/Ed. Note: Bumped to the front page because its an excellent question that we really haven't examined yet. In fact, the question is so good that I already pre-wrote tomorrow's Pollin' on the same subject. But because timing is everything, cuppettcj gets the front page honors. You can catch my planned post after the jump. -Jake]
Assuming complete health and no other off-season moves, the Wizards will go into the 2009-10 season with 14 players, all of which, except for Mike James, could contribute to the team if given the chance, in my opinion. But NBA rules only allow for 12 active players. Other than Mike James, who I assume we are all in agreement about, what other player should the Wizards deactivate?
Last week, 80% of you said that you would take Flip Saunders over the dearly departed Eddie Jordan. So its only fitting that this week we'll focus on one of the issues that Flip will have to deal with this season.
With the signing of Fabricio Oberto, the Wizards currently have 14 players on the roster for next season, one less than they had last year when every roster spot was filled. Assuming that no other moves are made, that means 2 players will have to be on the inactive list for every game this season. Last year, the decisions about who to put on the inactive list were easy because Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood were mainstays on the list because of their injuries and normally at least one other player was too injured to suit up.
With a revamped (and hopefully healthy) roster for the upcoming season, Flip Saunders will be forced to make some hard decisions on who to sit each game if everyone stays healthy. We should have a better idea of where everyone on the roster stands after training camp and preseason, but right now, there are four players who appear to have the best shot of ending up on the inactive list to start the season.
Mike James - The return of Gilbert Arenas and the addition of Randy Foye should swallow up most of Washington's point guard minutes this season. With James entering the last year of his contract, there's no pressure on Washington to give him playing time since he probably won't be back next season. He's still got enough left in the tank to be a decent reserve guard, but on a team that's so deep at the guard position, it will be hard for him to get a chance to prove it.
DeShawn Stevenson - If Stevenson plays at the level he did last season, his inclusion on the inactive list would be an easy decision. His shooting was abysmal and his injuries limited his effectiveness as a defensive stopper. Surgery and rest could help him return to the form that we saw from 2006 to 2008 but given Washington's history of dealing with injuries, that might be an unrealistic expectation.
Fabricio Oberto - The newest Wizard should be a fine addition to the roster. But we all know that his primary role is to be a steadying option when JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche struggle. But let's say JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche both have breakout years and solidify their games to the point that they can be relied on to fill the 30 minutes per game that Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood can't play. If that were to happen, Oberto might just find himself as one of the odd men out of the rotation next season.
Javaris Crittenton - Critt is still young and he's got the potential to be a solild contributor for years to come. But on a team that's committed to winning now, his dazzling, but sometimes erratic play might not be what Flip Saunders is looking for. He would be the most talented player to end up on the inactive list, but especially on contending teams, stability can be more appealing than talent.
As I said at the beginning, two players will have to end up on the inactive list every game, but for this exercise, you only have to choose the player who you think is most likely to end up on the inactive list this season. Vote away!