The Wizards' chances of luring Kevin Durant are miniscule after being unable to get a meeting with the 2014 MVP. Now they're pivoting to Plan B, which includes targeting free agents Al Horford and Nicolas Batum in addition to Ryan Anderson.
From ESPN's Marc Stein:
Names that keep coming up as top targets for the Wizards in free agency, league sources say, are Al Horford, Ryan Anderson and Nicolas Batum— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 29, 2016
More Wiz news: Sources say Washington and restricted free agent guard Bradley Beal intend to "quickly" enter negotiations on a new contract.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 29, 2016
CSNmidatlantic.com has also debated the pros and cons of bringing on Batum.
The French wing player is entering the prime of his career at 27 years old. He averaged 14.9 points, 5.8 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game for the Hornets last season. The versatility to shoot, pass and defend is a coveted skillset in today's NBA and should fetch him max money.
Whether the Wizards make a play for Batum depends largely on how they view the wings they currently have, Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre.
Batum told The Charlotte Observer that he's open to returning to the Hornets, who'd love to retain him.
Hawks center Al Horford is a four-time All-Star that should also draw max offers this summer. Turning 30, he could be the kind of veteran leader the Wizards need while also maintaining a high level of play. He improved his 3-point shot significantly last season, hitting 39 percent from downtown in the playoffs.
Horford finished the regular season averaging 15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Horford's fit with the Wizards is less clear with the team's committment to Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris.
Beyond the Wizards, Rotoworld.com has linked Horford to a ton of other teams, including the Hawks, Lakers, Celtics, Rockets, Magic, Heat, Nets, Pistons and even Warriors.