The Washington Wizards will enter their 2019-20 NBA season trying to figure out where it all went wrong and what can be done to fix the glaring issues they have. Their backcourt is solid with Bradley Beal and John Wall if healthy. If the front office decides not to make a trade, then the Wiz are good there. However, where will the scoring come from if Wall is out for an extended period of time or an off-night when one of their stars are struggling?
During the offseason, nothing was done to say that the Wizards will enter the season with playoffs hopes. The frontcourt has a watch and see approach and the bench is not loaded with capable scorers or defenders. The Wizards must get their rotation in order if they are not to repeat the same mistakes from last season.
Here are 4 Burning Questions Ahead of Training Camp for the Washington Wizards
Who Goes First, Bradley Beal Or John Wall
This has been a question the Washington Wizards have faced dating back to last season. Do they trade Bradley Beal or John Wall? Or, do they give them one more year to get their act together? With Wall still out and no timetable for his return, it might be time to make a decision. The problem is, no one will give up anything for Wall due to injury. So that means the Wizards will have to move Beal if a deal is to be done.
When Wall has been absent, it’s been Beal stepping up and putting up All-Star numbers. Last season, Beal averaged 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists while shooting .475 percent from the floor. What stung was that the Wizards still could not find a way to the playoffs even in a weak Conference. With the two in the backcourt together, the front office still has not found a way to make them a contender the same way Damion Lillard and C.J. McCollum have done for the Trail Blazers.
Why No Big-Name Free Agents Considered Washington
The Wizards went into free agency with some cash in their pockets and finished free agency with cash in their pockets. With Kevin Durant a native of the DC area, where was the pitch to the All-Star forward? How didn’t a backcourt of Bradley Beal and John Wall not entice at least a visit or thought from Durant? What about a frontcourt player like Al Horford, Kawhi Leonard or even Wall’s Kentucky teammate, DeMarcus Cousins?
That says plenty regarding the state of the Wizards. A glance at their roster and players had to be scared away. Then you add in the injury history to Wall, and the writing was on the wall from the start. Now what? The Wizards have signed players to large deals only to trade them away. Can the organization be trusted? To miss out on so many free agents tells fans that the Wizards are comfortable with losing.
Can The Frontcourt Produce
What has also stopped the Wizards’ progression besides injuries has been the lack of production from their frontcourt players. The Wizards figured signing Dwight Howard after his good season with the Charlotte Hornets will remedy those concerns. However, Howard got injured himself and missed most of the year which really sunk the team. During the offseason, the Wizards didn’t take the time to address their biggest hole. Let’s say Beal and Wall are not traded. The scoring will come from the backcourt but who scores, rebounds, and plays defense in the paint in 2019?
At SF, the Wizards are banking on C.J. Miles to play a huge role despite playing as a reserve the majority of his career. Miles is a great change of pace scorer but starter material he is not. In 2019, the Wizards selected their PF of the future in the 2019 NBA Draft by selecting Rui Hachimura. If the rookie can up his rebounding, the Wiz can trust him to man that position for the next 10 years or so. But going against the competition will see nightly with Aaron Gordon, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum may be an issue. In the middle, the Wizards will go with Thomas Bryant again. In 2018, Bryant averaged 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. He will need to get better on the defensive side of the court for the Wizards’ bigs to stand a chance.
What Are The Expectations
Can the Washington Wizards make the playoffs with their current roster? No. It doesn’t matter if Beal and Wall average 30 points each, their supporting cast cannot carry the weight. This is why the offseason was so important. Instead of building with Wall and Beal, the Wizards were too busy letting their top player’s name be mentioned in trade rumors dating back to last season.
Fans are expecting the Wizards to make a move regarding Beal or Wall at some point this season. If that’s the case, that deal may come closer to the NBA trade deadline which means, the Wizards may already be out of playoff contention. Along with the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets, the Wizards will find themselves in contention for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft. Losing is not the only option for the Wiz but it’s what’s going to happen.