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Pros and cons: who should Wizards pick for final roster spot between Carrick Felix and Donald Sloan?

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Pros and cons: who should Wizards pick for final roster spot between Carrick Felix and Donald Sloan?

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:

Carrick Felix

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. 


Donald Sloan

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:

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Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

Wizards to give fans Phil Chenier emoji signs and 1978 title shirts for special weekend

This weekend was already going to be special for Washington Wizards fans. Now they will get souvenirs to remember it.

As part of their celebration of Phil Chenier's legendary career and the 40th anniversary of their 1978 NBA championship, the Wizards are handing out emoji signs on Friday night and commemorative t-shirts on Sunday. All fans in attendance will receive a giveaway.


The emoji sign has Chenier's face on it and will be handed out for the March 23 game against the Nuggets. Chenier will have his jersey retired at halftime during the game. 

The emoji sign is presented by NBC Sports Washington. You're welcome, Authentic Fans.


The shirts will be given out on Sunday when the Wizards host the New York Knicks. 

Here's the front...

And the back...

Let's take a closer look at that back...

As a reporter who has received many giveaways over the years at pro sports stadiums, these are uniquely awesome. Should be a great weekend for Wizards fans. See you at the arena.


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Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

As if they needed a reminder, the Wizards saw firsthand on Wednesday night just how much can change in a short period of time in the Eastern Conference playoff race where just two games separate the No. 3 and No. 6 teams.

That No. 6 team is now your Washington Wizards, who began the day in fourth place but lost their first game in four days on the same night both the Cavs and Sixers won theirs. 

The Wizards lost to the Spurs on Wednesday and managed only 90 points, their fewest since Jan. 22. It was a lackluster performance in a game the Wizards needed to treat with urgency. 

The Spurs sure did.

"We've gotta have a better mentality coming into games," guard Bradley Beal said. "The Spurs were fighting for playoff seeding just like we were."

The Wizards have now lost six of their last 10, yet all those games have come against teams currently holding playoff spots. Considering John Wall remains out with a left knee injury, it's hard to fault them too much when they are staying afloat just fine in the big picture.


The problem is that the closer they get to the end of the season, the more these losses are magnified. They amount to missed opportunities, some bigger than others.

That was not lost on Beal, who considered the alternative. If the Wizards had beaten the Spurs, they would be sitting in fourth, two spots higher, and just a game-and-a-half out of third.

"Every time we have a chance to move up, we take two steps back," Beal lamented.

The Wizards are in a high stakes part of the standings where plenty is in the balance. They are fighting for home-court advantage, something they would get in the third or fourth spots. And who they match up with will be paramount.


By falling to sixth, the Wizards are currently in line to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though the Pacers and Sixers are also good teams, they don't have LeBron James. Avoiding him and the Cavs would be ideal for the Wizards.

Beal has even bigger worries than that. He noted after the loss in San Antonio that they could fall even further if they aren't careful. They are now just a game-and-a-half up on the seventh-place Heat. 

"We've gotta realize what's at stake, man. The way we're going, we could keep dropping and mess around and be eighth. We've gotta do whatever it takes to win," he said.

The Wizards should be fine if the previous two months are any indication. But Wednesday night was another example of how precarious things are for them this season in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference.


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