Washington Wizards: 3 goals for the 2019 offseason

Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images
Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images /

3.  Commit to success next season

The Wizards have been stuck in limbo between tanking and trying to win since John Wall’s injury. They sold hard at the trade deadline, relinquishing Otto Porter Jr., Kelly Oubre Jr. and Markieff Morris.

However, their returns weren’t typical of a team that wanted to go into rebuild. Their significant acquisitions were Bobby Portis, who is a restricted free agent; Jabari Parker, who was owed $20 million last season with another big team option for 2019-20; and Trevor Ariza, who is now a free agent.

While Wizards’ management confused the fans as to whether they were going into full rebuilding mode, committing to winning in 2019-20 is the way they should go. Barring a Bradley Beal trade, the Wizards are fully capable of fielding a team that can compete for a playoff spot, even without Wall. A “Why not?” mentality is what the Wizards need to fuel themselves in a transition year without Wall.

During the season, young players stepped up along with trade pieces Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, who impressed in their short time with the Wizards. A commitment to grabbing a playoff spot will give the team and the fanbase some excitement as opposed to tanking for a relatively weak 2020 NBA Draft class.

Battling for the postseason will also excite a fanbase that was disappointed by the loss of its star and confused by the direction of the franchise. Wall’s long-term deal, rookie Troy Brown Jr.’s development and a 2019 lottery pick give Washington a good base to build on for the future, so there is no harm in playing for a playoff spot next season.

Dwight Howard has already exercised his player option for just $5.6 million. If he can stay healthy and fill out the paint, the Wizards will get a consistent, much-needed post presence.

Between Ariza, who could be interested in returning to D.C. but was paid $15 million last season, and Jeff Green, who is interested in returning, was owed just $2.4 million and is from the D.C. area, the Wizards probably do not have the space to keep these similar players. If they can grab one of them for $5-6 million, this frees up space to go after some of their many restricted free agents.

With Bradley Beal leading the team in Wall’s absence, the veteran presence of Howard and either Ariza or Green alongside a slew of young role players, winning is a strong possibility for next season.