To say the least, this past Season for Wizards’ fans has been quite unfulfilling. The team was only able to record one win in the eight play-in games and sometimes, it seems like this team can’t ever get a break. The good news for the Wizards is they have nowhere to go but up. John Wall is expected to return next season after all of last season with a Torn Achilles, Bradley Beal had a career year this year while averaging 30.5 PPG, and Washington’s young pieces in the Front-court have all progressed in Troy Brown Jr., Davis Bertans, and Rui Hachimura. In this article, we will be discussing the Relevant Free Agents the Wizards should keep tabs on, who they should select with their Draft Pick, and who they should try to re-sign this Offseason.
The Coaching/Front Office Situation
Unlike the Knicks, Washington does have a good Coach who is loved by his players in Scott Brooks. Unfortunately, this isn’t the problem. Beal has expressed some discomfort with Washington’s Front Office and the recent moves they’ve made. This would lead anyone to think Beal might want to play for a Championship Contender rather than the Rebuilding Wizards. Four Teams that have been speculated as potential Trade Partners with Washington are the Nuggets, Lakers, 76ers, and Nets. One team that I think could make a great sales pitch for Beal would be the Nuggets. Denver has been a top contender in the West for the past two seasons now, and just need one more Star to complement Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.
A Win-Win Trade for both teams would be Washington sending Denver Beal and the Wizard’s 2020 2nd Round Pick in exchange for Michael Porter Jr., Gary Harris, and the Nuggets 2020 1st Round Pick. Beal would form an excellent young core with Jokic, Murray, and Bol Bol, which might be enough Starpower to get the Nuggets over the Lakers and Clippers in the Playoffs. As for the Wizards, they bring in another young, solid 3-&-D Wing in Porter Jr., who’s been nothing short of spectacular in the bubble. Porter averaged 19.2 PPG in the eight seeding games and was a huge reason why Denver was able to clinch the 3rd seed despite Murray, Harris, and Will Barton all missing time to injury. Speaking off Harris, he’ll provide plenty of 3-Point Shooting off the Bench, which is what the Wizards have lacked of recently. The 1st Round Pick from Denver is slotted in the 20's, but we’ve seen plenty of great players been Drafted outside of the Lottery before.
2020 NBA Draft
After all the dust has settled from the Regular Season coming to the end, Washington has the 7th best odds to land at #1 but are slated to land at #9. If Washington lands at #9, they should first look to Trade out of the pick and package that pick with Wall for future assets for their Rebuild. If they can’t get any buyers, I think they should Draft their big man of the Future in Onyeka Okongwu out of USC. Okongwu is the 2nd best Center in the Draft behind James Wiseman and brings Rim-Protection and 20 PPG in College to D.C. Okongwu may not have ideal size for a Center at 6’9, 245 Lbs., but that won’t matter because of multiple teams going Small-Ball these days. Okongwu can defend EVERY position, which is ideal versatility for Centers. Okongwu would be a great fit alongside Bertans Brown Jr., and Hachimura in the front-court.
Brad Smith talks about the Washington Football Team, Washington Nationals, Washington Capitals, and the Washington Wizards, as well as some of the hottest topics in the NFL, NBA, and MLB on his SportsCastr channel.
Relevant Free Agents to Re-sign
Washington did luck out with their Free Agency this year, as they have 0 Qualifying Offers and only one Team Option. Their lone Team Option is Jerome Robinson, and I believe they should decline his Option. Robinson has only been able to muster 5.1 PPG and 2.0 RPG off the bench this season, and picking up his option would only limit the amount they could spend on a better Guard in Free Agency. Washington will have to resign Davis Bertans, and I believe they should keep Bertans on the team. Bertans played a big role this season, averaging 15.4 PPG and 4.5 RPG for the Wizards. The only reason that it would be smart to let Bertans walk is if another team overpays for him. Bertan’s price tag could get pricy with how well he’s played this season.
Relevant Free Agents to try to Sign
Even with Washington not having a lot of flexibility with their Cap, this Offseason will be very important for Washington’s Roster. The Wizard’s need some Point Guard and Shooting Guard Depth, along with a player that can run the Offense when the Starters sit. Here are some relative Free Agents that make a lot of sense to try to sign that can fill these roles very well:
1. Joe Harris, SF, Brooklyn Nets
Harris is an absolute machine behind the 3-Point line. The former 3-Point Champion was able to hit 42.4% of his 3-Point attempts this Season. Harris isn’t a Defensive Specialist by any means, but Harris would fit in nicely off the bench, providing some well-needed Offense.
2. Fred Vanvleet, PG, Toronto Raptors
Getting Vanvleet on the team would be awesome, but it’s unlikely that Vanvleet will even leave Toronto just to suit up for a new team, especially when Toronto looks poised to make another NBA Finals run. If Washington was able to get Vanvleet on the team, this would give D.C. a good 1-2 punch in the backcourt with Wall and Vanvleet. Again, this is very unlikely it happens, but Vanvleet is someone to keep an eye on for Washington.