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What are the best and worst case scenarios for the Wizards this season?

The Washington Wizards aren’t projected to make the postseason by many sources. Can they buck that trend?

2022-23 NBA Globals Games All-Access
The Washington Wizards could make the playoffs. But they also may not.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Wizards will begin the 2022-23 NBA season in just five days! With time running out, it is time for us to take part in our SB Nation NBA network wide preview on what we hope to see this season!

What’s the ‘Best Case’ scenario for your team this season?

I will assume “best case means” that the Wizards make the postseason. In this case, the Wizards win 45 or more games and earn a Top-6 guaranteed playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. From there they would move onto the second round of the playoffs. The Wizards will be able to do this because most of these things happen:

  • Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis are healthy enough to play in over 75 percent of games.
  • Rui Hachimura and Deni Avdija develop into starter quality or even near All-Star reserve caliber players.
  • Daniel Gafford becomes a reliable pick and roll partner for Beal.
  • Johnny Davis develops into a serviceable rotation player.
  • Taj Gibson serves as a valuable contributor off the bench and also as a mentor to younger posts like Gafford.
  • Washington’s offense develops into a Top-10 unit while the defense stays at least average.

What’s the ‘Worst Case’ scenario for your team this season?

The Wizards start out poorly this season and go under .500 for their first 20 games. Beal suffers a setback from his wrist injury last season. Porzingis misses over half the season due to various injuries. Davis isn’t serviceable as a rotation player and spends time in the G-League where he doesn’t stand out for the Capital City Go-Go.

Ultimately, the Wizards finish with under 30 wins and miss the playoffs, which prompts a rebuild.

What’s the ‘Most Likely’ scenario for your team this season?

Most likely, the Wizards will be just good enough for the play-in round for the Eastern Conference playoffs, or be just bad enough to stay out of the postseason. Beal and Porzingis will have their moments when both are healthy, but Porzingis ends up missing about one third (25-30 games) this season. Hachimura and Avdija continue their growth, but are not “showstopper” type of players.

Davis will not go to the G-League, but he will be an end-of-the rotation player whose playing time may be a bit sporadic.

What are you most excited for going into this season?

The Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis duo. Porzingis is the first All-Star post player whom Beal has played with during his career. And their success will likely determine whether the Wizards can make the postseason

Predict your team’s win/loss record for the season.

I’m hesitant to predict an exact win and loss record so I’ll give a range. Between 35 to 40 wins (35-47 to 40-42) season.

Predict your team’s conference seeding

10th (or 11th)

Roster Additions

  • Delon Wright (signed as a free agent, played for the Hawks last season)
  • Taj Gibson (signed as a free agent, played for the Knicks last season)
  • Will Barton (acquired from the Nuggets)
  • Monté Morris (acquired from the Nuggets)

Roster Losses

These players have departed:

  • Thomas Bryant (signed with the Lakers)
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (traded to the Nuggets)
  • Ish Smith (traded to the Nuggets)
  • Tomas Satoransky (signed with FC Barcelona)
  • Raul Neto (signed with the Cavaliers)
  • Cassius Winston (signed with Bayern Munich)

Last season’s team record

35-47 (12th in the Eastern Conference)

Last season’s conference ranking

The Wizards ranked 21st for their offensive rating (111.1) and 25th for defensive rating (114.5)