Washington Wizards History
The Washington Wizards definitely went through a “learning” experience last season. Finishing 42-40, and losing to the Cleveland Cavs in the first round of the playoffs, the Washington Wizards faced adversity day after day. Ahead of the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Bobcats, and Atlanta Hawks, in the Southeast Division, only behind the Miami Heat, the Washington Wizards appear to be comfortable with their team.
Several transactions and moves over the past three seasons have brought a better outlook on the team. Three years ago, the Washington Wizards landed Gilbert Arenas with a six-year, $65 million contract. The following year, they dumped Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner on the Dallas Mavericks and got Antawn Jamison in return. Last year, the Washington Wizards addressed the Kwame Brown problem and landed a deal that brought Caron Butler from the Los Angeles Lakers.
So are the Washington Wizards going to make another move this offseason? The organization has actually voiced their opinion and said the current team has great chemistry and talent. Two straight playoff berths and strong recent performances against top teams, including a 3-0 regular season mark this season against Detroit, have him feeling good about the team's future. Although, losing to the Cleveland Cavs three times by one point each time brings in the question if the defense and offense are actually strong enough to compete in the playoffs.
The Washington Wizards can’t do much this offseason because they are expected to be over the salary cap for the 2006-07 season when the salary cap is announced later this summer, which will limit them in terms of signing free agents. The free agent pool isn’t strong this year anyway. The team does need to improve their interior defense. Big men Etan Thomas and Brendan Haywood haven’t shown much to prove they can improve that area.
Maybe the only positive highlights to come from the Washington Wizards were the play of Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler. The emergence of Arenas as a superstar in his prime is big. His 29.3 points-per-game scoring average is the second highest in franchise history. Caron Butler also showed he could be a factor once Wizards coach Eddie Jordan decided to go with him in the starting lineup in late December. With Butler as a starter, the Wizards went 33-21.
The Washington Wizards should improve significantly by next year. They have a first round pick, unlike last year, and can add another piece to their talented team. They have the eighteenth pick in the draft and have already worked out numerous college players. Some of the players they have scouted were Brandon Bowman of Georgetown and Chris McCray out of Maryland.
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