When the NBA’s free agency period opens Tuesday at 12:01, the Washington Wizards will be among the busiest of any NBA teams. The Wizards have nine potential free agents with many of them being key players in the team’s Eastern Conference Semifinal appearance.
From the very start, Washington prioritized Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza atop the team’s list. Signing Ariza may have become an even higher priority after backup Martell Webster underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disk on Friday. Earlier in the week, Webster, who averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, injured his back during a workout at the team’s facility and almost immediately underwent the surgery. Webster is expected to miss somewhere between three and five months while rehabilitating.
The loss of Webster increases the pressure applied on the Washington front office to get a deal done with Ariza, who underwent a career renaissance during the 2013-14 season. If the Wizards are unable to get a deal done, it will likely be sophomore Otto Porter Jr., the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, who fills the void. Porter struggled in 2013 and would be a major downgrade from Ariza. Washington will begin their busy off-season tonight and tune in tomorrow for more breaking news surrounding the Wizards.