The Washington Wizards couldn’t have solved all of their problems in the offseason, but they could have done more to avoid a 6-16 start.
The Washington Wizards are on pace to finish the 2020-21 season with their worst winning percentage since the turn of the millennia. Their current rate (0.273) barely beats the Wizards’ mark from the 2000-01 season (0.232).
This season has been a disaster. There’s no use in sugar-coating it. While some of the issues are self-imposed — poor lineup decisions from Scott Brooks, low effort on the defensive end — not all of the problems are things the Wizards could have prepared for.
The postponement of six consecutive games while Wizards players were in COVID-19 health and safety protocol didn’t help this team get things together. And making up those games by jam-packing the month of February probably isn’t helping much, either. It may force the Wizards to figure things out in realtime, but it’s not the ideal way to do it. The piling losses are proof of that.
However, some issues could have and should have been resolved or avoided this past offseason. It’s too early to fully regret the Davis Bertans signing. He’s been bad to start the season, but aside from hiring a small army of Latvian trainers to run 5v5 with Bertans while he was overseas, there’s nothing to regret yet. If he keeps shooting 34 percent from three for the final 50 games, though, there will be by season’s end.
Deni Avdija may not be on anyone’s shortlist for Rookie of the Year, but that’s more of a reflection of his role than his ability. Avdija shows all the poise and confidence you want to see from a lottery pick. He makes the right pass almost always and is one of the bright spots on a terrible defensive team. But his usage rate is only 12.6 percent. Of all Wizards to take the floor this season, only Cassius Winston, Anthony Gill, and Isaac Bonga have lower usage rates. Avdija is far from the team’s third-worst option on the offensive end. He deserves more opportunities.
Bertans and Avdija aside, the Wizards have some real issues that they can only blame themselves for.