The Wizards are in no place to compete for a championship this season. The Wizards aren't even in a spot to compete for a playoff spot this season. But the Wizards are in one of the most important races of all-- acquiring another big name superstar over the summer.
This summer's free agent class is, although quietly, huge. Names such as Gerald Wallace, Dwight Howard, Nazr Mohammed, Andrew Bynum, Jason Terry, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen will all be unrestricted free agents by the end of the 2011-2012 NBA season.
Many criticisms of Washington DC is that no big name superstar would want to come play for a losing organization. I don't buy that. The Nationals went out and got Jayson Werth from the Phillies last year. The Capitals locked up Ovechkin and Backstrom for an unbelievable contract length. The Wizards are no different. This rebuilding process has allowed the organization to stock up enough money to be serious bidders for any name I listed above.
When the "Decision" was going on with Lebron James, every team in the hunt was clearing cap space and the Wizards were one of the beneficiaries of players who were just given away. Now, the Wizards are in a spot to do the same this summer. While they may not play well together, the Wizards do have a lot of valuable pieces.
As the season ends, don't be surprised to see the Wizards dumping Nick Young, Andray Blatche, Mo Evans, Rashard Lewis, Roger Mason, Jr. and another player or two to make room to bid for an Andrew Bynum or Jason Terry.
Leonsis is willing to spend the money as long as he sees the players being a fit. With Grunfeld probably headed out the door after the season, the new GM is going to have plenty to work with.
The fans have seen what the younger players of this squad can do. From Booker's consistent performance to Singleton's and Mack's defensive awareness, this team is really one or two star players away from a guaranteed playoff spot.
My prediction? With the Lakers very interested in Dwight Howard, don't be surprised to see a lobbying for Andrew Bynum in DC. Combine that with the intensity of the Wizards' backcourt and a couple of other signings, we might be seeing a very different Wizards team on the floor next year.
But for now, it's back to reality; and here's for hoping for a road trip that sets the Wizards' away record better than last year's