Surely, the Wizards wanted to win their series against the Sixers, though it was really a test to see how far the franchise is away from true title contention.
Washington fell in the series 4-1, though Beal swore he thought the Wizards could have taken it seven games rather than the five. That could simply be coach, ahem, player-speak as the team was a Joel Embiid injury away from the real possibility of a sweep.
The gap between the Sixers, a true title contender when fully healthy, and the Wizards is apparent and it’ll take a series of steps to get Tommy Sheppard & Co. to the level they desire to be at.
Improving the defense will be a key area, as Bradley Beal told FortyEightMinutes and other media via zoom. “It’s pretty obvious,” Beal said of the team’s need to improve on that end of the floor.
Washington did improve on defense as the season progressed, something that Beal has continuously said was part effort-based. Beal having a healthy Russell Westbrook next to him later in the season allowed Beal to do just a tad less on offense and converse some of that energy for the other end. In the end, the Wizards proved they could be a nuisance for a team atop the conference but not a real threat to take them down.
To improve drastically, Washington will likely have to look to the trade market. Signing a major free agent will only really be possible via sign-and-trade, though that vehicle is more common than ever in today’s NBA.
Beal, who was asked about his future with Washington several times during the postgame presser, said he doesn’t see why free agents wouldn’t want to come to the Wizards.
“DC is an unbelievable market. A true sports town,” Beal said.
Almost everything about what Beal has said publicly indicates that he’ll be in town to potentially recruit that third star or at least see it out with the best that the team can do with the roster around him. Yet, with Beal having the ability to hit the free-agent market next offseason, getting a longer commitment from their All-Star (via extension) will be a top priority—one that will tell the front office which was to conduct their offseason.