The Wizards have made a slew of changes to their roster since last season began, adding Nene at the March trading deadline, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza in an offseason swap, Bradley Beal with the third pick in the draft, and Martell Webster, A.J. Price and others via free agency. GM Ernie Grunfeld believes the attitude and environment are now different in Washington, as Michael Lee of the Washington Post writes. For a separate piece, Lee also spoke with coach Randy Wittman, who had the interim tag removed from his position in June. We'll round up some of their noteworthy comments here:
- Wittman was impressed with what he saw from Beal over the summer, but believes the rookie will face some ups-and-downs and says Jordan Crawford has "a little bit of an advantage" in the competition for the starting shooting guard job.
- John Wall is a shoo-in to have his 2013/14 option exercised before the October 31st deadline, but Wittman said the stakes for him are high this season, the final year before he's eligible for an extension. The team must also make a call on Kevin Seraphin's 2013/14 option, and Wittman had praise for the strides the big man took as a part-time starter last season.
- Grunfeld, who signed a two-year extension in April, responded to owner Ted Leonsis' comment from earlier in the offseason that another lottery appearance is "unacceptable." "I think that’s great," Grunfeld said. "Everybody wants to be better and everybody wants to grow and everybody wants to compete for the playoffs. I think he also said if we don’t make the playoffs it won’t be the end of the world, but we want to see improvement. There’s no questions about that."