|2011-12 Team Rating|
|28th Overall||24th Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor are veterans who will help the Wizards turn the page and win some games. But both came with hefty price tags that limit the team's flexibility for the next two years.
Bradley Beal should be a good offensive complement to John Wall in the coming years, but the pair might have trouble defending bigger guards. The Wizards really need Wall to take a step forward this year.
With a frontline of Ariza, Nene and Okafor, the Wizards could be the most improved defensive team in the league. And all those blocks and steals will launch quite a few fast breaks, where Wall is at his best.
The Wizards' bench will be young, but pretty talented and with plenty of starting experience from last season. They're deepest up front, with Jan Vesely, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin backing up the vets.
The Wizards improved quite a bit offensively after Randy Wittman took over for Flip Saunders last season. And this team should be much more coachable than the squads of Wizards past.
Only the Minnesota Timberwolves (82) have fewer wins than the Wizards (88) over the last four seasons. So it's certainly time for change in D.C.
The change has actually been a 20-month process. Gone are all the knuckleheads that plagued the Wizards' locker room over the last several years, and in their place is an interesting mix of young players waiting to make the jump and veterans on big contracts.
The veterans -- Nene, Okafor and Ariza -- should definitely take some of the pressure off of John Wall, provide some defense that the team can depend on from day to day, and make the Wizards a more competitive team this season. But player development still has to be priority No. 1 in Washington, because the real potential for change is with Wall and the rest of the young core.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|