Reaching the postseason isn't out of the question for the Washington Wizards, who haven't qualified for the postseason since the 2007-08 season. The roster built continuity towards the end of last year, and Randy Wittman's team seemed to find some sense of confidence.
Like last season, the poor general health of the squad could derail any plans to make the postseason. Big man Emeka Okafor is already out for foreseeable future with a neck injury. But if the Wizards are healthy, the commitment to a core around point guard John Wall could lead to positive results.
John Wall -- After signing a max contract extension, there's not any business to distract Wall for the upcoming year. The point guard's value became clear last season as the Wizards struggled at the beginning of the season while Wall recovered from a knee injury. The 23-year-old franchise cornerstone will lead Washington with his passing and scoring abilities that are especially dangerous in transition.
Bradley Beal -- A stress injury ended Beal's rookie season and kept him off the court for a good deal of the offseason. It hasn't lowered expectations for the shooting guard who averaged 13.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 2012-13. Beal started all but 10 of the 56 games he played in last year and should be heavily relied upon as a the team's second-best scorer behind Wall.
Martell Webster -- Though he has competition for minutes at small forward, there's a good chance Webster is ahead of Trevor Ariza and rookie Otto Porter in the chase for the starting small forward spot. He's experienced and the best shooter of the three, but the addition of Porter and a push to play him could cut into Webster's and Ariza's minutes.
Emeka Okafor -- Washington pegged Okafor to start alongside Nene inside, but a herniated disc in his neck will put him on the sideline for a good amount of time. The injury hurts two-fold considering Nene has dealt with his own injury problems in the past. The loss of Okafor will open the opportunities for Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely.
Nene -- The Brazilian big man battled injuries last season but with Okafor out to start the year, his health will be even more important for a team without much low-post scoring. At 31 years old, Nene was still relatively productive last season, when he averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Even more important will be Nene's defense, where he'll be expected to help protect the rim for a team that cracked the top 10 in defensive efficiency last season.
Otto Porter -- The rookie from Georgetown will probably have to work himself into minutes from the onset of the season. Where Ariza's niche is on the defensive end and Webster's is on the offensive side of the ball, Porter projects as a two-way player. He's a versatile defender who has the offensive tools knock down open shots and potentially handle some playmaking duties. The 20-year-old averaged 16.2 points, 2.7 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game as a college sophomore in 2012-13.
Eric Maynor -- Maynor had a rough go last season. He was coming off an ACL tear and was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Portland Trail Blazers. His role with Washington seems likely to be what it was with the Thunder, when he backed up star Russell Westbrook. Maynor won't have a lot of minutes, but the ones he will have will be important.
Trevor Ariza -- Last season, Ariza split time with Webster and as always provided good rebounding and solid defense from the swingman spot. Ariza also shot 36 percent from three-point range, the best mark of his nine-year career. If he can improve upon that shooting this coming year, Ariza is likely to find himself in the rotation even with Webster and Porter eating up some of those minutes at small forward.
Kevin Seraphin -- Consistency issues plagued Seraphin last season in his first significant role with an NBA squad. He averaged 9.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game and spent this offseason working on his game rather than playing for the French national team. The opportunity to earn a bigger role is there.
Jan Vesely -- Vesely hasn't been good enough to crack the Wizards regular rotation, but the athletic forward made some headway this offseason by having a successful individual run with the Czech Republic at EuroBasket.
Al Harrington -- The rust might need to be knocked off the 33-year-old after he played sparingly last season with the Orlando Magic. But especially with Okafor injured and without much offensive diversity in the frontcourt, Harrington brings an outside shooting ability to space the floor at the power forward slot.
Deep on the bench
Trevor Booker -- The bruising power forward could push for heavier minutes with Okafor out to begin the season. He's offensively limited but can bring solid rebounding and a physical inside defensive presence. Ideally, he'll play 15-20 minutes off the bench.
Garrett Temple -- An insurance policy at shooting guard, Temple proved valuable last season when Beal went down with his leg injury.
Chris Singleton -- Singleton hasn't proven enough in two NBA seasons to warrant playing time at a small forward depth chart that is deeper this season. He'll start behind the ball and will miss the beginning of the season with a foot fracture.
Glen Rice Jr. -- The second-round draft pick who played in the D-League last year could fight Temple for occasional minutes at shooting guard.
Josh Childress -- The defensive-minded swingman will join Washington in training camp.
Pops Mensah-Bonsu -- A 30-year-old forward will give the Wizards another big body in camp.
Xavier Silas -- The scoring guard from Northern Illinois has played with the Philadelphia 76ers and in the D-League. He is joining the team or camp.
D'or Fischer -- A 6'11 center, Fischer is another of four players joining the Wizards in camp and has a good amount of experience overseas.
Randy Wittman -- For the first time in a long time, a Wizards head coach gained traction and has seemingly put together a plan of attack that has built promise in D.C. With Wall signed for the longterm, Wittman must toy with the pieces around him to find more success. The development of Wall's leadership, Beal's role and Porter's untapped talent could put the Wizards in the playoff conversation.