For years, the Wizards fans have been complaining about little national exposure. They haven’t had a nationally televised game in what feels like decades–though, I’m pretty sure that the last one was two or three years ago at max.
But after John Wall’s recent stretch of great shooting and great play, the Wizards are back on the national radar. Wall has averaged 25.6 points per game, 8.6 assists per game and has a PER of 29.71. He won his second player of the week award last week and he’s well on his way to winning another this week if he keeps up this stellar play.
With Bradley Beal going down because of his fibula being re-aggravated, Wall is going to be expected to perform close to this level most of the time. But like Wall said last night during his interview with Chris Miller of CSN, he wants to send a message to the league that he’s the best point guard in it.
And, of course, that statement made national headlines as well. The Wizards have won three of their last four games with their second straight win last night. This is exactly what the Wizards need to happen to be successful going into the future.
I’m not talking about shaking a losing culture–something that they have needed to do for years now and are currently working on. But with their first round draft pick going to the Phoenix Suns if it’s outside of the top 12, the Wizards will need to attack free agency to improve their roster.
The Wizards have a projected $51,301,098 in salary next season–roughly $41.5 million of that will be guaranteed. They’re going to be able to attack free agency next season and improve this team, but in order to do that they’ve got to make sure that they headline nationally.
When I got up this morning, the Washington Wizards were on the front page of ESPN’s website. I turned on NBA TV and they were talking about John Wall. One of Wall’s dunks made the Sportscenter highlight reel on TV. The Wizards are gaining notoriety by the game–but they have to continue to win if they want to keep it up.
They don’t necessarily need this in order to get a max player–I highly doubt that a max player that is available would want to come to Washington. But with the way their bench has underperformed this season, they’ll need to bolster that while improving the starting unit as well.
Trevor Ariza will probably leave to play for a contender. Marcin Gortat may or may not come back depending on how this trial year runs with him. They’re going to have some holes that need to be filled in a hurry. If they make the playoffs and get more national exposure throughout the year, that won’t be a problem.
For a recent example, just look at the Golden State Warriors. The Dubs worked their way into the postseason, upset the Denver Nuggets in the first round and then managed to sign Andre Iguodala because of the show they on. The same thing could happen for the Wizards–especially in an Eastern Conference that is struggling to produce teams that are above the .500 mark.
Should the Wizards manage to avoid a 6th or 7th seed, the chances are high that they’ll be able to compete to get to the conference semis. That’s the first step in the process to becoming the next Indiana Pacers or Oklahoma City Thunder, but it’s a positive one. And they’ll need it because if they want to improve, they need to be attractive.
The Wizards have to keep this play up–more specifically, their max man has to keep this play up. If he can, then we should see more talent coming to D.C sooner rather than later.