Washington Wizards: Which Expiring Contracts Should Be Freed on the Roster?
The Washington Wizards currently have a record of 15-45, which holds them in last place in the Southeast division and second-to-last in the Eastern Conference in front of Cleveland.
There wasn't much promise this season but there were some, including me, that believed they had the ability to make it to the playoffs. Now it seems as those dreams were just fantasies as the Wizards struggle much like they did last year and seem to put themselves back into the lottery.
Last year around this time, the Wizards had just started blowing up the roster to get themselves into rebuilding mode for the next season. This year consists of getting young talent and expiring contracts, which could be excellent although this free agent class isn't filled with the star talent like last year.
Long story short, the Wizards have a ton of expiring contracts to deal with and some players who haven't showed up on a consistent basis as expected. Let's take a look at which expiring contracts should stay on the Wizards' roster and who should take their talents to the free agency pool.
With some promises of a break-out year from Yi Jianlian, he has once again, disappointed NBA fans. You can often catch Yi getting boxed out or out-rebounded by a guard in the paint. He shows flashes of promise but doesn't make high IQ moves and isn't aggressive like he was in the FIBA tournament.
Yi Jianlian is one of the players that add on to the stereotype of the Washington Wizards' big men...tall, potential, and soft. The Wizards direction in the draft was to get tougher in the paint but Yi is holding them back from their goal whenever he is one the court. Playing time is also becoming limited to him due to the rapid development of Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker.
Decision: Gotta go...
Josh Howard's NBA career consists of a sad one that went downhill due to an injury and off-the-court decision-making; because of that, he has matured to become a veteran that can emphasize the morals of being a NBA athlete to the young players on the team.
There were rumors soaring around about a possible trade to the Celtics due to the injury to Paul Pierce's backup, Marquis Daniels, but none of them went through. Now Josh Howard is stuck on a team with five rookies on their roster and must be a mentor to them for whenever it is time for him to leave.
This year was a trial year for Howard to test and see if his knee was decent enough to go through the wear and tear of his body during the season. So far he has been decent in terms of his recovery and getting his knee back to normal.
Maurice Evans was just a mere trade piece in the deal to get Jordan Crawford and a first round pick in next year's draft. He has a decent three-point shot and provide great veteran leadership to the organization, which is valuable to this young and talented team.
The team could definitely find another veteran like him and possibly be better than him and that could be found at a veterans' minimum.
Decision: Evans has a 50 percent chance that he would get re-signed considering there are more players that can bring what he brings.
Cartier Martin has made his way in and out of the rotation and the reason for that is his inconsistency shooting the ball. He is on the team for one reason and that is because he can shoot the basketball, but now the Wizards have picked up Maurice Evans who can do just about the same thing Cartier can do but with better defense.
Decision: This could also be a tossup, it depends on the situation Washington is in at the SF slot.
Shakur was brought here primarily to get John Wall some rest at the point guard position if needed. He has shown flashes of great basketball in his debut with the Wizards; but is still just a solid guard. Shakur is a decent passer, shooter, and playmaker, which is solid for a backup guard on a rebuilding squad.
Decision: Go. Highly doubtful that Shakur stays with the Wizards past this season. He is probably getting the boot.
Next Mutumbo? Maybe.
That is at least what the Wizards were hoping for when drafting the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year. He has upside, but most of it is off of his defensive skills rather than his offense. The fact of the matter is that at best you will get a poor man's Mutumbo and at worst possibly a poor man's Thabeet, which could look pretty bad.
Decision: Stay. The Wizards will hang on to Ndiaye because he has the potential to be a real defensive stopper in the paint. Being that it is only his rookie year, I doubt the Wizards give up on him this quick.
If anyone on the Wizards made it on ESPN's Top 10 besides John Wall it would be a tie between JaVale McGee and Nick Young. Nick Young has developed to be the Wizards' leading scorer right now and I believe that when he gets his shot going he is one of the best scorers in the league.
Out of all of the expiring contracts this year, Nick Young is mostly likely the man to stay for the next couple of years. Gilbert Arenas faked an injury for him due to the fact that he wasn't gaining enough playing time and little did he know, as so as Arenas left Nick Young took over the team with John Wall.
Decision: Stay. I wouldn't be surprised if Ernie signs him to at least a four year deal. The decision is actually on Nick's shoulders as to if he wants to stay or not. He has already established himself as a dynamic scorer in this league.