NBA Blog Previews: Washington Wizards

Wizards youngsters - Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The Wizards decided to forgo the Presti Plan and try to win right away with a mix of young talented players and veteran role players. John Wall is in place and they added Bradley Beal. So that's the young talent part.

The Wizards decided to forgo the Presti Plan and try to win right away with a mix of young talented players and veteran role players. John Wall is in place and they added Bradley Beal. So that's the young talent part.

Wizards preview: Strange new traditions in D.C. - SBNation.com

Beal looks like a dream, the new Ray Allen if DC is lucky enough. He's smart, athletic and has a good-looking shooting stroke. The potential at the high end for Wall and Beal is enormous. Further, there's a dire need for Beal to be excellent, and Washington hopes dearly that he's the team's last high lottery pick for a long time. Jan "Yaroslav Korolev" Vesely is the only other young player on the roster with high upside, but his stock has fallen dramatically. Don't talk to me about Jordan Crawford right now. Or ever. I like Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker in theory, but they project more as role players.

To add more veteran role players, they traded the bloated contract of Rashard Lewis for the even more bloated contracts of Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.

Washington Wizards offseason review: Did they overdo their culture change? - SBNation.com

How do these two players actually address the Wizards' weaknesses? Ariza is a poor perimeter shooter and offensive player; nobody on the Wizards' roster last year was a good perimeter shooter. Okafor is a serviceable, slightly-overpaid big man that doesn't have shooting range; doesn't that make him a slightly worse Nene? If you're going to go for veterans, why not try for ones that address the team's shortcomings more effectively?

So what does this all mean?

2012-13 NBA Blog Previews: Washington Wizards - Bullets Forever

On a macro level, the team is taking a playoffs-or-bust attitude this year. With a still-improving Wall surrounded by quality veterans and youngsters who actually know how to play, the Wizards have a legitimate shot at the No. 8 seed. The Raptors, Pistons, Cavaliers, and Bucks have assembled similarly talented teams, though, so simple luck might mean the difference between getting swept in the first round by Miami and the sixth pick in the draft.

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