Scouting the Enemy: Washington Wizards

Over the next several weeks, we’re going to be “scouting the enemy,” as we’ll be covering the outlook for the 29 other teams in the league ahead of the 2019-2020 season.


NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Former Grizzlies: CJ Miles

Offseason in Review:

The Wizards have had an ultimately uneventful offseason after missing the playoffs for the first time under Scott Brooks. John Wall’s back-to-back heel and achilles injuries have knocked out most of last season and most likely the entirety of the upcoming season, leaving the Wizards in the middle of a awkward mess where they have to decide to rebuild or compete despite Wall’s gigantic contract. A majority of the Wizards moves this summer were a combo of trying to get young, while also being competitive next season.

The Wizards were able to get off Dwight Howard’s contract, sending him here to Memphis in exchange for CJ Miles. The Wizards then helped facilitate the DeMarre Carroll to San Antonio trade but sneaking in and picking up Davis Bertans in exchange for the draft rights to Aaron White.

The Wizards then helped the Lakers and Pelicans facilitate the Anthony Davis trade by picking up Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones, Moe Wagner and a 2022 2nd round pick from LA for essentially nothing. The Wizards then signed Ish Smith, Isaiah Thomas and Phil Booth to free agent deals, as well as re-signing exciting big man Thomas Bryant.

In the draft, the Wizards selected Rui Hachimura in the first round while also adding Admiral Schofield and Justin Robinson in the second round. The Wizards let all of the following free agents walk for nothing: Trevor Ariza, Sam Dekker, Jeff Green, Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, Chasson Randle, Devin Robinson and Tomas Satoransky.

So yeah, a weird offseason for the Wizards.


Team Outlook


NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards figure to be more entertaining on the NBA rumor mill than on the actual court this season. Their roster isn’t great, but Bradley Beal is too good for this team to just flat out suck. I’d expect something similar to the 32-50 season they had last year. Bradley Beal is awesome, Thomas Bryant is a super underrated big man, and Isaiah Thomas may actually finally get a chance to show if he has anything left in the tank after the sad ending to his Celtics tenure a few years back. Outside of that, the Wizards scream boring and not good.

Should the Wizards stumble out of the gate to start the season, expect the Bradley Beal trade rumors to heat up big time. Tommy Sheppard, Washington’s formerly interim and now full-time General Manager, has been hell bent on building a contender around Bradley Beal and not making him available in trades. It’s hard to wonder how hard nosed he will be about that should contenders come calling this season. With John Wall making no less than $38 million per year over the next 4 seasons and with no guarantee he’s worth a fraction of that after two long term injuries, the Wizards would be wise to at least consider flipping Beal and seeing if they could get a multitude of first-round picks to accelerate a rebuild similar to the way the Pelicans and Thunder did in their trades of Anthony Davis and Paul George, respectively.

Ultimately, don’t expect to see the Wizards making any sort of playoff noise but look forward to a handful of Bradley Beal 40+ games. Barring any major changes, it’s most likely going to be another ugly season in Washington for the Wizards.

Follow @sbngrizzlies for further “Scouting the Enemy” posts.

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bcabraham
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