Originally written on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 11/3/14
How well (or not) does the return of Okafor and Ariza bode for the WIzards? What can prevent the Wizards from getting homesick when they play away from DC? Besides Martell, which other future free agent deserves to keep his Wizards uniform for next season? Mike, Jamal and Trevor have the answers to all these questions in this week's 3-on-3... 1. Recently, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor confirmed they will play the final year of their contracts instead of opting out. What impact does this have on the Wizards next season? Trevor: Love what Okafor has brought to this team, wish he was cheaper. Like how Ariza is playing, wish HE was cheaper. There really was no question that both players would play out the final year, as neither guy was going to give up $14.5 million (Okafor) or $7.7 million (Ariza) to test free agency. In a perfect world, we could have restructured their deals to keep them for a few more years, but pay out less money over each year, particularly helping for this next season. But to be honest, I don't even know if that is an option in the NBA like it is in the NFL. If it came down to having to pick one of these guys, I would definitely keep Okafor. However, I wouldn't say it's a lock that both will remain a Wizard past next season. I wouldn't be surprised to see one of the Okariza duo traded, if not this off-season, then before the trade deadline when both players gain some value as expiring deals who can contribute. Jamal: I think it’s good.  Admittedly, I wasn’t too fond of the trade that brought both players here because I questioned what level of value each could provide.  There was the underlying feeling, too, that playing for a basement-dweller like the Wizards would possibly retard their contributions (which is my theory for why Ariza started slow). Now, however, both have undoubtedly proven their worth.  Okafor is a good defensive player who rebounds well.  Ariza is also a good defender who can knock down threes.  While they command a lot in salary, they’ll make excellent rotation players next season while also serving as mentors to whatever lottery pick the Wizards make. Finally, they’ll both have coveted expiring contracts next season. Michael: I'm completely fine with both of them staying with this team. The Wizards have obviously built some chemistry with these guys on the squad and the last thing the Wizards need is another rebuilding year as they struggle to fit another big-man and small forward in the lineup. When it all boils down, I'm more excited about Okafor rejoining the team as he's been providing a consistent double-double for most of the second half of the season. The price tag is what it is and the Wizards aren't going to get much in return for them, so why not stay with two guys who are a good influence on and off the court? 2. For the past 5 seasons, the Wizards have struggled mightily on the road, losing 151  of their 187 contests away from the District since 2008 (!!!). What can be possibly change this? Trevor: In all honesty, I think staying healthy should do the trick for this current roster to start picking up road wins. Outside of responding with "get a better team," I think this is the best answer. But seriously, during that same time frame since 2008, Ernie's rosters have gone 117 and 272. Jamal: This is an issue I’ve thought about a lot all season. In years past, I chalked up a lot of the Wizards’ road losses to inexperience. Younger players tend to get rattled easily, make mistakes, and lose control of the game. This year’s roster, however, has the most veteran leadership it’s had in years and they’ve still posted a dismal road record. I think the solution comes from two areas: rotations and scoring.  During some road losses this season, we’ve seen a unit that was competitive during the first halves of games get mixed up during the second half.  The Wizards’ front court takes a seat for long stretches, second unit players arguably play too long, and the result is a double digit run by their opponent. I think a lack of scorers plays a role, too.  Once teams effectively clamp down on Wall, or our wing players’ shots aren’t falling, the Wizards lack the options to create a new dimension to the offense.  Here is where I think a true isolation player would be valuable.  Jordan Crawford may be the closest the Wizards had. Michael: When I spoke to Erik Spoelstra about the Wizards during All-Star Weekend, he had a key statement about our team. He mentioned that, much like the Heat, the only thing that is going to help this squad become better is "time." I think the road woes will get better as the guys come back next season with most of the core in tact. It hasn't helped anyone to be playing with six or seven ten-day contracts during the season. I feel as if next season, the Wizards are going to see consistency on the court for the first time since the playoff run in 2008. 3. Besides Martell Webster, which of the other players with expiring contracts -- Martin, Price and Temple -- would you like to see back in a Wizards uniform next season? Trevor: I don't think AJ Price should be the long-term answer at our backup point guard position. I think that should be one of the positions we look to upgrade this instead. Maybe Tomas Satoransky can be that guy? Who am I kidding, I don't even know if he is a real basketball player. I like Cartier Martin, but I think he is just too streaky with his shooting. So if I had to pick one of these guys to bring back, I would go with Garrett Temple. I think he has proven to be a capable backup, even though Randy loves him in the starting lineup. His game seems to fit the new defensive tone of this team, and I think he just brings more to the team than the other two. Jamal: Among the players on one-year deals, I wouldn’t mind seeing AJ Price back.  Price has been a solid contributor this season, working through an unexpected brief starting role, injuries, and an early season team shuffling at his position. Price is averaging his best numbers since his rookie season and appears to have an excellent relationship with John Wall.  I think continuity at this position, especially from an experienced floor leader, can go a long way next season. Michael: I'm a big Cartier Martin fan but am able to admit that he has been streaky to say the least. I love his game, but his consistency (or lack thereof) does not deserve another contract past this season. I think that both Price and Temple have proven themselves as capable backups on this squad during the injury-plagued periods of the season. I'm pretty sure the Wizards won't bring both back, but I would not be unhappy with either of them coming back for another run next season. It's honestly a toss-up for me as to which one I would like to see more. I do hope that at least one of them does return though in order to keep this team consistent (are you seeing a trend from me here?).
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

J.R. Smith promises to be better person, player after suspension

The importance of the Clippers' bench against the Spurs

Trading up for QB in first round is a risky proposition

Madison Bumgarner rips Max Scherzer over thoughts on DH

Hamilton: Angels knew what the risks were with signing me

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

MLB could move Orioles’ home games to another city

Kyle Lowry isn't exactly endorsing coach Dwayne Casey

J.R. Smith suspended two games for hitting Jae Crowder

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

Titans have reportedly been 'all over' Marcus Mariota

Tampa restaurant offers Jameis Winston free crab legs

J.J. Watt writes note for fan to get out of work for charity event

Orioles VP reacts to Baltimore protests with passionate tweets

Should the Warriors be worried about extended rest?

WATCH: Paul Pierce bangs glass at Capitals-Islanders Game 7

Jon Jones turns himself into police, facing felony charge

Report: Brady was at stadium day of White House visit

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tampa restaurant offers Jameis Winston free crab legs

Hamilton: Angels knew the risks

Jon Jones turns himself into police, facing felony charge

MLB could move Orioles’ home games

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Titans have been 'all over' Mariota?

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers after loss

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.