With the NBA season approaching, Chase Hughes and Andrew Gillis dissect the biggest questions for the Wizards entering the 2021-22 season.
Today’s question: Is there a "splash" move the Wizards need to make this season?
CH: Not necessarily, as I think they have enough to make the playoffs with what they have. Now, if they want to contend with the top teams in the East and go on a deep playoff run, then yes a fairly sizable move will likely have to be made.
But for now, they can start the season, evaluate their new-look roster and go from there. Perhaps they can swing a midseason deal like they did last year when they brought in Daniel Gafford, who was a major difference-maker. They also have young players, Gafford among them, who could raise the level of the team over the course of the season just by continuing to get better.
There is also another element to this that could be interesting. If Bradley Beal doesn’t sign an extension this fall, then the Wizards will probably be forced to make a substantial midseason move in one direction or the other. If Beal goes all the way through this season without a new contract, then they risk losing him for nothing in free agency. So, if he doesn’t sign a new deal, they may either have to trade him or convince him to stay by trading for something significant.
AG: I don’t believe there’s a splash move they need to make this season, because I’m with Chase. The talent they’ve assembled on the roster should be enough to get them into the playoffs.
Now, things can change in a hurry if the Wizards are better or worse than people assume, or if Beal’s situation with the franchise changes in any significant way. The important part of this offseason for the Wizards and general manager Tommy Sheppard was that they simply gave themselves flexibility in the future, should they want to make a “splash” move of that nature.
As the Wizards move forward, their hands won’t be tied in the future to add a true difference-maker — which, of course, they’ll need to do if they want to contend in the East. Because as this roster is currently constructed, they aren’t equipped to go on a long playoff run.
So to me, it’s really in the eye of the beholder. If you feel the Wizards need to contend this season at any cost (which I do not), then a move of that caliber is absolutely necessary.