Wizards

Wizards now own NBA's longest conference finals drought

Wizards

With the Los Angeles Clippers win over the Utah Jazz in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals Friday night, LA made it to its first conference finals in franchise history. 

It took them 51 years to make it past the second round of the playoffs, which was the longest active drought in the NBA before they beat Utah. Now, that title belongs to the Wizards. 

NBA's longest conference finals droughts

Washington: 42 years

Charlotte: 31

New York: 21

Philadelphia: 20

Sacramento: 19

The last time Washington made it to the conference finals was in 1979 when they were the Bullets. Led by Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes, Washington made it to back-to-back NBA Finals in 1978 and 1979. They beat Seattle in 1978 for the franchise's first and only championship, but then lost in the rematch the next year in five games.

The franchise has made it to the second round five times since but they've been unable to get over the hump. The closest they came was in 2017 when they lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games. 

After making it back to the playoffs as a No. 8 seed in 2021, the Wizards are poised to make a bigger push next season behind Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. They hold the 15th pick in the NBA Draft and a few salary cap options to improve the team through free agency.