The Wizards' regular season is over, meaning it's now all about the offseason, including free agency. Throughout the NBA playoffs, we will highlight a new 2013 free agent playing on that given day while projecting a possible fit in Washington. The Wizards currently do not have significant salary cap space for any big-ticket items, but six players on the current roster will hit the open market this summer including Martell Webster, A.J. Price, Garrett Temple and Cartier Martin. Some under contract could be traded. Obviously re-signing some or all of the aforementioned free agents is an option and the Wizards have three draft picks, including a first round selection, but those pieces won't solve all their needs. That's where other teams' free agents come in, that's why we want to know these free agents a little better...
Free agent: DeJuan Blair, PF, San Antonio Spurs
Vitals: 6-foot-7, 270 lbs. Turned 24 in April
Stats: In his fourth season, Blair averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds, both representing career-lows. Shot 52.4 percent from the field and has made at least 50 percent of his attempts during each of his NBA seasons.
Playoff Matchup: No. 2 seed in the West, San Antonio leads the Lakers 2-0. Game 3 is Friday night at Los Angeles.
The fit: It would finally heal one of those draft day wounds as fans clamored for the former Pittsburgh star during the 2009 draft after knee concerns (he has no ACLs) sent Blair skidding into the second-round. Instead, the Wizards ended up drafting and then trading the rights to guard Jermaine Taylor to Houston. For a time the decision to pass on the physical interior presence looked like an oversight as Blair provided the Spurs with toughness and energy during the various playoff runs. The former teammate of Wizards guard Garrett Temple is also adept in pick-and-roll situations while his soft hands prove invaluable inside. However, because of his limitations (he's not that tall) and some off-the-court outbursts, he's fallen out of favor in San Antonio, playing a combined 12 minutes in two double-digit playoff wins over the Lakers. He does have this pre-game dance ritual going for him.
Chances of becoming a Wizard: All it takes is one team to find Blair's combination of stocky, energy and scoring worthy of a multi-year deal for the Wizards to get priced out. Not sure that is happening so ultimately a test-run kind of one-year deal could be coming his way. We don't know if the Wizards intend on breaking up their quartet of young frontcourt reserves. If they do, then obviously replacements must be found. The reality is Trevor Booker already provides similar skills; Washington drafted Booker in the first-round the year after they passed on Blair. Whereas there was a hankering for Blair in Washington four seasons ago from the fan base, there likely isn't a huge one now - and probably still isn't one from management. That is unless there is reason to believe that at 24, Blair is still young enough for significant jumps to occur on and off the court, no ACLs and all.
NBA Free Agent profiles