NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 06: Emeka Okafor #50 of the New Orleans Hornets dunks the ball during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the New Orleans Arena on January 6, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The start of training camp is less than two weeks away and the Washington Wizards' 2012-2013 roster is almost set. Here's your guide to the newest Wizards and the moves that brought them to the District.
No, the Wizards didn't pick up Lebron, Carmelo, Kobe, or any other player universally known by their first name. They did make some fairly significant moves this summer, though, and Washington has managed, at least in theory, to solve a lot of the problems that plagued the 2011-2012 version of the team. Here's a list of the newest faces in Washington, along with grades for the deals that brought them here.
Bradley Beal (drafted 3rd overall, 2012 NBA draft) The selection of the former Florida Gator with the third pick in the draft made a lot of fans happy, and with good reason - the guy can play. A great shooter and an above-average athlete, Beal should make a good pro, although there are some doubts about his chances of ever becoming a superstar due to his lack of size and elite athleticism.
Grade: A- Beal wasn't just a safe pick, he was the only pick that made sense for the team. Tarheel Harrison Barnes and Jayhawk Thomas Robinson were also available, but Barnes' game isn't as complete as Beal's, while Robinson may struggle to score efficiently in the NBA. Beal isn't going to be a franchise player, but he'll be good and just happens to fit the team like a glove.
Emeka Okafor (acquired via trade with the New Orleans Hornets) Okafor gets a bad rap for a very expensive contract, but he can definitely play. A great rebounder and help defender, Okafor will serve as either the Wizards' starting center or their primary backup this year. No, he's not a scorer or a passer and he can be beaten up by bigger centers like Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard, but he's very good at the things he does well (defend the paint, gobble up rebounds) and doesn't try to do anything more.
Grade: B- Okafor's contract has another two years and almost $30 million left on it, but he's a solid player who could be a great asset if Washington makes a trade with a team that's in win-now mode.
Trevor Ariza (acquired via trade with the New Orleans Hornets) The surprisingly well-traveled small forward (Washington will be his sixth team in nine professional seasons) has an undeserved reputation as a spot-up shooter and defensive stopper. While he's not the player many fans like to think of him as, he is a very solid help defender who's great at disrupting plays with his length. He's not a good shooter and he's a very poor ball handler, but as long as he doesn't try to do too much, he should fit in very well with an up-tempo Wizards team that got very little production from its small forwards last year.
Grade: C Ariza is a pretty mediocre player at this point, but he's likely to be the best small forward on the team.
Tomas Satoransky (drafted 32nd overall, 2012 NBA draft) Satoransky is a huge (6'7) point guard from the Czech Republic with great athleticism and a lot of potential. However, he's still extremely unrefined and needs to work on his jump shot. He'll be playing in Europe this year, but could conceivably join the Wizards as early as next year as a backup to John Wall.
Grade: C+ There were a lot of players available at 32 that would have made more sense than Satoransky. At the same time, he has the physical tools to be a real steal if he can learn how to shoot from the outside and improve his ball handling.
Martell Webster (signed as a free agent) The former Blazer and Timberwolf can score a bit but doesn't pass the ball. He's only particularly good at two things, but they're two areas where Washington was terrible last year - three point shooting and chasing opposing scorers through screens. He came cheap and could very well play a lot of minutes as the team's backup small forward, despite the presence of Ariza in addition to sophomore Chris Singleton and shooting specialist Cartier Martin.
Grade: B- Webster's not a great player, but he fits the team very well. He's also had a little bit of success as a sixth man and bench scorer, providing the team with an insurance policy in case Jordan Crawford doesn't continue to improve.
AJ Price (signed as a free agent) A former Pacer, Price is a quick point guard who should compete with Shelvin Mack for minutes as Wall's primary backup. He's not great and he's not terrible, but there are more than a few players who might make more sense for the team.
Grade: C- Price might be better than Mack next year, but it says a lot about his talent level that the Pacers, a team that doesn't feature a single pure point guard on its roster, let him go.
Shavlik Randolph, Earl Barron, Steven Gray, and Brian Cook (invited to training camp) All three are big, all three probably shouldn't be in the league. Washington's roster currently consists of five (six if you think Chris Singleton could play as a small four) players who could see major minutes at power forward next year, so these guys are likely to practice with the team during training camp, after which they'll be released.
Grade: Incomplete It's doubtful that any of them stick, but their contracts aren't guaranteed, so the cost to invite them to camp is minimal. Of the four, Randolph and Cook have the best chances of making the team, the former due to his offensive rebounding and the latter due to the team's lack of a pick and pop big man.
Which new Wizard are you most looking forward to seeing?
Bradley "The Real Deal" Beal (41 votes)
Trevor "I Used to Be A Laker" Ariza (0 votes)
Emeka "Never Go Broke-afor" Okafor (6 votes)
Martell "The Dictionary" Webster (1 vote)
AJ "Price Is Right" Price (1 vote)
Tomas "Cashing Czechs" Satoransky (3 votes)
That smorgasboard of big men (3 votes)
55 total votes