The debate over where we fit in the East with all these moves, while the Wiz sit on the sideline as usual, has me again wanting to look at the positives.
Let's get this over with first: It's Heat and Lakers for the next five years, and ain't much anybody can do about that. It pains me just to type that. We can analyze the conferences and evaluate offseasons, but there are two pretty clear standouts that are going to be tough to beat for the forseeable future.
At the risk of sounding like an absolute loser, maybe now is the best time to look at the Wizards with a long-term, slow view of how to build for the future. And by future, I don't mean next season.
The Nats are actually a pretty good example. They were absolutely dreadful, and they still do some of the stupid things that make you shake your head, like misspelling their name on their uniforms. But this Strasburg thing has me very happy that they are not making hasty moves at the expense of staying good for the long haul. (The Rashard Lewis trade could certainly be placed in that category, but I digress)
So what about the Wizards? Nobody here has said that the team we put on the floor this season will be worse than last year. We all recognize that there is a nice mix of veterans and young guys. There is arguably a pretty good flexibility for future trades, even though we are maxed out on the cap. Despite our awful history with injuries, I would like to think that Okefor and Nene could not possibly both be injury-riddled shells of their former selves (Lord, please do not strike me down).
I guess what I'm saying is that we have the seeds to build a homegrown team. It might take a couple more years, and that's ok with me, because no magic potion is going to make us the Lakers or the Heat. Our only shot, as we have seen with the Thunder, is to grow our own and build a competent franchise that doesn't make stupid moves to sacrifice the future.
Bradley Beal? I love him, and I will root for him. It may take a few years to see what he is, but that's ... ok.
Jan Vesely? The Czech I call "Yan" is an enigma, but he's "our" enigma. Let's not worry about what position he plays, but be glad that he can shoot better this year than last. Gotta start somewhere, right? We still don't know what he is, but that's ... ok.
John Wall? Hell, I'm not worried about him at all. He is going to be a solid player, and maybe great. The key with him is that we make him want to stay here and sign for a reasonable contract for the future, when the other young guys are ready. He still can't shoot worth a lick, but that's ... ok.
Nene, Oke and Ariza? These guys are going to be such a breathe of fresh air for us, because they play basketball the right way, and they are not going to down a scoop of cinnemon! Why? Because it's stupid! They are grownups, and they will steady the ship for the young bucks to learn the right way to play. They are a little overpaid and possibly injury prone, but that's ... ok.
This has certainly been said before on Bullets Forever, but it bears repeating: I don't mind losing if I am watching a team that loves basketball, believes in each other, and improves every time they step on the court. I really don't care what seed they get next year. No 10 game losing streaks or multiple 30 point blowout loses would make me very happy.