't be on the Wizards when the regular season starts. But it's worth keeping an eye on him during camp.