Washington Wizards: Breaking Down How Wizards Can Be Playoff Team in 2013
The Wizards started their rebuilding efforts in the middle of last season when they traded JaVale McGee and Nick Young, but still have work if they hope to reach the playoffs next season.
These are the five things the Wizards must do to help them reach that goal.
John Wall Must Keep Maturing
John Wall is one of the most athletic players in the league, but he has only gotten by on that ability so far. To become an elite point guard that was worthy of the No. 1 pick in the draft, Wall must use his skills to not only score but improve his teammates as well.
Having Sam Cassell as an assistant coach is important for Wall because there are no veteran point guards on the Wizards roster. Cassell can teach him the small intricacies of playing point guard that kept him in the league for 15 years.
As the roster around him continues to improve, Wall should grow as a player. If he can channel his athletic ability within the offensive system, he could become one of the most dangerous point guards in the game.
Continue the New Culture
With Nick Young and JaVale McGee traded away along with Rashard Lewis, the Wizards have disassembled the foundation that brought about most of the losing attitude in D.C. Andray Blatche could either be amnestied or get his act together and be a productive part of the Wizards roster.
With the additions of Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and Nene, Washington has added experienced players who demonstrate professionalism while being a part of a basketball team. Young players like Wall and Jordan Crawford need established veterans they can look up to on the roster.
These newly acquired players will bring a new attitude to the locker room, and if all goes according to plan, it will rub off on the rest of the team.
Develop Young Talent on the Roster
The Wizards have many talented young players they are trying to groom into solid NBA players. Down low, Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin and Jan Vesely could be the future at power forward and center. Chris Singleton, Shelvin Mack and Jordan Crawford are all perimeter players with whom the Wizards have taken a chance on.
With all these talented young players on the roster, it's no wonder the Wizards have gone through some losing droughts over the past few years. Booker and Seraphin had breakout seasons last year, and they should continue to improve as this year gets under way.
Because Washington has so many young players under contract, they need a few of them to become NBA starters. They realize that not all of them will work out, but if a handful can make the leap, the Wizards will have a talented roster.
Draft Bradley Beal
The shooting guard out of Florida, Bradley Beal is one of the few players the Wizards have targeted for their draft. There are many other choices they could take, but Beal fits in perfectly with their roster.
They are currently missing a perimeter player that can take some of the pressure off Wall. Beal's slashing style and improving jump shot could take some of the scoring burden off Wall and free him up to become more of a true point guard.
With Trevor Ariza arriving in the trade from New Orleans, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is no longer looking like a smart pick. Ariza is a tough defensive shooting forward, much like Kidd-Gilchrist. While MKG and Thomas Robinson may be better basketball players than Beal, he fits in with the Wizards' system much better.
Drafting Bradley Beal should give the Wizards the player they need to create a complete offensive system, not just a bunch of players that go one-on-one the whole game.
Sign a Free Agent Who Can Shoot
No matter who the Wizards select in the NBA draft, they will still need to add a perimeter player who can shoot the ball well. With Ariza and Singleton, the small forward position doesn't have anyone who can space the floor on offense.
Someone like Brandon Rush would fit in perfectly. Rush became an elite three-point shooter last season, and could help spread the floor to give Wall room to operate.
A player like Rush, Danny Green or Courtney Lee would not become a star player for the Wizards, but would have a major impact on their offense.
Depending on who the Wizards pick in the draft, they can adjust the position they sign in free agency, but they must address their shooting.