Everyone loves new toys, so it's no wonder this site is flooded with enthusiastic comments after last night's draft. But reality is, most young teams (see: OKC, Memphis, Indiana) make dramatic improvement year-over-year due to internal improvement, not by adding rookies. I suspect the Wizards will improve, even if their 3 draft picks are only marginal contributors.
John Wall's Jumpshot Is Already Improving - We saw the marked improvement in the final month when Wall was forced to become the #1 option on offense and upped his shooting percentage to a respectable 44%. A player as prideful as Wall is undoubtedly working on refining his shot every day this Summer, as well as (hopefully) his free throws. With opposing defenses sagging off him, he still averaged nearly 17ppg as a rookie. With a more dependable mid-range game, this guy's ceiling is downright scary. Are you afraid? You should be.
Dray And Seraphin Can't Get Any Fatter - Was there another NBA team with two more embarassingly out-of-shape players than the Wizards last season? I don't think so. Both players had the flimsy excuse of offseason injuries to blame for their bulging waistlines, and I'm sure both understand (for different reasons) that better conditioning will likely determine how long they stick in Washington (or in Seraphin's case, the league). A slimmer Dray will be able to go baseline and blow by his opponents like the player we all loved waaaay back in Spring 2010. It's easy to forget, but Seraphin was last year's Bismack Biyombo. Dropping 25 pounds and adding some muscle should allow him to blossom into the solid defender and nifty low post scorer we all expected.
Rashard Lewis' Knee Can't Possibly Get Any Worse - Well, actually, it could. But as the team's biggest contract and most accomplished (only?) vet, a return to passable health would give this team it's best outside threat and a solid wing rebounder. His first month or so in Washington was great, but was unfortunately overshadowed by his godawful play later in the season when he clearly was playing injured. Let's hope that PRP treatment and several months of rest does the trick.
Jordan Crawford Will Play Less, But Contribute More - Look, I love Crawford's fearlessness as much as the next guy, but reality is, on a good team he'd be a 15-20mpg combo guard off the bench. With all signs pointing to the team re-signing Nick Young, Crawford will hopefully settle into a well-defined reserve role and less to help the team more by doing less. Everyone likes to compare him to Jamal Crawford for reasons to obvious to list here, but Jason Terry might be a better long term goal for his development. His ability to play alongside either Young or Wall gives us a solid young 3 guard rotation.
Oythus Jeffers Will Make The Team - If there was a better story in the season's final weeks than the signing and emergence of Oythus Jeffers, I'd like to hear it. Nobody expects OJ Da JuiceMan to play anything more than spot minutes, but having a guy like that pushing your rotation players in practice everyday will keep everyone on their toes.