Washington Wizards Future Part IVa: New Additions

This is part four of a four part series assessing the future of the Washington Wizards. Parts 1-3 were hosted on Truth About It and covered the current player personnel situation, the free agency of Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison, and what type of player addition the Wizards need for improvement.

  1. Washington Wizards Future Part I: The Situation Room
  2. Washington Wizards Future Part II: The Assumptions
  3. Washington Wizards Future Part III: Needful Things

This final installment will focus on the available market and will actually be divided into three parts: A) Big man free agents and a trade speculation, B) Free agent guards/small forwards, and C) Rookie and overseas players to watch.

In the Eddie Jordan offense, it would help if a player could shoot….I'm talking FTs too. So I’m going to rate each player using True Shooting Percentage (TS%) from KnickerBlogger.net. I'm also going to use the John Hollinger numbers of Rebound Rate (Reb-R) for obvious reasons, Assist Rate (Ast-R) because passing skills are always wanted, and the famed PER as a general evaluation.

Andris Biedrins

(Restricted, Golden State Warriors) 6-11, 245, 22 years

TS% - 51.4
Reb-R - 18.9
Ast-R - 12.3
PER - 15.25

Nope. Jason Richardson is no longer a Warrior because they wanted to have money to keep guys like Biedrins (and Monta Ellis). Andris and his agent, Bill Duffy, have illusions of 5 years and $50 million, similar to those of Anderson Varejao. Five for $40 would be a more realistic value, still too pricey for the Wiz. Varejao ended up having to settle for a 3-year, $17.4 million offer sheet from the Bobcats, trying to save face as he overestimated his value, and the Cavs gladly matched.

Although his free-throw shooting horrendous, Biedrins is still a much better offensive player than Varejao, and his value over the Brazilian Spaz is a fair bit higher. The Warriors have retaining the services of Biedrins high on their list of priorities. Chris Mullin will let the market set the price and match any offer, else Biedrins will sign the 1-year qualifying offer of $3,609,636 so he can be an unrestricted FA after next season.

Kurt Thomas

(Unrestricted, San Antonio Spurs) 6-9, 235, 36 in October

TS% - 51.4
Reb-R - 18.9
Ast-R - 12.3
PER - 15.25

I immediately have these three thoughts….even though I’d love to have Thomas on the Wizards for a year:

  1. He's too old, turning 36 before next season starts. (of course, this isn't really a concern as Thomas is still pulling down 6.6 boards, along with 5.0 PPG in 21.9 minutes of action for the Spurs in this year's playoffs)
  2. Kurt Thomas wants a championship…..would the Wizards be first on his list to fulfill this need?
  3. The most the Wizards could offer him is the MLE, and there might be contenders with better chances willing to offer him that.

Ronny Turiaf

(Restricted, LA Lakers) 6-10, 249, 25 years

TS% - 53.9
Reb-R - 11.6
Ast-R - 18.9
PER -  15.19

Any team would love to have Turiaf's energy. His role has bench hype man also would surely be contagious among this Wizards bunch. Unfortunately, the Lakers love Turiaf for all these reasons as well. Dr. Buss has proven that he doesn't mind being in luxury tax land, so I'd anticipate that the Lakers will match most any offer for Turiaf.

  • Plus: He can block shots, getting 1.4 per game in 18.7 minutes, Turiaf uses his natural hustle swag to hit the boards hard, He has the highest assist rate of those on this list by far.
  • Minus: Not the best shooter, foul prone, lacks lateral quickness.

Francisco Elson

(Unrestricted, Seattle Sonics) 7-0, 235, 32 years old

TS% - 41.6
Reb-R - 13.4
Ast-R - 7.4
PER - 6.57

This guy was brought up on the Bullets Forever player suggestions post , looks like the minuses have it won:

  • Plus: Long, athletic, can run and block shots.
  • Minus: He's older than Antawn Jamison, He's not a rugged rebounder and has a frail frame, Elson's career averages are 3.8 boards in 16.6 minutes, and his single block per 40 minutes this year is not desirable. The Wizard don't need that kind of softy.

Eduardo Najera

(Unrestricted, Denver Nuggets) 6-8, 235, 32 in July

TS% - 57.0
Reb-R - 11.0
Ast-R - 16.9
PER - 12.19

Najera is pretty much the Mexican Darius Songaila. Unlike Darius, he can shoot the trey ball, and he rebounds a little bit better….at least that's what the stats say (Songaila's Reb-R is 10.2). Eduardo definitely has some dirty in him and I would not mind his presence on our team, but I think the Wizards need someone a tad taller and a bit more athletic.

Najera is one of the more intriguing free agents, but I just don't see the Wizards affording him. Eduardo will be looking to make at least $9 million per (Nenê's numbers)….but who knows what the market will dictate. The Nuggets certainly have the free-agency concerns of Iverson, JR Smith, and Anthony Carter as well, so Eduardo may hit the road. Would he walk to a team in the Wizards where he'd have to fight with five other big men for minutes? I doubt it.

DeSagana Diop

(Unrestricted, NJ Nets) 7-0, 280, 26 years

TS% - 53.6
Reb-R - 17.5
Ast-R - 13.0
PER - 12.31

He's coming off a year in which he made $2,146,000. Will he want more? Of course. Does he deserve it? Ehhh….maybe a little, he's young. Does New Jersey want him back? The Nets will worry about re-signing Nenad Krstic first, Stromile Swift is not about to turn down a $6.2 million paycheck (player option), and the Nets also have Sean Williams and Josh Boone in the fold….not much room for DeSagana (then again, the Wizards have Blatche, Songaila, Haywood, and Etan).

Diop is a great defensive player….shot blocking, timing, rebounding, smarts, strength. On the flip side, his offense is nonexistent. But would the Wizards need offense from him? I suppose not. I think Michael Ruffin would be on the team today if he was DeSagana's size (and not 6-8). But is Diop worth the full mid-level exception? That's iffy.

Joel Przybilla

(Not a Free Agent) 7-1, 255, 29 in October

TS% - 61.1
Reb-R - 21.0
Ast-R - 6.3
PER - 12.44

The Pradamaster seems to think the Wiz can get Przy on the cheap. Hmm….interesting. I guess it depends on how much Portland likes Przybilla and if he fits into their future plans. Consider this: Przybilla has 3-years and $20,573,175 left on his contract. Etan Thomas has 2-years and $14,218,700 left. Would the Blazers take Etan and his one less year, along with the Wizards 18th pick, for Joel Przybilla?

Not so fast my friend....two years from now, after the 2009-2010 season, Portland will have to worry about retaining Travis Outlaw, along with Martell Webster, Jarrett Jack and Channing Frye (that's if those three don’t sign extensions after next season). That being said, could the Wiz steal Pryz for Etan and a 2nd rounder, or even that Euro Stash, Vladimir Veremeenko. Ehh…when you think about Etan's heart and that fact that Portland can wait another year before dealing Przybilla, maybe the 18th pick will suffice.

A 1-for-1 on the ESPN NBA Trade Machine worked…but I think it’s using last year's salary information. The Trade Checker on Real GM worked as well.

I won't even get into Przybilla's pluses or minuses because the Wizards undoubtedly could use someone with his height, bulk, rebounding and shot-blocking coming off the bench….even if he is a FT bricker and a clog on offense.

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Final Thoughts

In my opinion, the most reasonable option is DeSagana Diop. However, I have a feeling that he will command most of the MLE, if not all of it. That would leave the Wizards depending on the draft or the meager bi-annual exception to get someone to fill Roger Mason's role.

What do I want to happen? Joel Przybilla and the MLE for a perimeter defensive stopper doesn't sound like the worst idea in the world.

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