Wizards’ Owner: “We Will Never, Ever Tank”

With his Wizards set to face the Knicks today in London, owner Ted Leonsis told reporters, including Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (Twitter link), that the plan is for the club to continue contending for the postseason, despite the season-ending injury to star point guard John Wall.

“We will never, ever tank,” Leonsis said, per Buckner.

Since Wall went down, the Wizards have held their own, winning five of nine games, including victories over Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. Bradley Beal has taken his game to another level during that stretch, averaging 30.2 PPG on .472/.413/.804 shooting as Washington’s go-to offensive option. And, according to Leonsis, Beal believes that the Wizards still have enough talent on their roster to earn a playoff spot.

“Bradley Beal has told me, ‘We have enough. … We’re not going to let you down,'” Leonsis said today to reporters (Twitter link via Hoop District). “We’re not letting anybody off the hook — we’ve got to make the playoffs.”

While the Wizards are still just 18-26, their path to a postseason berth isn’t as challenging in the Eastern Conference as it would be out West. Currently, the eighth-seeded Hornets have a 20-23 mark, putting them just 2.5 games ahead of Washington. The Pistons (19-24) and Magic (19-25) are also in the mix for that No. 8 seed.

If the Wizards are all-in on making a playoff push, as Leonsis states, it will likely eliminate a couple significant in-season trade chips from the market. Beal and Otto Porter have been at the center of a number of trade rumors this season, since they’d be excellent fits for teams in need of an offensive play-maker or a three-and-D wing, respectively — plus, moving one or both could help Washington clear up its long-term salary cap outlook. But the Wizards figure to hang onto both players, as they’ll be critical parts of any second-half run.

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9 thoughts on “Wizards’ Owner: “We Will Never, Ever Tank”

  1. PeeWeeHerron618

    Lol everyone tanks in the NBA, some just have a different name for it or the way they do it, y’all didn’t get Wall, Beal, Porter Jr or any other high draft pick by accident

    • jacobsigel1025

      They got real bad when Jamison and Arenas were getting rusty and they clearly needed a new direction. When they were gone that’s where Beal and Wall came in because they were trash. The Wiz roster isn’t bad which is the weird thing but it’s just that they haven’t spent money in the most orderly fashion and have restricted themselves. They need to trade Beal for assets and trade Wall when he’s healthy and retains some value. I think you hold onto Porter though.

      • Nebraska Tim

        I strongly disagree, friend.

        This Wizards roster is absolutely trash and overrated.

        Except for Beal, who someone remains underrated. At least he’s no longer being underused. Dude’s a superstar and the best SG in the East.

        Dump everyone else, but unless you get a king’s ransom, you’ve got to hold on to Beal. Especially if you’re against “tanking”.

  2. Nebraska Tim

    Bad team.

    Not a great owner (too meddlesome).

    An incredibly bad GM (bottom 3 at least).

    But Beal’s showing that he can take his game to a whole new superstar-esque level.

  3. stevep-4

    The Bulls, Hawks, Suns, Cavaliers, and Knicks are glad to hear it, you keep hoping Wiz.

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