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It's time for Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin to shine

Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin's restricted free agencies approach as the franchise gears up for the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season. The stakes are as high as they get, and what happens with the young big men is a test case for the Ten Point Plan to boot.


With Trevor Ariza's excellent contributions and the Wizards already making noise about retaining Marcin Gortat's services in the offseason, it's easy to overlook Kevin Seraphin's and Trevor Booker's impending restricted free agencies. Neither player has done enough to warrant significant interest (read: the MLE) from other teams while coming off the bench in Washington.

Seraphin's team defense still has a long way to go and while his hook shot is consistent, there's plenty of work to do recognizing and passing out of the double teams certainly coming in the playoffs. He's a load down low, but with Nene out, he'll need to shoot, too. I'm not advising he start taking 18 footers, but a few jumpshots from the elbow wouldn't go amiss.

Booker's size works against him, which is something any fan hates to hear. Everybody likes a bouncy, no-nonsense powerhouse but Booker would never have lasted until the No. 23 pick in 2010 if he had a few more inches on him. As it is, opposing players with a bit of touch can simply shoot over him without much difficulty. His own offense is glass-cleaning and cuts to the rim. A shaky jumper occasionally rattles home every so often, but Booker makes his offensive living on the glass. Still, he's a solid bench player whose injury history will likely lower what a competing team might offer and what Washington is prepared to pay.


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Both players have a chance to address concerns ranging from vision to durability, grow in an Andre Miller-stabilized second unit and earn minutes in the playoffs while Nene works his way back. No one likes to call injury 'opportunity', but that's exactly what it is for two players whose rookie deals are at an end.

Of course, their free agency functions as a test case for the Ten Point Plan as well. Who knows what that will translate into? Signing Martell Webster for the mid-level exception bowed immediately to market value, but a strong performance from either or both of Seraphin and Booker would put the Wizards in a bind as they decide what to do in the crucial 2014 free agency. Neither player has shown consistently throughout an entire season, and while the Wizards have paid top dollar for elite potential in the recent past, it's unlikely they do so for a rotation-caliber player.

Will they risk allocating resources from the franchise's books should they perform well over the next few months? Risk them signing an offer sheet elsewhere? Decline their qualifying offers and allow them to walk away entirely? Make no mistake, the Wizards are in the driver's seat in any restricted free agent scenario, though watching Ten Point policy set down in the real world should prove instructive.

In any case, the next 4-6 weeks represent their only chance to jump in the deep end of the pool, the playoffs, with their careers on the line. Even if they make it into the shortened rotations, there's no guarantor of success. But that's life when you're playing against the class of the world.