From re-signing Martell Webster to the loads of money they are about to reward John Wall, the Washington Wizards no longer have the look of a franchise in the midst of rebuilding. With that said, has the pressure on Randy Wittman to make the playoffs kicked up a notch?
The answer to that question is an equivocal yes. Don’t believe me? Then I suggest that you follow the money. If rumors are true that Washington is nearing a five-year, $80 million contract agreement with Wall, then Washington no doubt has playoff aspirations next season. You simply don’t commit that type of money to a player if you plan on playing the lottery at season’s end.
Even the selection of Porter, a player with limited potential who is viewed as NBA-ready, has playoff push all over it. Washington was willing to pass on potential All-Stars in the draft, like Ben McLemore and Nerlens Noel, in order to avoid the growing pains– i.e. losing games– that often come with selections of high-risk, high-reward prospects. With that said, you’d have to think that Washington is making a full-bore run at the playoffs next season.
With this renewed commitment to winning by Wizards’ owner Ted Leonsis, coupled with the big-name coaches currently without jobs — Lionel Hollins and Vinny Del Negro — it’s safe to say that the hotness of Wittman’s seat is on par with Washington’s politicians.