As Wizards fans, we suffer from a dearth of in depth local media coverage of our team (BF notwithstanding). I'd have to say what drives me most nuts is that we never see an article from any of the local scribes highlighting what the Wizards' path to legitimate title contention is. My mindset has always been that if you're not working towards building an eventual title contender or currently contending for a title, then you're not doing anything. I'd love for Michael Lee or someone else to go into detail on what the plan is for Wall, Beal, and company to bring us a banner to hang out with the 78 crew's contribution. Even if the answers from Grunfeld and Leonsis are clichéd beyond belief, it's still a worthwhile writing exercise to do. Contending is the end all be all of sports and I honestly don't know how they intend to pull it off (if they do intend to do it at all).
Now here we are tonight, and the Heat have won again. It's disgusting both because I have no respect for Florida sports "fans" and because LeBron and his buddies basically colluded to make an instant super team. It's a slap in the face to everything I love about watching sports. I love homegrown teams. I love rosters that mature together aided by savvy management making the right moves at the right time. I love the culmination of that process. Ironically though, I have to ask:
Does the Heat winning these titles and possibly next year's too actually help the Wizards chances of contending for a title during the John Wall era?
You probably know where I'm going with this, but I'd much prefer LeBron doesn't sour on the Heat before his opt-out comes up after next season. As terrifying as the Heat are right now, they're probably not going to be able dominate for much longer. The luxury tax is going to hammer them after next season. Dwyane Wade's body is breaking down. Role players like Allen and Battier are on the downside and will be hard to replace with their cap situation. All in all, unless you're delusional enough to think the Wizards title window opens up next season, then the Heat probably aren't a threat during any season Wall and Beal might eventually bring us a title.
On the other hand, if things had gone South for the Heat against the Spurs, or if Miami suddenly drops off next season, then we might be looking at our nightmare scenario: LeBron goes back to Cleveland. He joins forces with Irving, Waiters, the 2013 number 1 pick, Thompson, and a bevy of other young assets. I'm a bit of Wizards homer. I like Wall better than Irving and Beal better than Waiters. But that roster plus LeBron could terrorize the league for years. We could find ourselves in the unenviable position of being the modern Ewing Knicks even if we added the pieces we needed to contend.
I don't know. You may think the Heat will remain unstoppable for years, or you may be unimpressed with Cleveland's collection of talent. Either way, assuming we get a very good starter out of the number three pick, we will still be another very good starter and several bench pieces away from contending. I have no faith in Ernie Grunfeld to make the smart decisions to mold this roster and I have no faith in Leonsis realizing this and finding the right guy to put in his place. But still, Wall and Beal's potential plus the number three pick has me dreaming and asking the question: What's our ideal scenario? How do we get there?