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Washington Wizards Could Be a Dark Horse, says Former Wizard Star

Dylan Williams profile picture
Updated 1 month ago on

3 min read

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Washington Wizards Could Be a Dark Horse, says Former Wizard Star
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The Washington Wizards have been treading water in the Eastern Conference for years now. But one former Wizard and current executive think they have a potential breakthrough this season.

During an interview with Bleacher Report, Antwan Jamison, who serves as Director of Pro Personnel, shared his thoughts on his ballclub.

“The Washington Wizards. That’s my dark horse team,” Jamison claimed. “Porzingis, Bradley Beal, I think that’s going to be a lethal combination.”

Potential bias notwithstanding, since Jamison not only works for the team but also played with them from 2004-10, The Wizards are an interesting team. They have not had a season over .500 since 2018. They have been to the playoffs once during that span, where they lost to Philadelphia in 2021. And they have been looking to build a team that will keep their star guard Bradley Beal happy. As a result, the front office has been active for the last two off-seasons.

“The difference is for us to stay healthy, get the chemistry down pat,” Jamison added. “I love Wes Unseld Jr. His coaching staff has done some unbelievable things. We’re going to make a lot of noise this year and that’s going to make my job easier.”

Washington Wizards in the Off-Season

2021 was the last time that the Washington Wizards made the playoffs. A season where they won the play-in tournament and faced 1st seed Philadelphia, where they lost in 5 games. In the following offseason, they fired head coach Scott Brooks and brought in Wes Unseld Jr. from the Denver Nuggets. They also traded Russell Westbrook, acquired in the previous offseason to get off John Wall’s contract, to Los Angeles. Coming back in the trade was Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the 22nd pick in the 2021 Draft.

After initially starting the season strong, starting the year 14-8, the team cooled off as the season progressed. Adding injury to insult, Bradley Beal was lost for the year after having wrist surgery in February. The team finished 35-47, missing the playoffs and play-in tournament.

They had already been active in the trade deadline, landing Kristaps Porzingis from Dallas, and sending off Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Then in the offseason, the Wizards started by trading for Monte Morris and Will Barton from Denver. Then in their biggest move, they gave Beal a max contract, temporarily quelling any trade rumors that were going around. Lastly, they used the 10th pick in the draft on Johnny Davis, an athletic wing from Wisconsin who projects as a 3&D player.

 

The Wizards have been in a weird place for years, drifting between competing and rebuilding. But now, they have secured their star, put together the duo of Porzingis and Beal, and added veteran pieces familiar with the coach’s system. The Eastern Conference has been unpredictable for the last few seasons now. And according to Antwan Jamison, the Washington Wizards could be the next team to break out.

The Wizards are 1-0 after defeating the Indiana Pacers in their season opener on Wednesday, by the score of 114-107. They next face the Chicago Bulls on Friday for their home opener.

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Dylan is a contributor to Basketball Insiders. He earned a bachelor's degree in Communication with a minor in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In his free time, Dylan enjoys watching sports and collecting sneakers.

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