The Wizards are behind schedule. Not far, but enough to have their front office mulling possibilities heading into the Feb. 20 trade deadline. If they're going to make a move, and that's a big if because they don't have much room before exceeding the luxury tax threshold, it'll be a minor one.
The needs are apparent: A ball-handler, preferably a combo guard, for a team that is intent on keeping its core in tact but doesn't have the draft picks to sweeten the pot for most teams.
The Wizards (25-27) only have a second-round pick for the 2014 draft. Of course, they could bottom out the rest of the season and keep the top-12 protected pick they shipped to the Phoenix Suns to acquire center Marcin Gortat.
So let's start in the middle, critiquing the play of the Wizards just past the midway point of the season and will follow up each day with a position discussion until the season restarts after the All-Star break:
- Gortat: 11.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 52.8% field-goal shooting. He's not the first, second, third or fourth option among the starters and Gortat has had difficulty acclimating to that reality in his seventh NBA season and with PG John Wall. He can hit the mid-range shot but tends to fade rather than attack which has led to him missing chip shots at key moments. His stats should be better, about 15 and 10, but he doesn't get the shot attempts. Often when Gortat gets going it'll be to start a game to establish him in the post but that's only temporary. The Wizards want a rim protector, screen setter and occasional scorer. He could be better. Should be better. Grade: B-
- Kevin Seraphin: 5.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 51.9% field-goal shooting. Until recently, his fourth season appeared to be a wash. Seraphin wasn't getting on the court after he had spots of bad play. He started out as the first option off the bench but quickly fell out of favor because of a Nov. 12 disaster at the Dallas Mavericks. Seraphin is more decisive with the ball and realizes his role -- he's there for offense and to rebound. Defense still isn't his strong suit but because the Wizards have so little scoring from their reserves, Seraphin's value heightens. And given the unpredictability of Nene's health, even more so. Seraphin's impact has been bothered by the herky-jerky way he's used, or not used, in the rotation and it can impact his confidence. Grade: C+.
- Jan Vesely: 3.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 52.2% field-goal shooting. He'd displaced Seraphin early in the season and appeared on the path to proving that maybe the Wizards should've picked up the fourth-year option on his rookie contract to start the season. Has rebounded well at times and been energy player to run the court that the Wizards can use when they go with smaller, more athletic lineups. He even put the ball on the floor, backed his man down and buried a fallaway jumper from the baseline. But those good times didn't last. Vesely has slid back again and he's now relegated to playing spot minutes where he's rarely effective. Grade: D