The Washington Wizards exceeded expectations this year, regardless of their elimination in round 2 of the NBA Playoffs. As the number 4-seed, Washington took advantage of home court against their opponents in round 1, beating number 5-seed, the Atlanta Hawks. Their dreams of making it to the Eastern Conference Finals were crushed, despite John Wall hitting a dagger to force a game 7 against number 1 seed, the Boston Celtics.
It was the Wizards’ toughness and competitive nature that powered them to 7 post season wins. Whether it be the tensions between Markieff Morris and Paul Millsap, or the conflicts between Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kelly Olynyk, all post-season long, Wall helped lead his team on the court.
There were also subtle guys who helped in unseen ways; for example, Otto Porter Jr. With his season stats of 51.6% FG rating, and 43.4% from behind the arc, Porter averaged more than 13 points per game. He became a very consistent starter for the Wizards this year, and his reliability was displayed every game. Porter started every game (80), and he easily fit into the SF position.
The following is from ESPN:
“When Porter signs his new contract, it might start at around the projected max of $25 million.”
Now this figure would be very well deserved. As Otto becomes a free agent on July 1, without a doubt, the Wizards will try to keep him. John Wall likes his current starting lineup, and isn’t looking for anyone different.
It’s been made clear that the issue in D.C. is the bench. Marcin Gortat, Wizards’ starting center, said “I think we’ve got one of the worst benches in the league right now.” He clearly set a bad tone for the team’s mentality, but it was quite effective as they turned their 2-7 start into a very successful record of 49-33.
In-season trading was stellar however, which really helped put a bandaid on this issue. Trading for Bojan Bogdonavic was definitely a plus, as he added his dangerous 3-point shooting to Washington’s repertoire.
Other players D.C. is interested in, include Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul III, Paul Millsap, Danilo Gallinari, and Serge Ibaka. The Washington Wizard’s office has some important decisions to act on during the Summer season.