Deals for both veterans and rookies are falling into place for the Washington Wizards with two months to go before training camp begins.
After just a brief taste of energy, enthusiasm and feistiness that Josh Howard brought in four games last year, the Wizards are set to bring the veteran small forward back to Washington again next season, with multiple reports of Howard agreeing to a one-year contract.
Howard, 30, will earn a reported salary of nearly $4 million plus incentives, far less than that $11.8 million team option that the Wizards declined to pick up after acquiring him last February in a trade-deadline deal with Dallas that sent Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson to the Mavericks.
Howard was lost with a season-ending knee injury after just four games in which he averaged 14.5 points. According to reports, Howard could be back at full speed by October.
Howard's agent, Derek Lafayette, could not immediately be reached for comment.
First-round pick Kevin Seraphin is also closer to becoming an official Wizard, as the 20-year-old forward recently reached a buyout agreement with his French club, Cholet, with the Wizards paying $500,000 for his release, according to multiple reports. Seraphin's agent, Bouna Ndiaye, did not immediately respond to requests to confirm the report.
Washington acquired Seraphin, the 17th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, and recently introduced Kirk Hinrich in a draft-day deal with Chicago. Seraphin missed the Las Vegas summer league with a minor knee injury.
One player the Wizards have not signed is second-round draft pick Hamady Ndiaye, who was chosen 56th overall in the draft. Washington considers the former Rutgers center and Big East defensive player of the year as a project for the future, and he is likely to spend next season overseas.
Washington also maintains the free agent rights to center Fabricio Oberto and forward James Singleton, giving the Wizards a current roster of 15 players, signed and unsigned.