After adding Otto Porter to the roster in last week’s NBA draft, the Washington Wizards took another step back towards respectability. With a young core of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Porter Washington clearly has a solid young trio to build around.
While the team finds itself unable to make a run at any of the big free agents this summer the restricted free agent class of 2014 presents some very intriguing options.
Before we get into that let’s try to understand what kind of cap space the team may be working with next summer. The team will shed 22.2 million from the expiring contracts of Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza, and hold club options for Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker. Let’s say they drop both former first round picks for the sake of cap space and the team will have 27.3 million coming off of the books in 2014.
If you figure in John Wall’s potential max extension contract number (13.5 mil) and add in 5 million for Porter and Glen Rice, Jr. the Wizards will have roughly 42.8 million committed to their roster in 2014. While this year’s cap number hasn’t come out yet it’s expected to be around 58.5 million, the luxury tax number should be around 70 million. Let’s assume next year’s cap is 59 million and the luxury is 71 so in this loose scenario the team would have a little over 15 million in cap room to play with. If Uncle Ted decided to open his wallet and push up against the luxury tax the team would then have a little over 28 million to lure one of the following players to the team.
There are four restricted free agents that caught my eye as being the last piece of the puzzle for the Wizards.
Let’s start with every Wizards fan’s favorite head case, Mr. Cousins. Reuniting the talented yet troubled big man with his college teammate in John Wall may be just what he needs to get his career on track. At the same time will the front office want to commit a max deal to a player as unstable as Cousins? If he is focused and in shape he is a top flight player, the question is does he really want it?
How about another former Hoya coming back to DC? I can’t see Detroit letting him walk but man it would be great to see the big fella back in the district. I don’t think he has reached his potential yet and needs to show some more tenacity on defense. He’s extremely efficient and is a beast on the glass.
Favors is becoming a monster on D which fits into the persona the team is trying to build with Randy Wittman. He is as physically gifted as any big in the game. Depending on what Utah does with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap this summer will go a long way in determining Favor’s future with the Jazz.
Davis was beginning to break out in Toronto before he was dealt to Memphis in a package for Rudy Gay. His playing time was limited with the Grizzlies as he was stuck behind Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Davis should command the lowest salary out of this group and would give Washington another solid young piece to add to their young core.
So which of these 4 would you like to see holding up a Wizards jersey next summer?