Wizards 2021-22 Schedule: Top Games, Championship Odds and Record Predictions

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 20, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) reacts after Game 4 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, May 31, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Washington Wizards shook up their roster this offseason in a massive five-team trade.

Of note, Russell Westbrook was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Washington also added Spencer Dinwiddie from the Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday.

Washington also picked up Gonzaga wing Corey Kispert with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

That group will join a Wizards team that snuck into the playoffs last year as the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed. Bradley Beal, who was second in the NBA in scoring last season, will return in hopes of getting the team back into the playoffs.

A pair of lottery picks in Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija will look to continue their development, and other key contributors from last year (e.g. Davis Bertans, Daniel Gafford) are in the mix.

The Wizards will also be led by a new coach in Wes Unseld Jr., who takes over for Scottie Brooks.

He most recently spent six years patrolling the Denver Nuggets sidelines alongside head coach Mike Malone, earning an associated head coach title in 2020-21. Denver excelled under Unseld's tutelage, making the 2019-20 Western Conference Finals and 2020-21 West semifinals.

Unseld's father, Wes Unseld, is a franchise legend and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer who led the then-Washington Bullets to the 1977-1978 NBA title.

Now the younger Unseld will look to lead Washington back to the championship. Here's a look at their 2021-22 schedule, championship odds, top matchups and season forecast.


2021-22 Wizards Schedule Details

Season Opener: Oct. 20 at Toronto Raptors

Championship Odds: 100-1 (FanDuel)

Entire 2021-22 ScheduleNBA.com


Top Matchups

March 11 vs. Lakers

Naturally, the Wizards vs. Lakers matchups will be ones to watch given the player swaps between the two teams. Washington will see an old friend in Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double in his lone season in D.C. before departing for L.A. Meanwhile, three ex-Lakers will face their old friends, with Kuzma notably going up against the team that selected him in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft.


March 14 vs. Warriors

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry edged Beal for the scoring title last year, and it's certainly possible the two battle for that crown again. Beal should see more usage with Westbrook no longer on the team. Meanwhile, Curry dominated the NBA last year after missing nearly all of 2019-20 due to injury. Chances are we see him light it up again as he looks to lead the Warriors back to the playoffs.


Season Forecast

Losing Westbrook may be a tough blow for a team that doesn't have a clear second option after Beal. The Wizards' depth is certainly better thanks to their new acquisitions, but if Beal misses time, Washington is going to have trouble offensively.

On the plus side, Unseld was a great assistant coach who will likely be a successful head coach. Look for him to have success in time. However, the guess is that Washington has struggles off the bat in Year 1.

Record Prediction: 33-49 (No. 11 in Eastern Conference)


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