With the difficult game six loss to the Indian Pacers, the Washington Wizards must now move on from a season of what could have been to a season of what will happen. This all begins with the offseason notions of resigning a plethora of soon to be free agents. The Wizards have just 7 players guaranteed through the 2015 season and have tied up a majority of their money with John Wall, Nene, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., and Martell Webster. Despite this, Washington is an estimated 18.5 million under the salary cap, and the front office must then make the decision whether or not to resign the likes of Marcin Gortat, Trevor Ariza, Andre Miller, and among others.
Just four days before the season opener, the Wizards sacrificed the expiring contract of Emeka Okafor and a first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft in order to acquire Gortat. To many, after his 31 point outburst in game five, the logic behind resigning Gortat is rather simple; sign him at any cost. To make matters even more complicated, Ariza was a staple of consistency throughout the duration of the season, and at just 28 will be a valuable piece for the future. It appears both players hope to remain in Washington, D.C., but with big time free agents soon to hit the market, cap space may be at a premium.
Then, the Wizards must turn their attention to the role players that allowed them to win a first round series against the Chicago Bulls and to push the number one seeded Pacers to six games. This begins with Andre Miller. Miller was acquired from the Denver Nuggets around mid-season and solidified the point guard position. Although he is 38, it is expected that the Wizards will exercise the veteran player’s option. Also, Washington will have to consider the contracts of Al Harrington, Drew Gooden, Trevor Booker, and Kevin Seraphin. Harrington is possibly the least likely to re-sign and may retire due to a slew of injuries at the age of 37. Gooden, who the team signed to a 10 day contract around mid-season, was an excellent pick up and could be a nice veteran presence of the bench. Booker and Seraphin are both restricted free agents so the Wizards will have the last say whether or not they leave Washington.
All in all, the Wizards front office has many things to consider when they begin their offseason. First and foremost, the team must set priorities and establish a long term plan for the organization. This begins with potential free agents and should incorporate a plan to help bring elite players and an NBA Championship to the Nation’s Capital.