While the Wizards had an expensive offseason which mostly centered around maintaining the current core intact, it was also a successful offseason, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes. John Wall signed a designated veteran player extension, the Wizards matched Otto Porter‘s offer sheet to retain him, and Bradley Beal is already signed to a long term contract.
Washington is coming off a season in which the team made waves in the playoffs, defeating the Hawks in the first round before falling to the Celtics in a thrilling seven game series. As team majority owner Ted Leonsis explained to Bucker last week, this is the opportune time to lock up the team’s foundational pieces.
“They’re entering their prime while some other players are getting older,” Leonsis said. “I think we feel really good about keeping this core together.”
As Bucker adds, the Wizards have committed over $404MM in salary to Wall, Porter, and Beal. However, those deals are calculated ones as ownership has made it clear it intends to compete and keeping talented fixtures who have shown improvement each season are the type of players worth the investment. After finishing as the fourth seed in the East last season, the Wizards are in a position to make more strides in a weakened conference.
Below are additional notes around the Southeast Division:
- The Orlando Magic‘s depth signings of to Jonathon Simmons, Shelvin Mack, Arron Afflalo, and Marreese Speights shows the team is committed to winning as much as possible, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes.
- After a strong Summer League performance, swingman DeAndre’ Bembry has made people around the Hawks and the league wonder if he’s poised for a breakout, Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype writes.
- Former Knicks assistant coach and Kristaps Porzingis favorite, Joshua Longstaff, has been named head coach of the G-League’s Erie Bayhawks, the team announced.