The Wizards offseason should involve some key adjustments for them to contend. After all, Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are still one of best backcourts in the league. They need to contend while their two best players are putting up monstrous performances.
If the Wizards are looking to make a run for the title next year, they should get the right coaching and pieces in the offseason.
Here are the moves the Wizards should make this upcoming offseason:
Replace Scott Brooks
The players love Scott Brooks as a coach. There’s no doubt that having a good player-coach relationship is one of the key factors in building team chemistry. But is that enough?
As the Wizards head coach, Brooks was neither great nor terrible. He has a record of 183-207 in his entire stint with Washington—which greatly affected when Wall went down with his Achilles injury. In the past three years, he failed to hit .500.
Scott Brooks playbook pic.twitter.com/RtzXHoqeqn
— randy (@Chasen_Boscolo) May 23, 2021
On the good side, he did manage to take the Wizards in the playoffs three times for the past 5 years. And of course, the recent surge in the second half from being at the bottom to 8th-seed this season was a great feat.
As you can see, Brooks is an okay coach. But being mediocre is not enough to reach the Eastern Conference Finals and ultimately, win an NBA championship. If the Wizards are going to contend, they need to improve the head coaching job.
What the Wizards are looking for is a defensive-minded coach. Dave Joerger and Wes Unseld Jr. could replace Brooks as the head coach. The Wizards offseason success depends entirely on making a major change in the coaching staff.
Re-sign key players
Neto has been a great backup point guard behind Westbrook. He has made numerous game-winning plays on both sides of the floor. He can facilitate, shoot, and defend.
Meanwhile, Mafrthews provides a solid shooter off the bench for one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league. He’s an average defender too.
Get 3 and D players in free agency
The Wizards don’t have the luxury to get big names in the offseason. After all, they have one of the biggest NBA contracts in Russell Westbrook. Not to mention the huge contracts of Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans.
The needs to be addressed are 3-pt shooting and defense. In today’s league, threes are the focal point of offense used by top-seeded teams. And in order to push for a deep playoff run, defense is much needed, especially in the wing spot. Deni Avdija and Chandler Hutchison aren’t enough to fill those roles.
One way to look at Wizards-Sixers is a baseline test for the Wizards going into this offseason. The top team in the conference can show them how wide (or narrow) the gap is towards contention and what they need to close it.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) May 26, 2021
Continue to develop young players
The Wizards offseason should also focus on developing their young players and knowing to embrace their roles. Westbrook and Beal will still run the show of course.
Rui Hachimura should continue developing into a solid third option. The numbers might not be there (of course with Westbrook putting up monstrous stats), but Rui has developed his 3-point shot and defense this year. Those two should be his primary weapons.
Meanwhile, Thomas Bryant should be good to go next season. After suffering an ACL setback, he’ll fill in the void he left in the center position. He’s a great lob threat who can stretch the floor as well.
Daniel Gafford is also an exceptional energy guy off the bench. He gives much-needed rim protection and is a constant lob threat. Should Thomas Bryant rest from time to time, Gafford is a solid backup.
Deni Avdija and Chandler Hutchison should also continue developing their 3-point shooting and defense. After all, they badly need to solidify the wing position.
The Wizards also have a mid first-round draft pick. Obviously, they should try to draft a solid 3 and D player who can make an impact right off the bat. Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert and Pepperdine’s Kessler Edwards are perfect candidates.