Even though we’re still over a month away from the start of the regular season, the Washington Wizards have already begun preparing themselves for training camp. Washington has filled their roster to capacity with 15 players, and with both Nene and Bradley Beal fully healed, they seem ready to head into camp.
Prior to the start of last season, the Wizards’ coaching staff was forced to work with what seemed like a shell of their roster. With John Wall out due to the stress injury which kept him out nearly half the season, Washington had to improvise with players they weren’t necessarily expecting to take on a bigger role. A few nagging injuries, including plantar faciitis, also kept Nene out for a large chunk of the season. Luckily for the Wizards, they seem healthy and ready to go for the start of this years camp in September.
Like many other NBA teams around the league, the Wizards have organized a “mini-camp” where players participate to get familiar with each other before the actual season begins. John Wall, who signed an $80 million dollar extension with the team this summer, set up the camp in preparation for the regular season. Bradley Beal and most recently Nene joined John Wall in the nation’s capital, along side new rookie teammates Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. to help get acclimated. Despite the losing record, the Wizards have built a reputation of being a hardworking team, so I’m glad they’ve went out of the way to get ready for the start of the season. Playoffs have been a common phrase tossed around the Wizards locker room, and if they truly want to meet those aspirations, getting familiar with one another certainly couldn’t hurt.
Unlike last season, we’re actually getting a before hand look at the team we’ll likely see in October. With that said, the Wizards have already filled their roster and I expect them to solidify everyone’s roles this month, if not early next month. John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene and Emeka Okafor will all presumably start next season, but after that, there isn’t much certainty for the rest of the players. Will Martell Webster remain the starting small forward, even after the Wizards drafted Porter with the third overall selection in this years draft? How will the Wizards be able to carve out enough playing time for Trevor Ariza? There are plenty of story lines heading into the season, including the battle between Washington’s young forwards, and we’ll definitely keep you updated. As head coach Randy Wittman would tell you, the players determine their own roles in training camp-not the coaching staff.