Kevin Seraphin: 2013-14 Washington Wizards Player Review
TAI’s 2013-14 Washington Wizards player review…Now: Kevin Seraphin (by Kyle Weidie).
Others (so far): Andre Miller (by Rashad Mobley); Drew Gooden (by John Converse Townsend); Trevor Ariza (by Conor Dirks); Martell Webster (by Adam Rubin); Al Harrington (by Kyle Weidie); Garrett Temple (by Adam Rubin); Trevor Booker (by Adam Rubin); Glen Rice, Jr. (by John Converse Townsend); Chris Singleton (by Kyle Weidie).
6-10 : Height
278 lbs. : Weight
24 : Age
4 : Years NBA Experience
1 : NBA Team
Drafted by the Chicago Bulls 17th overall in 2010,
traded to the Wizards on 2010 draft night as part of the Kirk Hinrich trade.
Time as a Wizard in 2013-14
53 : Games
1 : Start
578 : Minutes
NBA historical PER contribution equivalent:
maybe Jake Tsakalidis for the 2003-04 Memphis Grizzlies (12.5)
maybe Alaa Abdelnaby for the 1994-95 Sacramento Kings/Philadelphia 76ers (12.6)
.066 Win Shares/48 Minutes
NBA historical WS/48 contribution equivalent:
maybe Calvin Booth for the 2002-03 Seattle Supersonics (.071)
maybe Scott Hastings for the 1985-86 Atlanta Hawks (.063)
With Seraphin ON the court vs. off
The Wizards offense scored 6.8 points less per 100 possessions (OffRtg)
The Wizards defense allowed 0.5 points less per 100 possessions (DefRtg)
Plus/Minus per 48 minutes: minus-2.8
Numbers, per 36 Minutes
15.5 : Points
8.0 : Rebounds
1.6 : Blocks
0.3 : Steals
1.5 : Assists
3.7 : Turnovers
9.2 : Fouls
Seraphin had 279 offensive possessions with the Wizards that ended with a FGA, TO or FTs, and he scored 0.89 Points Per Possession (PPP) on those, ranked 259th in the NBA (via Synergy Sports Technology). Defensively, he allowed 0.84 PPP over 129 possessions, ranked 108th in the NBA.
50.5% Field Goals (111-220)
87.1% Free Throws (27-31)
What did we expect?
In his late-October 2013 preview of Kevin Seraphin, TAI’s Sean Fagan wrote mostly under the context of Emeka Okafor’s injury before the trade for Marcin Gortat was made. The idea then was that the Wizards would have to rely on Seraphin to keep their noses above water. The reality is that everyone is glad that didn’t happen. Sean, nonetheless, touched upon the Seraphin we knew then and the Seraphin we still pretty much know today:
For all the attention that Seraphin receives for his #KevinSeraphinLife hashtag, Instagram account, and his preponderance of JaVale McGee “throwback moments” (bringing the ball down the court, ill-advised passes), Seraphin is a different breed of player than the Wizards of the past. For one, he has been in Randy Wittman’s doghouse every season and has worked steadily on a certain facet of his game to earn his way out of it. Part of that is because Wittman knows that Seraphin can handle the criticism, the other part is that Seraphin honestly appears to want to become a better basketball player despite his limited ceiling. He shows up in shape (amazing), works on what his coaches want him to works on (astounding) and doesn’t flip out when given the quick hook after a boneheaded play.
What happened is that even though Seraphin crawled forward after taking a significant step back in his third NBA season (2012-13), we are still increasingly more familiar with his affection (perhaps affliction) for social media than his game.
Or maybe the two are in lockstep. Because for every inane tidbit of social media — (You’ve seen Seraphin’s Vine of him doing squats while playing video games or riding his Segway over bubble-wrap in his apartment, right?) — there is an equal amount of befuddlement surrounding Seraphin’s inability to take a next step on the basketball court, leaving us and the Wizards to wonder: Will he ever? …Or is this it?
Seraphin is a happy-go-lucky, goofy and smiley soul. He is coachable. He has a soft touch on his jumper and right or left-handed hook shots that coaches wish they could teach. And that wishful thinking is now met at the crossroads or frustration: why hasn’t any of that coachability worked? (Or why hasn’t the mentorship of Nene showed more tangible results?)
Or perhaps we’re simply not patient enough. Seraphin has spent nearly half of his basketball playing existence in the NBA–he didn’t start playing the game until 2004. He is a very young 24. Still, you’d expect some sort of sign of progress at this point. There hasn’t been. Someone please pay to send him to Hakeem Olajuwon.*
Seraphin’s minutes in 2013-14 regressed back to his exact rookie year level: 10.9 per game. As a soph he averaged 20.9 minutes per game and in his third year 21.8. This past season also saw Seraphin appear in the least amount of games of his career, 53. Part of that was due to him missing sporadic time due to knee soreness and swelling in December, late-February, and early-March (also ruled a “bone bruise” at one point). The other part of it was Drew Gooden goodness, and the surfacing of Trevor Booker as a more reliable player–in terms of both being in the right place on defense, and not being a shot-jacking threat to turn the ball over whenever faced with a double team on offense.
Otherwise, Seraphin’s rebounding contributions remained relatively the same between 2012-13 and 2013-14 (his offensive rebounding got a little better); his turnovers per 100 possessions barely improved (3.9 yo 3.7); and his inability to get to the free throw line was maddening as ever. His field goal percentage in the restricted area improved (from 58.8% to 63.5%), but his non-RA percentage (46.8% to 47.6%) and midrange shooting percentage (38.8% to 38.7%) stayed about the same. Last season, he was #KevinSeraphinLife as ever, which won’t cut it basketball-wise.
* In a September 2012 interview with basket-infos.com, a French outlet, Seraphin called Olajuwon a role model; indicated that Sam Cassell, a former Olajuwon teammate, was teaching him some “Hakeem the Dream” moves; and expressed interest in training directly with Olajuwon in the future.
In a December 2013 interview with BasketSession.com, Seraphin had this to say about potentially training with Olajuwon (via Google translation): “I like the project to train with him. But to be honest, the problem was financial. It is super expensive! (About 250,000 dollars, Ed). There are investments that are worth it but that’s expensive.”
Can’t blame Seraphin too much. That quarter-million dollars represents almost 10 percent of his salary last season, pre-tax. Then again, such an investment could pay off in a contract, and career, worth much, much more.
The Wizards have until June 30 to extend qualifying offer (QO) of $3,898,692 to Seraphin, making him a restricted free agent. If extended, Serpahin would have until October 1 to accept, making the amount guaranteed for 2014-15 and providing Seraphin the ability to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015. If not extended, Seraphin simply becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Wizards could extend Seraphin the QO and then negotiate a new deal with him independent of the offer. Or the Wizards could extend the QO and wait to see if another team signs Seraphin to an offer sheet, and then decide if they want to match.
If extended the QO by Washington, Seraphin, meanwhile, could decide that he wants to accept it right away and become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Or Seraphin could not accept the QO at all, and if he doesn’t negotiate a new contract with Washington or receive an offer from another team, he would continue to be a restricted free agent (potentially sitting out a year), at which point the Wizards could submit a new QO to Seraphin next summer (no way this happens, by the way). If the Wizards extend the QO by this June 30 but Seraphin does not accept it, once July 23 comes around, the Wizards could withdraw the offer, making Seraphin an unrestricted FA (but still retaining his Bird Rights).
There are lots of scenarios but one very tough decision for Washington: is it worth potentially committing $3.9 million to Seraphin next season just to make him a restricted free agent this summer? If Washington does extend the QO to Seraphin, one might assume that they’d have a ‘wink, wink’ agreement with him on a new deal with friendlier terms.
Otherwise, it looks to be another summer of blood, sweat, and Instagram (even though he deleted his Instagram account), working out in D.C., and playing international ball for Team France–Les Bleus–at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. Unfortunately, the timing of FIBA won’t exactly help Washington with the QO decision, as training with France won’t start until late-July, with France set to play their opening game of group play against Brazil on August 30.
In all likelihood, the Wizards do extend the QO to Seraphin by June 30. They’ve invested four years in his development, and with former draft picks Jan Vesely, Shelvin Mack, and Chris Singleton gone (well, Singleton is all but gone), Washington is starving to prove that they’ve drafted anyone worth
the expenditure of their pick past John Wall and Bradley Beal.**
“For sure. But I want to play, too, so we’ll see,” Seraphin told the media about wanting to return to the Wizards shortly after the season. Surely another GM out there is intrigued by his potential, but there could be a canyon between that and how much they’re willing to pay.
How much should the Wizards be willing to pay? Josh McRoberts signed a two-year, $5.4 million contract with the Bobcats (now Hornets) last season with a player option for $2.8 million in 2014-15, which McRoberts has declined after having a good season for Charlotte. That seems like a decent starting point (or ceiling). ***
** Trevor Booker is likely worth it but is in a similar boat as Seraphin this summer except that Booker–meeting the starter criteria–commands a higher QO ($4,677,708). Lat year’s draft picks, Otto Porter and Glen Rice, are still in TBD mode in terms of whether they will ever be any sort of asset.
*** Note: I am unsure of the ability to include a second-year player option in this situation, as Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ states that an offer sheet to an RFA “must be for at least two seasons (not including option years).”
- On Feb. 3, 2014, when the Wizards beat Portland in D.C. to go over .500 for the first time Randy Foye, Gilbert Arenas, Mike Miller, Fabricio Oberto, and Brendan Haywood started for the Wizards, Seraphin came off the bench to score a season-high 19 points.
- On Mar. 20, 2014, Seraphin made his only start of the year against the Blazers in Portland, going 2-for-7 from the field in a loss (he started for Marcin Gortat who tweaked his back during warm-ups). Drew Gooden scored 18 off the bench and cemented himself above Seraphin in the depth chart once Gortat came back the next game. (Well, Gooden was already ahead of Seraphin via the likelihood that Randy Wittman started Seraphin that evening to keep Gooden used to coming off the bench.)
- Getting dunked on by Anthony Bennett.
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