- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

[0] Gilbert Arenas

Position: G | Ht/Wt: 6-4/215 Experience: 6 | School: Arizona

Last season’s averages:

28.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 1.88 spg

Strengths: The most explosive offensive player to play for Washington. When Arenas is in rhythm, no defense can slow him.

Weaknesses: Despite his quickness, speed and strength, Arenas is not nearly as good as he should be defensively. The Wizards have wanted him to assume a leadership role.

Quote: “The only person who can stop Gilbert Arenas is Gilbert Arenas.”

— Magic Johnson

[32] Andray Blatche

Position: F | Ht/Wt: 6-11/248

Experience: 2 | School: South Kent Prep (Conn.)

Last season’s averages:

3.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Strengths: Talented big man is capable of things no one his size should be able to accomplish. A good weak-side shot blocker.

Weaknesses: Team has emphasized Blatche’s getting stronger. His biggest problems have been come off the court, not on it.

Quote: “I think by the end of the year he’s going to turn out to be a bargain.”

— Gilbert Arenas after the Wizards re-signed Blatche

[3] Caron Butler

Position: F | Ht/Wt: 6-7/228

Experience: 5 | School: Connecticut

Last season’s averages:

19.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.7 apg, all career highs

Strengths: Plays bigger than he is, which resulted in a career-high 21 double-doubles last season.

Weaknesses: Not a reliable shooter from long range. He shot 25 percent from the 3-point line last season.

Quote: “He was the tough guy on their team. You could tell they missed him.”

— LeBron James after his Cavaliers eliminated the Wizards in the playoffs

[6] Antonio Daniels

Position: G | Ht/Wt: 6-4/192

Experience: 10 | School: Bowling Green

Last season’s averages:

7.1 ppg, 3.6 apg, 0.88 turnovers

Strengths: Has the ability to settle the offense and run it to completion when Arenas is not on the floor. He gives Washington a completely different look than Arenas, a score-first point guard.

Weaknesses: He struggled with his consistency last season after a solid first season here.

Quote: “This is the lightest I’ve been since I first entered the league. It’s amazing what a difference 10 pounds makes.”

— Daniels on the summer-long boxing regimen that helped him shed weight

[33] Brendan Haywood

Position: C | Ht/Wt: 7-0/263

Experience: 6 | School: North Carolina

Last season’s averages:

6.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.14 bpg

Strengths: In the early part of last season when Haywood was at center, the Wizards were at their best. He is an above-average center in a center-poor league.

Weaknesses: Despite his length, he sometimes plays smaller than he is. The Wizards don’t want him changing shots as much as they want him blocking them.

Quote: “He’s our main guy at center. We need him to be successful for us to be successful.”

— Coach Eddie Jordan

[4] Antawn Jamison

Position: F | Ht/Wt: 6-9/235

Experience: 9 | School: North Carolina

Last season’s averages:

19.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg

Strengths: In nine seasons, Jamison has averaged 19.4 points and 7.6 rebounds. He is a quick study who knows how to attack his defender’s weaknesses. He put up huge numbers (32.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg) in the playoff loss to Cleveland.

Weaknesses: The biggest complaint is that he’s not Kevin Garnett. Doesn’t have good lateral movement, which hinders him as a defender. Larger forwards look to post him up.

Quote: “Antawn’s the leader of the team.”

— Gilbert Arenas

[8] Roger Mason

Position: G | Ht/Wt: 6-5/212

Experience: 3 | School: Virginia

Last season’s averages: 2.7 ppg

Strengths: Mason has a nice touch from outside. While his minutes were limited last season (7.9 a game) Mason demonstrated a good basketball IQ that has Jordan willing to use him more.

Weaknesses: Has never lived up to his 31st selection overall by Chicago in 2002. Limited experience for a player going into his fourth season.

Quote: “He wants to be here, and I’m certain he can make a contribution this season.”

— Eddie Jordan after Mason spurned San Antonio to sign with the Wizards

[5] Dominic McGuire

Position: F | Ht/Wt: 6-9/220

Experience: R | School: Fresno State

Last season’s averages: 13.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 3.56 bpg as a junior

Strengths: Doesn’t have a major strength but does everything well. McGuire loves to play defense, something that by itself should help him crack the rotation.

Weaknesses:Lacks NBA experience.

Quote: “He’s been the biggest surprise of the preseason to me.”

— Antawn Jamison

[14] Oleksiy Pecherov

Position: F/C | Ht/Wt: 7-0/234

Experience: R | Hometown: Ukraine

Last season averages: 12.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg for BC Kyiv in the 2007 Euro Games.

Strengths: The first international player Washington selected in the first round, he has nice range on his jumper. He also likes to crash the boards.

Weaknesses: He still is struggling with the speed and athleticism of the American game. Injuries late in the preseason have put him a little behind.

Quote: “He’s got an unusual combination. He likes to shoot it from outside, but he still goes after rebounds.”

— Eddie Jordan

[9] Darius Songaila

Position: F | Ht/Wt: 6-9/248

Experience: 4 | School: Wake Forest

Last season’s averages: 7.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg

Strengths: He does a good job of playing center when the Wizards go small. Songaila is well-versed in the Princeton offense Jordan likes to run.

Weaknesses: Is his back, surgically repaired last season, ready for the pounding of a full season? Lacks athleticism.

Quote: “He showed us what he could do last season when he couldn’t jump over a phone book and wasn’t in shape. It’s going to be nice to have him for a full season.”

— Eddie Jordan

[2] DeShawn Stevenson

Position: G | Ht/Wt: 6-5/218

Experience: 7 | School: Washington Union (Fresno, Calif.)

Last season’s averages:

11.2 ppg, 2.7 apg, both career highs

Strengths: Stevenson is the team’s best and most physical perimeter defender. He has the ability to play alongside Arenas with no hitches.

Weaknesses: Struggles to get his own shot. Wizards would like to see him rebound more.

Quote: “He wanted to be here from the start. You want players like that, guys who want to play for you.”

— Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld after Stevenson resigned with the team

[1] Nick Young

Position: G | Ht/Wt: 6-6/200

Experience: R | School: Southern Cal

Last season’s averages: 17.5 ppg, .525 field goal percentage as a junior

Strengths: A slasher who can create his shot. Athletic on the wing.

Weaknesses: Needs to become stronger. Will have trouble defending NBA players.

Quote: “I know that I have to get better as a defender. That’s not a secret.”

— Young on himself



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