Washington Wizards: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook
Washington Wizards 2016 NBA Season Preview
October 17, 2016
NBA Championship: 150/1 Over/under win total: 43.5 See the Latest Odds
The Washington Wizards are trying to make it back to the playoffs for the 3rd time in 4 seasons in the upcoming 2016-17 campaign as Washington fell just short of a playoff berth last season with a 41-41 record, to sit 10th in the East.
Here is your 2016 Washington Wizards preview.
USA TODAY Sports
Key Additions: The Wizards made quite the splash in free agency, however while most were looking for the big names, Washington was out sniffing out value as they signed center Ian Mahinmi to a 4-year, $64 million deal. Mahinmi averaged career highs with 9.3 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game in an average of 25.6 minutes. However on October 15th, 2016, Mahinmi was ruled out for 4-6 weeks with a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Wixards also signed former Magic first round pick Andrew Nicholson to a 4-year contract worth $26 million. Nicholson is hoping for a resurgence in Washington as the Magic deemed him expendable after never really panning out to be the standout player that he was in college.
Still waiting to hear their names called: Speaking of college, the Wizards were quick to jump on multiple rookies that were passed by on all 60 selections, leaving the Wizards to draft without a single pick in the 2016 draft as their lone pick was packaged to acquire Markieff Morris from the Suns. Washington was quick to lock up former Villanova power forward Daniel Ochefu, who was an instrumental part of Villanova’s national championship winning team in 2015-16. They also bolstered the backcourt, supporting John Wall and Bradley Beal by signing point guard Sheldon McClellan from the University of Miami(FL) and shooting guard Danuel House out of Texas A&M.
New Sheriff in Town: On April 26th, 2016, the Wizards announced they had hired former Thunder boss Scott Brooks to take over as the new head coach of the team. Brooks takes over for former head coach Randy Wittman who was fired after missing the playoffs last season. It will be Brooks first go-around since being relieved of his duties by the Thunder after the 2014-15 season, where Brooks had compiled a 338-207 record including 5 consecutive playoff appearances.
Outlook: While Brooks may not have the talent behind him like he did in OKC, there’s a lot of young pieces to be excited about in Washington, and the Wizards have proven themselves to be capable of knowing what they’re doing by making the playoffs the previous 2 seasons before last. Washington will have it’s hands full with the Southeast division, but I think the Wizards could make a push towards the 8th spot in the East.
Projected record: 40-42