It will be a long off-season for the Washington Wizards. After being on the cusp of the eastern conference finals multiple times in the past few seasons, they took a step back this season finishing as the No. 8 seed in the eastern conference at 43-39 and losing to the Toronto Raptors in 6 games.
They have plenty of chemistry issues and may have to make some big roster decisions this summer as a team projected to be well over the cap with a need for some improvements.
Their All-Star point guard John Wall has his own opinions on where the Wizards must improve this summer.
Here is what he told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington:
“Just got to add some pieces,” he said. “A lot, to be honest. There’s a lot that we can use… I think it’s pretty obvious. I don’t need to point it out. I think the way the league is going, you need athletic bigs, you need scoring off the bench, you need all of those types of things. We don’t really have an athletic big. I mean, Ian [Mahinmi] is older. [Marcin Gortat] is older. They’re not athletic guys, but they do the little things that permit their game to help as much as possible…
“I think it’s just figuring out what pieces can add to our team, what guys can stay and what guys can go, that make us, that really want to be here, that really want to win and really want to take that next step,” he said.
Wall is correct, but the reality is that without being able to deal one of their larger contracts, the Wizards have essentially no cap space to sign anyone outside of the mid-level exception this summer.
They may be able to deal Marcin Gortat and the final year and $13.5 million of his contract if they attach a young asset or future draft pick in the deal, but there is no way any team is taking on the final two years and $32 million of Ian Mahinmi’s eye sore of a contract.
If the Wizards want to tinker or change up their roster in any meaningful way, they may have to make a huge splash and deal one of their three top players: Wall, Bradley Beal or Otto Porter, in order to clear some cap room and retool a roster that has seemingly hit its ceiling.
Their could be drastic changes for the Wizards this summer, but with their current cap situation I expect to see much of the same in 2018-19, at least for one more season.