After only a little over a month, the NBA offseason is coming to a close and a new season is about to begin. Since the NBA Draft on November 18, a flurry of transactions has re-shaped a number of teams, including the Washington Wizards. With training camps opening Tuesday, it’s time to look at some key storylines heading into training camp and preseason.
1. How does John Wall look?
Let’s get away from all the offseason drama of the past couple weeks, including trying to determine if Wall is going to get traded. We will get a chance to see Wall in a Wizards uniform for the first time in two years. Some questions will obviously surround how healthy he looks, but besides that it will be interesting to see how Wall meshes with this new group of younger players, if he has added any new parts to his game and of course, how well he gels with Bradley Beal. With the evolution of Beal’s game, Wall’s ability to play off the ball could be a key component to the two successfully co-existing. It should be fun to watch this play out.
2. Will the young supporting cast — Rui Hachimura, Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant, Issac Bonga — show improvement from last season?
There was quite a bit that was learned when the Wizards played in the Orlando Bubble this summer. Rui Hachimura struggled as the number one option on offense, and we saw some flashes of brilliance from Issac Bonga. How does Hachimura evolve now in more of a supporting role and can Bonga take control of the starting small forward spot as a reliable 3&D threat next to Wall and Beal?
Brown and Bryant both played well in the bubble. Does their success continue in what will now be complimentary roles? Will Brown be able to earn more minutes and maybe even get into the starting lineup? With Bryant penciled in as the starting center, will he prove the Wizards’ front office right by maintaining confidence in his development?
3. How will the rotations be divvied up?
There are so many possible combinations based on how this roster is built. Rookie Deni Avdija will likely come off the bench, but how will he be used? If he is not able to consistently knock down shots, can he play in the same lineups as Ish Smith and Brown and expect production? He may fit well with Wall and Beal, but will he get minutes with Hachimura as well?
Will Brown get spot minutes at the point? Will Anthony Gill be able to crack the rotation? With Bertans back in the fold as well, who will fit with him, Wall and Beal in late game situations?
So many questions and soon we will have answers as the Wizards’ season will ramp this week.