Can the Washington Wizards actually contend in the East?

wizards cheerleaders

The past offseason, the Wizards managed to resign Marcin Gortat, replace Trevor Ariza with Paul Pierce, and sign a couple of quality role players in Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair. The question, combined with John Wall and Bradley Beal, is that team ready to contend, or they will be stuck in mediocrity, something like the Hawks during the Joe Johnson/Smith/Horford era. Can Pierce be the piece that pushes the young Wizards over the top? Is Gortat worth that much money?

Is Randy Wittman a championship coach? John Wall proclaimed that he and Bradley Beal are the best backcourt duo in the NBA, but now he has to prove that on the floor.

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Paul Pierce helps youthful Wizards compete in wide open East

Pierce Wizards

The Washington Wizards have one of the youngest cores in the league. Their starting backcourt consists of a 23-year-old point guard drafted first overall and a 21-year-old shooting guard drafted third overall.

John Wall and Bradley Beal are the future in Washington. They are also the present though. The Wizards entered the 2013-2014 NBA season on a five-year playoff drought. Their young backcourt grew up this past season and role players stepped up on the roster as the Wizards won 44 games and made the playoffs.

They even won their first round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls before losing to the top seed Indiana Pacers in six games in the semifinals. While Wall and Beal are the present and future of the team, they are very young. This past offseason, the Wizards signed veteran small forward Paul Pierce to provide some leadership and hopefully push the Wizards even further up in the now wide-open Eastern Conference. [Read more…]

Washington Wizards: 2012-13 NBA Season Preview

john wall wizards

The Sports Bank will be counting down to the opening tip of the 2012-13 NBA season with team by team previews starting with the worst and working our way to the title contenders.  There is no lockout this time around so let’s get going.

The Washington Wizards training camp began with a sour taste as news came out that John Wall suffered a minor setback to his knee injury and could miss the first month of the regular season.  That is not the start that a franchise which has suffered through four straight brutally bad years was hoping to hear as they try to turn the corner and inch towards becoming a playoff contender.

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New Orleans Hornets dump salary in trade with Washington Wizards

emeka okafor trade

The NBA off-season is officially underway as the first trade has been made between the Washington Wizards and New Orleans Hornets.  Here is my analysis on the deal which includes Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Rashard Lewis, and a pick in the up-coming 2012 NBA Draft.

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Washington Wizards off-season plan remains the same

john wall wizards

Team president Ernie Grunfeld called this the second year of a three-year plan for the Washington Wizards franchise.  After finishing with the second worst record in the NBA, there will need to be some accelerated growth next season if the team is going to reach the desired destination of said plan.  Having another high draft pick and adding some veteran pieces this off-season would certainly help.
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Wizards Fire Flip Saunders; Promote Randy Wittman to Coach

new wizards jersey

Flip Saunders was fired minutes ago. The coach of the Washington Wizards, the worst team in the NBA was replaced by assistant Coach Randy Wittman, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement of the change had been made.

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Former Wizards, Grizzlies Guard Javaris Crittenton wanted for Murder; Captured by FBI

Update: FBI arrest Crittenton at John Wayne/Orange County airport. From ESPN:

Crittenton, who was suspended from the league in March 2010 for having guns in a locker room with teammate Gilbert Arenas, was arrested Monday in Southern California to face a murder charge in a deadly Atlanta shooting.

Crittenton was taken into custody at about 8 p.m. local time at John Wayne Airport in Orange County after checking in for a red-eye Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

The FBI is hot on the trail of former NBA point guard Javaris Crittenton, a veteran who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, but saw most of his time in the league with the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards.

The Feds are cooperating with the LAPD and Atlanta Police to try and nab Crittenton, who is charged with murder and was still at large as of Sunday night.

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Washington Wizards Look to Build Around John Wall

John Wall dance

Like we are currently seeing in the NFL, the 2011 NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank will break down all thirty NBA teams over the next six weeks to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.

After blowing up their roster at the end of the 2009-2010 season, the Washington Wizards have put together a solid blueprint for their re-building process.  The Wiz enter the off-season looking to add to a core of young talent led by John Wall.

By: David Kay

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Ted Leonsis on the Washington Wizards New Direction

leonsis

Last year the Washington Wizards went 26-56 and were the only team in the NBA’s Southeast Division not to make the playoffs. Wisely, they blew up their roster this past season. And truly begin the re-building process this fall. The Wizards are starting over with a new Owner (internet pioneer and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis) and franchise player at the point guard position (NBA Draft #1 overall pick John Wall).

Leonsis, whose net worth is in the billions, was gracious enough to take time out of his very busy day to answer my questions about where the Wizards are going.

I first asked Leonsis about John Wall’s supporting cast, and if the other pieces around him will aid his transition into the NBA (similar to what Chicago did with their fanchise, #1 overall pick point guard Derrick Rose).

“I think that great next generation point guards are very rare, and difficult to find,” Leonsis said.

By Paul M. Banks

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Ted Leonsis taking Washington Wizards in a new Direction

ted-leonsis_capitals

Ted Leonsis is the majority owner, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, a group that on June 9, 2010 became owners of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL‘s Washington Capitals, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the Verizon Center and the Baltimore-Washington Ticketmaster franchise.

Leonsis, a former vice-chairman at AOL and an internet marketing pioneer, also serves as chairman of SnagFilms, Clearspring Technologies, and Revolution Money. However, his most unique attribute is likely his “scorecard” of personal and professional life goals. He drew up the 101 item list at age 25 after surviving an airplane flight that nearly crashed. Since that day in 1983 he’s checked off 74 of those 101 items. (See the list here).

By Paul M. Banks

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Back to the Drawing Board for the Washington Wizards

By: David Kay

The Sports Bank’s off-season breakdowns continue with a look at what the Washington Wizards need to do to begin their re-building process.
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Bulls-Wizards Live Blog

The Washington Wizards begin life anew without their star (and future potential jailbird) Gilbert Arenas. They next head to Chicago, to take on a Bulls team coming off a big win in Boston and riding a three game win streak. Stay right here to keep up with what goes down at the United Center tonight.

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