This is a minor detail, but Trevor Booker is a restricted free agent after this season, and if he's still with the Wizards come 2016 he'll have to agree in advance to give up No. 35. That jersey belongs to Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and at that time he'll likely be the NBA's most sought-after free agent. Like every other team in chase of a championship, the Wizards will make a run at the hometown product and point guard John Wall can't deny that he already has thought about it.
"The main thing is focusing on our team, but you look at those things and see when opportunities can come to try to make your team better," Wall said Friday after practice at Verizon Center as the Wizards prepared to play the Thunder on Saturday. "(He'd) fit in."
Wall has said he refuses to "beg" free agents to come play with him, but Durant could be the exception. Wall, a first-time All-Star, sees the bigger picture as the first year of a five-year, $80 million deal he signed last summer kicks in starting with the 2014-15 season. He'll need the help.
The only other players under contract for that Summer of Durant: Martell Webster (non-guaranteed, $5.8 million), Otto Porter ($5.9 million, assuming the final-year option on his rookie scale contract is picked up) and Bradley Beal (restricted free agent, eligible to sign an extension before then).
Wall chuckles at the thought of Durant in the red white and blue. The allure is undeniable. Durant is on a tear, scoring 30 or more points in 12 of his last 13 games after Friday's 120-95 win at the Brooklyn Nets.
He's leading the league in scoring at 31.2 points per game and shooting 51.5% from the field. The Wizards (22-23) aren't under any delusions that they'll be able to stop Durant.
"I think he's the MVP leader right now. He's definitely on a hot streak. His team has won nine in a row. With that type player, he's definitely going to get his points but you just want to make it tough, make him uncomfortable, make him take a lot of shots," Wall said. "We feel like we owe them one. We gave away the game in Oklahoma City."
He's referring to a 106-105 overtime loss on Nov. 10 in Oklahoma City. The Wizards lost a 10-point lead with 3:19 left. Wall blew a layup at the buzzer that could've pulled it out. Now the Thunder (38-10) own the league's best record, and they're doing it without All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook (knee). It's all because of the Durant, a 6-9 forward with three-point range and the ball-handling of a small guard.
"That's amazing to see. Everybody is tuning in to see what he's going to do," Wall said. "He keeps coming up bigger and better every night. It just showing how talented he is. He can score in every way. He really doesn't have any weaknesses in his game."
And if all goes according to this long-shot plan in Washington, Wall will have to face just him four more times after Saturday.