The Wizards made several key changes this offseason and Zach Harper and Fred Katz of The Athletic recently chatted about the team’s summer.
Washington was given a ‘B’ as their overall offseason grade by The Athletic scribes with optimism that the team can make the playoffs this year after the play-in tournament gave them life.
Harper views the Wizards losing Russell Westbrook as a huge loss given that he averaged 23.0 points, 14.0 assists and 13.5 rebounds in his last 23 games last season, which ultimately helped the Wizards sneak into the play-in tournament. Westbrook also brought great leadership and was able to take a lot of pressure off of Bradley Beal.
Spencer Dinwiddie is a great “consolation” prize, especially at the contract he was given, Harper opines while also mentioning that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a significant addition. KCP has a long-standing friendship with Beal and his ability to hit the 3-pointer should make the on-court relationship work. Having KCP out there will space things out very well for Beal and Dinwiddie.
While Montrezl Harrell appears to be an upgrade on paper over Robin Lopez, Harper doesn’t believe that to be the case, as Lopez is widely considered the much better defensive player and was an oddly great fit in their offense last season.
All in all, both Harper and Katz seem to think the Wizards got deeper, but not necessarily better. They should still be able to contend for a play-in spot next season. The entire piece on The Athletic is worth a read.
More Wizards Notes
- The Wizards’ ceiling next season may be lower due to the loss of Westbrook, but the floor is higher given the depth of their team to withstand injuries, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington opines. Hughes also believes that they could’ve raised their ceiling long-term since they have more salary-cap flexibility and more tradeable contracts.
The Wizards currently have Harrell, Thomas Bryant, and Daniel Gafford on their roster, but should they make a move for Mo Bamba? Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network makes his case, as he believes that those three guys have questions about their upside.
ICYMI: Wizards District Gaming won its second consecutive NBA2K League title. More on that can be found here.