Year Three of the RebuildPosted on June 22, 2012
We are entering year three of the Wizards rebuild. We have owned the team for two years. As noted, we have one of the youngest teams in the NBA. We have two picks this coming draft, and will have nine players under contract playing on a rookie deal. Is there another team in the NBA right now with nine players under rookie contract? Can a blogger research that for me and let me know? Thank you. We will have turned over our roster in a dramatic fashion very quickly. We also will have changed the culture of the lineup and locker room – this will be a serious and focused group of players, all with knowledge that a team concept can be very successful in the new NBA. And the two new players added are very much in the mold of Nene – mature, polished, accomplished, steady, smart and happy to be in DC. In fact, both Ariza and Okafor will be here today. These are good professional people I am pleased to report. We now have depth, and vets – as promised – added to our very young lineup. The team will be very different than the teams of the past few years. Our young players will have gained experience and have ongoing upside. And the young vets are quite excited about the upside of the team. We are still a work in progress. We want year three of the rebuild to be about progress and competing for a playoff spot. We want to see improvement and upside still. We want our players to expect to be competitive in every game now – and winning is expected and is possible. Here are a few articles about the trade. I find it ironic that one team that made the trade is doing what we did a few years ago – shedding vets for picks or prospects for payroll flexibility, building around their number one pick in the draft. This seems to be a NBA cycle of reinvention. We have managed the cap well – we had the resources to take on three new major contracts in Nene, Okafor and Ariza. And we had the patience and will to craft the team around nine young draftees and young players. We have work left to do – but I think we are moving in the right direction. We have been very transparent about our plans – lots of young players in the mix, lots of first round picks, add some vets via trades and add free agents when the time is right and there is the possibility of using that lever.