It’s conference finals or bust for the Wizards next season, opines Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Coach Randy Wittman acknowledges the challenge is to find the right complements to John Wall and Bradley Beal, as Youngmisuk notes. J. Michael of CSNWashington.com reported in October that the team is planning an extension for Beal, who’s eligible to receive one this summer, and Wittman hinted that the team has no intention to let the shooting guard go anywhere anytime soon.
“We know what we have to do and the pieces that I would like to add moving forward,” Wittman said. “Brad and John will be here a long time and so we got to utilize their strengths and find the right people to put around them.”
There’s more on the Wizards amid the latest from the Southeast Division:
- Marcin Gortat said Monday that he wants to play with a stretch four, but Nene, who doesn’t fit that description, made it clear that he’d prefer not to have to play more center, as Michael relays in a pair of pieces. Moving to center might mean a backup role for Nene as he enters the final season of his contract with the Wizards, Michael suggests. “As much as I love Nene, and I think Nene understands this, too, I would love to play with a stretch four, with a guy who shoots the ball from the three-point line because that automatically gives me more room under the basket to operate,” Gortat said. “It gives me more opportunity to play pick-and-rolls to the paint where the paint is open.”
- The Board of Governors are expected to complete the approval process for Tony Ressler’s deal to buy the Hawks within the next four to six weeks, a source told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The draft is five weeks from Thursday, and free agency begins six weeks from Wednesday.
- Offseason trade acquisition Evan Fournier was a revelation early in the season for the Magic, but his numbers were inconsistent after a switch to the bench, and he’d likely be a reserve again next season if the team re-signs Tobias Harris, writes Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Fournier is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer.