WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The Toronto Raptors won their first championship in franchise history with a game six victory over the Golden State Warriors on the road at Oracle Arena.
The 2018-19 NBA season is now — officially — in the books.
For the Washington Wizards, however, the season has been in the books for quite some time.
The team that once showed promise under the direction of Head Coach Scott Brooks took a massive step back this season; although a massive step back would be the understatement of the century. The team imploded and showed just how much of a dysfunctional mess it really is.
The Wizards campaign never showed any promise from the beginning. The team dropped eight of its first 10 games which set the tone for the entire year.
But the team was doomed from the start when reports surfaced that John Wall entered camp out of shape. Wall scuffed at the idea that he was out of shape and told reporters that he was just dealing with injuries.
Things only went from bad to worse for Wall — and the Wizards — in terms of injuries. The All-Star point guard ruptured his Achilles tendon and was sidelined for the rest of the year.
Wall’s injury didn’t only hold back the team’s on-court performance but also took away any potential trade value that he may have had. Now, the team is likely stuck with paying Wall the rest of his $170 million contract- barring an unlikely trade due to the superstar’s locker room baggage and injury. Wall’s contract is a huge hit to the team’s cap- who would likely want to keep Bradley Beal.
Beal — the Wizards other superstar — is coming up on a contract year. Beal is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Beal led the team last season in points, assists and steals. He also proved to be the leader of the team. But due to the money that the Wizards will be paying Wall, and the kind of money that Beal will be asking for, Beal will more than likely be wearing another team’s uniform in the near future.
To top it all off, the Wizards are still working to land a new general manager. The team fired Ernie Grunfeld last year and has yet to replace him. The Wizards targeted Nuggets President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly who turned down the position to stay Denver. Now, the Wizards are eyeing Toronto Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri as their general manager. The Wizards have yet to make a deal to Ujiri, but reports surfaced that a $10 million offer could be coming his way- big money for a general manager in the NBA.
Whether the Wizards land Ujiri as their next general manager remains to be seen; but regardless of who ultimately takes the position, it will be a long way to the top of the Eastern Conference. A very, very long way.