After a complete overhaul of the previous leadership earlier in the offseason, the Washington Wizards have completely revamped their front office. In multiple moves that have each surged energy into a fan base longing for a direction, the franchise now seemingly has a super team in the front office.
Three executives, all capable of being the main person making the decisions of a franchise, are now working together to help the Wiz out of mediocrity. They are Michael Winger, newly named president of Monumental Basketball, Will Dawkins, the latest hire and general manager of the Wizards, and Travis Schlenk, president of player personnel.
However, this trio is taking over a tough situation with the roster and coaching staff. The team has not had any roster consistency since the John Wall injury and is potentially set to spend over $100 million on just three players.
Bradley Beal is a great offensive player, as is Kristaps Porzingis. However, those two stars are not good enough defensively to really make a winning impact without sacrificing the rest of the roster to three and d play.
One of the biggest holds on the team remains Bradley Beal no matter what. As previously stated, he does not really impact a team that much, but he is also paid an average of over $50 million a year. He also has not only the infamous no-trade clause, but he will also get a 15% bonus should he be traded.
On top of that, Wes Unseld Jr has yet to prove that he is a competent coach in his two years in his position. The team has finished with 35 wins in both seasons with him at the helm. Certainly, an underwhelming result for a team trying to contend for a championship.
What can the Washington Wizards do to better their situation?
The first thing the new front office should address is the coaching staff. The Wizards just recently finished a complete overhaul of the assistant coaching staff allowing the head coach to pick candidates who complement his personal style. Like Mike Brown working for Steve Kerr or Luke Walton working for JB Bickerstaff, maybe Unseld just needs to find an offensive minded assistant coach.
Great candidates for a lead assistant next to Unseld Jr would be names like Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni. Both are incredibly talented coaches when it comes to drawing up an offense. When paired with a coach well renowned for his defensive focus, they could elevate a team to another level.
Next comes addressing the roster. A complete rebuild of the roster seems incredibly likely with multiple new executives with impressive draft records added to the front office. Just as important, it is pretty common for new leadership to completely restructure the roster.
This means that Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis could be seen more as trade assets rather than franchise cornerstones.
As noted in the Bleav in Wizards podcast hosted by Matt Modderno and featuring Rylan Stiles, Site Expert with Thunderous Intentions, Dawkins likes oversized players with a well-rounded, modern playstyle.
They mentioned Anthony Black numerous times as a player who marks off everything in that checklist his checklist. One of the biggest risers in recent weeks, Bilal Coulibaly, is another player who fits this mold. Either of these three players would be a powerful addition to the current core and to a potential rebuild.
While the new front office may be inheriting a rough situation, there is room to get out of it. Whether that be through the draft or through a number of gutsy trades, if there is a vision, there is a way to break the cycle of mediocrity for the Washington Wizards.