Wizards building team with solid role players
The Wizards are sticking with their vision of experience over youth as they head into summer league play in Las Vegas next week.
Their first game is July 13 vs. the Golden State Warriors, but instead of fielding a team of rookie draft picks, young players already on the roster and undrafted rookies such as Jackie Carmichael of Illinois State, they’re going to rely on experienced free agents, multiple persons with knowledge of the situation have told CSN Washington. The summer league runs through July 22 on the campus of UNLV. At least two of the Wizards' games will be televised on CSN, and possibly more if they advance in the tournament format. NBA TV will televise all games.
That means Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton, forwards coming off dreadful second seasons in the NBA, will be there along with 2013 draftees Otto Porter and Glen Rice.
Probably the best-known of the experienced free agents to join the Wizards is Sundiata Gaines, a 6-1 guard who has been in and out of the league since 2009. He last played with the Brooklyn Nets, appearing in 57 games for the 2011-12 season and averaging 5.1 points.
Gaines played two preseasons games with the Indiana Pacers last season but didn't make the regular season roster. He played in the Chinese Basketball Association instead.
Going with experienced free agents fits the Wizards’ stated gameplan going into the off-season after missing the playoffs for the fifth year in a row. They said before last month’s draft that they wouldn't use all three draft picks because they didn't want that many rookies to add to a roster that needed veterans.
They followed through, trading their two second-round picks for one quality player, Rice, who was taken earlier in the round by the Philadelphia 76ers.
The team still is undecided about the status of Bradley Beal who is coming off a solid rookie season in which he missed 26 games because of injuries and sat out the last few weeks with a stress injury to his lower right leg.
He still hasn't been cleared by the Wizards even though he has been able to resume most basketball activities.
The Wizards will have mini-camp next week at Verizon Center before summer league.