NBA Playoffs: Ranking the teams most likely to return to the playoffs in 2024

Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks - Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks - Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards – Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports /

Potential 2024 Playoff Team #5: Washington Wizards

When you pay a player $250 million dollars, you expect to be making the playoffs with that player leading the way each and every year. Well, unless you’re the Wizards. Washington did their best to push for a play-in spot, but wildly inconsistent stretches of basketball doomed the playoff dreams of the team in our nation’s capital before it started.

Bradley Beal had one of the most efficient scoring seasons of his whole career, Kyle Kuzma looked like a potential late-blooming scoring star with one of his best offensive seasons, and Kristaps Porzingis was able to work his way back into good health. Even Corey Kispert and Deni Avdija looked less like lost causes and more like functional NBA players.

Too often, however, a mostly mediocre effort on both ends of the floor doomed their chances of winning. The lack of a reliable point guard, alongside a dearth of shooters, were too much for the team to overcome, even when the roster was able to flash moments of marvel throughout the season:

If the team can get a better floor general, bring in some more capable role players, and lean into a defensive identity, the Wizards could shock the league and make a run to the playoffs as soon as next year. Even though they are often overlooked, the talent level on the roster is high enough that a quick turnaround is more than possible.