The Washington Wizards rollercoaster 2021-22 NBA season did not go according to plan. From the organization to the fan base, no one could say with a straight face they are satisfied with how things played out.
It is for that reason that the Wizards are going to look different next season. Not just in terms of (hopefully) being healthy, but in terms of roster construction. Although some may be hoping the team and Bradley Beal part ways in the offseason, that’s a long shot, to say the least.
Spoiler Alert: Bradley Beal is not among the most likely players to leave the Wizards this offseason. The money, roster and alternatives just don’t line up right for that to happen.
Wizards Not Returning
There seems to be one true lock in terms of players that won’t be brought back next season. Young big man Thomas Bryant is all but guaranteed to be playing elsewhere next season, which is ideal for not just the franchise but for Bryant as a player.
With Kristaps Porzingis now a centerpiece of the franchise and Daniel Gafford in the big man rotation with him there really aren’t minutes to give Bryant if he were brought back. Not only that, his play doesn’t fit alongside those two and he wouldn’t have a chance of reaching his potential if he remained in D.C. any longer.
Bryant is a talented player and can make an impact right now on the right roster. This group is not that roster and isn’t going to be.
Bryant played in 27 games this past season as part of a center rotation that was mishandled for most of the year. In those games, he averaged 7.4 points per game while shooting 52 percent from the field.
He’s a talented offensive player that can’t play the role he needs to be in on this team. The Wizards sunk his value some this past season but there’s no doubt another team will bring him in and hopefully put him in a position to succeed.
Wizards Likely Not Returning
This could be a list of three players or a list of six players. There are no guarantees at this point in time. The following players are especially unlikely to be on the team next season:
Gill, Sato and Neto are all set to be free agents in the offseason. While one of them may make the back end of the roster next year it would be nothing more than an end of the bench spot entering training camp.
It feels a lot more likely they all move on as opposed to waiting on that call from the Wizards. Honorable mentions are guys that could be traded, which is certainly possible given the overhaul this roster needs around the core guys.
The list of maybe’s includes players such as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and youngsters that the front office may have to move in order to get talent now like Corey Kispert and Rui Hachimura.
The young guys are unlikely but it’s too early to say how this roster can be overhauled without at least considering moving valuable pieces like the listed young players. One thing is for sure, it is going to be an interesting offseason for the Wizards and their fan base.