With 2 months until opening day, the Wizards are one of only two teams not to have signed any new players in the offseason (excluding draftees, of course); Toronto is the other. While a move for Colombian Ivan Trujillo has been widely reported and is allegedly pending a work visa, no official announcement has been made and he is not in preseason with the team. On the other hand, the Wizards have waived four rookies, traded away two starting defenders, and lost two more to European transfers, most notably team MVP Eddie Johnson.
This trend largely reflects last year’s offseason when the Wizards lost a marquee striker to Europe, three players to trades (coincidentally, two were often used defenders), and six others to either retirement, injury or waivers. Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was the only incoming move made, filling out the rest of the roster with 8 of the team’s 10 draft picks (Eric Frimpong and Michael Todd being the exceptions). Eventually, Argentines Carlos Marinelli and Eloy Colombano were acquired in-season, while Yura Movsisyan was traded away late in the year.
All of this is compiled more clearly in Wizards Player Movement (word .doc), but the moral of the story is: this team certainly appears to be rebuilding. Already, we have 11 players on roster from the last three drafts (2005: Lowery, Pore, and undrafted Raybould; 2006: Kronberg, McMahen, Wahl, and Watson; 2007: Harrington, Hohlbein, Kraus, and Morsink), and one has to believe we will add at least a handful more from our nine draft picks this season — though surely not the 80% we signed last year. While there will be some roster shakeup, as of today, only 7 players of our 28-player roster are older than 25 (Arnaud, Conrad, Hartman, Jewsbury, Sealy, Victorine, Zavagnin), all of whom are sure starters this season.
Time will tell what this says about our depth and competitiveness, but it is interesting to note nevertheless.
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