The Washington Wizards find themselves right where they've been for the past three seasons: at the bottom of the standings. The Wizards have been a bottom-five team since 2009 and had the league's third-worst record at the All-Star break. Unfortunately, the talent base doesn't exactly look like it's growing by leaps and bounds. Just one draft pick since the club's fall from grace looks like a sure-thing NBA starter: 2010 No. 1 pick John Wall.
The rest of the roster is full of modest hope, moderate expectations and bad dreams. Andray Blatche is the most heavily shopped player on the roster. He's the bad dream.
NEEDS & TARGETS
Blatche is just a mess of a player, a man who wants to be a leader but doesn't know where to start, a gifted athlete who neglects his strengths and can't figure out that his weaknesses are weaknesses. But he's on the market! He could be yours for the low, low price of a plate of beans, probably. Luckily, Washington is experienced in trading problems for other people's problems -- they lost Gilbert Arenas, didn't they? -- and can probably find a sucker to do a few Hail Marys on the rest of Blatche's contract.
Other names on the Wizards roster seem less likely to move unless the front office decides that it is opposed to matching offers on JaVale McGee this summer on spiritual grounds. McGee could fetch something -- of the league's all rebounding and shotblocking centers, he's one of the more productive and athletic. He just needs some shock therapy and a Popovichian coach who lacks moral aversion to using extreme behavior change techniques.
As for needs: all of them, except for point guard. Jan Vesely, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton, even Jordan Crawford (well ...) -- they are nice prospects, but not a single one is remotely close to a sure-thing solid NBA starter. Not even close.
SALARY CAP SITUATION
The Wizards have a salary figure of $56 million, according to ShamSports.com, just $3 million under the cap. The team has $46 million tied up for next season, but still has its amnesty clause in reserve and Rashard Lewis' $22 million salary isn't fully guaranteed.