Reading between the lines on Wizards' roster

Reading between the lines on Wizards' roster
October 20, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Washington's Nene Hilario, left, and New Orleans' Al-Farouq Aminu wrestle over a loose ball during the first quarter of an NBA basketball exhibition game on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Lexington, Ky.

(AP Photo/James Crisp)

The Wizards have two preseason games left, Tuesday at the Detroit Pistons and Wednesday vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cincinnati.

They only have one win in five outings, with a victory vs. the Miami Heat last week being the high point. 

As the regular season gets closer -- tip-off at Detroit on Oct. 30 -- coach Randy Wittman is settling on his rotations. 

This is where things appear to be heading:

-- Nene isn't crazy about playing center because the game can get too physical under the basket for his old bones, but that's where he'll be until Emeka Okafor (herniated disk) returns. Kevin Seraphin will back him up there. Ideally, Seraphin would start at center and allow Nene to stay at power forward, but he still lacks the experience and guile of the Brazilian. 

-- Unsigned free agents Josh Childress, Xavier Silas and Pops Mensah-Bonsu won't be kept. All accepted training camp invites, along with D'or Fischer who already has been released, for a team that had the maximum 15 players under contract. None has gotten enough playing time -- or apparently earned that through practice -- to give the front office pause that it needs to make a roster move to create space to retain them. 

-- Garrett Temple was re-signed in the offseason after jumping between both backcourt positions last season. When Wittman choses to go small he could play anywhere including at small forward, but Temple could log more time as the primary ball-handler behind John Wall and Eric Maynor. Wittman has emphasized to Temple the need to think more like a point guard now. He has to find time for rookie Glen Rice, a shooting guard who has impressed with his overall play and hustle. 

-- Though Wittman is downplaying that Trevor Booker has made the last three starts at power forward over Jan Vesely, who started the first two games, it does matter. The Wizards are better off with Booker starting because of his hustle and energy. Vesely, though bigger at 6-11, seems more comfortable coming off the bench, not having to deal with the immediate pressure of that spotlight and being a solid rebounder. Given the issues Vesely has shown with his confidence, this could be a win-win. He can still get more regular playing time, develop and stay under the radar until he's ready to play with Wall and Bradley Beal. 

-- Rookie Otto Porter has yet to practice of play. Stay tuned to CSN Washington for any updates Monday. Wittman expected him to be re-evaluated over the weekend, after the Wizards returned from Lexington, Ky., for an exhibition.