2016-17 in review: 49-33, 4th in the East. Lost to Boston Celtics 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Key Offseason Acquisitions: PG Tim Frazier, PF Michael Young (two-way contract), SF Mike Scott, SG Jodie Meeks, SF Devin Robinson
Key Offseason Losses: SF Bojan Bogdonavic, PG Trey Burke, PG Brandon Jennings
2017-2019 Outlook: The Washington Wizards focused their past two off-seasons on keeping their young core intact. Last summer, Bradley Beal signed a 5-year, $127 max deal. This summer, All-Star point guard John Wall, and swingman Otto Porter both re-signed for max dollars. Ernie Grunfeld and the rest of Washington’s front office are all in on this young core.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 4, 2017
The additions of Tim Frazier, Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott are relatively underwhelming. During the playoffs, Washington’s bench was their achilles heel. Many times during their match-up with Boston, they would build large leads, only for Boston to erase them because of a lack of bench production. Mike Scott and Jodie Meeks have struggled to be on the court the past few years due to chronic health issues. Scott and Meeks played a combined 54 games last season, which should scare Washington fans everywhere. Expecting them to be key rotation players on a playoff team is quite problematic. Tim Frazier will look to take over the backup point guard role that Washington hasn’t had much success with since Ramon Sessions. Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings were both tremendously underwhelming in their roles last year. Frazier showed flashes that he could be a solid contributor on any NBA team last year, and Washington’s upper brass is hoping those flashes of production will turn into consistent productivity in this upcoming season.
Washington’s goal should still be the same as last seasons — to reach the Eastern Conference Finals. Although the Boston Celtics have added Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to their starting lineup, they have given up a lot of depth — losing Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk. If Wall, Beal, and Porter continue to improve the way the have the past few years, they will be right there with Boston competing for a chance to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals.
Projected Strengths: Fastbreak offense, 3-point shooting
Projected Weaknesses: Bench production
Projected Win-Total: 52-30