Washington Wizards: 2019-20 NBA season preview

(Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards’ upcoming NBA season presents an opportunity for the team’s young roster to improve around all-star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

After the 2018-2019 regular season, the Washington Wizards did not reach the expectations that the team’s management had established. The Washington Post quoted Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) Owner Ted Leonsis saying that acquisitions of center Dwight Howard, forward Jeff Green, and guard Austin Rivers made the 2018-19 Wizards “as deep or the deepest team that we’ve ever had.”

Although the new-look Wizards appeared a contender on paper, issues with team chemistry boiled over during a Nov. 17, 2018 practice. Howard played just nine games last season, and Washington ended the year with a 32-50 regular-season record, finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference.

With that written, last year’s campaign saw a few players rise to prominence, especially energetic, rising center Thomas Bryant and Bradley Beal, who played a career-best season. The growth of Bryant, Beal, and then-rookie small forward Troy Brown Jr. was cause for optimism and hope for Wizards fans.

Room for improvement, in terms of winning a greater number of games and qualifying for the postseason, is sorely needed. The chief goal of new Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard is instead “player development.”

Sheppard discussed in an Associated Press article what tracking players’ development would look like this season:

"“It’s not just by a stat sheet. It’s all the things that you’re asked to do on the floor. Are you able to go out there, execute consistently, and we see you improve the things that we’re asking you to do? We’re asking players to be stars in their role, essentially, right? We can evaluate that to see if you’re doing those things. I think those are areas that we’re going to evaluate and watch the roster get better.”"

The effectiveness of Washington’s numerous roster additions, contributions of Bryant and leadership of Beal and performance of Japanese forward Rui Hachimura in his upcoming rookie season all remain to be seen. Regardless of the developmental season that seems to lie ahead for the Wizards, emphasizing the player progress that will ideally occur this year is essential.

Considering the Wizards’ high upside and their player acquisitions this offseason, this is a preview of their year yet to come.