The Wizards likely won't finalize their training camp roster, which can have as many as five other players above the 15 guaranteed contracts, until mid-to-late September when they open at Towson University in Baltimore County.
The 11th-hour shuffling will be a product of free agents wanting one of two things the Wizards aren't willing or able to offer at the moment: A chance to compete for a roster spot or guaranteed money to show up.
It's why Dez Wells, who really wanted to accept the Wizards' training camp invite but ultimately passed, bolted for the Oklahoma City Thunder instead. This week the Wizards added Jaleel Roberts, a center from UNC-Asheville who played on their Las Vegas summer league team, CSNmidatlantic.com confirmed, but that's non-guaranteed. A move to clear a roster spot is still a possibility, such as waiving (and paying) DeJuan Blair his $2 million, because the Wizards are over the salary cap but under the luxury tax. They could, in theory, waive someone and acquire another 15th player for the league minimum and still remain under the tax.
Barring such a move, the Wizards already really looking ahead to 2016. They're intrigued by Roberts, CSNmidatlantic.com has been told, and there'll be a lot of roster turnover next summer:
- Nene, Jared Dudley, Alan Anderson, Ramon Sessions, Garrett Temple and Gary Neal become unrestricted free agents.
- The second year of Drew Gooden's deal for 2016-17 is not guaranteed, given as a formality only because the Wizards retained him under his Early Bird rights which requires a two-year contract per CBA rules.
- The Wizards hold team options on Year 3s for Kris Humphries and Blair so both could become unrestricted, too.
That leaves John Wall, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, Kelly Oubre and Otto Porter as the only players with fully guaranteed deals going into the offseason. Martell Webster has a partially guaranteed season that's predicated on the total games played in the first three seasons of his four-year deal.
This is why it makes sense for a player such as Roberts, a center, to get an early look to see how he fits in when the roster gets remade. No big outside of Gortat is locked in to return.
Roberts recently took part in Tim Grgurich's Las Vegas skills camp, and he didn't disappoint.