John Wall may have spent the summer clowning high school kids in one-on-one, but in the end, a high schooler got the better of him when he told Wall, “My man read the scouting report. Let John Wall shoot.” Shooting just 42% from the field and 7% from three (not a typo, by the way), Wall is going to be extremely limited at what kind of player he can eventually become unless he can find a better shooting stroke (and limit his turnovers).
Fortunately for Wall, Washington has trimmed some of the fat replacing knuckleheads like Nick Young, Andre Blatche, and JaVale McGee with proven veteran like Nene, Trevor Ariza, and Emeka Okafor. The addition of rookie Bradley Beal certainly is an upgrade in talent over any guards Wall has played alongside in his two NBA season, as well.
In fact, the projected starting lineup of Wall, Beal, Ariza, Nene, and Okafur has the potential of stealing one of the last playoffs spots in the East. The major question mark (besides the health of oft-injured Nene and Okafur) is what they can get off the bench. Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin are both young and were surprisingly decent last year. The backup backcourt of Shelvin Mack and Jordan Crawford was simply bad last year and former 1st round pick Jan Vesely was a major disappointment. Former T-Wolf Martell Webster should help shore up the reserve unit provided, once again, that he can stay healthy.
Biggest question mark
Health. If Nene and Okafur can stay healthy (huge if!), you’ve got a team that potential could compete for a number 8 playoff spot. If one or both get hurt, how do you fill that gap (especially with no cap flexibility)?
Predicted season scenario
I think the chances of Nene and Okafur both staying healthy are slim, but I expect Wall to make another step, I expect Beal will have a fine rookie year, and I think a guy like Ariza steadies that waters a little bit. This won’t be the creampuff Washington Wizards of the past two seasons. Unfortunately, due to the loss of Blatche, Young, and McGee, they won’t be as fun to watch for unintentional comedy purposes.
Predicted Record: 29-53