NLL Insider - Team by Team: Washington Wizards
by proid, updated on Sunday, October 11 2015, 07:15 pm EST
2014-2015 Finish: 29 - 53
The Wizards retained their franchise player Gordon Hayward and made the first step in an incremental return to the team's glory days of deep playoff runs and title contention. They didn't make a leap forward by any means. But locking in your best player longterm to give the team a baseline to build around sets the tone for making the leap. Darko retained a steadier hand this past season with deal making. Putting together moves that may not have been necessarily spectacular. But did manage to build future depth and continuity.
The teams improvement although clearly more wins than last season.
Left a litte something to be desired. The bar will need to be set
considerably higher for 15/16. The Wizards had a number of good players
on the team but were mix and matched in a way that created poor
chemistry and this is likely what stunted the overall improvement.
None of the Wizards deals were of the Blockbuster variety. But this one stayed inline with their avoid players that will be Free Agents mandate. IT2 is a similar caliber player as Reggie Jackson is already locked into a semi longterm deal. At roughly 7 Mil per season, Isaiah Thomas who has established himself as a 20pts per game scorer will pretty much mirror Jacksons production at about half the price. That will leave room for bigger salaried players further down the road.
The Chicago Bulls send J.J. Hickson to the Washington Wizards. The Washington Wizards send Andrew Bogut to the Chicago Bulls.
This deal was likely an attempt to dodge Bogut's injury history. But Bogut is a physical defensive true center that can rebound and has great two way potential. Hickson is in a lot of respects and undersized band-aid. He can be productive in spurts and rebounds well. But is ideally suited to play PF and is best utilized in a 6th man role where he doesn't have to be matched up against bigger more skilled players night end andnight out.
Other Notable Trades
The Houston Rockets send Randy Foye and Marcus Morris to the
Washington Wizards. The Washington Wizards send Brandon Jennings to the
The Houston Rockets trade -10 GM points.The Washington Wizards receive 10 GM points.
Not only was Jennings injured at the time but there was noway that he and IT2 where going to work as a two-headed PG monster. Foye can be considered a poor mans Jennings and Morris added much needed depth.
The New York Knicks trade -6 GM points.The Washington Wizards receive 6 GM points.
Although never conisdered a productive player. Dudley was bombing in the worst way as a Wizards player. Turner's arrival gave the Wizards a much needed 3rd option on offense. Ony his extremey poor 3pt shooting kept this deal from becoming the Wizards best trade.
The offensively challenged but athletic Brewer for renowned gunner Marcus Thornton amd the potentially sweet shooting Mirza Teletovic for depth. I am sure this was a easy deal to make and again not a block buster but surely added some nice depth.
Best FA Signing
As with many teams that finish near the bottom of the standings. Free Agent signings left quite a bit to be desired. The Wizards signed a number of minimum Free Agents but they all had little or no impact.
Worst FA Signing
Joel Anthony ate approximately 4 mil in salary only to be wiaved midway through the season.
Isaiah Thomas despite Gordon Hayward being the teams Franchise player came in and made his mark and gave the Wizards a bona-fide go to scorer who was also capable of getting the ball to others. A little bit of a defensive liability. But with changes in the teams frontcourt that can be midigated.
Evan Turner came to the Wizards and proved himself a capable player that had more to offer than being a PG stopgap. Sliding in as the Starting SF, Turner became the glue that held the Wizards offense together when plays broke down.
Jared Sullinger could be the goat here. With his skillset he should be a double double machine and shoot way above his poor 43% shooting which is kind of a downer for a big man that should not only be leadinghis team but leading the league in offensive rebounds. Hopefuly for the Wizards he can put it al together for the 15/16 season.
Draft Report Card
The Wizards had the #10 pick in the draft and scored a human pogo stick and Kentucky defensive stalworth Willie Cauley-Stein. Although not capable of turing a teams fortunes around by himself. WCS can do some amazing things on defense and around the basket on offense. It is rumored though that he is part of the package that is bringing Marc Gasol to the Wizards.
Looking to the Future
The Future looks promising for the Wizards. With the rumored addition of Marc Gasol the Wizards finally replace the long departed Pau Gasol who was part of their championship run which seems like it happend Eons ago. The Younger Gasol is considered one of the best Centers in the league. They won't quite be contenders yet because the team as constructed is still poor from beyond the arc but their defense and overall scoring and rebounding efficieny will improve and make them one of the teams that conetnders try and avoid in the first round.
Upcoming Free Agents
Nick Collison - he has made a career in the NLL of being pull here in case of emergency big man. Should never be allowed to start but is serviceable in spurts. Is likely to return and continue his end of the bench role or be moved a strade bait.
Marcus Morris - A restricted free agent. Its expected that Darko will spare no expense in keeping the cap friendly big man with the sweet 3point shot.
Mirza Teletovic - An enigmatic european big that can score in spurts but lacks consistency. Also a restricted free agent but is likely to find a home else where for the coming season.
Luke Ridnour - A journeyman PG who has forgotten how to stay healthy and when he is healthy he is a complete turnstyle of defense. An ideal scenario for him would be to sign and trade for some sort of future consideration or cash.
Russ Smith and David Stockton - Both players could be picked up on team option. Stocktons pedigree warrants sign and stash while Russ could be moved for cash.