The Wizards are set to open training camp on September 28 with the 2013-14 season tipping off a month later. Over the next few days, J. Michael and Ben Standig will examine several notable topics heading into camp, including...
J. Michael: Glen Rice Jr.
Rice wasn't chosen until the second round and the Wizards traded for him. But he shouldn't take a back seat to Otto Porter, who they selected No. 3 overall, in terms of playing time.
The Wizards need more offense to make a playoff push and they have to find room for him to balance the floor.
I don't expect either rookie to start, but when shooting guard Bradley Beal takes a breather the Wizards now don't have to sacrifice offense by playing Rice, who showed he was a decent rebounder for his position.
Plus, coach Randy Wittman already is trying to figure out how to use his small lineups, which means both could be on the floor simultaneously with John Wall.
Ben Standig: With a glut of wing options, with free agent Eric Maynor added as John Wall's primary backup, there is no obvious rotational slot for Garrett Temple. Don't bet on that lasting.
Temple is sharp, versatile and low maintenance. Give that player description to any coach and expect love at first sight.
Actually, that's pretty much exactly what happened last season. The Wizards signed the former D-Leaguer on Christmas Day. Before New Year's Day, Temple had started his first game and started receiving public praise from his head coach. Maybe it was the lengthy Temple's defensive knack or steadiness directing traffic or his apparent lack of interest in projecting "steez" but Randy Wittman ended up starting the 6-foot-6 guard in 36 of his 51 games.
The former LSU product can play point guard and guard three positions, a nice feature in the small-ball era. His offense doesn't stand out, but Temple shot 41.1 percent (21 of 51) from beyond the 3-point arc over the last two months of the season. Wittman can also sit Temple knowing the anti-prima donna will be ready when needed next, endearing him to the coach even more.
At the ripe old age of 27, Temple is the senior member of the Wizards projected backcourt. For a coach in the final year of his contract trying to get a team into the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, having veteran safety blankets is a good thing.
By the way, Washington's record before Temple arrived, 3-22. With him, 26-31.
Question 2: Will John Wall make the All Star team?