The Washington Wizards had a very successful season considering how horrid their start to the 2016-17 was. They fought and were able to make it to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals where they lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games.

One thing that stuck out is that the Wizards had a rather decent bench but it still wasn’t able to produce. One would think they could simply sign better players come the 2017 offseason and the problems would be fixed. That assumption would be wrong.

The Wizards won’t have the cap space to sign any max-level contracts save for Otto Porter who can be signed over the salary cap via Bird Rights. Given how dominate the Cleveland Cavaliers have been and considering the Celtics’ bright future, the Wizards have a decision to make. Do they want to dump contracts and maintain as ‘contenders’ or do they want to go young and develop talent from within.

The answer should be a combination of both.

Washington isn’t going to be competing for a championship any time soon unless Otto Porter can take that next step much like we saw Bradley Beal take this past year. Beal must improve along with John Wall especially on the defensive end. It wouldn’t hurt to improve their consistency too. At times in the playoffs, it would seem as though one of the two would disappear.

If the Wizards aren’t going to be contending then they need to rebuild… kind of.

The process starts by dealing both Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi. Gortat has been real solid for the Wizards over the last few seasons but it’s time for the Wizards to move on. It’s clear Scott Brooks isn’t going to utilize Gortat for what he is and it wouldn’t make much sense to keep him and to be honest it wouldn’t be fair to Marcin.

Mahinmi was signed to a panic contract after Washington missed out on Celtic Al Horford. He was average when he was available but availability is the best ability and he wasn’t able to stay on the court a whole lot. Considering the fact he won’t be the difference for Washington, they should free up cap and give him away.

Ideally these two could be dealt for picks or small contracts to which the Wizards could later waive. This wouldn’t be a reach considering those two would have to have some market, especially Mahinmi. In this offseason wish list, they are both dealt away.

The Wizards need to get Detroit Pistons forward Marcus Morris on that basketball team. He is the twin brother of Markieff Morris and would fit right in to Brooks’ system. By doing so, the Wizards could have a more small ball oriented starting five with Wall, Beal, Porter, Marc. Morris, and Mark. Morris. Some of the most effective line-ups for Washington took place when Markieff played center — why not make it full-time?

The question is who would Washington trade in order to acquire Marcus Morris? To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of options and with Washington wanting to get younger, it didn’t make much sense to deal Kelly Oubre Jr. The Wizards could trade Jason Smith and a future first round draft pick for Morris.

Detroit isn’t in a position to win barely having enough talent to be considered for the eighth seed in a weak Eastern Conference. Take advantage of being bad (if there is one?) and take the pick. It could be valuable considering the Wizards might not be that talented come next season.

But why would Washington trade that pick if they have a chance at being bad too? — because this is an offseason wish list and it would be awesome to see the Morris twins together again and in Washington D.C.

The Wizards shouldn’t be looking to make a splash in free agency. In fact… they should do almost nothing. In a perfect world they sign Ben McLemore to a 2-year, third year team option deal. He would back up Bradley Beal and McLemore is still young. Maybe Brooks could get something out of him that we haven’t seen. He did a solid job of that with Wall and Beal this season.

The key component to that move is that he wouldn’t be that expensive. He is a restricted free agent but it’s doubtful the Sacramento Kings extend a qualifying offer before the deadline.

I’m sure at this point some are wondering how Washington should address their backup point guard issue. The answer? *insert magic conch shell voice*… nothing. The Wizards have an opportunity to draft Frank Mason out of Kansas. If that opportunity strikes (and here let’s assume it does) the Wizards need to take him. He would then battle with Tomas Satoransky for the position and Washington gets two different play styles at the position. Diversity doesn’t hurt.

Thomas Robinson needs another chance and the Wizards need to be that team to give him that chance. He’s from the D.C. area, went to Kansas like the Morris twins, and could still potentially be effective. The main reason to signing him is because he would be cheap… do you see the pattern here?

The Wizards also have Chris McCullough who has shown signs of being a solid contributor so if Robinson doesn’t work out then McCullough gets a chance to shine. Robinson of course would only be signed for a 1-year deal.

Washington needs to keep all of their current young guns: Sheldon Mac, Kelly Oubre, Daniel Ochefu, and Chris McCullough. It would be nice to see them re-sign Danuel House Jr. who was waived by the team in order to make room for Brandon Jennings. House showed promise from summer league to preseason and it would be wise for Washington to bring him back.

There is one last roster move the Wizards need to make… sign Jaleel Roberts. Roberts played a couple season with the Wizards in the summer league and preseason. He has the potential to become a decent rim protector and crafty inside scorer. Washington will still need a guy to protect the paint and Jaleel Roberts would be cost-effective and after all, the guy is 7’2″.

Here is a look at the potential depth chart:

John Wall – Tomas Satoransky – Frank Mason

Bradley Beal – Ben McLemore – Sheldon Mac

Otto Porter – Kelly Oubre – Danuel House

Marcus Morris – Thomas Robinson – Chris McCullough

Markieff Morris – Jaleel Roberts – Daniel Ochefu

Even after dumping the contracts of Gortat and Mahinmi, the Wizards won’t have too much to work with. They’ll need to be thinking about re-signing John Wall and the Morris twins. Porter will for sure get a big contract this summer. Should Wall decide to leave due to lack of success then the Wizards will have the cap space and have hopefully developed talent that could be used on the team or as assets in trade talks.

The Wizards will most likely take a completely different approach in regards to this offseason than the wish list above, but don’t be surprised if they take a younger approach this offseason. After all, it’s about the big picture in the NBA.

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