Year-End Grades for Every Key Washington Wizards Player

Jonathan MunshawCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2013

Year-End Grades for Every Key Washington Wizards Player

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    With a 12-13 record, the Washington Wizards are struggling to break .500 in a mediocre Eastern Conference.
    With a 12-13 record, the Washington Wizards are struggling to break .500 in a mediocre Eastern Conference.Ned Dishman/Getty Images

    Twenty-five games into the NBA season, the Washington Wizards are below .500, but they're still sixth in the Eastern Conference

    The 25-game mark comes at the end of 2013, as the Wizards are in the middle of a holiday break before their game on Dec. 27 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, which is a perfect time to look back on Washington's season thus far. 

    Washington's 2013 can be summed up in one word: streaks. 

    The Wizards started out the season 2-7 before working their way back to .500. However, they followed that up with a four-game losing streak, capping off 2013 with a three-game win streak. 

    But the whole is only going to be as good as the sum of its parts, so it's just as important to look at which players are performing the best heading into 2014. 

    Note: All stats used are as of Dec. 24.

10. Kevin Seraphin

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    Kevin Seraphin has not been nearly as involved in the Wizards as expected heading into the season, but he has managed to log some productive minutes.
    Kevin Seraphin has not been nearly as involved in the Wizards as expected heading into the season, but he has managed to log some productive minutes.Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    Sticking to the average big man bench player department, Kevin Seraphin was thought of as a possible replacement for Emeka Okafor when he went down with an injury in the offseason.

    But with the Marcin Gortat trade, Seraphin has since become a minimum-time bench player. 

    Seraphin is only playing less than 10 minutes per game, but is still a somewhat productive bench player. 

    He continues to struggle on defense, but is being a productive offensive big man, shooting over 48 percent from the floor and averaging just under five points. The Wizards would like to see more out of Seraphin, but he is only on pace to have his worst statistical season since his rookie year, which isn't good news for Washington's bench. 

    Grade: C-

9. Jan Vesely

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    Despite underperforming on offense, Jan Vesely has been racking up solid minutes amid various injuries in the frontcourt.
    Despite underperforming on offense, Jan Vesely has been racking up solid minutes amid various injuries in the frontcourt.Gary Dineen/Getty Images

    With injuries to Nene and Al Harrington, Jan Vesely has managed to pick up solid minutes this season. 

    After averaging just 11.8 minutes last season, Vesely is currently logging 17.8 minutes per game. 

    However, he has yet to find his role on the offense, only averaging just under three points on 45.8 percent shooting. 

    But as usual, he continues to be a contributing factor on defense, as his skill set allows. The third-year player is pulling down over four boards per game, in addition to posting a block once every two games and over a steal per game. 

    If Harrington and Nene were to stay healthy for the rest of the year, it's unclear how much Vesely would play, but until then, he continues to be a serviceable player on defense.

    Grade: C

8. Al Harrington

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    The Wizards were prepared to play Al Harrington as their sixth man, but he has appeared in only seven games this season.
    The Wizards were prepared to play Al Harrington as their sixth man, but he has appeared in only seven games this season.Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    The Wizards knew signing Al Harrington came with the inherent risk of him missing time, but they weren't expecting him to miss almost two-thirds of their games. 

    Harrington has appeared in only seven games this season and could potentially be out until the beginning of January with a knee injury. 

    However, when he has been in the lineup, Harrington has been effective at playing the stretch 4 role he was brought in to play. 

    The 15-year veteran is shooting almost 43 percent from three in over 18 minutes per game and has been almost deadly on the right side of the floor, shooting 70 percent from behind the arc on that side, according to Vorped

    Here's to hoping that Harrington has a much healthier 2014.

    Grade: C

7. Trevor Booker

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    In Nene's absence, Trevor Booker has filled in as starting power forward, proving to be a valuable spot starter.
    In Nene's absence, Trevor Booker has filled in as starting power forward, proving to be a valuable spot starter.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With starting power forward Nene missing various games with various injures, Trevor Booker has proved to be one of the more valuable bench players for the Wizards. 

    Booker is on pace to record the most starts in any season in his career and is being productive with those starts. 

    As a starter, he's averaging nine points and eight rebounds and shooting over 54 percent, according to ESPN. 

    Unfortunately, his production completely falls off when he comes off the bench, only averaging just over three points and three rebounds with just 42.3 percent shooting. 

    But with Nene showing a trend toward missing time on a fairly regular basis, Booker's ability to start in spots should make Wizards fans feel a little better. 

    Grade: C+

6. Martell Webster

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    Martell Webster has effectively filled Washington's sixth man role, starting at small forward and shooting guard at times.
    Martell Webster has effectively filled Washington's sixth man role, starting at small forward and shooting guard at times.Ned Dishman/Getty Images

    Although Martell Webster is being paid as a starter, he has been asked to come off the bench most of the time in favor of Trevor Ariza starting at small forward. 

    But Webster has done an admirable job, occasionally starting at small forward and even shooting guard with Bradley Beal out. With a healthy Beal and Ariza, Webster knows his role on the team as a sixth man, proving to be one of the best shooters on the roster. 

    Even as a bench player, Webster is already on pace to eclipse his numbers from last year in points, rebounds, steals and field-goal percentage. 

    In crunch time, Webster is a guy who can bury threes alongside Beal and is proving to be one of the most valuable players on the roster. 

    Grade: A

5. Nene

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    Despite missing seven games, Nene has been invaluable to the Wizards on offense and defense when healthy.
    Despite missing seven games, Nene has been invaluable to the Wizards on offense and defense when healthy.Brian Babineau/Getty Images

    Despite big numbers from John Wall and Bradley Beal this year, Nene has arguably been the most valuable player to the Wizards. 

    Nene has missed seven games this season with various injuries, and the Wizards have only won one of them. 

    The 31-year-old power forward/center combo is on pace to surpass his career high in points per game and is pulling down over six rebounds per game. 

    Nene has a history of injury, but when he is in the lineup, the Wizards are a significantly better team.

    But injuries this year have already marred his otherwise stellar season.

    Grade: B+

4. Trevor Ariza

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    Trevor Ariza has been an every-night starter at small forward when healthy and has been surprisingly productive.
    Trevor Ariza has been an every-night starter at small forward when healthy and has been surprisingly productive.Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Trevor Ariza is having a great season for a guy who was expected to come off the bench. 

    Because of his defensive abilities, Ariza has been an everyday starter at small forward, playing 36 minutes per game. 

    He missed five games earlier in the year but is on pace to post career highs in points, steals, rebounds and three-point shooting. 

    Ariza also continues to show that he is a valuable asset on defense, posting just under two steals per game and playing solid one-on-one defense.

    With an expiring contract, Ariza could become a trade piece before February ends, but the Wizards would be wise to keep him on the roster, as he is one of the hottest players on the team right now.

    Grade: A

3. Marcin Gortat

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    Despite complaints of not being involved enough on offense, Marcin Gortat has been a force down low, more so when Nene is healthy.
    Despite complaints of not being involved enough on offense, Marcin Gortat has been a force down low, more so when Nene is healthy.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    The last-minute addition of Marcin Gortat by the Wizards is paying off thus far, with the big man coming through as a low-post threat. 

    When Nene is in the lineup, Gortat can play below the hoop, which is where he's best. However, when Nene missed time, Gortat was unhappy with his role in the offense. 

    A few weeks ago, Gortat said that he was unhappy getting the ball further away from the hoop, according to Comcast SportsNet Washington"I just don't like the position I play. I'm constantly drifting more and more away from the basket. Quite honestly, that's not my game. I'm capable of making or two plays like that but I feel more comfortable underneath the basket." 

    Despite his discontent, Gortat is still shooting 67.4 percent from under the hoop, according to Vorped, and leads the team in blocks. 

    Heading into 2014, fans shouldn't be concerned over striking out on the Gortat-Emeka Okafor trade. 

    Grade: B+

2. Bradley Beal

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    Second-year player Bradley Beal is proving to be worth the No. 3 overall draft pick, currently tying John Wall for the team lead in points.
    Second-year player Bradley Beal is proving to be worth the No. 3 overall draft pick, currently tying John Wall for the team lead in points.Ned Dishman/Getty Images

    Had Bradley Beal not missed nine games, the Wizards could easily be above .500. The aforementioned four-game losing streak occurred during Beal's absence, but what team wouldn't miss almost 20 points per game?

    In just his second year out of Florida, Beal is struggling to take good shots but is still averaging 19.6 points. 

    However, he's attempting almost 18 shots per game en route to a 40.9 percent field-goal percentage. In his last two games, Beal has shot a combined 7-of-22 from the floor but has five games of 25 points or more. 

    Questions should be raised about Beal's poor shooting percentage, but there's no arguing with his offensive production and his ability to make clutch shots late in games. 

    Grade: B+

1. John Wall

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    John Wall has been the Wizards' best player this season and is on pace to appear in his first All-Star Game.
    John Wall has been the Wizards' best player this season and is on pace to appear in his first All-Star Game.Brian Babineau/Getty Images

    Washington's undisputed leader has to be the player with the highest grade at this point in the season. 

    John Wall is drawing a lot of attention to himself this season, but for good reasons. Wall is first on the team in points, assists and steals and is second in the NBA in assists. 

    Wall has scored double-digit points in nine straight games and is continuing to improve on defense, posting six blocks in his last seven games. 

    When Bradley Beal has missed time, Wall has stepped up as the Wizards' primary ball-handler and scorer, and is continuing to grow as an NBA player every game. 

    Wall is well on his way to becoming an All-Star this season and he is proving that signing him to a max contract was the right move. 

    Grade: A