Sheldon Mac's torn Achilles and Daniel Ochefu getting waived have left the Wizards with a clearer picture of their roster now with one week before they open the regular season against the Philadelphia 76ers. Head coach Scott Brooks even outlined the Wizards' final roster spot battle in specifics at Tuesday's practice.
"We have everything here that we need. It's going to be Carrick [Felix] or Donald [Sloan]," he said when asked if there were plans to sign a free agent.
It was not long ago that this was a more complicated decision. Mac had impressed in the preseason, but had competition with Felix and Sloan nipping at his heels. Now that Mac is likely out for the year, the Wizards are planning to keep him on the roster, knowing they wouldn't save his salary by cutting him. That makes 14 spots taken with one to go and two players fighting for it.
The Wizards, by the way, may have rookie Mike Young, who is on a two-way contract, stick around to start the regular season with power forward Markieff Morris set to miss several weeks while he rehabs from sports hernia surgery. But that wouldn't affect the Felix/Sloan decision.
Under his two-way deal that will likely keep him in the G-League for most of the year, Young is slotted 45 days at the NBA level. The Wizards have discussed starting that clock early to compensate for Morris' absence.
Regardless, the final spot on the 15-man roster will come down to Felix or Sloan. Here is a look at the pros and cons of keeping each option:
Pros: Felix is all about defense. With the scoring-minded Jodie Meeks set as the primary backup shooting guard, Felix could be a nice change of pace from what they currently have on their roster. He's an extremely hard worker both in practice and in games and his energy is contagious. After struggling last season on defense, often at the perimeter, Felix could become an asset. He would also provide an insurance policy for Meeks, who has durability questions after averaging just 33 games the past three seasons.
There are two players that come to mind in terms of the impact Felix could provide in a best-case scenario. One is former Wizards guard Garrett Temple, who was a professional in every sense of the word and highly respected in the locker room because of it. He was defense first, much like Felix. The other player comparison would be Jonathan Simmons, formerly of the Spurs and now with the Orlando Magic. Like Simmons, Felix is a high-flying dunker and a guy who can provide a spark off the bench just in how hard he plays.
Cons: Though Felix has impressed this preseason and is 27-years-old, he does not have a lot of NBA experience. He's only played in seven NBA games and not since the 2013-14 season when he was with the Cavaliers. In contrast to Sloan, he's the less-experienced guy by a longshot. Given the Wizards want to win now, they could see Sloan as more of a sure thing.
Pros: Sloan has been there before and plays point guard. He has five years of NBA experience, including four playoff games under his belt. The Wizards know what they have in Sloan: a steady veteran who can score and competently run their offense. With Tim Frazier already in house, the Wizards would have two veteran point guards behind John Wall.
Backup point guard was a problem for the Wizards last year and it has plagued them in the past. Keeping Sloan would give the Wizards a very sound depth chart at the point guard position, two veterans behind Wall plus an intriguing young prospect in Tomas Satoransky. Sloan can also play some shooting guard, giving Scott more options for his bench rotation.
Cons: How many point guards can the Wizards keep? If they hold on to Sloan, then that probably takes point guard minutes away from Satoransky, who is already no higher than third in line at the position. Satoransky would probably have to start earning minutes at shooting guard or small forward, or else he wouldn't be playing at all. Sloan may lose out in part because of a numbers game on the Wizards roster.
For more on Felix and Sloan, check out or 1-on-1 podcast interviews with each player: