FanPost

Possible Lineups - Who Becomes the Odd Man Out?

Editor's Note: Bumped for discussion purposes -- seems like the best way to advance this conversation. -Mike

After the recent Okafor/Ariza-for-Lewis trade, I've been thinking about what the possible lineup and rotation will be next season. The Wizards already had a frontcourt logjam on the horizon, and then increased the number of frontcourt players on the roster. Depending on who the Wizards draft, this could only be exacerbated in another week or so. As you'll see, the Wizards have at least one player, and potentially two, who could get "stuck" getting insufficient minutes needed to either develop as a player or showcase for a trade (or both).

The possible permutations are below the jump, but I wanted to first lay out some of my assumptions in gaming this out. First, I think that Grunfeld's comments at yesterday's press conference indicate that whomever the Wizards draft will come off the bench. (The specific quote: " I don't think that we're depending on a rookie to come in and play 40 minutes a night for us either. That's why you have some more veteran players that come in and the rookies can learn from.")

Second, I'm not assuming that Beal is a lock for the Wizards. I think it's highly probable and of course dependent on who gets drafted with the second pick. I guess I'm just cynical enough to recognize that Grunfeld has a "type" when it comes to drafting (at least when it's an obvious choice like Wall) - athletic forwards who can't shoot that well; Vesely, Singleton, McGee, Pecherov, Blatche, etc. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Thomas Robinson are both well within the range of possibility.

Third, I assume that whomever the Wizards draft next week fulfills their potential (or at least doesn't end up worse than a player the Wizards already employ). Finally, I assume that Andray Blatche is gone. If he sticks around even for a minimal amount of games, his presence complicates the playing time picture even more. At any rate, the possible scenarios are below the jump; and yes, there are a lot of "probably"s and "likely"s and "I think"s in this; please bear with me.

Scenario 1: Draft Bradley Beal
Rotation
PG - Wall, Mack
SG - Crawford, Beal
SF - Ariza, Singleton
PF - Nene, Booker, Vesely
C - Okafor, Seraphin, Booker

Scenario 2: Draft Thomas Robinson
Rotation
PG - Wall, Mack
SG - Ariza, Crawford, (cheap free agent)
SF - Singleton, Ariza, (cheap free agent)
PF - Nene, Booker, Robinson, Vesely
C - Okafor, Seraphin, Booker

Scenario 3: Draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Rotation
PG - Wall, Mack
SG - Ariza, Crawford, (cheap free agent)
SF - Singleton, Kidd-Gilchrist, Ariza
PF - Nene, Booker, Vesely
C - Okafor, Seraphin, Booker

These scenarios, of course, presume that Nene and Okafor both experience relatively healthy seasons. In the event one (let's assume Nene) misses a significant number of games, the rotations should look roughly like this:

Scenario 4: Draft Bradley Beal
Rotation
PG - Wall, Mack
SG - Crawford, Beal
SF - Ariza, Singleton
PF - Booker, Vesely
C - Okafor, Seraphin, Vesely

Scenario 5: Draft Thomas Robinson
Rotation
PG - Wall, Mack
SG - Ariza, Crawford, (cheap free agent)
SF - Singleton, Ariza, (cheap free agent)
PF - Booker, Robinson, Vesely
C - Okafor, Seraphin, Booker

Scenario 6: Draft Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Rotation
PG - Wall, Mack
SG - Ariza, Crawford, (cheap free agent)
SF - Singleton, Kidd-Gilchrist, Ariza
PF - Booker, Vesely
C - Okafor, Seraphin, Booker

A few things stand out to me about all of these scenarios. First, and this one's pretty obvious, but the next few years are a way for the Wizards to figure out which of their young forwards will be with the team for the future. Second (also obvious), who those forwards will be depends on who they draft. Third, no matter who the Wizards draft, there one or two forwards will get squeezed out.

Trevor Booker: Booker developed into a promising pick-and-roll partner for Wall last season, but I think he might be the player most likely to get crunched. Maybe not next year, but probably two years from now. Vesely's playing time may take a bigger, more immediate hit (see below), but a lot of folks think Vesely is in the team's long-term plans. If so, he'll eventually take minutes away from Booker, who also now finds a more limited pool of minutes at center. If the Wizards draft Thomas Robinson, Booker's future value to the Wizards drops quite a bit, perhaps even starting this season (if/when Nene is hurt) before giving way to Robinson next season.

Jan Vesely: Shifting Nene to PF makes Booker his backup, leaving Vesely...where? He still lacked polish at the end of last season, so the Wizards will likely use this season to fix that, mostly in practice. The conundrum that Wizards fans are familiar with is that, for Vesely to improve, he also needs to see some meaningful playing time in games, which may not always be available. Vesely also is most likely to see himself squeezed out in the long-term if the Wizards draft Robinson.

Chris Singleton: The main candidate to fall by the wayside if the Wizards draft Kidd-Gilchrist, since they essentially fill the same roles (at least, the Wizards envisioned a role for Singleton last year that is similar to what Kidd-Gilchrist would provide). The Wizards could mitigate this somewhat by shifting Singleton to PF (provided they haven't drafted Thomas Robinson), but doing so reduces the minutes of either Booker or Vesely or both. The good news for Singleton is that he'll no longer be tasked with defending the opposing team's best wing for long stretches, but that also could mean he's left without a clearly defined role, no matter who the Wizards draft.

This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.

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