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NBA free agency 2013: The frontcourt flotsam problem

The Wizards lack frontcourt depth, and it's all thanks to the struggles of Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker.


Depth is one of my biggest concerns about the 2013-14 Wizards. We saw last year how devastating injuries were to some of the team's front-line (John Wall, Nene) and even mid-line players (Trevor Ariza, Bradley Beal and -- don't laugh -- A.J. Price), and while nobody can really replace their top two stars, other teams with more depth found ways to hang in there a little better.

Are the Wizards deeper this year? They certainly are on the wings with the addition of Otto Porter and the re-signing of Martell Webster. They think they are at point guard, too, with Eric Maynor replacing A.J. Price and Garrett Temple around as insurance for the entire season.

But up front? That's where I have some serious questions.

The Wizards have two good veteran starters in Nene and Emeka Okafor, but it's a bit of a wasteland behind him. We have high hopes for Kevin Seraphin, but he definitely took a step back last season. Beyond him ... there isn't much. The Wizards may hope that Otto Porter can swing up to the 4 in small lineups, but if Summer League is any indication, he's not ready to handle that responsibility, at least not until he puts on a few pounds.

That's why the reported DeJuan Blair interest seems genuine. The Wizards need another big man, both to relieve their two veteran bigs and to provide depth should one go down, which is a genuine possibility. I'm no huge fan of Blair's game and I think the Wizards need a big man that can shoot, but I understand the desire to pursue him. If I'm looking at that depth chart up front, I'm freaking out knowing how little the Wizards have behind their two starters.

Of course, there's a reason the Wizards have so little up front, and it has to do with three people we haven't mentioned: Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker. In a perfect world, these three players would step up and become useful reserves. In reality, they've shown so little that it's hard to depend on them, Vesely's strong Summer League notwithstanding.

There are several reasons why the struggles of the "forward flotsam" really hurts the Wizards. Most fundamentally, they aren't good, but it's more than that. Because they're not good, they take up three spots on the Wizards' roster, leaving limited flexibility to add more pieces. Also, because they're not good, they are not attractive options in any sort of sign-and-trade, which is what would be required to land Blair at above the minimum. Since the Wizards cannot sign Blair outright and have no additional exceptions left to do so due to the Webster and Maynor signings, they'd likely need to sacrifice one of the "forward flotsam" to make a move happen ... which requires someone to want to acquire one of the "forward flotsam."

So you see the dilemma here. At the end of the day, the Wizards may have no choice but to hope that one of Vesely, Singleton and Booker actually steps up. That's a bit of a scary proposition.

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