NBA Free Agent Frenzy is slowing down and fans are starting to discuss the upcoming season. The Warriors, Rockets, and Nets seem to be the most improved teams, but many overlook the Washington Wizards. Last season, the Wizards had another poor year, winning less than 30 games. However, John Wall was out for nearly half the season. At the time had Wall came back into the lineup, the team had just 5 wins under their belt. With Wall, the team nearly had a winning record. John Wall wasn’t the only key player who was plagued with injuries. Nene missed 21 games, and Bradley Beal missed 26 (as did Trevor Ariza) . If the team had stayed healthy they could have easily been a playoff team last year. However, not all of last year was bad. Beal showed a ton of promise and Martell Webster developed into a leader for the team. The Wizards acquired some great young talent via draft in Otto Porter this year. Porter, the third overall pick, is a physical specimen at 6’8 he is a versatile defender with a high basketball IQ. The team also acquired Eric Maynor via free agency. Maynor is a very promising point guard who–until injury–looked like he could have been a key part of the Thunder’s success for the future. After battling with injuries, he had a come back season in Portland last year and flashed the same potential. Inside, the Wizards have two solid bigs in Emeka Okafor and Nene. Both are good defenders. Now to discuss the bench: Behind those two they have solid contributors with Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker however they need to add a true center. On the wings, they have Trevor Ariza who is an NBA vet with multiple playoff games under his belt as well as NBA finals experience. He is a solid role player. Chris Singleton is another promising player on the squad. I already talked about Martell Webster and Otto Porter (it will be interesting to see who takes the starting job at the three) but the team also has 2011 sixth overall pick Jan Vesley, who has been a disappointment so far but he has a lot of potential and the team is not giving up on him. Backing up Wall are Eric Maynor (already discussed) and Garrett Temple who was resigned because he did a decent job filling in for Wall last year. The team also drafted Glen Rice Jr from the NBA D League who is an intriguing prospect. Add all that to a starting lineup of:
PG: John Wall
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Otto Porter
C: Emeka Okafor
and the team looks pretty good
The wizards players are incredibly motivated as well. Several of the players including: Otto Porter, John Wall, and Martell Webster have made recent statements about the team doing well and specifically making the playoffs.
In the end, I believe the Washington Wizards will make the playoffs in 2014. They have the talent, the motivation, and the drive. They have a solid bench to back up their impressive starting five. Most importantly, the future looks bright for this team.