The 2016/17 season was a bounce-back year for the Wizards, who had finished with a 41-41 record and missed the playoffs a year earlier. Not only did the Wizards claim a top-four seed and win a playoff series this past spring, but the team also won 49 games, the most regular season victories by the franchise since the late-1970s, early in the Washington Bullets days.
While the Wizards certainly intend to take another step forward – perhaps breaking the 50-win barrier and making a deeper playoff run – their salary cap situation prevented them from making major upgrades this summer. Matching a maximum salary offer sheet on Otto Porter used up any cap room the club might have had and pushed team salary across the luxury tax line, limiting further acquisitions.
The Wizards did make some changes around the edges of their roster, signing Jodie Meeks to replace departed sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, and trading for Tim Frazier to replace Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings as the team’s backup point guard. Washington also added a little more size by signing Mike Scott.
Still, those aren’t significant roster moves, so in order to continue improving, the Wizards will likely have to count on their core players to get even better. John Wall is still just 27 years old and Bradley Beal and Porter are 24, so there could be room for further development, but all three players had career years in 2016/17, with Beal finally avoiding injury problems and Porter posting one of the league’s most efficient shooting lines (.516/.434/.832). Expecting even more out of them next season would be asking a lot.
With the Wizards’ roster remaining fairly stable, it’s no surprise that oddsmakers forecast a similar regular season result for the club in 2017/18. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has placed the over/under for Wizards wins at 47.5, following last season’s 49-33 mark.
What do you think? Can the Wizards hold steady (or continue to improve), despite the lack of roster upgrades? Or will they slip a little this season? Vote below in our poll and jump into the comment section to share your thoughts.
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Previous over/under voting results:
- Golden State Warriors: Over 67.5 (53.57%)
- Boston Celtics: Over 55.5 (63.5%)
- Houston Rockets: Over 55.5 (65.57%)
- San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5 (67.74%)
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5 (68.82%)
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5 (71.77%)
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Over 48.5 (55.69%)
- Toronto Raptors: Over 48.5 (64.21%)