The Washington Wizards have been the most disappointing team in the NBA this season, and those early returns, including a 5-11 record, could signal the end for the current roster.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski filed a report Monday morning detailing a potential blow up of Washington's current core, including the idea of trading its best players, John Wall and Bradley Beal.
"As the Washington Wizards' season spirals, the franchise has started to deliver teams an impression that every player on their roster -- including All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal -- is available to discuss in trade scenarios, league sources told ESPN," Wojnarowski wrote.
Blowing up the roster makes sense for the Wizards. This squad, as currently constituted, isn't good enough to win an NBA Finals, or even advance past the first or second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. There are too many bad contracts and not a single top 10 or 15 player on the roster.
Wall is a very good point guard, but his contract could limit the amount of teams willing to acquire him. He's 28 years old with a history of injuries, but worst of all, he begins a four-year super-max contract next season that pays him an average of more than $40 million per year. That's not a contract many teams can take on.
Beal, on the other hand, is a younger and arguably better player, and also has a more team-friendly contract. He is signed for the next three seasons with no player/team options at less than $30 million per year.
The Wizards' best path to improve is trading Beal and acquiring talented young players and/or draft picks. Washington has traded multiple first-round picks at recent trade deadlines, which has prevented them from surrounding Wall and Beal with good young players on cheap contracts. The Wiz didn't have a first-round selection in 2014, 2016 or 2017.
This dire situation in Washington really isn't a surprise to anyone, except maybe the Wizards themselves. After all, they've talked a lot of trash about how they're one of the best, or the best, teams in the Eastern Conference. But the results prove an entirely different picture.
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