The Wizards could go several ways next season under new head of basketball operations Michael Winger.
But from the sounds of things, Winger is leaning toward trying his darndest to field an exciting and competitive team right from the start.
As for the art of setting yourself up to lose to land a better draft pick? Well, for now, that doesn’t appear to be the plan.
“I would be extremely surprised if we’re one of those bottom-out (tanking) type of teams, Winger said, via Neil Dalal of Hoop District. “It’s just not in my DNA, it’s not in (GM Will Dawkins‘) DNA, it’s not in (Coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s) DNA.”
Of course, avoiding going into the tank won’t be the only goal. Winger made it clear he has high expectations — and so should everyone else associated with the organization.
“The eventual expectation is that we’re going to build a generational contender,” Winger said, via Josh Robbins of The Athletic. “We’re going to eventually have a team that is competing for championships. I can’t promise when that will be. But there’s no excuse for the lone NBA team in Washington, D.C., not to be a perennial contender or at least be pursuing championships.
“So, that’s the goal. The goal is to pursue championships by any means necessary. It’ll take time.”
We can all assume shooting guard Bradley Beal will be back. But among the top priorities on the Wizards’ offseason list will be free agent forwards Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. Most believe at least one will be back, perhaps both.
But last season with Beal, Kuzma and Porzingis, the Wizards were unpredictable, missing the playoffs. So perhaps at least some small change is in order. If it means maybe winning more, then Winger sounds like he’ll be willing to go through with it.