Thank you for responding to this week’s SB Nation NBA Reacts survey. Our Washington Wizards-specific results are below!
Wizards fans are encouraged by the recent win streak but most remain skeptical about a season turnaround
On Festivus, or Dec. 23, 76 percent of our 200+ respondents were NOT confident in the Wizards’ direction, AT ALL. They gave the team a 1 out of 5. Fast forward a week later, and that percentage has dropped in half and we still had over 200 people responding!
To be clear, 64 percent are still not confident in the team's direction. But now, we are seeing that 36 percent of fans are confident, or content with the team’s direction. That’s because out of the people who gave scores of 3-5, the vast majority (24 percent) gave 3s.
Why are fans confident in the Wizards’ direction?
- “Goodwin brings the effort and it really shows, I love how Deni is putting them stops on elite players.”
- “Defense and consistency. If they truly in vibe this every game then we’ll have a chance for a playoff berth”
Here are some people who gave neutral responses:
- “I’m neutral. They look much better with Delon Wright back (of note: they are 6-1 when he plays, the lone loss was in OT at Cleveland) and they’ve got a bunch of tradeable assets that they could use to either chase a big name in a trade or get draft picks. They need to pick a lane (and soon), but they actually seem positioned to pursue something. Absolutely cannot sit pat at the deadline with this roster though.”
- “I think we will just be mediocre for a while so it technically isn't horrible. That’s why I put 3”
- “They are an average team, should finish around .500 unless injuries derail them.”
And why are fans NOT confident?
- “Ownership and front office is..... not great. Won’t acknowledge the reality of this team, and now have painted themselves into a corner. Now they have to trade Kuz, who they should have built the team around and not Beal who even at diminished returns, would have brought back SOMETHING.”
- “Their repeated attempts to make mediocre teams result in terrible ones. They need to bottom out. Beal is the trade priority and has been for years.”
- “Wes Unseld, Jr. has not won me over. I think the team would benefit from a more high-profile coach like Kenny Atkinson or even Mike D’Antoni.”
- “At age 29, Bradley Beal has likely already peaked and his contract will likely prevent the team from competing in the foreseeable future (especially given his injury history). I feel the team missed an opportunity to trade Beal when they traded Wall.”
- “NOT FALLING FOR FOOL’S GOLD THIS PAST WEEK!”
And finally, a fan who wasn’t confident asked this question:
- “Beal’s gotta go, so why isn’t he in the survey in your next question?
I’ll answer that question in the next section.
Wizards fans feel that they should prioritize moving Kyle Kuzma at the trade deadline over other players.
A clear majority, of 67 percent of our respondents believe that Kyle Kuzma should be the Wizards’ first priority to move at the trade deadline. This is because he is entering unrestricted free agency this summer. It doesn’t seem like the Wizards can afford to keep him, and he probably doesn’t want to play for a losing team anyway. Therefore, teams are reportedly ready to pounce.
Deni Avdija was second with 16 percent, Rui Hachimua third with 11 percent and Kristaps Porzingis had 6 percent of the votes.
As one respondent asked earlier, why wasn’t Bradley Beal a choice in this survey question? That’s because it isn’t realistic to see Beal be moved given the current situation. He is on the first year of a supermax contract with the only no-trade clause in the NBA.
I agree with the respondent that moving Beal must be a priority for a rebuild. But the only realistic way to make that happen (besides simply losing games) is to move other key players like Kuzma FIRST. They would have to make the winning situation in Washington miserable for Beal in terms of trying to compete for a deep playoff run that is. Finally, Beal gets to choose where he goes because of the no-trade clause, so his situation is simply more complicated than moving Kuzma, Porzingis, Hachimura or Avdija.
We’ll have our next survey in 2023! That next week!