The All-Star break is over. The 15-36 Wizards return to practice Monday night, return to game action Tuesday against the Toronto Raptors. Over the final 31 games, these are the short and long term story lines we will be following...
*The Wizards, when fully intact, may not be a 5-28 team, but are they a 10-8 squad as they have been with John Wall in the lineup? That pace over a full season translates into 45 wins, which right now would have Washington as the Eastern Conference's seventh seed. So, is this a playoff-worthy roster or one that would be lottery bound regardless. With the NBA trading deadline this Thursday at 3 p.m., that does not leave much time for management to gauge the answer if they have not done so already.
*How dynamic of a duo can John Wall and Bradley Beal become. Depending on their combined scoring potential, Washington could make adding another point-producer this off-season its highest priority.
*Even if the conclusion is this roster needs significant overhauling, that is not the same as having to participate in any wheeling and dealing by Thursday. Practical odds are against Washington making a significant trade this week, though they are rumored to be in the Josh Smith sweepstakes. For cap purposes, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza would be obvious trade bait. Considering his contract expires after this season, perhaps Martell Webster's name comes as contending teams seek another perimeter threat.
Story lining the Wizards' second half of the season
CSN Washington | Feb 19