The Washington Wizards have offered free agent Aaron Williams a two-year, $2.3 million contract and are hopeful the 6-foot-10 power forward will agree to terms as early as Monday, a team source said.
Free agent forward Dickey Simpkins also met with Wizards General Manager Wes Unseld last week. Simpkins, who is from Fort Washington, was in the area and requested the meeting. Simpkins is one of a handful of free agent forwards Washington has on its short list of potential acquisitions.
At the top of the list, according to the source, is Williams, 28, who spent last season with the Seattle SuperSonics. He likely would play a reserve role, but Coach Gar Heard said any power forward who signs with the Wizards will get the opportunity to win a starting spot.
Williams, who played college basketball at Xavier, spent three years in the Continental Basketball Association before playing for Utah, Milwaukee, Denver, Vancouver and Seattle. He is a defense-oriented player who blocks shots and runs the court well.
Washington has targeted low-post players because it lost Otis Thorpe to free agency and traded Ben Wallace and Terry Davis to Orlando along with guards Tim Legler and Jeff McInnis for center Isaac Austin. Davis, Wallace and Thorpe all played center and power forward for the Wizards last season.
Williams was offered Washington's $1.1 million exception, the smaller of two salary exceptions the NBA affords teams that are over the salary cap. Teams can offer players multiple years with the exceptions. The offer, made Friday, was first reported in the Washington Times.
The Wizards also have a $2 million salary cap exception, which they might use on Simpkins, who has spent most of his career with the Chicago Bulls. In addition to Simpkins, Washington has talked with the agents for free agent forwards Samaki Walker, Corie Blount, J.R. Reid, Chucky Brown and Charles Shackleford.
The Wizards' coaching staff, Unseld and personnel director Chuck Douglas are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss other potential free agent signings. It is believed the team wants to move quickly because several league sources said there could be a number of teams competing for the same group of players.