The Athletic’s preview predicts an “extremely fun” future for the Wizards

Bilal Coulibaly of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Bilal Coulibaly of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

As we inch closer to the start of the regular season, every NBA fan and pundit is coming out with their expectations and predictions for the 2023-24 NBA season. This includes publications like The Athletic. Zach Harper and Shams Charania of The Athletic had a Washington Wizards preview in their column yesterday. (subscription required) Like general consensus, they predicted the Wiz to be bad, putting them down for 26 wins, but they projected “a month in which their future looks extremely fun”. This looks like a good case scenario for the 2023-24 Washington Wizards, but there are more important questions the Wizards need answered this season.

The preview has interesting tidbits including best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Wizards. Even the best-case scenario has the Wizards winning only 30 wins. That is reasonable considering the overall talent level and the long-term aspirations of the franchise.

If they are indeed right and the future of the franchise looks fun throughout the season, the Wizards fans should be thrilled. It has been at least five years since Washington’s future looked anything but bleak.

Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma having the green light to explore things offensively, Bilal Coulibaly showing his impressive athletic and physical tools defensively, and Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert taking the next step forward will be fun to watch. Whether this sustains for just a month or throughout the season is another question.

The more important question, however, is whether being a fun, young team translates to being an inspiring, competitive team.

A team that plays fast and shoots a lot of threes can be very fun without being inspiring. Whether the team has an identity on both ends of the floor, whether the young players are developing at the desired rate, and whether the team is playing with intensity, effort, and discipline remain to be seen.

Answers to those questions will determine whether the Wizards’ future will be “fun” after all.