By Jack Bolesta @JackBolesta on March 16, 2014
The Washington Wizards took a huge step forward in the 2013-14 season. The team has been playing great, is above the .500 mark and is going to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Though Washington is not quite set out to win a championship, the franchise is heading in the right direction. Here is a look at five moves Washington should make this offseason to improve their title odds.
Nene has been great while playing in Washington. But the truth is, he provides more for the Wizards playing with the bench. The Wizards should sign a power forward in free agency, one who can take on the starting role and lighten the work load for the 31-year-old veteran. This would strengthen the frontcourt and allow Nene to continue to be productive, while also improving Washington's rotation.
John Wall has made great improvements, but if he wants to be the best point guard in history, then he will need to continue to improve his jumper. He is currently shooting 42 percent from the field and 34 percent from behind the arc. Washington's offense would also be much more dangerous if Wall could consistently knock down jump shots. Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving all shoot a higher field-goal percentage than Wall.
It looks like Washington has finally found a reliable center in Marcin Gortat. He becomes a free agent at the end of this season and Washington should re-sign him for the next couple of years. He has developed great chemistry with the team, provides a huge defensive presence and has revived his career in Washington. He has 27 double-doubles this season and is averaging 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Otto Porter has barely contributed to Washington. He is only averaging 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. The Wizards need to find a way to get Porter producing over the offseason. Washington could send him the to D-league, but the team has not yet elected to. By next season, he should be getting at least five points and five rebounds off the bench. If not, Washington should get rid of him.
This offseason, Washington's biggest priority is upgrading its frontcourt. There are a lot of suitable free agents the Wizards could sign. Luol Deng, Rudy Gay and Gordon Hayward are a few examples of great pickups Washington should go after. Even if the Wizards re-sign Trevor Ariza this offseason, Washington should still go after a strong and reliable forward in free agency.
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