Unless the Wizards are able to find a way to move up in tonight's NBA draft -- that would seem difficult given their lack of assets other than future picks and commitment to keeping Bradley Beal -- they probably won't make major waves this offseason.
A year ago, they surprised everyone by landing Paul Pierce in free agency and making another run to the Eastern Conference semifinals that probably would've continued had John Wall not broken his left wrist. They'd signed a host of players to short-term deals that allowed them to free themselves under the salary cap for the summer of 2016 when Kevin Durant comes available.
By all accounts, and CSNwashington.com has talked to several people with knowledge of their situation, they're what poker players call pot committed. Even if president Ernie Grunfeld can find a way to move up a few spots from Nos. 19 or 49 to get a player they covet tonight, it's not going to come at the expense of blowing up this blueprint. He likes the hand that they've dealt themselves.
This means taking on long-term salary as part of any deal, as has been reported here multiple times since the Feb. 19 deadline for the 2014-15 season, is a conversation-stopper.
The East is wide open. The Atlanta Hawks probably won't be the dominant team that won a franchise-record 60 games. The Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron James but are far from a lock as he gets older and their roster remains thin because of the bench.
But the Wizards are intent on not overreacting. Yes, they didn't get any deeper in the postseason than they did previously but two years in a row they've advanced. And this was a better team when the season ended despite having the same seeding (No. 5) and a similar record to the 2013-14 version.
That success should make Washington an even more attractive destination for free agents, some of whom could be willing to take shorter money when the period opens July 1, to join a contender. That's what Pierce did and he walked away from the experience speaking glowingly about the organization and coach Randy Wittman (the opposite of what he said about spending one year with the Brooklyn Nets and then-coach Jason Kidd).
If Pierce opts out of his contract, a decision he'll make official after the draft, thank him for his service and move on. He'll be 38 and plans on retiring after 2015-16 anyway. Pierce never was part of any long-term plans.
The core of Wall, Beal and Marcin Gortat is in place. Beal is under contract for next season but is eligible to negotiate an extension this summer. Otto Porter looks like he has found his rhythm as a pro.
In terms of personnel, this next roster probably will look a lot like the one that lost in Game 6 to the Hawks. Kevin Seraphin (unrestricted) already has said he won't return. Rasual Butler (unrestricted) seems likely to not return if the Wizards can fill the void he leaves through the draft. There's a good chance Drew Gooden (unrestricted) stays as there appears to be mutual interest in having him back. Garrett Temple told CSNwashington.com via text last week that he exercised his player option for Year 2.
So expect rookies from the draft and 2-3 new faces. If they make the right choices, it could be enough to get the Wizards to the conference finals without impacting their 2016 plan.