It wasn’t very long ago when the Washington Wizards were 12th place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. I wrote that the team needed to blow it up and rebuild. And I also said that January’s performance would likely play a major part as to whether they do the right thing (in my opinion) or not.
Fortunately for President of Basketball Operations Tommy Sheppard and Head Coach Wes Unseld, Jr., Washington has started winning more games. Washington has quietly gone on a four game winning streak. They are now 24-27 and are 10th in the Eastern Conference. If the season were to end today, they would accomplish their goal of making the NBA postseason by earning a road game in the play-in tournament.
Since the Wizards have started winning more recently, it should be no surprise that Ava Wallace of The Washington Post wrote that the Wizards’ front office has no intention to blow up the “Big Three” of Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. While Beal has been inconsistent, Kuzma and Porzingis are having their best individual seasons. The team hopes that they can get Kuzma to re-sign. And they hope that Porzingis doesn’t exercise an option to enter free agency himself, or re-sign him if he does.
I’ll be blunt: this core isn’t going to lead the Wizards beyond a first round playoff appearance at most. If Washington is hellbent on keeping the Beal, Kuzma and Porzingis trio for the next couple seasons, they can only make trades around the edges. Or they can hope that Deni Avdija and/or Corey Kispert have a breakout next couple of months and become All-Stars themselves.
If a first round playoff appearance is the peak for this core, then I’m not sure what the point is for the Wizards to keep their cornerstones together. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.