To say this season has been a disappointment for the Washington Wizards is an understatement. Just last season, the Wizards showed that they have the team and talent to make a run at the eastern conference finals this year. Bradley Beal turned into the player we thought he could be when he was drafted, John Wall became the undoubted leader of the team and both players were finally able to settle their on the court issues. It was all good just a year ago.
Remember that “Deathrow DC” thing? Well it’s a thing of the past. Due to injuries and chemistry problems on the team, the Wizards just barely made the playoffs and were bounced in the first round after having such high expectations coming into this season. John Wall has been criticized throughout the season by both teammates (Marcin Gortat) and the media all around. It’s finally his turn to speak up.
During his exit interview, as reported by Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, John Wall was asked about what the team needed to do in the offseason to take that next step to true title contention.
“Just got to add some pieces. 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 type of things. We don’t really have any 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 its 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.
John has always been one to speak his mind, which has given him a bad reputation. Personally, i respect the honesty.
Wall did not have the best season this year, somewhat due to injury, but still played at an all star level and is CLEARLY still the best player on this team. His statements are very true, as the Wizards struggled to recieve production from both their bigs and their bench all season, which led them to falling in the first round of the playoffs as well this season.
Due to their salary cap being tied up in the contracts of John Wall, Otto Porter, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi, it will be difficult for the front office to make many significant moves over the offseason. John Wall is correct, but he may be speaking on deaf ears at this point. It’s up to GM Ernie Grunfield and the Wizards front office to try to save this team from wasting away the prime years of John Wall and Bradley Beal. The way the salary cap is set up though, good luck with that.