The Wizards have an open roster spot that may or may not be filled. If it is, it'll likely be with someone that earns their way onto the team during training camp with a non-guaranteed contract that can be cast aside at any time before the guarantee date in early January.
Hence, you get this kind of report from CSN Washington's J Michael on training camp signee Xavier Silas.
"This year it's different because I wasn't rehabbing. I was playing. I was working and able to get better at being a knockdown shooter from that arc and in the mid-range," Silas said of his preparation going into camp. "It's a legitimate chance (to make the roster). That's what they said. They're not pulling my leg or anything. I just have to do what I did last year."
That's not naivete disguised as optimism from Silas regarding his chances of being the 15th man. It's the truth.
Again: the Wizards have one open roster spot, a handful of candidates to fill it and a need for depth on the wings. Silas has a legitimate shot to make the roster, but so does Damion James and whoever else the Wizards bring in to camp. Silas and James are similar players -- rangy wings that have bounced around the basketball world, will likely accept non-guaranteed or partially-guaranteed deals and should be happy to fill any sort of role on an NBA team. One of the two could very well make the opening night roster.
But having staying power is another matter entirely because the value of an open roster spot manifests itself in so many ways. It allows for unbalanced trades where the Wizards take in more players than they send out. (An open roster spot would have allowed the Wizards to keep Kendall Marshall last year after making the Marcin Gortat trade, for example). It creates room to sign someone in case of a major injury to a key player. It allows a team to scan the D-League and see who is performing especially well. If any of those scenarios come up, you can bet that Silas, James or whoever else is sacrificed to make them happen.
All this is to say that I wouldn't make too much out of this 15th roster spot chase. The eventual winner could easily be none of the above.