The return of Marcin Gortat keeps their starting interior duo intact, but at this point the Wizards have no center or power forward depth behind the "Polish Machine" and Nene, the Brazilian big man. Re-signing Trevor Ariza won't help in this area. Trevor Booker's situation grew more complicated when Washington made him an unrestricted free agent. The Wizards made Kevin Seraphin a qualifying offer, but that doesn't mean he's definitely back. Drew Gooden's return seems more likely, but in the wild world of NBA free agency, you never know until someone puts pen to paper.
Free agent: PF Kris Humphries, Boston Celtics. Unrestricted.
2013-14 salary: $12.0 million
Vitals: 6'9", 235 pounds. 29 years old.
Career averages: 6.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 47.9% FG, 68.6% FT. Last season: 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 50.1% FG, 81.3% FT.
The fit: Beyond viable bodies, the Wizards need a big man who can: 1) Score off the bench 2) Attack the glass 3) Step in without significant dropoff when Nene inevitably misses 20 games due to injury this season. Humphries fits those categories. When looking at his 2013-14 averages, note that he played 19.9 minutes per game. That's significant production despite limited playing time. Beyond numbers, Humphries provided energy and leadership for the Celtics, not to mention low post moves and a quality mid-range game. His free throw percentage increased four straight seasons, leading to a career-best last season.
Chances of becoming a Wizard: The Boston Globe reported on Monday that the Wizards and Hornets have emerged as the "leaders" in pursuit of Humphries, while the rebuilding Celtics may be backing off. He won't receive anywhere close to last season's $12 million in salary, but Washington can offer the former first-round pick a healthy amount of minutes. The biggest road block may simply be timing. Free agency remains in limbo until LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony announce their future plans. That includes the Wizards and Ariza. Even if the interest in Humphries is sincere, it would seem unlikely that the organization would go all in before knowing Ariza's status. Meanwhile, Charlotte just lost Josh McRoberts to the Heat and now have a clear opening at power forward.
NBA Free Agent profiles