The Washington Wizards held a media Q&A before the start of training camp last Tuesday. In it, Wizards executive producer Tommy Shepard and head coach Wes Unseld Jr. both take turns talking about the upcoming 2022-2023 NBA season.
According to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins, when asked if this year’s Wizards are a playoff team on paper, Shepard said, “I think we’re going to continue to improve.” This is everyone’s goal: to make the playoffs. I think we have to see the improvement on the defensive side. I think we talked this summer. You know what you did in the winter.”
The Wizards made some interesting moves this offseason, trading Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith to the Denver Nuggets for Will Barton and Monte Morris. Unseld said he saw an “immediate impact” from Morris.
“He’s a connector,” Unseld said. “And he’s that guy, I’m not sure how, but everybody around the league knows Montey, and he does an amazing job of just ingratiating himself between the lines. He is clearly a keeper at heart. He prides himself on leading the team, and I think he will be a great asset to this team because he knows what this team needs at the right time.
Washington’s offseason additions include acquiring Delon Wright and Taj Gibson and using their 10th pick in the 2022 NBA draft to secure Johnny Davis.
“I think all the guys that are new to our roster bring a different mindset in terms of what they expect of themselves,” Sheppard said. “Walking in the door, introducing themselves as a player, it’s clear they don’t need to tell you about it. They’ll show you.”
It appears Washington’s coaching staff and front office have taken steps they feel are necessary to significantly improve the team’s chemistry and move on from last season’s struggles. With the 2022-2023 NBA season set to wrap up in just a few weeks, the clock is ticking to see if this Wizards team can back up those words.