Wizards coach Randy Wittman addressed the team moving on from Paul Pierce following Thursday's practice. He also spoke about the versatility now on the roster following the acquisitions of three new veterans including forward Jared Dudley and guard Gary Neal.
"I think we can play a lot of different guys," Wittman said. "Dudley can play the 3 and the 4. You can play (guards) Bradley (Beal), John (Wall) and Gary Neal altogether. Versatility of being able to defend, but also offensively have (options). We've kept that in mind. Now we'll see in October when camp begins how it all filters out. There are a lot of things on paper that look good, that we're happy about. Now we have to put it together when we get to camp."
Washington struggled at times offensively off the bench last season. Rasual Butler shined during the first two months of the season before fading. Otto Porter's fill-in-the-gap style worked better with the starting unit. There was a mid-season change at point guard. Perimeter depth became concerning when injuries struck Beal and Martell Webster.
The addition of Dudley, swingman Alan Anderson and Neal, a career 38 percent shooter from beyond the 3-point arc, boosts that area.
"Gary is proven to be a guy who can score off the bench," Wittman said. "We talked about that at the end of the year. Trying to get stronger in the bench area with the second unit. He definitely is going to, I think, provide that for us."
The Wizards would re-sign forward Drew Gooden a few hours after Wittman spoke about whether he was comfortable going into the season with the current big men on the roster. Center Marcin Gortat plus power forwards Nene and Kris Humphries comprised the primary rotation, of which now Gooden is a part of with DeJuan Blair in deep support. Last season that core included center Kevin Seraphin, who remains a free agent - and continuously rumored to still receive interest from the Wizards despite no space available with the 15-man roster.
"A lot of different things are in play. I don't want to go in depth to exactly what that is. I think right now you have to look at what best fits what we're trying to do here, what I'm trying to do here," WIttman stated. "How our guys play, how guys are able to play with guys like John Wall, Nene. There's a lot of different factors.
"I just think we have to take our time. As the wave of free agency has gone through or will go through here in the next couple of days. Now teams will relase different guys or talk trades with different guys. You want to have the versatility to have some options there and that's kind of what we're doing right now."
Notes: Wittman said the 25-year-old Wall stopped by the team's Summer League mini-camp during the week. "The point guard's fractured wrist suffered during the playoff series against Atlanta never required surgery. "He's doing great. He was just here [Wednesday]. Came to practice, talked with our young guys here. I said, 'Now you're the old man.' He's healthy. No problems with the hand."