Despite making the NBA Playoffs, the Washington Wizards had far from a successful season and were found out by a dominant Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. They hugely struggled through the first half of the season and opened with a 13-2 record after a long-term injury to starting center Thomas Bryant.
Russell Westbrook also started the season with injury troubles and was recently reported to have played through a quadriceps injury through much of the season. Regardless, despite having two elite stars in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, a lack of wing defenders and inconsistent three-point shooting cost them during the Playoffs, apart from the sheer dominance of Joel Embiid, who was himself playing through injuries. Regardless, in this article, we look at three bold predictions for the Washington Wizards this offseason that should result in a more successful 2022-21 NBA season.
NBA Rumors: Three offseason predictions for the Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are in a delicate position financially. They have 10 contracts worth over $121 million and will need to sign the rest of the roster in under 10 million if they have to stay under the luxury tax limit. In such a scenario, they might be looking to get rid of a couple of assets, and have seen an increased interest in Bradley Beal from playoff contenders in recent days.
#1 Keeping hold of Gafford, Robin Lopez and Raul Neto
Despite the average season, the likes of Raul Neto and Daniel Gafford impressed, especially in the run-up to the Playoffs. Neto represents a cheap contract that fits the timeline of the Wizards’ major stars. He shot at almost 40% from the three-point zone while the Wizards have a club option for next season on Daniel Gafford.
Considering his overall impact, energy, and the fact that he averaged 10.1 points whilst playing only 17 minutes per game, a $2 million extension represents value on a 22-year-old. Finally, Robin Lopez is another cheap Center who proved his worth despite being the 2nd or 3rd Center in rotation. The Wizards will need to keep hold of their affordable contracts in addition to making some ambitious moves.