Wizards allow Trevor Booker to become unrestricted

Wizards allow Trevor Booker to become unrestricted
June 30, 2014, 9:00 am
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With Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin due qualifying offers by Monday's deadline, the Wizards chose just one. Booker, the more productive of the two, wasn't extended a qualifier which makes him an unrestricted free agent, CSN Washington has confirmed, while Seraphin remains restricted. 

On June 5, CSN detailed the Wizards' dilemma regarding Booker, who started 45 games which increased the offer he was due from $3.4 million to $4.6 million. Seraphin's qualifier is $3.9 million.

Making a qualifying offer doesn't mean the Wizards will be able to keep Seraphin or that he'll even sign it. It simply gives the team the right of first refusal to match any offers that the restricted free agent gets in the open market. If his value becomes too high, the Wizards could choose to not match and let Seraphin walk away after four seasons in Washington. If he accepts the qualifying offer, he'll get a raise with the one-year deal and can enter unrestricted free agency after 2014-15. With Seraphin's consent, the Wizards could withdraw the qualifying offer and work out a multi-year deal with him instead, too.

Even though Seraphin had a sub-par 2013-14, he has the size that they didn't find in the draft last week and need going into free agency that begins Tuesday. 

With Booker, just because a qualifying offer wasn't made doesn't necessarily mean the Wizards automatically will let him walk. Instead, they'll try to negotiate a multi-year deal, as CSN indicated earlier in month, at a more cap-friendly number per year than the one-year qualifying offer. 

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Booker, a first-round draft pick in 2010, has averaged 6.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and has shot 53.4% from the field for his career. He was pivotal for the Wizards being able to win 44 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nine years. When Nene was hurt Feb. 23, Booker started in his absence and the Wizards went 12-9 with him, showcasing an improved mid-range jump shot and a hustle that helps him overcome his lack of size at power forward.

Seraphin's season was less satisfying, in part because of lingering right knee issues with swelling. Also a first-round pick in 2010, he appeared in a career-low 53 games. He has averaged 6.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 48.5% shooting. When the Wizards acquired Drew Gooden on Feb. 20 as a free agent, that mostly relegated Seraphin to the bench for the rest of the season. 

Free agency opens Tuesday, with teams and players around the NBA allowed to agree to terms to new contracts.