The Wizards officially announced a three-year extension for coach Randy Wittman. This comes as no surprise after the team won 44 games in the regular season and made it to the second round of the playoffs. The Wizards have a core in place, led by their dynamic back court of John Wall and Bradley Beal. There are several free agent decisions to be made in the coming months, as Trevor Ariza and Marcin Gortat will both be on the open market.
Early signs indicate the Wizards want to do everything possible to bring Ariza and Gortat back, to make sure there’s continuity from this year’s team to continue and grow. While some argue that the price tag won’t be worth it for the Wizards, this is one of those scenarios where these two free agents may be worth more to them than another team for the sake of building on this year’s results.
In the Eastern Conference, developing an intact roster may be enough to improve in the standings for next season. While fans like to see big splashes in free agency, especially when players like Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love are available, maintaining is a valid strategy too. The Wizards showed this year that they may have the roster to make those improvements.
While Miami—if the Big Three returns, as expected—remains the favorite, there is no clear cut team after that, not with the Pacers scrambling after a brutal finish to the regular season and a frustrating playoff run. The Brooklyn Nets are getting older, the Raptors are coming on but not yet a fully-formed contender. After that, teams like the Hawks and Bulls are intriguing, but the Wizards roster would stack up well against those teams.
The spot after Miami is open in the East. For the Wizards, they’re banking on continuity being a huge part of them being the team that snatches up that spot. Signing Randy Wittman is the first step.
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