The Washington Wizards have thirteen players locked into contracts next season. They will reportedly fill one of the last two remaining roster spots with a veteran wing player. Available free agents include Lance Stephenson, Caron Butler and Dahntay Jones.
The Wizards thought they had a legitimate shot at landing Kevin Durant in free agency. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to convince the four-time NBA scoring champion to play for his hometown team.
Instead of pursuing another topnotch wingman, the Wizards elected to stack up on bigs. The team agreed to a deal with Ian Mahinmi, Jason Smith and Andrew Nicholson in the first week of free agency. As a result, Ernie Grunfeld and his crew missed out on names like Arron Afflalo, Courtney Lee and Luol Deng.
League sources told CSN Mid Atlantic that the Wizards had no regrets about their free-agency decisions. The team is happy with its thirteen-man roster and has even figured out its go-to starting lineup. Still, that doesn’t mean the team is shutting its doors for a third wing player.
Ben Mehic of Wiz Of Awes mentioned that the possible candidates have been narrowed down to three: Stephenson, Butler and Jones. The Wizards might be looking for a mature locker room guy rather than an on-court contributor.
Mehic does not believe the Wizards would compromise their team chemistry by bringing in Stephenson. No team has been brave enough to consider signing the mercurial shooting guard due to his immature antics and somewhat cantankerous style of play.
Stephenson began his slow decent into NBA irrelevancy when he joined the Hornets in 2014. He had trouble adjusting with his new team. His numbers dipped, and so did his confidence in himself. He was never the same promising player he was in Indiana.
As for Jones, the 6-foot-6 small forward is known to have a short fuse. It can be remembered that he delivered a cheap low blow to Toronto Raptors center Bismack Biyombo during a tussle for a rebound in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The league suspended him for one game without pay because of the incident.
Taking an educated guess, Mehic predicted that the Wizards would most likely pick up Butler. The fourteen-year veteran has played for nine different NBA teams. He would be the mature voice in the Wizards’ relatively young locker room.