According to NBA writer Chad Ford, the Wizards had the second best offseason in the Eastern Conference, behind the Miami Heat. The Heat received an A+ for creating their evil empire, while the Wizards grabbed an A.
I can’t post what Ford said specifically because ESPN is crazy when it comes to keeping their Insider content under wraps, but here’s a summary of his points:
- John Wall has superstar potential. Duh.
- Yi Jianlian looked impressive at the FIBA World Championships and could turn out to be a surprisingly good player this season
- Ford really likes the acquisition of Kirk Hinrich
- Kevin Seraphin is very raw, but packaged with Hinrich, he was a nice addition in the trade with Chicago
- Gilbert Arenas will be ready for a monstrous return
- The change in ownership is key to starting a new era in Wizards basketball
I agree with most of Ford’s points. John Wall is obviously the key to this franchise, and I see no reason as to why he can’t win ROY. Yi Jianlian remains a question mark, but I’m definitely more optimistic about his play after watching him lead China in the World Championships. And in terms of Arenas and the new ownership, that’s old news. Agent Zero has been quietly returning to form this summer and should surprise a lot of people. Ted Leonsis’s “build through the draft” strategy is ongoing, but he’s definitely trying to turn this team around.
If you noticed, I left out one of Ford’s points–the Kirk Hinrich trade. While Hinrich definitely provides depth and leadership, he goes against Washington’s youth movement and takes up lots of cap room for the next two seasons. On a one-year deal, he’s a steal. For two years, I’m not as excited. And Kevin Seraphin seems too raw at this point to be considered a positive addition to the Wizards. Hopefully he proves me wrong.