Signing guard Bradley Beal to a long-term deal (five-year, $128 million) was number one on the Wizards to-do listen this off-season. Keeping a formidable backcourt of Beal and fellow guard John Wall gives the Wizards a top tier one-two punch.
However, this off-season was not as successful as Washington could have hoped for. Still, there is reason for optimism if this team is able to play to their potential.
With Kevin Durant testing free agency waters this off-season (and ultimately joining the Golden State Warriors), the Wizards took a “wait and see” approach in their pursuit on Durant. This, along with signing Beal to a max deal, hurt Washington in drawing top free agents. The fact that Durant did not chose Washington was one thing, but to not even give the Wizards an interview is another thing.
John Wall’s availability is still in question to start the season, he sat out of last night’s preseason opener. The Wizards have stated several times that they are not going to rush him back and have yet to place a timetable on his return. Look for him to play at an elite level once he returns to the court. “I feel great,” said Wall at the Wizards media day. ” I’m not going to rush myself back but my recovery is ahead of schedule.” Washington will need a healthy Wall, along with Beal (who seems to have his troubles staying healthy) at full strength if the Wizards look to get back to the playoffs.
If Wall is healthy all season and this team defends up to the standards of a Scott Brooks coached team, they should be able to get back to the postseason after missing out last year.
Washington is looking to get back to the playoffs after a disappointing 41-41 regular season record last season; and with new pieces, a new coach (Scott Brooks), and strong back-court play, Washington has the ingredients to do just that.