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.