The Wizards shouldn’t regard taking on a long-term salary as a deal killer if they want to make noise in the playoffs, Ben Standig of CSN Mid-Atlantic opines. While Washington has diligently cleared cap space to make a run at Kevin Durant this offseason, it is only three games out of the eighth spot in the East and can’t pin all of its hopes on free agency, Standig continues. Power forwards such as Thaddeus Young, Markieff Morris, Tobias Harris, Ryan Anderson and even Blake Griffin are the type of players the Wizards should consider if they’re serious about a playoff push, instead of staking all their hopes on landing Durant, Standig adds.
In other notes regarding the Wizards:
- Jared Dudley has exceeded all expectations as the team’s stretch four, Michael writes in his All-Star break evaluation. Dudley cost the Wizards virtually nothing in the offseason trade with the salary-dumping Bucks, Michael continues, but he’s emerged as Washington’s undersized power forward ahead of Nene and Kris Humphries. He’s also the quarterback of the defense, making the right rotations and trying to cover for other players’ mistakes while calling for adjustments when needed, Michael adds. Dudley, who is making $4.375MM, is one of many Washington players with expiring contracts.
- Shooting guard Garrett Temple also gets a high mark from Michael, who notes that Temple is the only starter with a positive net rating. Michael doesn’t believe that’s a statistical quirk but rather speaks to Temple’s ability to finish in transition, hit open jumpers and keep the ball moving while also establishing himself as the club’s top one-on-one defender. Temple is providing all this while making $1.1MM on an expiring deal.