Celtics' overhaul opens another door for Wizards

Celtics' overhaul opens another door for Wizards
June 24, 2013, 8:00 pm
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(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

News that the Boston Celtics are going through a rebuild should come as welcome news to the Wizards.

Coach Doc Rivers is headed to the Los Angeles Clippers, and the futures of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are in doubt. On top of that, point guard Rajon Rondo still is recovering from tearing a knee ligament.

The Celtics finished with a No. 7 seed in the playoffs, going 41-40 before being eliminated in the first round. They beat the Wizards all three times they met last season.

The Wizards only finished 29-53, but if they can have a successful NBA draft Thursday with the Nos. 3, 38 and 54 picks, it’ll help them supplant a conference foe and get a leg up in qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

The Wizards finished tied with the Detroit Pistons for 11th in the East, and they should be better than the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Bobcats, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers next season.

The Milwaukee Bucks won 38 games to earn the eight seed, but they’ll be without Monta Ellis who opted out of his contract, and have several other players heading into free agency.

So that leaves the Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the No. 1 overall pick, in prime position to make a leap forward and compete for a playoff spot.

While most of the teams battling from the bottom up lack an identity, the Wizards and Cavs have some semblance of one starting with their backcourts.

The Wizards are set at point guard with John Wall and Bradley Beal. Cleveland has Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Both could use size in the middle, with Alex Len (Maryland) and Nerlens Noel (Kentucky) among the best of the centers in the draft.

Choosing correctly can make a world of difference. The Celtics have quality players such as Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass, but their best option at center outside of Garnett, Chris Wilcox, is a free agent. 

They have trouble scoring points too (96.5 points per game), something the Wizards were terrible at last season as they finished tied for last in the league at 93.2.

The top of the East won't change much with the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls due to battle it out and at best reshuffle the order.

The rest of the field, however, is wide open.

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