The Washington Wizards knew the 2019-20 NBA season wouldn’t be one where they contended for an NBA championship. With John Wall likely to miss the entire season recovering from his Achilles surgery, fans shouldn’t have expected them to make noise in the Eastern Conference.
However, we know for a fact they did not expect the team to be this bad so soon. The Wizards have struggled all season long, so today we will go over the one thing that could be holding the team back from rebuilding or reloading.
John Wall’s contract
When a team shows an inconsistency to make smart decisions, it can lead to poor contract moves by the front office and ownership. For the entirety of John Wall’s career the Wizards have been either bad or just ok. The team still has not won 50 games since the franchise’s inception, and after Wall made the All-NBA team in 2017, the team was desperate.
Instead of letting him play out the remaining years of his contract and test the free-agent market, they offered him a Supermax extension that begins this season.
We understand why the Wizards made the offer, but even before his injury issues we didn’t think it would have been a smart move. When he is healthy Wall is one of the best point guards in the NBA, but basketball is a team sport and if your best player can’t help you find success in the playoffs, why would you pay him hundreds of millions of dollars?
Wall will earn $171 million over the next four seasons, and the contract is already terrible because he more than likely won’t play at all this year. So Washington is paying him over $38 million to rehab, and they don’t know what caliber player they will be getting back in return.
The other issue is trading him will immediately increase his salary by 15%, which makes his contract arguably the worst one in basketball.
The Washington Wizards struggles the season
Although Washington sits at 5-10 in the East, their defense has been one of the worst in the league. They are currently ranked 29th in points per game allowed (120.1) and have a defensive efficiency rating of 115 (also 29th in the league).
Scott Brooks is firmly on the hot seat and if the team doesn’t get to .500 we fully expect him to be let go at the end of the season, if not sooner.
While Washington normally gives up buckets with ease, they are also finding ways to put the ball in the hoop. This could be the best offense the Wizards have put out under Brooks.
It also says something because he normally isn’t viewed as an X’s & O’s guy even dating back to his time in Oklahoma City, when he had Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in their prime.
The team is averaging 118 points per game (3rd in the league) and if they can just string together some consistent defensive play, the Wizards could be a dark horse to make the playoffs.
Bradley Beal is carrying the Washington Wizards
We were shocked to learn that Bradley Beal signed an extension with Washington. He has been perceived as trade bait for the past couple of years due to his affordable contract and his strenuous relationship with Wall. However, Beal decided to put his faith in the franchise and we think they will do the same.
Should they try to still move him? Of course, but we don’t see it happening at least until next off-season due to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement rules.
How do you think the Wizard will do this season?
Do you think the Washington Wizards will turn things around and make the playoffs? We think it is extremely unlikely but they still have a shot with the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture void of any good teams.