Not to bring up a sore spot, but the Washington Wizards didn't qualify for the 2016 NBA playoffs. That doesn't mean there aren't reasons to watch the postseason with the Wizards in mind. Here's a look at upcoming free agents set to show off their wares Saturday in the opening round of the playoffs and perhaps beyond. In some cases, these aren't the top tier options, but those who can help Washington fill out its roster. Even if we count restricted free agent Bradley Beal among the returning, the Wizards will have likely nine open roster spots open. Check back Sunday for the other four series that begin then.
East: Toronto Raptors (2) vs. Indiana Pacers (7)
- Let's mention center Bismack Biyombo because his name often comes during discussions with fans about potential free agent after an impressive campaign with the Raptors. The 6-foot-9 power player is one-dimensional, but he does that option rather well. Biyombo averaged 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in only 22 minutes per game this season. That's tremendous efficiency and enough to overlook his scoring limitations or free throw shooting woes. Biyombo will have plenty of suitors assuming he opts out of a rather modest contract. Should the Wizards be among them? Perhaps, seeing as they could use a true rim protector, but only if the new coach goes back to the more ground and pound approach. Not sure how you pay Biyombo to be your third big man if he cannot play at the same time with starter Marcin Gortat.
- Toronto wing guard DeMar DeRozan will be one of the premier free agent options this summer. The only way the Wizards get involved is if they move off from Beal, which few expect. ... Indiana could lose big man depth this summer with Jordan Hill, Soloman Hill and Ian Mahinmi all entering free agency.
West: Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Houston Rockets (8)
- Harrison Barnes will get paid this summer. We'll see if the many dollars come from his current employer. It's not that the swingman and restricted free agent isn't helpful. Barnes hit 38 percent of his attempts from 3-point range this season. He'll have gone through the postseason wars and come away with at least one of not two rings. He's also inconsistent and yet to show he can be the leading man, though that's partly based on circumstance of playing with so many stars. Will the Warriors believe financially wise to make Barnes the highest paid player on the team next season is the question. If not, he could be on the move in some sort of sign-and-trade. In that scenario, best of luck to those teams ready to put Barnes front and center with their plans. By the way, look at how eerily his 2015-16 numbers compare to Otto Porter.
Amazed how similar Harrison Barnes and Otto Porter's stats are this year.. pic.twitter.com/1VCvPeImVZ
— ErnieBro (@nbilka) April 13, 2016
- The 6-foot-10, 255-pound Maurice Speights won't help much with protecting the rim, but he turned into an offensive sparkplug off the bench for Golden State. The Wizards only have Gortat and Markieff Morris returning. Pairing him and Gortat wouldn't be great in terms of mobility, but Speights can stretch the floor (38.7% on 3-pointers). ...Dwight Howard is also a free agent this summer, but you shouldn't care.
East: Atlanta Hawks (4) vs. Boston Celtics (5)
- If Kevin Durant and LeBron James stay where they are, Al Horford becomes the number one target in all of free agency. The 6-foot-10 center battles inside and now has turned into a steady threat from distance (34.4% on 3-pointers) for the Hawks. Spectacularly steady and with smarts and stamina - played all 82 games this season. However, it seems likely that the acquisition of Morris ended any real consideration for the Wizards to throw huge money Horford's way. Of course, if the native of Dominican Republic shows interest, you do the same.
- Atlanta swingman Kent Bazemore could end up becoming the poster child for the wild contracts handed out this summer. The former Old Dominion standout is uber athletic, makes shots from all angles and can lock down defensively. That doesn't mean the swingman should be one of the three highest paid players on a team. That might happen this summer. Washington's full court game would go next level with Bazemore running the wings for Wall, though the hope is Oubre takes care of that eventually.
West: Oklahoma City Thunder (3) vs. Dallas Mavericks (6)
- Pro tip - Check out No. 35 on the Thunder. He's a local kid with a future in this league. Jokes aside, what else is there to say about the idea of KD2DC? Best guess has Kevin Durant staying with the Thunder for at least one more season. Even if the Wizards want to maintain flexibility for a possible signing in 2017, they cannot go through another season with a bunch of players on one-year deals.
- Other upcoming free agents in this series include ex-Wizard and combo guard Randy Foye, point guard Raymond Felton and power forward David Lee. React accordingly.