Taken with the number three overall pick in the draft, there are lofty expectations attached with Bradley Beal in the nation’s capital.
That’s because the Washington Wizards are seemingly on the up and up.
Last season was a disaster for the team, as they finished 20-46 despite winning their last six games of the year. In the end, the Wizards were 26 games back of the Miami Heat, the eventual division champs.
There’s reason for optimism in Washington though, as the franchise has made some interesting moves.
Emeka Okafor was brought over from the New Orleans Hornets and will immediately slot in as the starting center. He’ll pair with Nene to give the Wizards a formidable frontcourt on the surface, though both players have dealt with injuries throughout their careers.
Right now, Trevor Ariza is set to be the starting small forward, with young up-and-comers like Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton as the primary backups.
That leaves the two guard spots, and this is where Beal comes in.
First though, everyone knows John Wall is the clear-cut starter at the point, but he has to get healthy first. Wall’s has a knee issue and reportedly won’t be able to return until at least late November.
That means A.J. Price, in his first year with the Wizards, is likely to take over the point guard duties until Wall returns.
It also signals that Beal could get a lot more playing time right out of the gate. His main competition for minutes will come from Jordan Crawford. Even if Crawford wins the starting job to start the regular season, it may be only a matter of time before Beal takes over.
The Wizards most certainly have some interesting pieces and they should improve on their winning percentage from last season. Whether that makes them profitable within your NBA picks is another story, but keep a close eye on Beal and Washington.