We are around five weeks away from the start of NBA training camps yet the list of available free agents is littered with interesting options and familiar names.
The Wizards still have one spot remaining on their 15-player roster. They can add a player now, during training camp, before the regular season tips or simply wait until a need or opportunity arises during the season. They will also bring in non-roster players for training camp.
Our look at the best of the rest began with the small forwards and power forwards. Now, shooting guards. There could be a legitimate need on the wing. Martell Webster, who served as Bradley Beal's primary backup last season, is expected to miss the start of the season if not several weeks while recovery from back surgery. We'll soon find out whether Glen Rice Jr. can turn Summer League success into regular season production.
Shooting guards: Ray Allen, Jordan Crawford, Jared Cunningham, Shannon Brown, Dahntay Jones, Roger Mason Jr., Othyus Jeffers, Kim English, Darius Johnson-Odom, Xavier Silas
- Allen will either retire or join Cleveland after helping new/old Cav LeBron James win a title in Miami. Those seem to be the leading options, anyway. In that "letter" about why the native Ohioan returned home, James mentioned his upcoming mentor role: "I’m going into a situation with a young team." True, the Cavs will have young players in Kyrie Irving (22), Dion Waiters (22) and Tristan Thompson (23). Should Allen sign up, they will also have six players 30 or older. The Heat also currently have six players on the roster at least 30 years of age.
- I wrote about Crawford earlier this summer in the process of looking at potential free agents for the Wizards. No, I never actually thought he would return to the team after getting run out of town. However, I imagined some team at some point would show some interest in the instant offense threat. There is still time before training camps open, but...
- The Wizards paid Shannon Brown $3.5 million this past season to not play for them. Washington made the playoffs and the 6-foot-4 guard got his money so in that sense everything worked out for both sides. Some fans weren't that happy about the decision to cut Brown. In case they didn't notice, Brown had more pink slips (3) last season than games started (1). Anyway, he's available.
- In case you forgot, English spent part of this summer with the Wizards' summer league and Silas participated in last year's training camp. So, there's that.
- Mason's biggest production of late has come as a prominent voice of the Player's Association. He played 25 games with the Heat last season. The career 38 percent 3-point shooter turns 34 next month. It's not a major leap to imagine those games with Miami as his final games in the NBA. But let's ponder Mason making a third stint with the Wizards. It's possible the Washington will need a steady option behind Beal depending on Rice's play and Webster's recovery. Also I keep going back to Al Harrington's comment to our own J. Michael about how the locker room would miss him and Trevor Ariza. Essentially, the China-bound forward is noting two leaders from last year's squad are now elsewhere. Mason served in such a role during the dreadful 2011-12 season. Anyway, just a thought.