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2023/24 NBA season: What’s next for the Washington Wizards?

The Washington Wizards slumped through their fifth consecutive losing season and are still rebuilding. 

What does the 2023/24 NBA season have in store for the Wiz?

The Washington Wizards have been stuck in mediocrity in recent years. 

This franchise has endured five consecutive losing seasons heading into the 2023/24 NBA campaign. 

Washington made the playoffs one of those years (with a 34-38 record in 2020/21) before losing to Philadelphia 4-1 in the first round. 

That was preceded by a horrendous 25-47 mark in 2019/20. The Wizards went 35-47 in both 2021-22 and 2022/23. 

They have not won a playoff series since 2016/17, when they scraped past Atlanta in six games before losing to Boston 4-3 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

When will things start getting better in Washington? 

End of an era as Wizards trade Beal to Suns

Well, fans of the team should not hold their breath. 

The rebuilding process has continued this offseason when the Wizards traded star Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns.

Beal and John Wall were the longtime cornerstones of the franchise, but that duo never managed to reach the conference semifinals and now they are both gone. 

Plagued by injuries, Wall last played for Washington in 2018/19 and has since bounced around between the Rockets and Clippers. 

Beal spent the first 11 years of his NBA career in a Wizards uniform before the trade.

It was a blockbuster deal that resulted in Chris Paul going to the Wizards. 

Almost immediately, the Wizards offloaded Paul to the Golden State Warriors for a considerable return.

Rebuilding continues with Poole, Coulibaly

Of course, there was never any intention of Paul ever suiting up for this franchise. He was quickly traded to the Warriors for shooting guard Jordan Poole.

In the Beal-Paul deal, Washington also received six second-round picks (2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2030), four first-round pick swap options (2024, 2026, 2028 and 2030) and shooting guard Landry Shamet.

This season, the Wizards will pin their hopes on the duo of Poole and forward Kyle Kuzma. 

Poole, 24, was one of the league’s breakout stars in 2021/22 and helped lead Golden State to another NBA title, but there were issues both on and off the court in 2022/23. 

The University of Michigan product still averaged 20.4 points per game, but his shooting percentages decreased and his turnovers increased.

Also joining the roster is Bilal Coulibaly, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. 

Indiana selected the versatile Frenchman but a trade was already in place to ship him to Washington in exchange for eighth pick Jarace Walker.

Washington will also want to see improvement from Deni Avdija, the ninth-overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He averages 8.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game for his career.

The Wizards brought in Danilo Gallinari, and while he is not the most mobile 13 years into his NBA career, he still brings a sharpshooting veteran presence that will help guide the young roster.

Wizards odds for 2023/24

As the odds suggest, the Wizards are expected to be among the worst teams in the entire association. 

In fact, they are tied for last with a +30000 price to win the NBA title. 

They are +15000 to triumph in the Eastern Conference (also tied for last).

Washington’s over/under win total is set at a league-low 24.5; the over is a -125 favorite, while the under comes in at +100

No other team in the league has a projected win total lower than 27.5, which is where you can find the Detroit Pistons.

What to expect from the Wizards this season

The Wizards finally decided that to get out of the mediocrity quagmire, they had to blow it all up. 

That being said, they may not be entirely hopeless. After all, Poole and Kuzma are nice pieces. 

All in all, the offseason moves screamed that their attention is on the future. 

The Beal trade does not improve the team right away and Washington acquired a long-term project in Coulibaly. 

The 19-year-old may be awesome down the road, but he probably won’t be an impact player in 2023/24.

If Wizards fans want good news, it’s that their team is well positioned to add more talent in the future. 

They stockpiled picks from the Suns, and while those picks may come late in the first and second rounds, the probability is that the Wizards’ own picks will be near the top.

Given how bad Washington is expected to be this season, it may even be picking No. 1 next summer.

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