Are the Washington Wizards any closer to building a winner around Beal?

Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Will Barton and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards celebrate (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

If there is one organization that has come to personify mediocrity in recent years, it is the Washington Wizards. That is not meant to act as some sort of unprovoked attack either, as there have been other franchises that have fallen harder and had worse records than the Wizards.

But those teams have also seen a reversal in their fortunes, thanks to some combination of clever front office work, making trades and signing free agents at the right time, and turning to lottery picks in the NBA Draft. This last point is the best way for teams, especially in smaller markets, to ensure they are competitive in the future.

Could the Washington Wizards, as currently constructed, be any closer to building a contender around the talents of All-Star Bradley Beal?

Put bluntly, no. But it is not as simple as that. The Wizards have actually started the season off 2-1, so before falling down a dark hole of negativity, let us look at some positives. With or without Beal, we can see that in the next three to five years, the makings of a contender will emerge.

Kristaps Porzingis looks like a real NBA player again. Somebody who can be relied upon as the second-best player on a roster to score some points and stretch the floor. Getting anything out of him will be looked at as a bonus, and at only 27 years old, there is every reason to believe he can still have an impact on the Wizards. At worst, he is keeping his trade value intact with his play.

Monte Morris, Will Barton, and Delon Wright are quality NBA-level players. The guys who can make contenders better and whose presence in Washington may account for the 3-1 start that has surprised some people. A tiny sample size for sure, but there is some genuine quality amongst their ranks.

Unfortunately, the positive vibes stop there, as none of those players will be around if the Wizards ever make a serious attempt to be contenders. Instead, it will be their draft picks who attempt to prop up a roster around Beal. So let us take a look at their selections over the last five years to see how that is going.