Summer agenda: Washington Wizards

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·The Vertical
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The Vertical Front-Office Insider Bobby Marks, a 20-year executive with the Nets, examines the off-season plans for teams that didn’t make the postseason.

THE PLAN GOING FORWARD
Audit the Season
High expectations in October ended in disappointment.

Step one of the aftermath of missing the playoffs has already started with Scott Brooks replacing Randy Wittman as head coach.

With no draft picks this June, the Wizards would be best served to take the next month not working out prospects but breaking down the season, layer by layer. Every facet of the Wizards’ basketball operation needs to be analyzed, including players, coaching, medical staff and roster direction.

Every team does this, but Washington will need to take it to another level this offseason.

Find a wingman for John Wall

John Wall needs a consistent running mate. (AP)
John Wall needs a consistent running mate. (AP)

Bradley Beal and Otto Porter have each shown flashes of being John Wall’s top complement. However, Beal (health, minutes restrictions) and Porter (development) have not shown enough consistency.

In a perfect world, Beal can shake the injury bug, and Porter can take another big step this summer. But until Washington can solidify either spot, Wall will continue to struggle on his own.

Get creative with Beal’s contract
The Wizards’ most important decision this summer will not rest on their projected cap space, but finding a comfort level with Beal, a restricted free agent.

Beal, when healthy, is one of the top shooting guards in the East and a terrific complement to Wall. But he has missed more than 70 total games in the last four seasons, 40 because of a right-leg stress reaction.

Wizards management must find the right contract terms with Beal, who was once thought of as a max-contract player.

Similar to the contract parameters of Brook Lopez of the Nets, Washington needs to protect itself contractually in case Beal misses extensive time with the right-leg injury.

Although the ball is in the Wizards’ court now, the pressure starts once Beal entertains offers from other teams.

Expectation level with cap space
Smaller successful moves should be what Washington aims for this summer.

Once billed as the summer of Kevin Durant, Washington could have close to $28 million in cap space this July, but it needs to have realistic expectations going forward.

TEAM NEEDS
With five players under contract and no draft picks, Washington has plenty of holes to fill.

Figuring out if the starting lineup fits should be the first goal, but replenishing a bench that loses every key backup will be just as important.

SUMMER CAP BREAKDOWN

Guaranteed

2016-17

Insider info

1. John Wall

$16,957,900

None

2. Marcin Gortat

$12,000,000

None

3. Otto Porter

$5,893,981

Eligible for rookie extension

4. Kelly Oubre

$2,006,640

None

5. Markieff Morris

$7,400,000

None

Non/partial

2016-17

Guarantee date

6. Drew Gooden

$3,547,000

Full protection after July 15

7. Jarell Eddie

$980,431

Full protection after July 15

FA cap holds

2016-17

Free-agent status

8. Bradley Beal

$14,236,685

Restricted/full Bird rights

9. Jared Dudley

$8,075,000

Full Bird rights

10. Alan Anderson

$4,800,000

Non-Bird rights

11. Ramon Sessions

$2,821,605

Early Bird rights

12. Marcus Thornton

$980,431

Non-Bird rights

13. Garrett Temple

$980,431

Early Bird rights

14. Nene Hilario

$19,500,000

Full Bird rights

15. J.J. Hickson

$980,431

Non-Bird rights

16. Will Bynum

$947,276

Cap hold

17. Al Harrington

$947,276

Cap hold

Dead money
Martell Webster, $833,333 (stretch provision)

Guaranteed

$44,258,521

Non/partial

$4,527,431

FA cap holds

$54,269,135

First-round holds

$0

Minimum holds

$0

Dead money

$833,333

Total

$103,888,420

Salary cap

$92,000,000

Cap space

None ($11,888,420 over cap)

PROJECTED CAP SPACE
Washington is likely to have close to $28 million in cap space this summer once free-agent cap holds (other than Beal's) are renounced, or if their free agents sign with another team.

Until then, Washington technically is considered to be over the cap.

JUNE DRAFT PICKS
First round: To Phoenix

Second round: To Atlanta

FUTURE PICKS
First round
Own all first round picks starting in 2017.

Key rights to: Aaron White (Pick No. 49, 2015); Tomas Satoransky (Pick No. 32, 2012)

PREVIOUS SUMMER AGENDAS: Nets | Pelicans | Timberwolves | Lakers | Knicks

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