As the NBA offseason is finally coming to an end, NBA.com and their staff are starting to roll out Offseason Grades based on the additions and projections heading into this upcoming season.
So much of what they do will be predicated on Wall playing the same way all season that he did in the final 49 games last season. He was a the difference maker the Wizards thought he would be when they drafted him with the No. 1 overall pick in 2010. Wall is young, 22, for a team leader. But there is no doubt that this is his team. There is no veteran presence on the roster that trumps him. He has to assume the leadership role for this crew on and off the court. They go as he goes next season.
Overall Grade: B-
From the summary excerpt included, it’s pretty easy to determine that the Wizards are still flying under the radar. Although I recognize that John Wall is the leader of the team, I think it’s unfair to suggest that “there is no veteran presence on the roster that trumps him”, especially since Wall is just now starting to take on that new leadership role. Instead of burdening a fourth year player with that type of expectation, the Wizards are certainly looking towards their numerous veteran presences, including Emeka Okafor, Martell Webster, Nene, and newly acquired vet Al Harrington.
The offseason report card goes on to praise the Wizards’ improved elite defense, but then fail to credit Washington’s coaching staff for the improvement by giving them a letter grade: “D”. Without the team buying into Randy Wittman’s system, there is no way the Wizards would ever succeed defensively as they did last season.
Regardless, the Wizards still received a decent grade from the guys over at NBA.com. In fact, their grade is comparable to that of the Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Portland Trail Blazers; all of which had a pretty good offseason.
What grade would you give the Wizards? Let me know in the comment section.