As of right now, no one knows where LeBron James will go. We do know that many teams will go after him. Some of those teams are in the West. Teams like the Lakers, Clippers, Rockets and other Western teams will try to go after him. So lets say LeBron decides to go out West. Where does that leave the Wizards?
The Wizards lost to the team that went to the Eastern conference finals in a competitive 6 game series. They blew a huge lead in game 4, a 4th quarter lead in game 2, and also had a 4th quarter lead in game 6. I give the Pacers all the credit in the world, but if the Wizards main stars like Wall and Beal grow in maturity and experience in late game situations they can beat Indiana in the future. They win games 2 and 4 and the Wizards win in 5 just like the Bulls series. With the uncertainty in Indiana (will Lance Stevenson come back? Do the Pacers want him back? What is the deal with Roy Hibbert? David West getting older, etc.) the Wizards aren't that far away from beating the Pacers in a 7 game series one day.
In terms of next season, the main challengers would probably be the Bulls. The Wizards beat them last season, but the Bulls can add Carmelo in free agency or trade for Kevin Love. And having a former MVP of the league at point guard instead of a player picked up in the waiver wire doesn't hurt either. Other teams like the Hawks, Cavs, Pistons, Raptors, Celtics, Magic, 76ers, Bobcats and Bucks, will all improve significantly, but I still like the Wizards chances.
But even if teams like the Bulls improve, the Wizards would still have a chance if they play their cards right this offseason. Significant upgrades can be made to the teams second unit in free agency. Adding a legit back up center like Emeka Okafor would help. Wall recruiting his old Kentucky teammate, Patrick Patterson, to give the team a legit stretch 4. And Otto Porter might improve enough to give that unit a spark.
So if LeBron is out then how close would the Wizards be to making the NBA finals? Sure they would need the right matchups in the East, but if LeBron goes out West then Bradley Beal may not be too crazy for thinking our team can get to the Conference Finals or the NBA Finals.