Invites for training camp will be tricky issue

Invites for training camp will be tricky issue
July 29, 2013, 8:30 am
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John Wall, Wizards closing in on new contract

As the Wizards’ roster is currently constructed, a free agent making the cut through a training camp invite is even more unlikely than usual.

That makes it more difficult to figure out a list of invitees for training camp that begins in late September. The Wizards already have 14 players under contract and can carry as many as 20 players during the off-season, per collective bargaining agreement rules.

While teams can extend invites now, the Wizards aren't expecting any of the better players to accept with just one roster spot available. Last year, they had 14 players under contact too, but injuries to John Wall and Nene kept them out of training camp which created more of a window of opportunity. Brian Cook, Steven Gray, Shavlik Randolph, Earl Barron and Jannero Pargo accepted invites. 

This summer, the Wizards signed one new free agent (Eric Maynor) and re-signed two others (Martell Webster and Garrett Temple) in the first three days of free agency in July.

Keep in mind, the Wizards aren't required to sign anyone and they can't offer more than a minimum salary because they're against the salary cap. League rules require teams to carry at least 13 players and have an active roster of 12 during the regular season games.

So while they could call in some of the better performers from their summer league team such as Marquez Haynes, Devin Booker, Frank Hassell and Dennis Horner, or those who may have shined with other squads, those players are more likely to go where they have a better shot of making a roster or sign with teams abroad before those roster spots dry up.

Haynes, a combo guard who has played in several different countries but never the NBA, told CSN Washington during summer league that he was going to wait until late in the process to make a decision. In his three seasons since leaving college, Haynes has made his decision much sooner. 

None of the Wizards' key summer league free agents is a true center, which is probably the area of greatest need. Of course, if Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely prove to be more dependable options there, regardless of Nene's questionable health, that could be a non-issue and the Wizards can simply look for the best available player.

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