The Washington Wizards have been treading water in the Eastern Conference right now. But one former wizard and current executive thinks they have a potential breakthrough this season.
In an interview with Bleacher Report, director of pro personnel Antoine Jamieson shared his thoughts on the ball club.
“The Washington Wizards. That’s my dark horse team,” Jamison said. “Porzingis, Bradley Beal, I think that would be a lethal combination.
Despite the potential bias, the Wizards are an interesting team as Jamison not only worked for the team, but also played with it from 2004-10. Since 2018, they have not had more than 500 times. In that time, they have reached the finals once, in 2011. In 2021, they lost to Philadelphia. And they’re looking to build a team that will keep their star guard Bradley Beal happy. As a result, the front office has been active over the past two seasons.
“The difference is keeping us healthy, keeping the chemistry down,” Jamison added. “I love Wes Unseld Jr. The coaching staff has done some incredible things. We’re going to make a lot of noise this year and it makes my job easier.
Washington Wizards offseason
2021 was the last time the Washington Wizards made the playoffs. They won the playoffs and lost 5 games against #1 seed Philadelphia. The following season, they fired head coach Scott Brooks and brought in Wes Unseld Jr. from the Denver Nuggets. They also traded Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles last offseason to get out of John Wall’s contract. Returned in the trade were Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the 22nd pick in the 2021 draft.
After a strong 14-8 start to the season, the team slowed down as the season progressed. Adding insult to injury, Bradley Beal is out for the year after undergoing wrist surgery in February. The team finished 35-47 and missed the playoffs.
They were active at the trade deadline, landing Kristaps Porzingis from Dallas and sending Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Then during the offseason, the Wizards traded for Monte Morris and Will Barton from Denver. Then, in their biggest move, they gave Beal a huge contract, temporarily putting an end to the ongoing trade rumors. Finally, they used the 10th pick in the draft on Johnny Davis, an athletic wing from Wisconsin who projects as a 3&D player.
The Wizards have been in a strange place over the years, teetering between being competitive and rebuilding. But now they’ve confirmed their star, brought together the duo of Porzingis and Beal, and added veterans who know the coach’s way. The Eastern Conference has been unpredictable for the past few seasons. And according to Antoine Jamison, the Washington Wizards could be the next team.
The Wizards are 1-0 after beating the Indiana Pacers 114-107 on Wednesday. They will face the Chicago Bulls next Friday for their home opener.