>> We start with a big Kevin Seraphin block versus Tunisia.
>> James Singleton is moving on; Roger Mason, too.
With the Wizards reportedly unwilling to pay anything more than the veteran’s minimum, John Singleton moving on and Roger Mason signing with the New Orleans Hornets represents cost-considered moves for the Washington franchise (see cliche phrase: “It’s a business”). In a sense, this is a disservice: not finding a way to reward the efforts of Singleton and Mason while offering some constancy to a young team. Inreality, the Wizards weren’t offering much playing time. Shooting from Mason would have been nice, the same with the grit of Singleton, but with roster capacity now at 13 — and the need to see how all the new feature parts fit together first– the Wizards can afford to hold off on filling the last two available spots, per report of the Washington Post’s Michael Lee. Not retaining Mason and Singleton was not part of an ideal offseason plan for the Wiz, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t come along an inspire the team from the end of the bench just as well.
>> ESPN’s Marc Stein reports (via Twitter) that the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are interested in Andray Blatche. Both are solid organizations and could help turn Blatche into something. Each city also drastically differs in nightlight options, which understandably could have a significant influence on the overall “Party All-Dray” experience. Blatche has for the past couple of offseasons made his home in Miami. So there’s that. San Antonio has the Riverwalk. Also:
“Everyone knows San Antonio is a great city… they do have some big ol’ women down here,” famously said Charles Barkley.
ShareBullets … news, randomness and tidbits from around the web. The previous ShareBullets was about current Wizards, this one is about past Wizards/Bullets…
Cards in Meridian Hill Park, D.C. – photo: K. Weidie
> Crittenton’s Song & Bookie Ball
Remember Kendrick “Bookie Ball” Long? Of course you do. Long, a “playground pal of [Javaris] Crittenton’s from Atlanta,” was the primary source for Peter Vecsey’s initial somewhat false, somewhat true article in the New York Post about the December 2009 locker room gun incident between Crittenton and Gilbert Arenas. We later found out Arenas was playing the joker and Crittenton, despite the official court report, did, in fact, have bullets for his gun.
ShareBullets … news, randomness and tidbits from around the web. These involve current Wizards, ShareBullets on past Wizards/Bullets to come…
> John Wall’s New Reebok Zigs
So a sneak peak at Wall’s new Reeboks is out, via Sole Collector. What do you think? (Poll below.) FWIW, in the poll on Sole Collector, which has many, many options, 26-percent currently say that they are “hideous.”
Nene, the Washington Wizards forward/center and Brazilian native, received a warm welcome from the Verizon Center crowd in Washington, D.C. when he was introduced before USA’s 88-76 victory over Brazil in friendly exhibition on July 16. Due to his prominent role on the Brazilian national team, Nene has received much attention in his country’s quest to medal at the 2012 Olympics. But the other Wizard participating in the London games, Kevin Seraphin, continues to fly under the radar for Team France. His potential impact for France, especially with Joakim Noah injured and not playing, is often overlooked by the international basketball press. Washington fans and NBA fantasy players are fully aware of Seraphin’s emergence down the stretch for the Wizards. He turned into a double-double machine, averaging 14.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 53.2-percent shooting in his 21 starts.
A major critique of the Washington’s trade for Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza was that it would result in fewer minutes for younger players, since both acquired veterans could be starters on opening day. Specifically, it could mean less time for Seraphin at the center position with him possibly being demoted to the bench in favor of Okafor and his $13.5 million salary in 2012-13. But, Randy Wittman’s approach to give minutes to those playing the best might eventually make it hard to keep Seraphin on the bench. A young big man with soft hands and proven ability to score is a rare NBA commodity. Seraphin’s dedicated work ethic, intense on-the-court physical style, and beaming confidence indicates that he’s no flash-in-the plan, but that he has a chance to be really special.
Seraphin’s ascension actually began last summer when he surprised many basketball observers by making the French national team. He hardly played in France’s second-place finish at the 2011 European Championships, but in this Olympic competition, he will be the first big off the bench behind starters Ronny Turiaf and Boris Diaw. In preparation for the Olympic tournament, Seraphin trained with his teammates in France for the past six weeks. Team France just finished up their friendly exhibition schedule; here are the following results along with some of Seraphin’s numbers: Read more »
“The 5 and 4 is pretty much interchangeable in the NBA. A post player is a post player, and as far as the roles of 4 and 5, they’re becoming more hazy anyway. To me, 4 and 5 is who you guard … who’s going to guard the taller guy that game.
“Even within a game, you cross-match sometimes, so it really doesn’t matter.”
—Emeka Okafor from the summer league in Las Vegas
It’s never too early to ask the question. With the rapid development of Kevin Seraphin as a legitimate post scoring threat (defense and rebounding… working on it), and the last two primary trade acquisitions of the Washington Wizards — Nene and Emeka Okafor — which combination of big men will best setup the Wizards (and John Wall) for success?
Things I learned/witnessed at summer league in Las Vegas, in bullets:
On Day 1, Chris Webber, an analyst for the games on NBA TV, broke out his pleated cargo shorts. It was a tough day for all of us.
Bradley Beal can block shots… he averaged one per game over five contests in Las Vegas. Chris Singleton also threw his body around a bunch (“I feel like it’s going to help Chris Singleton out a lot,” said Shelvin Mack about the summer league 10-foul limit during Wizards mini-camp prior. “You know, he likes to foul, so he’s going to play a lot longer, so it’s good for us.”). This clip shows Beal blocking, or rather, thwarting a lob attempt off the backboard, and then Singleton diving over the first row of chairs for the loose ball:
“I think I’ll fit in. Looking at the roster, I can see the backup point guard position was a need,” said Price in a conference call with D.C. media on Tuesday afternoon. “I think I got the opportunity to come in and play, contribute right away. I know my role as a player in this league. I know my job. I’m more than willing to come in and do the best of my ability.”
Again, the decision to sign Price — set to turn 26-years-old in October with only three NBA seasons and 150 regular season games under his belt — is not so much an indictment of 2010 second-round pick Shelvin Mack. Although Mack didn’t impress team officials with his ability to run a team during the summer league, his experience and cool demeanor means the franchise will still invest in his development.
The signing of Price is more of an indication of reality; a reality in which the Wizards, if they want to be in playoff contention, needed one more guard with a little bit more experience to complement John Wall, Mack, Jordan Crawford, and Bradley Beal.
After seven seasons, 7-Day ‘Dray is no longer a Washington Wizard, cast away by means of the amnesty provision on July 17. Some are still celebrating, some are still contemplating… the TAI crew of Adam McGinnis, Sean Fagan, Dan Diamond, Rashad Mobley, and Kyle Weidie take you through an FAQ on the official departure of Andray Blatche.
Q: When did Blatche’s time with the Wizards go south? And Why?
LAS VEGAS — Not a secret: The Wizards are content to wait out the free agency process before they make final roster determinations. With the amnestying of Andray Blatche, the Wizards now have 12 contracted players on the roster.
The Wizards could use another another big man for depth. Nene, Emeka Okafor, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker, and Jan Vesely form a solid core, but…. For instance, I’m hearing that the Wizards would love to bring back James Singleton, but the courting process might take some time to develop, if it does at all. With the roster changes thus far, the minutes that Singleton could get have dried up a bit. Just like the Wizards, he has to let some free agency dominoes fall before being able to decide on the best option for him.
The more glaring need, however, is finding a backup point guard.
“We’re looking for somebody who can run a ball-club,” said Sam Cassell on Sunday. “We’ve got John Wall, but after John Wall, we need to figure it out. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
In their fifth and last summer league game, the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 78-75, to leave Las Vegas with a 3-2 record. TAI’s Adam McGinnis from behind the television and Kyle Weidie, courtside in Sin City, take you through The Reaction. But first: a smooth Bradley Beal drive near the end of the third quarter…
Bradley Beal might not have wowed in Vegas with high scoring outputs or super flashy highlight packages (he didn’t drop 35 like Josh Selby, but averaging 17.6 points over five games isn’t bad), but the Washington faithful can rest assured that he did not disappoint. Beal displayed the consistency on both ends that the Washington franchise has sorely lacked at the shooting guard position for years, and Beal is only a teenager. His effective style was showcased against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Wizards’ summer league finale. Beal finished with a team-high 18 points (7-for-13 field goals), six rebounds, two blocks, one assist, and one steal.