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Wizards splurge to bring back core


For the most part, the Washington Wizards’ offseason was uneventful.

Veterans Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott were added for depth to a Wizards bench that struggled last season. Undrafted free agents Devin Robinson and Michael Young were signed to two-way contracts, so they will fight to make the team. The Wizards’ biggest news this summer was signing John Wall to a 4-year, $170 million contract extension. Wall is coming off the best season of his career, in which he averaged 23.1 points per game, 10.7 assists per game, two steals per game, and shot 45.1% from the field. All of those stats are career highs for the 27 year-old. Wall also made his first All-NBA team, and appeared in his fourth All-Star Game. Otto Porter was also resigned to max-contract deal: four years, $106 million.

With the Wizards’ trio of Wall, Beal, and Porter now all on max-contracts, they are set to be with the team through at least the 2020-21 season. Due to big money being allocated on stars, the team was not able to make any noteworthy additions, which is somewhat disappointing. Most fans are aware that the team will struggle to do better than last season, despite so many stars leaving the Eastern Conference this offseason.

Wizards fans will hope to see another long playoff run, barring anything catastrophic. The outlook for this season would be more exciting if the Wizards had a new starter. Instead fans are seeing the exact same product from last year.  Bradley Beal looks poised for his first All-Star Game appearance after being snubbed last year.

The Wizards are 9-7 on the season, making them first in the Southeast Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference. The combined “big three” for the Wizards is averaging 60.1 points per game, despite shooting struggles from John Wall. The team is yet to beat any top teams, but showed their ability to compete in close games with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. Mike Scott has been the biggest surprise so far, averaging 8.5 points per game, helping to improve what was one of the weakest benches in the league last year.

 

PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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