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Wizards Season Preview

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hardenwithnod
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Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:43 pm

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Mario Hezonja is ready to take his game to the next level.


As we conclude another fun, and exciting CSL off-season that included a highly hyped rookie draft, and a drama filled free agency, every fan is now anxiously waiting for the pre-season to begin. With the new league rules being implemented this season, it will be interesting to see which team can adapt the best among the new playing field.

Washington Wizards had another busy off-season as usual. After finishing the season with a 39-43 record, which has led to the team missing the playoffs for the first time in 4 years, the management team has decided to bring in some new blood to give this team a fresher look. Overall it was a pretty successful off-season, as the Wizards were mainly able to retain most of their core pieces with the exception of Willie Cauley Stein, who signed a big deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. The following is a recap of player movements for the Wizards from this past off-season:

Assets In:

Dallas 2026 1st round pick, New Orleans 2026 2nd round pick, Herve Kabasele, Ed Davis, Gary Harris, Justin Holiday, RJ Hunter.

Players Out

Willie Cauley Stein, Boban Majarnovich, Roy Devyn Marble, Harry Giles.


Here's a projected breakdown of the team's rotation for this upcoming season.

Point Guards:

Bryce Cotton - Bryce is expected to be the leader of this time once again. The former CSL champ was second in the league last season in assist, and he's expected to be the floor general for this young Wizards team once again.

Travis Trice - The restricted free agent was re-signed by the team this off-season, as the team value his role as a playmaker, and a defender. He will continue his role as the team's primary backup point guard, and might eventually take over the reigns as the team's starting point guard.

JeQuan Lewis - The former second round gem will slowly receive more playing time, as the staff was very impressed by his off-season workouts/training camp. Lewis will shift between the backup point guard, and shooting guard depending on match ups to in order to give the team some much needed backcourt versatility.


Shooting Guards:

Gary Harris - The former Chicago Bull has always been a well respected three, and D wing around the league. Harris should be a familiar face for all the Wizards fan, as he was part of the Wizards team from a few seasons back. Harris will be replacing Roy Devyn Marble as the team's starting shooting guard. At the age of 29 years old, Harris is considered one of the veterans of this locker room.

Justin Holiday - One of the three Holiday brothers in the CSL today, Justin is another well respected wing that known's for his suffocating man to man defense. Justin is an athletic specimen who will be tasked to shut down the opponent's best scorers, and meanwhile be a floor spacer on offense. GM Chan has been after Justin for a long time now, and he will find plenty of minutes here in D.C.

R.J Hunter - The veteran three point marksman has been in the league for quite a while now, and he has always been known for his three point shooting. With the league's new rules that tend to favor perimeter play, someone like Hunter should be excelled off the bench as a three point specialist. Don't be surprise if Hunter gets more playing time as the season progresses.


Small Forwards:

Mario Hezonja - Super Mario had an excellent season last year. One of the key core pieces in the controversial Milos Teodosic trade, Hezonja has been given the keys as the team's number one option, and he proved himself quite well in that role. Super Mario will once again be asked to be the primary offensive option for this team, and with another season under his belt, Hezonja should be able to excel under Coach Brian Cardinal's system.

Michael Gbinije - Gbi was another restricted free agent that was well sought after by plenty of teams this off-season. In the end the Wizards decided to match the offer sheet similar to Travis Trice, and was able to retain Gbi's services. Gbi is a no nonsense defender who can wreak havoc in the passing lane. Offensively he's more of a slasher, which will give this team some much needed interior offense. The coaches love this kid's grit, and attitude. Don't be surprise if Gbi becomes a major contributor in the rotation this season.

Dameyean Dotson - The former University of Houston standout has been a development project for the majority of his CSL career thus far. He did see a career high in playing time last season, and the staff has certain took notice on his improvement. Dotson is one of those much needed three, and D role player that every team would love to have, and he's expected to compete for the backup small forward, and shooting guard minutes once again. Time will tell if Dotson can carve out a good role in this rotation.


Power Fowards:

Ivan Rabb - Rabb had a very strong comeback season after tearing his ACL in his sophomore year. The coaching staff was extremely impressed by his offensive game, and his rebounding instincts as well. Rabb has also improved defensively, and he was seen working on a mid range jumper in order to adapt to the new CSL rules. There's no question about Rabb's work ethic, and the sky is the limit for this kid. Now with a fully healthy off-season, Rabb is expected to be a major contributor for this team.

TJ Leaf - Leaf has been a project player for the majority of his CSL career thus far, but this season could be the year he will receive some serious burn in the big leagues. Leaf was known as an intriguing big man with a sweet shooting stroke, meanwhile also have the ability to finish inside as well. Leaf will be expected to compete for backup power forward minutes this season, and with the new rules in place, a stretch big like Leaf could be very valuable for floor spacing.

Ed Davis - Ed is what he is, a simple, no non sense big man who can do all the dirty work on the floor. His stat line will never be flashy, but when called upon on, Ed will give you 110% out there on the court, and become a major contributor in the plus/minus box scores. Ed will also be the veteran big man in this young big men rotation, and the coaching staff certainly believes Ed will be a good leader for these young bulls.


Center:

Jarrett Allen - The former University of Texas star has been working hard on rehabbing his torn MCL from the previous season. So far Allen has made excellent progress, and the medical staff expects Allen to return to the floor very soon. Allen is a very versatile big man who can score from all 3 levels, and is extremely good at drawing contact as well. Defensively he's got excellent timing as a shot blocker, and is a good rebounder as well. Once fully healthy, Allen should be an excellent partner in crime for Ivan Rabb at the front court.

Herve Kabasele - Another young big man that has a very versatile skill-set as well. This seems to be the new theme for this Wizards front court, as most of their big men have versatile skill sets that should translate well in this modern era of basketball. Big Herve will be competing for minutes in both the 4, and 5 spots. Herve isn't known for his offense(even though he does posses a solid jumper, and even a three ball), but he's a superior man to man defender, and a good shot blocker as well. The coaching staff is looking forward to unlock his potential as a defensive general.

Ike Anigbogu - Ike was a very pleasant surprise last season, and he was one of the finalist for the most improved player of the year award as well. Ike will once again be a big contributor in this rotation as an interior beast. Ike will be asked to be a post scorer, and rebounder once again. Ike had a good training camp, and the coaching staff is certainly expect big things from this beast once again.


This season should be a fun one for all the Wizards die hards, as the team has a ton of versatility on both ends of the floor. And with all the new rules in place, it will be interesting to see if this team can surprise all the experts, and perhaps sneak back into the playoffs this season. Either way, this team is set up for a bright future.
Cotton/Trice/Lewis
Harris/Holiday/Hunter
Hezonja/Gbiinje/Dotson
Rabb/Davis/Leaf
Allen/Anigbogu/Kabasele

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: TheTwoWallaces » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:52 pm

I really like this team. I'm probably echoing a long-known skepticism of Hezonja's game, but I do think that's the one thing holding back this retool.

I'd expect you to test out this team and then shop Cotton, Holiday, Harris, and Trice to find some younger pieces. Otherwise I fear that it's likely this becomes a .500 treadmill team.

In the here & now -- I like the backcourt a lot. It gives me a little bit of Billups/Hamilton vibes, though I don't know Cotton's game too well.

Overall, I respect the retool over the rebuild. You've kept this team fun while restructuring. That's the point. Good luck man!
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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:11 pm

TheTwoWallaces wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:52 pm
I really like this team. I'm probably echoing a long-known skepticism of Hezonja's game, but I do think that's the one thing holding back this retool.

I'd expect you to test out this team and then shop Cotton, Holiday, Harris, and Trice to find some younger pieces. Otherwise I fear that it's likely this becomes a .500 treadmill team.

In the here & now -- I like the backcourt a lot. It gives me a little bit of Billups/Hamilton vibes, though I don't know Cotton's game too well.

Overall, I respect the retool over the rebuild. You've kept this team fun while restructuring. That's the point. Good luck man!
Thanks, and I definitely to explore more moves to continue reshape the future of this franchise. Owning picks has given us a lot of flexibility going forward as well.

I think this team should be very entertaining, especially with a much more in depth control under the new engine for me to test stuff with.
Cotton/Trice/Lewis
Harris/Holiday/Hunter
Hezonja/Gbiinje/Dotson
Rabb/Davis/Leaf
Allen/Anigbogu/Kabasele

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: TheTwoWallaces » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:16 pm

hardenwithnod wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:11 pm
I think this team should be very entertaining, especially with a much more in depth control under the new engine for me to test stuff with.
Yea... it looks like the East has a growing pack of mid-tier teams.

NYK, CHA, MIL are rising

ATL, CLE, CHI are maybe sliding (who knows)

BKN, ORL, WAS, PHI, TOR are all still there

There are fewer basement teams, and fewer Elite teams. The playoff fight should be fierce.
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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: cb4raptorscb4 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:40 pm

I would say the Dallas trade alone makes your offseason a success lol

It's an interesting roster, but might be lacking that star offensive power. We'll have to see how Hezonja works out in the new engine.
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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:42 pm

cb4raptorscb4 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:40 pm
I would say the Dallas trade alone makes your offseason a success lol

It's an interesting roster, but might be lacking that star offensive power. We'll have to see how Hezonja works out in the new engine.
Yeah, it's still a project for sure. I am very curious to see how this roster translate into the new engine.
Cotton/Trice/Lewis
Harris/Holiday/Hunter
Hezonja/Gbiinje/Dotson
Rabb/Davis/Leaf
Allen/Anigbogu/Kabasele

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: Flaming Homer » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:22 pm

As so often this team got shuffled a lot :-)
It is very hard to predict how this team will perform in 19 ... but it should be fun.
There are plenty of young players with potential around, its time to find the keeper.

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:40 pm

Flaming Homer wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:22 pm
As so often this team got shuffled a lot :-)
It is very hard to predict how this team will perform in 19 ... but it should be fun.
There are plenty of young players with potential around, its time to find the keeper.
Haha yeah, we do shuffle pieces a lot. I am going to have fun experimenting with this group.
Cotton/Trice/Lewis
Harris/Holiday/Hunter
Hezonja/Gbiinje/Dotson
Rabb/Davis/Leaf
Allen/Anigbogu/Kabasele

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: mgtr81 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:24 pm

I don't know what to expect from this team. Shooting is there, defense is solid, rebounding is solid ... probably finding the right rotation is key.
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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:26 pm

mgtr81 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:24 pm
I don't know what to expect from this team. Shooting is there, defense is solid, rebounding is solid ... probably finding the right rotation is key.
Honestly I have no idea either haha. It will be a fun season of experimenting with the new engine.
Cotton/Trice/Lewis
Harris/Holiday/Hunter
Hezonja/Gbiinje/Dotson
Rabb/Davis/Leaf
Allen/Anigbogu/Kabasele

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: KW » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:55 pm

hardenwithnod wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:26 pm
mgtr81 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:24 pm
I don't know what to expect from this team. Shooting is there, defense is solid, rebounding is solid ... probably finding the right rotation is key.
Honestly I have no idea either haha. It will be a fun season of experimenting with the new engine.
This is the kind of team where you could feasibly play an 11 or 12 man rotation where everyone aside from Mario and Cotton get roughly the same amount of minutes. I don't think this is a playoff team as constructed, but there are a lot of pieces that could definitely be used to create one
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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: Rizzo » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:12 pm

The fleecing of Dallas could pay dividends down the road, but right now those bottom 3-4 spots in the Eastern Conference are going to be a dog fight between 6-8 teams.
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hardenwithnod
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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:24 pm

KW wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:55 pm
hardenwithnod wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:26 pm
mgtr81 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:24 pm
I don't know what to expect from this team. Shooting is there, defense is solid, rebounding is solid ... probably finding the right rotation is key.
Honestly I have no idea either haha. It will be a fun season of experimenting with the new engine.
This is the kind of team where you could feasibly play an 11 or 12 man rotation where everyone aside from Mario and Cotton get roughly the same amount of minutes. I don't think this is a playoff team as constructed, but there are a lot of pieces that could definitely be used to create one
Yeah, it's going to be a lot of lineup testings, and big rotations lol.
Cotton/Trice/Lewis
Harris/Holiday/Hunter
Hezonja/Gbiinje/Dotson
Rabb/Davis/Leaf
Allen/Anigbogu/Kabasele

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hardenwithnod
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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: hardenwithnod » Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:25 pm

Rizzo wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:12 pm
The fleecing of Dallas could pay dividends down the road, but right now those bottom 3-4 spots in the Eastern Conference are going to be a dog fight between 6-8 teams.
And who knows what will happen with the engine switch, the old dominant meta could be completely off in the new engine now. It should be a wild year.
Cotton/Trice/Lewis
Harris/Holiday/Hunter
Hezonja/Gbiinje/Dotson
Rabb/Davis/Leaf
Allen/Anigbogu/Kabasele

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: blackice » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:00 am

I'm really curious to see how Hezonja develops as he's the franchise right now. We'll have to see how his skillset transfers over to the new engine. There's some good talent on this team and Rabb is underrated imo. Should be an interesting season for this team.

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Re: Wizards Season Preview

Post Author: Dennis » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:05 am

Like always, not sure what to take from Gary’s teams. They are always too bad to be a top4 team, but too good to be a bottom feeder. If I would have to rank his teams, I’m sure I would have had them 7th-9th every season Gary has been around lol. Might be a good idea to turn it down completely to get to the top in the long run.
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