NBA / Apr 28, 2011 / 12:45 pm

5 Reasons The Wizards Are The NBA’s Model Rebuilding Franchise

John Wall

John Wall (photo. Reebok)

With the NBA offseason already a reality for half the league, the Washington Wizards will be wrapping up their rebuilding process. After watching their franchise go through some serious tough times, the front office came to the conclusion to abort everything and completely remold the roster. The franchise shipped out its three All-Stars – Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Gilbert Arenas – and went head-first into rebuilding mode. The key factor in rebuilding is giving your fans something to look forward to. And with the No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA Draft, they gave Washingtonians just that by acquiring rookie sensation John Wall.

Now after shifting several pieces to the puzzle, the Wizards are finally looking forward to competing for relevance in the Eastern Conference very soon. Executing the rebuilding process to perfection is not always easy, but the Wizards have done it just about as close to perfect as they could have. Here are five reasons the Wiz-Kids have a bright future ahead of them.

1. John Wall is the future
Coming into this season, a lot of people thought John Wall had a legitimate chance to take home Rookie of the Year honors. Although he didn’t finish the season with any hardware, he still proved that he’s on track to become one of the league’s elite point guards. Everyone somehow thinks Wall underachieved expectations, but that assumption is only a result of Blake Griffin overachieving his. If it hadn’t been for Griffin’s astonishing rookie season, Wall may have been the runaway favorite for ROY. If you look at the numbers, Wall posted 16 points and eight assist a game, which are the same exact numbers that made Chris Paul the clearcut ROY in ’05-’06. Derrick Rose averaged 16 and six in his rookie campaign, and after three seasons, ended up as the MVP. If you ask me, Wall did just fine living up to the hype. If he get’s on that D-Rose offseason workout plan, he may be taking home the MVP trophy sooner than people expect. If Rose can do it, why can’t Wall? The good fortune of a franchise starts at the point guard position, and with John Wall running the show, the Wizards have a bright future.

2. Nick Young is the real Most Improved Player of the Year
After the Arenas trade, opportunity struck for shooting guard Nick Young, and he took full advantage. Seeing an increase on his time on the floor from 20 to 31 minutes a game, Young became a focal point of the Wizards’ offense. Early in the season, before his injury, many argued that he was on track for Most Improved Player of the Year. This season, Young really found his comfort zone in the starting shooting guard position for the Wizards, and solidified his role as one of the team’s go-to players. Scoring 20-plus on a regular basis – and even posting a career-high 43 on Sacramento in January – Young caught many people by surprise. With a career three-point percentage of 38 percent, Young provides the Wizards with substantial outside shooting ability alongside teammate Rashard Lewis. He’s proved he’s not scared to go toe-to-toe with the best of ‘em, scoring a whopping 38 on 12-of-19 shooting in one game against Miami this season. Expect to see Young average 20-plus next year if he’s healthy, considering that he’s earned the green light from the coaching staff this season.

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  • jnuh

    *checks calendar to make sure it’s not april 1st*


    are you from washington? you must be.
    1) Wall is nice, but he isn’t gonna make the team good by himself, you gotta see how he develops as a point guard, how well he can run a team.
    2) Nick young is a gunner, give him shots, hell shoot lots, score some. He’s the kinda guy whos gonna get buckets on lottery teams his whole career. Plus their probably gonna overpay him in the offseason and fuck up any cap space they might have had.
    3)Blatche and Magee are about as unsolid as it gets.. their the big man versions of gunners. too dumb to ever be important peices on a good team.
    4)Jordan Crawford is like a short Nick Young, wouldnt even get PT on a playoff team.
    5) i wouldnt put money on anyone from this weak draft saving them.
    then there’s
    6) rashard lewis is getting $40 million over the next 2 years.

  • DH

    Good article, but do you honestly think McGee’s athleticism is unmatched at the center position? Are you familiar with the center for Orlando?

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    I like the foundation Washington has. Like Jaimie said, Wall is so far following the same path as Rose/CP3, so you can’t say he WON’T be a full-fledged superstar in the next 2 years or so. Nick Young is a gunner, but I’d rather have a two-guard who can score like Young than some of the guys Rose/CP3 have had next to them in the backcourt.

    The Wizards can put together an athletic, offensively explosive team that can make noise in the playoffs — which is better than what they’ve had the last couple of years — but if they REALLY want to be title contenders of course it will come down to whether they learn to play defense. They have a young shot-blocker in McGee and at least one interior dirty-work guy in Trevor Booker, so if they get a potential perimeter stopper like Chris Singleton in the draft and keep building the defense, it’s another move in the right direction.

  • sweetv0mit

    Derrick Rose averaged 16 and six in his rookie campaign, and after three seasons, ended up as the MVP

    -Do you guys know something we don’t?

  • yeezy

    blatche solid as a rock?

    Blatche showed some flashes of dominance earlier this season but def didn’t live up to expectations coming from his surge at the end of 09-10 season. TO’s are much to high from his terrible decisions with the ball and he shoots too many face up long jumpers. for a big man he unfortunately has pau “charmin ultra soft” gasol syndrome in that he always looks like hes afraid to bang in the paint. his reb numbers are inflated if you watch the games. a lot of his boards come at the end of games or blowouts which overrepresents his impact on the game when its relevant

  • yeezy

    +1 for LMNOP, AB you need to watch some wizards games

    Blatche showed some flashes of dominance earlier this season but def didn’t live up to expectations coming off his late season surge in ’09-’10. TO’s are much too high from his terrible decisions with the ball and he shoots too many face up long jumpers. for a big man he unfortunately has pau “charmin ultra soft” gasol syndrome in that he always looks like hes afraid to bang in the paint. his reb numbers are inflated if you watch the games. a lot of his boards come at the end of games or blowouts which overrepresents his impact on the game when its relevant

  • Patrick

    Too bad this draft is going to suck. The guys you listed should not be lottery picks. They are either undersized or under skilled


    6) rashard lewis is getting $40 million over the next 2 years.

    That says it all! Hahahahaha!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Patrick — I say this over and over again, but you can’t judge a draft class as weak or strong until the players have been in the League at least a couple of years. Remember how the 2009 class was supposed to be weak after Blake Griffin?

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Good article. Optimistic as every team should be, before they roll the balls out.

    @ anyone that doesn’t like the Wizards chances – do you really think that the Cavs, Wolves, Nets, etc are worse off than Washington? Read the points above, and see if you can say the same thing about any of the other bottom feeders.

    The biggest problem to me is that they’re going to have good picks in a weak draft. Austin, I see you, but in 09 at least it was the best players getting drafted. Every draft has “the best players”…this year might be an exception, though. This draft’s best players might not come out. That’s the difference between now and 09.

    Curse of Kwame lives on…

  • Tha Boddy “Wiz Kid”

    Excellent article!!!
    I am from the DMV and proud of it, CP3 and DRose would die to have Nick Young beside them. Sure he is a gunner but he shoots close to 45% and 38% from 3 and shows up in big games. He went toe to toe with DWade and Kobe. John Wall is only gonna make him better ppl better stop fakin about them over paying him. Who doesn’t want a 6’7 SG with more offense than a family guy episode, The Wizards are gonna get real and keep “Young”


    What a complete puff piece.

    You just named players that had decent seasons for the Wizards. How is that a model for rebuilding?

    They have John Wall who is an excellent building block, but it was a complete fluke that they were fortunate enough to be able to draft him. How is that a blueprint for success?

    Nick Young and Jordan Crawford are chuckers, give them enough shots and they’ll score. Nice pieces but nothing more than role players to score from the bench.

    JaVale McGee is all potential at this point and they got a bargain in the 08 draft in finding him. Andray Blatche is overpaid, inconsistent and his best value is as a trade chip. How is either solid as a rock?

    As for 5. “The draft brings even more possibilities” what a daringly original insight. I’m pretty sure every team is optimistic about adding talent through the draft… its not like Washington have brought any amazing new philosophy to drafting.

    They’ve got $20 million locked up in Lewis for 2 more years, Blatche is getting overpaid for the next 4 unless they can trade him, they will probably overpay Nick Young based on the same criteria you judge he is a good player with and they have decent picks in a crappy draft this year.

    Complete puff piece just here to take up room… and you’re wrong. Oklahoma are the model rebuilding franchise by:

    1. Building through the draft by making the sensible picks. High character, high ceiling players who fit their scheme.

    2. Not making any stupid FA signings.

    3. Having franchise stability, the team is growing together and are close knit and play for each other.

  • TK3K

    I live in DC and am a Wizards fan. This is one of the most optimistic and unrealistic things I have read about the Wizards yet. Wall is all we have. Young is a lottery team all star. Blatche will never take the next step. McGee is too athletic for his own good; he can’t learn to play his position. Crawford is inefficient and also a lottery team all star, but no more. We have NO good veterans to teach this team how to play good team basketball except Mo Evans, which is a stretch. I want what this guy is smoking.

  • Colton

    this article was written in a sense of the potential that the wizards have … they just need to mesh and play together and be coached to play better and more in sync. i agree as far as potential goes and i dont feel its a stretch … everyone just enjoys playing devils advocate. even if they believe partially, they will act as if all of your points have no validity, just to prove themselves right. all said … good article.

  • deagletime

    This can only be explained by the following equation:

    Jaimie Canterbury = Wizards season ticket holder

  • Abe504

    woah, hold on there, im a die hard wiz fan but model franchise my ass. The thunder and the bulls are the model franchise rebuilding ways. I’d trade blatche and nick young asap. Neither of them play defense at all, hell Nick young don’t even crouch to play defense. Jordan crawford took his spot imo. Hopefully we can get dude out of Arizona as a pf for the future and pick up a backup point and backup center. Still 2 years away from even sniffing the playoffs. And we need to get rid of Flip asap

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    For everyone mentioning the Bulls and Thunder, I think the author means the Wizards are doing the best job of rebuilding among teams who are still rebuilding. The Thunder and Bulls are past rebuilding and have moved on to contending. Look at the teams who are currently rebuilding — Bobcats, Cavs, Kings, Warriors, Wolves, Nets, etc. — and compare the Wizards to those models.

  • keven Jones

    I LOVE the Wizards, but this is funny. Would have been credible except the entire 3rd reason is so ridiculous, and I didn’t even read anything but the title of the 3rd reason.

    So while the title of the article might be correct, number 3 damn sure ain’t a reason why this would be the case…

  • IDOT

    I was reading not too long ago that the Wizards would have drafted Harriosn Barnes had he stayed in the darfted. They would have put him in the backcourt with John Wall.

  • Sunn

    Contrary to belief Nick Young plays defense. He would not be on the court if he didn’t. Watch his defense against Kobe and Wade. Yea he is one dimensional but he works better with John Wall then Crawford. Hopefully he stays on the team so he can improve and continue the chemistry with Wall

  • Cody

    I don’t even know wtf I just read. Wall wouldn’t even be fourth on the ROY voting. Griffin literally ran away with the award, but behind him you got players like Demarcus Cousins, Landry Fields and Gary Neal (out of nowhere). Rose helped his bulls team immediately, as did Paul, but the Wizards saw no improvement from last year.

    Second of all, Andre Blatche? That guy is a cancer to a locker room and about as gifted as a midget with no legs. He has no dominance because he is weak. He is basically Rashard Lewis without the three game.

    Third, don’t even start with McGee. His post game is about as polished as a rodeo clowns boot. I remember when he had that “amazing” triple double game. They basically spent half the game trying to get him his tenth point, but sat and watched as he used his lack of post moves to throw the ball at the basket and create turnovers. At best, he is Tyson Chandler, a specialty player who can help out on a team that already has stars.

    Fourthly, they have a huge salary in Rashard Lewis to deal with for the next 2 years. All they can do is hope for one of the two or three players in this draft that are actually worth anything. They can’t sign anyone, because nobody wants to play there and if they do, they can’t pay them what it would take for anyone to get there.

    This was a reach. I applaud your effort, but nobody in their right minds thinks anything of this team. If you had written this about the Clippers, Warriors, Kings, Twolves, hell even the Cavs, I might of agreed. Washington is where careers go to die.

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