Wake-up call: Wizards carefully plot next offseason move

Wake-up call: Wizards carefully plot next offseason move
July 14, 2014, 6:00 am
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LAS VEGAS -- After a busy weekend for the Wizards, who lost Trevor Ariza and acquired Paul Pierce, they're now in wait-and-see mode when it comes to their next step.

While they're listening to offers and pitches from all over, such as a deal that could involve DeJuan Blair and the Dallas Mavericks, that's not imminent, CSNWashington.com confirmed with persons with knowledge of the situation late Sunday night.

Why all of a sudden this patience and calm? For the same reason no one in the front office panicked when Ariza revealed he was going to the Houston Rockets in what ended up being a sign-and-trade deal. They had contingency plans and just hours later when they agreed to terms with Pierce. 

As roster spots fill up around the NBA, the Wizards realize there will be more good players available than job openings. When Pierce's deal is finalized, nine spots will be taken. They're re-signing Drew Gooden and Garrett Temple, and Al Harrington's return is not being ruled out though he's serving as an unofficial summer league coach. Trevor Booker, who wasn't extended a qualifying offer which made him an unrestricted free agent, still is in the picture. That adds up to about two roster spots if Booker stays and Harrington feels healthy enough to give it another try.

This measured approach means the Wizards will have more leverage with free agents eager to secure jobs, which would allow them to cherry pick the best ones available, control cost and not tie up salary cap money long-term. 

The areas that they're still looking to address:

  • A third point guard: After John Wall and Andre Miller, they're absent of a ball-handler they're comfortable with running the offense. Plus, Miller is 38. 
  • Another shooter: Bringing in Pierce, especially with Martell Webster out with back surgery, gives them an option other than Bradley Beal. Otto Porter has a mid-range game but how far he can consistently stretch the floor has yet to be determined. Every contending team has a microwave shooter. 
  • Another big: They weren't able to get one in last month's draft, which is why they sold their pick to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Wizards are small outside of Marcin Gortat as the starting center and Nene, who has routine health issues, at power forward. Kevin Seraphin is a restricted free agent but he's still undersized and not a rim protector.  

The Wizards generally prefer to not fill up all 15 roster spots, leaving one open to give them flexibility during the season.

[RELATED: Wizards wise to get $8.5M trade exception for Trevor Ariza]