After reading Mike Prada's Everything you need to know about the Wizards cap situation multiple times and having a conversation with him about certain free agency scenarios I feel like my understanding of the salary cap went from novice to intermediate and I couldn't be more thankful for the time he spent answering my questions.
In one of the many offseason scenarios the Wizards could re-sign Marcin Gortat and still have about $6 mil in cap space to either sign another team's free agent or pursue a sign and trade for a player who makes that salary.
Personally I believe retaining Gortat is priority #1 for this franchise, as you can't risk having a hole in the middle of this defense, something we've seen as instrumental to their success in having a top 10 defense in back to back seasons.
Re-signing Trevor Ariza is an option as well, however his salary and contract duration may become too much for the Wizards to agree with, especially if they want to keep their salary cap situation fluid for a chance to go after Kevin Durant in 2016....a must if you ask me.
Enter Free Agent Option: Evan Turner
When most people think of Evan Turner most immediately think of the negative. He didn't live up to his draft pick, he hurt the Pacers, needs the ball to be effective, not a great shooter, poor man defender, etc... Some of those are true and the hype around Turner has never been lower. The funny thing about all of the current negativity around him is that before he was traded to Indy, Turner was having a truly breakout season for the Sixers (17.4 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.7 apg).
I looked into Turner's shooting zones over the last two seasons to see where he's the most successful scoring from on the court. The first thing I always check with potential FA's who play the wing is how they shoot corner 3's, since that's become an obvious focal point of the league and within this team. Surprisingly Turner is a very good corner 3 pt shooter with a career 47.5% corner 3PT% and shot it at over 50% last year combined between Philly and Indy.
The Pacers are not keeping Turner. Not only will they spend their resources on retaining Lance Stephenson, but also the Turner acquisition just wasn't successful for them. So even though he's a restricted FA, the chances that Indy matches any offer for him are very slim. Perhaps they force a sign and trade to get something minimal in return, but even that could be a reach.
Turner coming to DC could be a great fit for both sides and his versatility would be a welcomed addition to this team's core. Adding a playmaking scorer/slasher alongside Wall, Beal, Nene, and Gortat would really be troublesome for most teams to defend. Sure Turner has weaknesses defensively, but that's why you have Otto Porter coming off the bench.
I can see a situation where Turner would be willing to take a $6 mil deal for one year, perhaps with a player option for the 2nd, to play on a young, exciting team, where he can slide in to a starting role, and showcase his talents on a playoff contending team.
He can play any wing position, which means finding him 30 mpg doesn't create a log jam at SF to block Porter either, as re-signing Ariza certainly would. In addition, having Turner means the Wizards could always keep two out of the three (Wall, Beal, and Turner) on the court, without having to sacrifice scoring or ball movement as we witnessed at times this past season and specifically in the playoffs.
If Turner is looking for a home to maximize his value for his next contract, DC should definitely be on the radar. The Wizards get another scoring option with 15-18 ppg potential and a player with something to prove, while Turner gets to join the league's most exciting backcourt, where he's sure to get plenty of open looks.
I may have a small allegiance to Turner, being as I'm a OSU Alum, but am I off in seeing how these pieces could mesh in DC?