Unpredictability would be the word I would use to describe my thoughts going into the 2020 NBA off-season. That certainly held true in large part due to the Washington Wizards. They weren’t afraid to do anything this year and it showed. The unpredictability we saw when last season ended will carry on into this upcoming year for the Wizards in my opinion. How will the additions help change things? Will Westbrook and Beal work? We will just have to wait and see.
The Wizards were one of the worst teams in the league last season due to the team’s inexperience and gaping hole at point guard. Many thought that the team would stay quiet in the off-season, waiting to see what the team looks like when John Wall was healthy. That obviously won’t be the case heading into the new season as Wall was flipped for Westbrook about a week ago. Westbrook’s addition has been combed over by everyone. Some seem to think he won’t be good for the team. I think adding in someone who’s a threat to put up a triple-double at anytime is a good move. The other additions the team made that can’t be overlooked are Raul Neto and Robin Lopez. Neither guy will get you all that excited, but they add veteran talent to a team that needed depth. They will be useful and helpful; that’s all you really need out of them.
The Wizards did well for themselves in trades, free agency, and we can’t forget about the draft. Washington ended up with the ninth pick in the lottery and walked away with a steal. Israeli Deni Avdija fell into the Wizards’ lap and they were happy to make the selection. Avdija was looked at as a top-five guy in the class by many but fell for whatever reason. He is an instinctual passer for a wing and shows flashes of a well-rounded skillset. Deni many not do much for the team this season, but he could be viewed as a steal in no time. Cassius Winton was picked by Washington late in the second round and many have applauded the team for the pick. Winston was a starter for Michigan State for multiple seasons and has the feel you want out of a point guard. His lack of size and athleticism worries me, but he has the makeup of a strong backup guard; the pick should not go overlooked.
Wizards fans should be happy with the final product. It was not the easiest of off seasons, but it’s finally time to play. The team should be a playoff team; it’s as simple as that. The star-studded backcourt of Westbrook and Beal should win them some games they really shouldn’t. The pieces around them ought to benefit from playing with Russell and I think we may see some of the younger guys step up. Rui Hachimura could end up taking a leap this season and Troy Brown Jr. started to figure things out down the stretch in 2020. Maybe Deni is better than what people expect right off the bat. If so, this team will be very fun and dangerous.