NBA pundits gush over Wizards' offseason work

NBA pundits gush over Wizards' offseason work
July 23, 2014, 5:15 pm
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For the most part and perhaps overwhelmingly so, NBA thinkers and fans in these parts have given the Wizards thumbs up for their offseason maneuvering. Those outside the Beltway are intrigued as well.

NBA.com asked five staff writers this question: You’ve seen the Draft. You’ve seen some Summer League. Outside of the Cavs, what team most intrigues you now? Why’s that?

Let's cut with the suspense: Three of the five picked the Wizards with a fourth listing among them among a handful of teams. Reasons include specific personnel and financial factors (Remaining salary cap flexible for the summer of 2016 when Kevin Durant becomes a free agent is part of the excitement locally, though apparently not a consideration for national writers, yet. Hey, we are talking two years away...)

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Sekou Smith: "The Washington Wizards, mostly because they have put together a quality offseason and have a clear path up the Eastern Conference food chain now that the entire field has been thinned out by LeBron’s departure for Cleveland. The Wizards will have an ideal blend of youthful energy and athleticism to go along with a seasoned supporting cast capable of pushing this team over the top a year after making that surprise run to the Eastern Conference semifinals. For whatever was lost in free agency (Trevor Ariza and Trevor Booker), the Wizards more than made up for it by keeping Marcin Gortat and adding Paul Pierce, Kris Humphries and DeJaun Blair. The Wizards have every reason to believe that John Wall and Bradley Beal have a legitimate shot to lead this crew to the top of the Southeast Division and perhaps beyond."

John Schuhmann: "The Wizards have a chance to be one of the top two or three teams in the East."

Lang Whitaker: "Washington. They kept Gortat, they did not overpay for Ariza, and then they managed to add Paul Pierce to that mix. Plus, after watching them in Summer League, it seemed clear that Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr (who was terrific in Vegas) are ready to add perimeter depth off the bench and give them the athleticism that Pierce lacks. ...After a second-round run last season, all the pieces are in place for the Wiz to continue to grow what they’ve already started."

The Wizards are certainly in the mix for a top 4 seed in the East, not to mention the Southeast Division title. Obviously that's not a unique opinion.

[RELATED: Wizards v. East contenders: Atlanta Hawks]