With draft pick Bradley Beal now in the Wizards fold, the rotation and expectations begin to take shape even though training camp is still more than three months away.
As the 3 overall pick, the initial thought is that Beal would be the opening night starter in the back court with point guard John Wall, but coach Randy Wittman has been quick to shoot down those notions saying that everyone will have to earn their minutes.
The 19-year old Beal will compete with third-year pro Jordan Crawford for the starting two guard spot. Crawford averaged 14 points a game last season but shot just 40 percent from the field and only 29 percent from three-point range. Crawford is an intense competitor so he will make it as hard as possible for Beal to take his job.
Newly acquired veteran forwards Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza likely will shore up the 3 and 4 spots respectively, with Nene holding down the center spot.With Okafor set to make 13 million and Ariza's price tag at 7 million, it will be hard to start the season with those players coming off the bench. They essentially have to start.
Players who had significant playing time and multiple starts for the 20-46 Wizards last season will have to compete to get those minutes back. That means forwards Kevin Seraphin, Chris Singleton, Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker have a lot to prove to the Wizards coaches this summer and in training camp.
Seraphin was a pleasant surprise in the second half of the season stepping in for the injured Nene,averaging15.5 points and 7 rebounds in the final month of the season. Seraphin would likely start the season as a backup power forward and center.
Singleton is coming off a rookie season in which he had 51 starts at small forward andaveragedonly 5 points and 4 rebounds. Known as a defender, Singleton must simply be more productive offensively going forward. He would start the year as a backup to Ariza.
Singleton was the 18th pick in the 2011 NBA draft while forward Jan Vesely was the 6th overall selection and Vesely also has to improve his game dramatically to garner more playing time next season. Vesely put up just 4 points and 4 rebounds in his first season as a pro. In 20 starts, Vesely fared better, averaging 7 points a contest.
Vesely and Singleton will both participate in the Las Vegas Summer League this month,somethingthey couldn't do last year because of the lockout.
Trevor Booker will be entering a key third season with the Wizards. Booker had some very good games before a foot injury sidelined him for the last 20 games of the season. Booker averaged nearly 10 points and 8 rebounds a game in 32 starts at power froward. Booker is an energy guy and plays hard every possession so the Wizards need to find a role for him.
So right now looking into the crystal ball, the Wizards will have a much different looking starting five to start to the season with Wall, Beal, Okafor, Ariza and Nene penciled in. We will see if the now back-up players have anything to say or do about it come training camp.