Washington Wizards: 5 Reasons Why Your Favorite Team Will Suck in 2013-14
Why the Wizards Will Suck
This is it. This is the year the Washington Wizards put it together, string some wins together, and get back the playoffs for the first time since the now infamous Gilbert Arenas era. Wait, tell me what has changed again from the team that finished 24 games under .500 in 2012-13?
Unproven coach Randy Witman is still in town. The overpaid, under-performing duo of Trevor Ariza and Nene are still in the starting lineup. Well, there is the addition of rookie. Oh wait, he had a horrid training camp and now will start the season on the injure reserve. But how long will it take for last week's addition, Marcin Gortat, to adjust to a new team and new city?
So, fans are left to believe that the young backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal will suddenly just "get it," and they will become what could have been with Russell Westbrook and James Harden? This, in a city littered with busted picks and broken dreams? Sorry, not buying it.
Other than simply being the Wizards, who have broken DC Sports fans' hearts time and again, teams that date all the way back to the Chris Webber years and beyond, there are five big reasons why the Wizards simply will not be any good, once again this year. Andrew Wiggins, anyone?
Alexander Diegel is a columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @ItsaDiegel, "like" him on Facebook or add him to your network on google
John Wall is Not an Elite Point Guard
He was drafted to be an elite point guard. He's paid to be an elite point guard. He has the highlights of an elite point guard. Sadly, the evidence points to the fact that Wall is simply not an elite point guard.
By year three, Derrick Rose was an MVP, Chris Paul was cemented as the best pure point guard since Isiah Thomas, and Deron Williams averaged a double-double. Wall, meanwhile, arrived on the scene halfway through the year to say, "See, with me we aren't the worst team in the league! We can struggle to be mediocre!"
In year four of the Wall era, why should we believe the former top overall pick is anything more than a human highlight reel on fast breaks? His crooked jump shot has not gotten any straighter, his decision-making any more sound, nor his on-the-ball defense any tighter. Sadly, it may be time to cast him as one of those guys whose production never matched his prodigious skill set.
Wasted Draft Picks
The plan for the Wizards was to surround their superstar lottery pick with blossoming, young talent and watch the franchise grow, following the game plan of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The jury on Wall's ceiling is still out, and though he is far from a wasted pick, one thing is for sure: Kevin Durant is not. As for the rest of the lottery picks, which were supposed to match something along the lines of Westbrook and Harden in terms of production, the jury is very much in: they stink.
The Wizards might as well pay Jan Vesely the rest of his rookie contract, buy him a one-way ticket back to the Czech Republic, and end the pain now. Maybe it would at least soften the torture felt every time fans have to see a Klay Thompson (the other rumored option the Wizards might take with the sixth overall pick in 2011) three pointer, while Vesely sits glumly on the bench. Chris Singleton, the other member of the 2011 Depressive Duo, has yet to average more than four points per game or shoot over 38 percent for a season. By comparison, the draft day deal that delivered Trevor Booker and his career averages of six points and five rebounds, looks like an absolute genius move by general manger Ernie Grunfield.
It is too soon to cast this year's third overall pick, Otto Porter JR., in anyone's "bust" list, but his career has hardly started well in Washington. After a horrid training camp and exhibition season, Porter has started the season on the injured reserve, which has caused head coach Randy Witman to express, "I don't know who he is," according to The Washington Posts's Sarah Kogod. Yeesh.
Nene Can't Stay Healthy
When the Denver Nuggets signed Nene to a four-year, $52 million contract, they immediately had buyer's remorse, especially after the effect of the new, harsher luxury tax. Have no fear, the Wizards are here! Dump your unwanted, unhealthy, overpaid veterans on us!
To no one's surprise (except Washington's front office, apparently), a player that appeared in 75 or more games just four times in his nine-year career has suited up for 72 games in a season-and-a-half with the Wizards. And now he is supposed to magically stay healthy and hold down the fort with low-post scoring, defense and rebounding? Sounds mighty optimistic if you ask me.
The plan for the Wizards seemed to be to pair young and emerging talent with proven, established leaders. Of these veterans, I count one NBA championship winner, Trevor Ariza, whose production is as up and down as Charlie Sheen's acting career. There's Nene, whose track record indicates they will be lucky to get 70 games out of, and Marcin Gortat, who just arrived in town and did not carve a role out for himself in the NBA until just three years ago.
After that, I see a second-year coach, a bunch of 20 somethings, and a cast of characters who have grown accustomed to a losing culture. Who is going to step up when the going gets tough?
Randy Wittman is Not a Good Coach
The Wizards are trying to sell this team as the one that will finally turn things around and get to the playoffs. And we are supposed to believe that with the guy that just coached this team to another year in the top five of the lottery at the helm?
Maybe Wittman has a great philosophy and can draw things up on an dry-erase board with the best of them. But I ask you, when the team drops a few games, how long will it take for the youngsters to tune him out? I guarantee you a proven winner like George Karl or Avery Johnson could have kept their attention a little longer.