PopGates resident Wizards experts take a look at the future of the franchise.

Mike Steenstra: 

John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter: is this the base of a winning future?

Let’s take a look at John Wall. I think he’s the best pure Point Guard in the league. I’m not saying he is the best Point Guard, I’m saying he’s the best PURE Point Guard. In the mold of Jason Kidd, only faster. The kind of player that makes their team better on almost every play.

Forget about what you saw in that last series. It was clear that John Wall was tired. Scott Brooks has a history of putting a lot of minutes on his stars…just saying.

Let’s look at the facts with John though;

Up over four points per game over his career average. Assists were up 1.5 too. It’s actually hard to believe that he only shot a shade over his average from 3 because he seemed to make them when they counted all season. He’s a stud.

John will be 27 this next year. Ernie Grunfeld is an absolute moron if he does not build this team quickly THIS SUMMER because John Wall is at his peak and that won’t last forever. What better time is there than now? If Ernie (say Ernie in your head like Charles Barkley for the rest of this) doesn’t have the biggest Summer that a GM can have, I’d be packing my bags if I was John. This player is a winner and deserves the best around him.

How about Bradley Beal?

Beal is such a young gun still! He’s only 23 right now. Feels older, doesn’t he? He took an incredible leap this year. Scott Brooks has often said that Brad is the best defender on the team too. He’s awesome.

The knock on Brad is that he’s been injury prone in his short career. Not false. Take a look at the figure on the left. Not terrible by any means and three of those seasons I’d (almost) consider them full seasons. But, his prime is closely aligned with John’s. They’d age so well together too. I’d imagine that as John gets older, Brad will enter his prime and a Point Guard that can pass has longevity in the league. Once again. Come on, Ernie.

Otto is the one of the big three that I’m not as cocksure of. Do they pay him to stick around? Take a look-see;

First of all…round of applause for Otto this year. Look at that improvement! Three and D all day with those big lanky arms. He was an absolute BOSS this year from three. Do you know how ridiculous it is for a man that big to shoot so well (43.4%) from out there? I’m not entirely convinced he’ll keep that up though. One more sample size year would be nice before they made a choice but spending that cash on Otto this summer is probably the right move, don’t you think? Lock him up, Ernie.

But even with these three guys, how on earth do you build a team to beat LeBron? I literally just got done watching Game 2 of Celtics-Cavs and it was the most dominant performance I have ever seen.  The Cavaliers and Warriors are clearly on another level. I’m sorry Bradley Beal, but they were not scared of y’all in the second round either.

It’s really hard to write this next part because I don’t know what I’d do if I was Ernie. What would you do? Check out ESPN’s free agent list for this offseason.

Lucas Johnson:

The players, coaches, front office and fans are all disappointed after the Washington Wizards Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics. The semi-conference road lose that ended that series seemed to have almost discredited all the improvement and success that the team made under first year head coach Scott Brooks. The franchise does not get the time that the fans do to mourn the lose, the Wizards front office must look to improve the team.

The Starters

John Wall and Bradley Beal are cornerstone players that will be with the franchise for the foreseeable future. Otto Porter Jr.  is set to be a restricted free agent and unless some team offers a maximum level contract to him it is most likely he returns as a Wizards. Porter is not considered a max level player, so the Wizards should be able to afford him.

Markieff Morris was hot and cold all season, they could look to improve the position and delegate Morris to the bench, though I would advise against it. Primarily, because Morris might not take a move to the bench very well and it could affect his play negatively. He could also cause conflict in the locker room similar to what the Phoenix Suns experience with him before he was traded to Washington. Granted the issues with the Suns was more to do with their front office versus his role with the team.

The biggest question mark is Marcin Gortat. The Polish Hammer had a very solid season by his standards averaging 10.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. In an article by J. Michael, Wizards Insider of CSN Mid Atlantic, Gortat communicated that he is feeling undervalued and could be looking to be traded. Michael elaborated that it could be because of Ian Mahinmi’s bigger contract and younger age. Regardless there is a strong chance that the Wizards starting center could be different starting next year.

The Bench

Depth at center is still a question even if Gortat and Mahinmi still return to their roles because, Jason Smith is not the answer. Drafting a center in the second round may be the best answer for the Wizards at this point. Kelly Oubre and Bojan Bogdanovic can rotate positions 2 through 4 for when entering the game. The other questions remain at point guard, with both Brandon Jennings and Trey Burke underperforming as backups the Wizards should at free agency to fill that need.

Players like Tomas Satoransky and Chris McCullough are young developing players the Wizards should hold on to. Satoransky has good combo guard skill and McCullough could be a long term stretch four option for the Wizards in the future. The same could be said for Sheldon McClellan and Daniel Ochefu. Sheldon did not impress and Ochefu is just too raw of a player for where the Wizards need a reserve center to be at. Both players should be moved off the team if able.

The Wizards had a good bounce back season from the disaster that was the 2015-2016 season. Now Brooks must work together with general manager Ernie Grunfeld in order to improve the roster and take the next step in contending.