Throughout the NBA playoffs we've been highlighting 2013 free agents playing in the postseason while projecting a possible fit with the Wizards (links to all previous profiles are below). Since we're starting to run out of options, it's time to ponder the entire class of players soon to be seeking a new contract.
Washington currently does not have significant salary cap space for any big-ticket items, but six players on the current roster will hit the open market this summer including Martell Webster, A.J. Price, Garrett Temple and Cartier Martin. Others still on the roster are potential trade candidates. Obviously re-signing some or all of the aforementioned free agents is an option, but those pieces won't solve all their needs. The Wizards have three draft picks, including a first round selection. However, whatever positives rookies might bring will not include NBA experience. That's why we want to know these free agents a little better...
Free agent: Francisco Garcia, SG, Houston Rockets
Vitals: 6-foot-7, 195 lbs. Turns 32 in December
Stats: Splitting his season between the Kings and Rockets, between wing guard and small forward, Garcia averaged 5.5 points, 1.1 assists while shooting 37.4 percent from beyond the 3-point arc this past season. Participating in the postseason for only the second time in his eight-year career, the former Louisville product nearly doubled his scoring (10.7) and sank 17 of 37 three-point attempts (45.9). In his 18 game regular season games with the free-flowing Rockets offense, Garcia posted a 57.4 effective field goal percentage, which over a full season would have been the best of his career. By comparison, Webster's 55.1 topped the Wizards. In Sacramento's last second win at Washington on January 28, Garcia went 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, finishing with 17 points and three steals. Averaged 12.7 points for the Kings during the 2008-09 season, the last time he reached double digits. That was also the last season he played at least 60 games.
The fit: Obviously teams need high-end stars for potential championship contending success, but the other roster-building component is adding players who have targeted roles, who can do specific tasks. One issue for the Wizards last season is that when their bench was called upon, too many members simply could not do targeted stuff. That's not the case with Garcia. While no longer a scoring threat, he brings length, defense, mental toughness and a 3-point touch. There would be some level of redundancy with Trevor Ariza, but the backup slot behind Bradley Beal is open. Maybe Garcia isn't instant offense, but he'll provide immediate energy when he steps on the court.
Chances of becoming a Wizard: The Rockets intend on declining Garcia's $6.4 million option for next season and no team will offer him anything in that range. If the Wizards re-sign Webster or draft Otto Porter, they may seek a true third guard rather than add another swingman. If the plan turns into Anthony Bennett and no Webster, then there is merit in adding another rangy threat who can knock down shots and help keep the team's defense in the top-10 range. Garcia won't be the centerpiece of any team's offseason plans, but as a ready-to-go veteran, he certainly makes for a solid Plan B.
NBA Free Agent profiles