The Washington Wizards had one of the most active offseasons in the NBA last summer. With the arrival of Michael Winger and Will Dawkins as the new decision-makers in the front office, the Wizards finally decided on a direction: they were going to tear down and rebuild.
This was not an easy task. The Wizards were the epitome of mediocrity in the NBA for a long time. They arguably waited too long to decide on a rebuild, causing them to hold onto their stars for too long, lowering their trade value. The previous regime also regularly prioritized the present over the future, preferring NBA-ready prospects to high-upside picks in the draft and trading away future assets for present-day value. This had left the franchise bereft of high-end talent or valuable assets. This is the context in which the 2023 offseason needs to be evaluated.
The new Wizards front office was one of the busiest front offices in the league last summer, trying to execute their tear-down plan. They made a series of moves in the draft and trade market to completely overhaul the roster. Three starters from last season; Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Monte Morris were traded, and youngster Bilal Coulibaly was drafted with the no. 7 overall pick. The team became a much younger, more dynamic, but less talented team almost overnight.
The new roster has failed to be competitive so far this season. With a 3-19 record and the worst defense in the league, the growing pains in Washington have been very real. It’s also important to remember that this was always going to be a long process that requires patience. However, it’s also worth taking stock of the moves of the offseason: which ones might the Wizards already be regretting?