What not to do in NBA free agency
Mini-camp starts Monday at Verizon Center, and then the Wizards will head to Las Vegas for a tournament that runs July 12-22. The Wizards will play at least five games, with at least two being televised on CSN. It would be beneficial if they could get definitive answers to these questions when it's over:
Calling Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely, first-round draft picks who are entering their third year after a disastrous sophomore campaign. Neither was able to separate himself from the pack last season which resulted in sporadic minutes and shattered confidence. Vesely shot a deceptive 50 percent from the field –- almost all lobs at the rim. He's clearly uncomfortable with the ball, and A.J. Price, who wasn't brought back in free agency, revealed Vesely was afraid of shooting free throws because he was uncomfortable with the attention. Vesely shot 31 percent from the line. Singleton shot less than 40 percent from the field and less than 20 percent from three. Both fell behind Trevor Booker, who lacks any semblance of a jump shot but is an efficient rebounder, in coach Randy Wittman's rotation. Booker won’t play summer league, but it's time for Singleton and Vesely to make a move before they’re banished to the bench for good and possibly punted off the roster.
Will experience pay off?
Look at the invitees for summer league and noticeably absent are key names who went undrafted last month, such as Brandon Davies (BYU), Jackie Carmichael (Illinois State), James Southerland (Syracuse) or Vander Blue (Marquette). Instead, the Wizards are calling on players who have international or D-League experience, or have played some in the NBA but failed to stick such as Josh Boone and Sundiata Gaines. Boone, a 6-11 center, started 88 games during his four years in the league with the Brooklyn Nets but hasn't played since 2010. He was Big East defensive player of the year when he played for Connecticut. If the Wizards add to the roster, they want another veteran. They can carry as many as 20 players during the off-season. When the regular season starts, they must trim to 15. They'll have 14 under contract after signing the 2013 rookie draft picks.
How far is Rice from NBA-ready?
The Wizards traded for Glen Rice Jr. in the second round, and he comes with baggage. He was kicked out of Georgia Tech after a gun incident at an Atlanta nightclub and played what would've been his senior year in the D-League. He’s a scorer with a dependable jump shot. Will his game translate to the NBA, where the sheer size of the players will make his ability to create for himself tougher? Rice is 6-5 and could play some at small forward. His coach at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers is optimistic about Rice's chances, too.
How many positions for Otto?
The Wizards believe they can go small and play rookie Otto Porter some at power forward. He’s 6-8 and versatile, but right at 200 pounds. On paper, it’s doubtful he could bang in the low block even with a finesse player such as Heat PF Chris Bosh, who weighs 235. But summer league is a good start to find out how he’ll fare.
Can Vesely play under control?
Vesely fouled out of a summer league game last season. Yes, out of an exhibition game. Players are allotted 10 fouls each -- four more than they are in the regular season -- in what is usually a fast-paced, open floor game that's not called tight by officials. Still, Vesely pulled off the rare double-double of 11 points and 10 fouls. If he even comes close to doing this again, that might tell you all you need to know about his progress. His basketball IQ has to improve.