The offseason is far from over, but the Wizards will enter the 2020-21 season better than they were when they exited the bubble in August.
Bradley Beal is back and ready to build off a career-year, Davis Bertans returns with a five-year, $80 million extension in hand, Rui Hachimura is going into his second season as a pro while Deni Avdija, Cassius Winston and Robin Lopez the rest of the Wizards' key acquisitions.
Oh, and John Wall is making his long-awaited return to the floor after recovering from an Achilles injury.
With all of that under consideration, oddsmakers don't love the Wizards as a playoff team this year. According to PointsBet sportsbook, Washington is projected to win around 28 games, which would put them far off the pace for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Eastern Conference over/under win totals - PointsBet Futures
1. Milwaukee Bucks: 49.0
2. Boston Celtics: 49.0
3. Brooklyn Nets: 49.0
4. Miami Heat: 43.0
5. Philadelphia 76ers: 43.0
6. Toronto Raptors: 41.0
7. Indiana Pacers: 39.5
8. Atlanta Hawks: 34
9. Orlando Magic: 31.5
10. Chicago Bulls: 30
11. Washington Wizards: 28.5
12. Charlotte Hornets: 26.5
13. Detroit Pistons: 24
14. New York Knicks: 22.5
15. Cleveland Cavaliers: 22.0
The 11th seed in the East definitely feels a bit low for this Wizards team relative to the teams above them. Sure, the Hawks improved their roster substantially with Danilo Gallinari, Rajon Rondo, Onyeka Okongwu and the possible signing of Bogdan Bogdanovic, but that won 20 games last season. They're young and inexperienced, and teams like that don't usually experience 14-game jumps in their win totals.
Then there's the Bulls, who under Billy Donovan expect to finally utilize the young talent they have on the roster. But similar to the Hawks, this is a young team that has yet to prove it can win and play consistently in what should be a tough Eastern Conference this year.
With seven teams seemingly locked to make the playoffs, there's probably only going to be one playoff spot up for grabs. In that case, would you bank on two young teams who were simply bad last year and a Magic team without its best player, or a team led by Beal and Wall?
The Wizards have a lot of room for improvement from last season. They must improve on what was the worst defense in the NBA and find a way to get Beal and Wall reacclimated with each other as well as a different supporting cast compared to the last group they played with together.
But it's still hard to imagine a team with that level of talent at the top finishing behind Atlanta, Chicago and Orlando.
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