Mark Bacon—Main Event Sports DC
Wizards | Last season: 43-39, lost East first round.
The Wizards didn’t blow it all up this offseason, but this feels like the first step toward what could be a complete roster deconstruction. All of the talk last year concerning John Wall and Marcin Gortat, and moving the ball and playing like a team made it seem like almost everybody in Washington was ready to walk away from the situation.
Well, Wall is still around and heading into his seventh season with Bradley Beal as his backcourt mate. The duo has reached the playoffs in four of their previous six years together, but last season was the first time they didn’t advance out of the first round. The bad public image and a pair of 10-point losses to usher in the offseason made the 2017-18 campaign look like a farce.
And then, this offseason, the Wizards bring in Dwight Howard as the replacement to Gortat. Now, Howard was solid last year with the Hornets, but the optics of a locker room on the verge of collapse adding Dwight are hard to ignore. I don’t know what exactly Dwight does or does not do in a locker room, but the endings with his five previous teams make me think this is going to be at least a bit rocky.
Scott Brooks is entering year three here and he is already looking to avoid declining win totals in back-to-back seasons. If things go bad early in Washington, it could stay that way all season. And Brooks? On the hot seat. But if things start off hot, maybe the Wizards can re-iginte the hope people had in them after 2016-17.