Roster rundown: Wizards reinforce frontcourt depth

Roster rundown: Wizards reinforce frontcourt depth
July 15, 2014, 4:30 pm
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LAS VEGAS – The wheeling and dealing Wizards had yet another busy day on the transaction front and the sun isn’t close to setting in the Nevada desert.

Reports have free agent Trevor Booker, part of the 2010 draft along with John Wall and Kevin Seraphin, heading to Utah on a two-year, $10 million deal. Minutes after that news came word that Washington came to terms with Boston Celtics’ free agent forward Kris Humphries on a multi-year contract.

The Wizards are also, as expected, bringing back Drew Gooden on a one-year deal.

This flurry of course follows the stunning small forward activity from Saturday as the Wizards agreed to terms with Paul Pierce after Trevor Ariza picked Houston’s four-year, $32 million contract.

Clearly this is what we call a fluid situation, but here’s a look at the roster as of Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. ET:

Starters

Power forward: Nene

Small forward: Paul Pierce

Center: Marcin Gortat

Wing guard: Bradley Beal

Point guard: John Wall

[RELATED: Is Kevin Durant to D.C. train gaining more steam?]

Reserves

Bigs: Drew Gooden (pending), Kris Humphries (pending finalized trade), Kevin Seraphin (qualifying offer)

Wings: Paul Pierce (pending), Otto Porter, Glen Rice Jr., Martell Webster

Guards: Andre Miller

An examination of the Wizards roster entering Tuesday showed a team thick on the wings, set with two point guards, but just two interior options. That changes with Humphries, a per-minute rebounding force with a quality mid-range game, and Gooden, who played a key role in Washington’s late push last season.

At 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, Humphries has enough game and experience to step in when Nene inevitably misses 15-25 games due to injuries. The 29-year-old shot 42.6 percent on shots in 10-15 foot range. That’s below Booker’s team-leading 46 percent, but better than all others from last season’s roster.

Gooden is the closest thing to a stretch-4 among the known frontcourt options. Like Gooden, Garrett Temple is also expected back on a veteran minimum contract. That brings the roster total to 13, assuming Seraphin signs his qualifying offer and once the deals for Pierce, Humphries and Gooden become official.

The team may lean toward opening the regular season with 14 players, keeping the 15th spot open for future flexibility.

Seraphin’s contract situation needs a final resolution. There are arguments for keeping or rescinding the $3.9 million qualifying offer. Washington has until July 23 to do the latter.

Seraphin provides size and occasional offense, but hasn’t shown he can step in as a starter if needed. He’s also not a rim protector and neither is anyone else on the roster besides Gortat.

Undrafted rookie Khem Birch, a member of the Wizards’ summer league team, could contribute in this area. He, along with Humphries, can help fill the energy-big man void left by Booker’s departure. The 6-foot-9 200-pound UNLV product lacks experience and an offensive game outside of putbacks and dunks.

Considering the primary frontcourt options (Gortat, Nene, Humphries and likely Gooden) will be 30 or older by February, Washington might want to keep a young set of legs around. By the way, Birch is not the only springy kid or shot blocker the Wizards could target. He is one they pursued after he went undrafted.

The odds are steeper regarding returns for forwards Chris Singleton and Al Harrington, though not inconceivable. With Webster sidelined or even if when’s back, the roster could stand another perimeter shooter. Perhaps that’s an option if the Wizards use their 15th roster slot from the start.