Last off-season Kevin Seraphin bypassed playing with the French national team to stay stateside and work on his game with the Wizards coaching staff. Here's what followed:
- The big man's fourth NBA season ended with his first playoff appearance. Yet Seraphin received scant minutes in the postseason after playing in a career-low 53 regular season games.
- The French squad, led by NBAers Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw won the prestigious Eurobasket championship.
This summer Seraphin intends on joining the national team for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He'll do so without wondering what if.
"At the end of the day, my mindset is everything I do I try to do [without] regret because regret is one of the worst feelings," Seraphin said. "No regret. I'm happy for them what they did last summer.
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"Now it would be good if we did the same things this summer."
Seraphin said he met with French team officials two months ago. He spoke about the opportunity the day after Washington's season ended with a Game 6 loss to the Indiana Pacers. ""I'm excited...I'm going to go there...I'm supposed to be with them."
He'll report to the team on July 21. The World Cup starts August 30 in Spain.
Until then Seraphin will continue training locally. The 6-foot-10 center heads into a rather pivotal moment in his career.
Last season he averaged 10.9 minutes, 4.7 points and 2.4 rebounds. All those numbers are nearly half of his previous season's production and reminiscent of stats from his rookie campaign. The offensively potent center did shoot a career-best 87.1 percent from the free throw line while making over his attempts from the field. There just simply weren't many opportunities to do either last season.
Seraphin sat out with a knee injury in late February, missing 10 of the next 11 games. In that stretch the Wizards signed free agent Drew Gooden and Al Harrngton returned following a knee procedure. With those veterans in the mix combined with Trevor Booker, Seraphin fell out of the rotation even with Nene sidelined for 21 games down the stretch with his own knee injury.
Now and for the first time in the NBA, Seraphin enters free agency, albeit the restricted version. Assuming the Wizards maintain his rights, they can match any offers. Should he return on a qualifying offer, Seraphin would make $3.89 million next season.
Keeping starting center Marcin Gortat is arguably Washington's top free agent priority, but the roster also needs interior options behind him and Nene. That's where Seraphin could fit in.
For now all we know is that Seraphin will return to the French National team and do so without regret.