At the beginning of the season I predicted that if everything went according to plan for Washington, the Wizards could be a 50-win team in the Eastern Conference… It hasn’t gone according to plan. With John Wall having his season ending surgery on his heel this week and no timetable for Dwight Howard to return, the Wizards season has spiraled out of control. They currently sit 17-25, the 6th worst record in the NBA, and it doesn’t seem like there is any hope for this franchise if they try to remain relevant with the roster they currently have. The Wizards have some good, cheap pieces that are usefully to trade or keep for the rebuild, but GM Ernie Grunfeld needs to see that this organization needs change. It is time to unload star, and quality players and tank for a 2019 Draft class that is looking to be a very deep one.
At the beginning of the season, I saw what Washington’s front office see’s, a mirage of the Wizards from 5 seasons ago. Back in 2013-14, and 2014-15 the Wizards had won playoff series and looked to have one of the best young backcourts in the NBA. Also, just as recent as 2016-17, Washington was one win away from making it to the Eastern Conference Finals but lost in Game 7 to Isiah Thomas and the Celtics. In just 2 seasons however the tide has changed for the Wizards franchise. This is the 7th season John Wall and Bradley Beal have been together and have yet to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. It is time for major changes as Washington keeps striving for mediocrity. Barely squeaking into the postseason as an 8th seed is not a successful season when you are supposed to have one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Washington’s front office needs to realize that the window for this core of players has passed. It’s time to tank!
Who Needs to Go?
The Wizards need to get rid of as many bad contracts as they can. Their worst contract by far is John Wall’s as he set to make near over $40 million every season through the 2022-23 season, that type of money is pretty much untradeable. No one in their right mind would take on that type of money for a player that has had the terrible injury history that Wall has had. So that leaves most of the roster up grabs for other teams. Otto Porter, Ian Mahinmi, Markeiff Morris, and Dwight Howard are the top players, for me, that they need to trade away. For that to happen however, Washington’s 2 most promising players, Tomas Satoransky and/or Bradley Beal might have to be thrown in as well for teams to take on these unworthy salaries.
Porter has not lived up to the $26 million a year max contract that he signed a couple of seasons ago. Ian Mahinmi’s was just a joke of a contract that the Wizards signed him to in the cap spike offseason a few seasons ago as every team in the Association was rolling in league revenue dough. Morris and Howards numbers aren’t high, but both are expiring, (disregarding Howard’s player option), aging players that are past their primes and don’t fit in to the rebuilding roster mold. With those 2 big men hopefully out of the building it will hopefully open the frontcourt for budding youngster, Thomas Bryant. Along with Bryant, the Wizards have found some hidden young talent that could help the team in the coming years. Chasson Randle, Sam Dekker, Troy Brown, along with veteran Jeff Green have performed very well this season off the bench. Hoping that they can dump high priced players for picks and cap space before the deadline, (and Trevor Ariza’s larger contract expiring this season), it will leave Wall with a mix of cheap veterans and hungry, promising young players before this upcoming draft.