The Washington Wizards are in great shape now and in the future. We all know about the franchise’s cornerstones in John Wall and Bradley Beal, but the Wizards keeping head coach Randy Wittman is huge going forward. Most teams that have had sustained success in NBA history, kept their teams together, which strengthens the continuity that’s needed to be successful.
The continuity for the Wizards at this point is key. Obviously, we would all love for Kevin Love to be in a Wizards’ uniform, but for that to happen, the Wizards would have to tear down what was built this season, which is a very good and stable foundation. To acquire an All-Star talent in Love, the Wizards would definitely have to give up Beal and other pieces to make it happen. For right now however, the Wizards need to focus on upgrading the talent level that’s sorely needed for another deep playoff run next season.
The Wizards will have around $15 million of cap space to work with this summer, but that number will obviously shrink if Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza are re-signed. At this point, re-signing Gortat seems to be the priority this offseason, especially since he’s coming off a very solid run in the NBA Playoffs.
Ariza’s impact in Washington has been well documented, but the Wizards didn’t draft Otto Porter Jr. with the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft for him to ride the pine. Porter has to be on the court to develop, which possibly can be the end for Ariza in D.C. With that said, continuity is key and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if Ariza is back in the nation’s capital next season.
A potential Wall/Beal/Ariza/Nene/Gortat starting five has proven to be effective, but bench help is sorely needed. Martell Webster struggled mightily in the playoffs, and while Andre Miller is a good veteran presence, they don’t have much “talent” coming off the bench.
The only bench player right now that can be counted on is Drew Gooden, who’s versatility allows the Wizards to mix up their rotations a bit. Gooden is also an unrestricted free agent, but he’s already expressed interest in returning to Washington. Again, contunity is key, and though Gooden is getting up there in age, he’s still capable of playing at a pretty high level. Well, he’s still Drew Gooden.
The Wizards need a guy off the bench that can give them instant offense. Players like Patrick Mills, who’s currently getting ready to play in the NBA Finals with the San Antonio Spurs, can help in that department. Mills is a very good 3-point shooter, can handle the basketball and can create his own shot. In a similar sense, Mo Williams, who literally carried the Trail-Blazers bench unit this season, will be an unrestricted free agent as well.
Of course, Washington used their bi-annual exception on Eric Maynor last year, so acquiring players like Mills or Williams could potentially be tough, but it’s no secret that Washington could use some scoring off the bench.
Minor moves are what the Wizards need to focus on this summer. The focus should be signing players that can help improve the depth that wasn’t there in the playoffs and build on what was accomplished this past season, which is getting the franchise back to respectability once again.
The Wizards can’t afford to overpay for any player at the moment because they also need to save cap space to possibly acquire a 3rd star in free agency in the future, possibly Kevin Love in 2015 or Kevin Durant in 2016, if the Wizards play their cards right.
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