After an $80M contract extension for John Wall, it’s now time to prove for the supposed elite point guard that he can carry the Washington Wizards to greater heights in the 2013-2014 NBA season.
Can he prove that indeed he’s one of the best court generals in the league? Can a combination of veterans and youngsters be a good mix to at least challenge for a playoff spot in the tough Eastern Conference?
2013-14 Washington Wizards Projected Depth Chart
PG – John Wall/Eric Maynor/Garret Temple SG – Bradley Beal/Martell Webster/Chris Singleton SF – Otto Porter Jr./Trevor Ariza/Josh Childress PF – Nene/Trevor Booker/Al Harrington/Jan Vesely C – Emeka Okafor/Kevin Seraphin
3 Reasons Why the Wizards Will Surprise This Season
1. A Whole Wide of Wall - John Wall has never had a full season in his NBA career. He missed 13 games in his first year (2010-2011), 16 games in his second year and 33 games in his third year. Despite the health risks, the Washington front office trusted him the keys to the franchise by awarding him a 5-year contract extension worth roughly $80 million. In 49 games-- 42 started—in the 2012-2013 season, Wall logged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
2. Backcourt Buddies– Aside from Wall, another player who holds a lot of promise is shooting guard Bradley Beal. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Florida averaged 13.9 PPG on 41 per cent shooting. Beal’s best performance last season was a 29-point, 11-rebound output in a loss vs. the New York Knicks.
To address depth in the wings, the Wizard still have veterans Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza and have added another veteran in Josh Childress.
3. Old but Steady Frontcourt – The Wizards frontcourt has no big name to speak of but it’s filled with veterans that can mentor the young guns until they are ready. Nene and Emeka Okafor have 11 and 9 years experience under their belts, respectively and both can be serviceable players when healthy. They also signed veteran stretch four Al Harrington during the summer.
One undeveloped prospect they have is 23-year-old Jan Vesely, the overall sixth pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Entering his third year, the 6-foot-11 forward has to contribute this season or be tabbed as just another European bust.
Fearless Forecast: 36 wins … and misses the playoffs. With a healthy Wall and Nene, this team has a solid starting five. Although the bench is full of NBA vets, they might still lack the firepower to make a serious run at the 8th seed in the East.
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