5 Free Agents Washington Wizards Should Pursue This Offseason
Washington Wizards: 5 Free Agents Worth Pursuing This Offseason
This offseason's free agency is going to be a very important part in the Washington Wizards' ongoing rebuilding process. The Wizards are having a good season so far, and it is important that Washington's success carries over to next year. The team was able to meet their need for a backup point guard when the franchise traded for Andre Miller just hours before the trade deadline. This was a good pickup for Washington, but they still have other needs to be concerned with.
Washington should look to upgrade their frontcourt positions. The team has been looking for a consistent and productive small forward for some time now. Trading for Marcin Gortat before the season started was another smart move by the Wizards that strengthened them at the center position. Now that Nene is injured again, the team also has to begin to focus on the power forward position and who can be around long-term for Washington. The Wizards' backcourt stars John Wall and Bradley Beal have helped turn the franchise around. With their help, Washington is becoming an attractive place to play basketball. A couple of playoff wins would also help lure talented players. No matter who the Wizards sign, the team should look for someone who will stick around long-term.
When the Wizards traded for Gortat, they traded away Emeka Okafor and a protected 2014 first-round draft pick. Washington will not be able to rely on the draft this year, which puts an extra emphasis on free agency.
Washington, being an attractive franchise, needs to make some big moves this offseason. Here is a look at five players who are upcoming free agents and should be on Washington's radar.
5. Rudy Gay - SF
Type of Free Agent: $19.3 million player option
Rudy Gay has the choice to stay with the Sacramento Kings or become a free agent; it really all comes down to the money. In free agency, Washington might not be able to offer Gay as much. But the Wizards are looking at a better future than Sacramento, and winning always draws in talented players.
This season, he is currently averaging 20.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. If Washington can draw him away from Sacramento, Gay would strengthen the starting frontcourt immensely. He has shown consistency issues in the past, but I believe that is just due to playing with a bad franchise. Gay has a lot of potential to grow and mature in Washington alongside Beal and Wall.
4. Luol Deng - SF
Type of Free Agent: Unrestricted
This offseason, Luol Deng will be one of the most valuable frontcourt players on the market. His veteran skills and leadership would provide major contributions to the Wizards. So far this season, he is averaging 14.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Deng would provide much-needed offensive and defensive production. He is a great perimeter player on each side of the court. He is also a uniquely skilled small forward. Washington could really benefit from another All-Star on their roster. Right now, Deng looks like a great fit for the Wizards. He should be on the top of Washington's list.
3. Greg Monroe - C/PF
Type of Free Agent: Restricted
With the Detroit Pistons not getting the frontcourt answers the team hoped for, it looks like Greg Monroe will be on his way out of Motor City because the team will most likely not match any offers. Monroe was a trade target for Washington, but since no deals were made, it looks like the team will have to pursue him in free agency.
Monroe would strengthen Washington's frontcourt. He is a great low post passer and shooter. He is also an elite interior defender. Monroe will only be 24 this offseason, and with a promising future, this center will be highly sought after. He will most likely be looking for a big deal or max contract. In Washington's case, the money could be worth keeping Monroe for years to come.
2. Zach Randolph - PF/C
Type of Free Agent:$16.5 million player option
Zach Randolph will face a tough decision this offseason. He has a player option involving a lot of money but will be fielding offers from a lot of franchises. Washington needs to pursue Randolph. Nene has been injury-prone throughout his career, and Randolph is a reliable piece that Washington should try to get long-term. The Wizards need as much frontcourt help as possible, and Randolph would be able to provide offensive and defensive contributions. He is a talented veteran and All-Star the Wizards should go after this offseason. He can be provided with a starting role and be on a team with tons of playoff potential. Also, Marcin Gortat would be the perfect defender and rim protector to have next to Randolph.
1. Gordon Hayward - SF
Type of Free Agent: Restricted
Gordon Hayward would be a get addition for Washington. Since he is restricted, the Jazz can still match any offer given to Hayward. Seeing as he is such a well-rounded wing, Utah will probably have to pay a lot of money if they want to keep him. Hayward has a lot of skills, so I'm sure his market value will be high. The Wizards should still pursue him, though. He is young, talented and has tons of room to grow. He is currently averaging 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. If the Wizards ultimately decide to let Trevor Ariza go this offseason, then the team should really focus on Hayward. He would be a great fit next to Wall and Beal.