NBA Experts Weigh in on the WizardsPosted on September 03, 2014 by Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards had a busy offseason and are now primed to compete in 2014-15. The Monumental team talked with members of the national NBA media to hear their opinions on the Wizards' offseason and outlook for the upcoming year.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst
"They gave Gortat a lot of money, but I felt that was really important because you know that Nene is going to miss time and he would have gotten big money on the market. To get him locked down right away really got them momentum for the rest of the offseason and that momentum led to Paul Pierce. So many things happened this summer, but Paul Pierce going to Washington might have been the most stunning move. LeBron going to Cleveland shook the NBA, but going home wasn't that surprising. The Wizards selling themselves to Pierce to say 'hey listen, we're an organization on the rise' it's worth more than to him as a player, because it sets the stage for free agency down the line when they go after guys. You get a guy like Paul Pierce to commit to your franchise, that sometimes is a franchise altering decision. To get those two guys locked down, hugely important."
"The momentum from last year combined with the momentum of getting Paul Pierce, and there's more parity in the East now that the four time defending East champs are broken up, so there's a window there. All in all, I think the Wizards are in a great position."
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger
"I think they had a terrific offseason. You lose Trevor Ariza, but plug in Paul Pierce, a championship tested, playoff tested veteran at a reasonable deal. There's really no substitute for the experience and championship know-how that he'll bring. Of course, they keep Marcin Gortat and the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal continues to develop. They add DeJuan Blair, not a lot of big splashes, but sometimes those are the best moves you make in the offseason, the ones that don't make the huge headlines."
"I think certainly a playoff team, the East is better, the East is different. Miami losing LeBron, they are still a playoff team, but now Cleveland is in the mix so you have that old Washington-Cleveland rivalry from a few years back. I think they could be in that mix for 3,4,5, somewhere in there and as they continue to grow and develop they get better from there."
NBA.com's John Schumann
"I think the Wizards are going to be one of the best teams in the East this year. They were a very good team last year and improved as the season went on. They are one of the deepest teams in the league, and you have to like the swap of Paul Pierce for Trevor Ariza which will help them offensively. They are a top 10 defense, when this team comes together they are one of the three or four best teams in the East, just because of the way things have shaken out over the summer and because of their continuity."
USA Today Sports' Sam Amick
"I think they had a great summer. This is a team that had momentum, very excited about getting into the playoffs, and John Wall individually getting into the playoffs for the first time. To go get a guy like Paul Pierce to fill that three spot and do it on a two-year contract I think is genius. Beyond that, I think getting the big fellow back Marcin Gortat is huge, now the core remains. The three spot to me was key because you lose Trevor Ariza, who was so good last year, but to get a vet like Paul [Pierce] and I think even at this late stage of his career might have a little bit to prove coming off an up and down year, I think they will be good. And there is so much more parity in the East, I think they'll be right there, a top four or top five team."
The consensus: This is a team positioned to compete for one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference.
Training Camp is less than a month away!Posted in: Sports