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Has the Wizards offseason made you excited for next season?


Here's to you and me, kid. (Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images)


For the third time this week, a member of the Wizards has been singled out for his stellar play -- or a stellar play -- in a pickup basketball game. Ted Leonsis raved about Gilbert Arenas after seeing him scrimmage at Verizon Center against NBA players such as Chris Paul, James Posey, Morris Peterson, Hilton Armstrong and Trevor Booker. John Wall had an alley-oop dunk with Brandon Jennings at Hangar Athletic Xchange in Hawthorne, Calif., that became all the rage on the Internet. And yesterday, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com was at the same gym -- where Wall played on a point-guard loaded squad in a surprise midnight run -- and took note of JaVale McGee.

Givony wrote on Twitter, "JaVale McGee is an absolute freak of nature. Body looks amazing. So talented. He's going to have a monster year if he stays focused." McGee came back on Twitter a bit later, informing people that a team featuring him and Nick Young won the championship of the HAX Real Run Pro League.

What should you make of all of this? Not much. It's summer time hoops. The stakes aren't as high as regular season NBA games, and the audiences are about 19,000 or so fewer. At least it's something to talk about during a dead time of the season, I guess.

But this has been a rather interesting offseason for the Wizards, with them earning the right to draft Wall, trading for Kirk Hinrich and Yi Jianlian, drafting Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker, re-signing Josh Howard and signing Armstrong. Ted Leonsis has taken over as the new owner.

They went 4-1 in summer league play, with Wall earning most outstanding player honors and McGee earning a tryout for Team USA. McGee was cut, came back, got cut again, but appeared to show signs of improvement. Yi is playing in the World Championships as the new face of the Chinese national team.

Blatche broke his right foot and is hoping to be back in time for training camp. Howard will be out for some time while recovering from his torn anterior cruciate ligament. And, despite Leonsis's blog post on Arenas, there are still questions about Arenas's health and his mindset about the team after going underground pretty much since he was sentenced to two years probation last March.

This time last year, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the Wizards, after they added Mike Miller and Randy Foye to a trio of former all-stars in Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. But what followed was one of the more disastrous regular seasons in franchise history, with Abe Pollin passing and Arenas's unfortunate gun play forcing President Ernie Grunfeld to detonate his entire roster.

Drafting Wall, who appears to be a special talent, has created considerable buzz for the future of the franchise, but I wanted to get your thoughts about the upcoming season. Are you excited about Arenas coming back or do you wish the Wizards would get rid of him? Does the 25-and-under crew of Wall, Blatche, McGee, Yi, Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Nick Young form a tantalizing foundation or make you hope for another high lottery pick? Will Arenas look more like the 2006-07 "Takeover" model or the 2008-09 model who led the team to an 11-21 record while he was healthy? Do you think retaining Howard will make much of a difference?

ESPN is predicting that the Wizards will finish among the bottom five teams in the NBA, while CBSSports has them as a darkhorse to finish with the worst record in the league. But Blatche told washingtonwizards.com that the Wizards are going to "shock a lot of people." What do you think?

Let me know what's on your mind.

By Michael Lee  |  August 27, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Andray Blatche , Gilbert Arenas , Hilton Armstrong , JaVale McGee , John Wall , Josh Howard , Kevin Seraphin , Kirk Hinrich , Trevor Booker , Yi Jianlian  
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Next: Wizards contacted Denver about Carmelo Anthony

Comments

Hoping that Blatche is in the weight room while he's not running, and that Seraphin can come in and contribute with Blatche not being 100%. Wondering who will step up as #2 option at center. Curious as to when the team will finally give up on (and trade) Nick Young. Need a backup two-guard with size that can defend and play within the system. Perhaps we can fill that void (or the backup center) in next year's draft.

Posted by: creativefunk | August 27, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Although the absolute worst is the guy who tosses the ball off the glass so the trailer can slam it. Usually I'm wishing for a sniper rifle about then...

Posted by: Samson151 | August 27, 2010 10:08 AM

Are you channeling Jon Wooten? The dunk is the single most high% shot available, might as well THROW IT DOWN BIG MAN if you can

Posted by: divi3 | August 27, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I thought Mcgee got thicker even from the beginning of summer league through his last Team USA practice. I'm cautiously optimistic he wont be pushed around as much this season, and have no doubt he will be even more explosive given newfound lower body strength.

Think back to your own early 20s, you dont come into your full on grown-ass man strength until after 21. That's just nature and athletes are no different.

Posted by: divi3 | August 27, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season.

With the breaking news about the Nationals' Strasburg needing 'Tommy John' surgery, missing the rest of this season and most likely the 2011 season as well, I'm just hoping that the Wizards' No. 1 pick, Wall, stays healthy. As we all saw from Summer Leauge, Wall is fearless when he takes the ball to the rack and we'll find out soon enough if his body is up to the task.

I'm not feeling all these highlight dunks and extraneous leagues though. More opportunities for injury.

Posted by: tgif11 | August 27, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm not feeling all these highlight dunks and extraneous leagues though. More opportunities for injury.

Posted by: tgif11 | August 27, 2010 11:54 AM

I hear that...but in Mcgee's case I really like the idea of him running full-court basically the entire summer. Just not getting winded so easily this season will instantly improve his game significantly

Posted by: divi3 | August 27, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Mr. Lee, I am reserving all commentary until the fan forums become available....

I'm not excited yet, but I'm sure I'll get a little more excited once the season rolls around. I'm glad they finally detonated the roster. I like the idea of bringing in the youngsters and I'm ok with the guys they drafted, but I was hoping for better young guys via FA. I'm not saying they needed to chase LeBron, just that they could have done better than Yi and Hilton. They started out in the draft adding talent, but also toughness and seemed to focus on defense, which I liked a lot. Neither Yi nor Hilton really match that mold.

Whether any of the guys I would have preferred would have signed here for a reasonable price is a different story.

It's easy to think that the addition of Wall will help the team win a lot more games this year, but I think time will tell. A lot of the promising rookies from last year (e.g. Evans, Curry) still ended up on teams that didn't win a lot. But I do think the Wiz are capable of being in the 35 win area, and maybe better if a lot of things go right for them. As a Wizards fan, I've just grown not to expect a lot of things to go right.

We're still weak in the middle and have a lot of questions still to be answered about how it's going to work with Gil, Hinrich and Young.

But for now I am confident that at least they are moving in a more positive direction.

Posted by: ts35 | August 27, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Are you channeling Jon Wooten? The dunk is the single most high% shot available, might as well THROW IT DOWN BIG MAN if you can
Posted by: divi3"

Jon Wooten? Who's he?

C'mon, the guy was on the cover of SI this year. All over the media. At least get the name right.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 27, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

the Wiz have a bunch of whiners on their team. when things get tough, they tend to crumble into pieces versus coalescing together as a team. Unless arenas and Blatche's attitudes are right, it could be a tough year.

arenas can ball, but he loves his nutty act. hopefully the 1-year suspension will teach him humility. Blatche need to learn he has to earn stardom versus thinking he should get things cause he starts now. Mcgee needs a true post move not a 7-1 dribble penetration move for a dunk.

Posted by: oknow1 | August 27, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Please DONT discount the curse of DC sports. I am sure John Wall will blow out his knee within a month of the start of the seasons and join Strasburg and McNabb among our injured 'saviors'.

The best part about it is he will surely play at an amazing level for a month, just to give us a taste of what could have been.

Posted by: LoJankFilDee19338333 | August 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Jon Wooten? Who's he?

The illegitimate love child of John Wooden and Morgan Wootten?

Posted by: ts35 | August 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Please DONT discount the curse of DC sports. I am sure John Wall will blow out his knee within a month of the start of the seasons and join Strasburg and McNabb among our injured 'saviors'.

That's why you don't put all your eggs in one basket, you build depth. The Nats continue to draft pitchers to build up their depth (and hopefully some quality will start to come out of that depth soon). Shanahan and Allen brought in a legit backup in Grossman and traded for Beck. Hopefully nothing career threatening happens to Wall, but you can't plan that way. That's the way around the 'curse'.

Posted by: ts35 | August 27, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

After falling hook, line and sinker for the hype last season, I'm taking a more measured position this year.

I'd like to see JWall be something special.
A reborn, matured Gilbert. Mental and physical growth from Blatche and McGee.

And another lucky bounce of the ping pong ball next Spring.

Posted by: bozomoeman | August 27, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

In regards to the Curse, is it possible Steady Teddy has exercised the Curse o' Le Boulez from the Verizon Center?

Note: Ovechkin has suffered no career threatening trama. Perhaps Ted's a shaman.

But now the darn thing's gone airborne landing both at FedEx Field and Nationals Park!

Posted by: bozomoeman | August 27, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone here subscribed to Verizon FIOS?

Does there Prime HD (the cheapest) plan carries Comcast Sports Net HD?

Their website (http://www22.verizon.com/Residential/FiOSTV/ChannelLineup/ChannelLineup.htm) is confusing. In displaying All Plans, the CSN HD (576) is listed with a blue dot (Prime HD plan), but if you filter it with Prime HD plan, then channel 576 isn’t listed, and only 76 (non-HD) is listed.

Since most Wizards games are carried by CSN, and I like to watch sports in HD, this is very important for me (and that's why I post it here). Any help is greatly appreciated! :)

Posted by: sagaliba | August 27, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Bottom 5 sounds about right, but there's reason for hope. Other than signing Armstrong, I'd say the summer has been a huge success. Love the picks, and I'm cool with Yi on the team. McGee has shown a lot of character this summer, and that's reason enough to be optimistic about his development. I'm certainly more excited now than I was last summer, but there are still too many knuckleheads on the team.

Posted by: djnnnou | August 27, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

sagaliba, I have fios prime HD and I get comcast sportsnet. I would have had to upgrade if I didn't.

Posted by: ronjon629 | August 27, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Has the Wizards offseason made you excited for next season?
YES
I'm always excited this time of the year.
Last year I was very optimistic.
We all know how that turned out.

This year I guess I'm just anxious to see what we got. No expectations.

Offseason always brings hope.

Posted by: VBFan | August 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I still don't like the trade for Hinrich. In fact I hate it. Would have preferred to keep Foye and 30th pick.

However, I can't change the past so I'll give it the wait and see. I don't like resigning Howard. Would prefer to let Nick get a full season of playing regularly before making a final decision on him.

I don't mine the Yi trade. Let's see what he can do for us.

I'm glad Gil is coming back. His contract doesn't fit in with a rebuilding team, however, Gil deserves a chance to redeem himself with the DC fans (although I think the gun thing was blown way out of proportion).

I'm excited for the season to start, but I'm not expecting playoffs.

Posted by: 33dgriffin | August 27, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"The illegitimate love child of John Wooden and Morgan Wootten?"

Posted by: ts35 | August 27, 2010 12:21 PM

Great. Now I'll have to spend all weekend scrubbing that image from the surface of my brain. Thanks a lot.

Posted by: kalo_rama | August 27, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Very excited---but not because I have any expectations of excellence. We have finally started a legit re-build process, and have a million questions.

This year we find out of Blatche's last half of last season was a mirage (biggest fear about this year: Blatche's injury doesn't heal well). We should find out if Gil can coexist with Wall. We should find out if Booker and/or KS were good reaches, spectacular reaches or busts. We find out if McGee is for real. (I am very confident about Nick Young: He will be his mind-bogglingly inconsistent self and not be a Wizard once his rookie contract expires.) All of that is good.

I'd be more surprised if we were in the bottom 5, but that wouldn't necessarily be a terrible thing from a "draft another stud" perspective.

But I think (win or lose) it will be exciting to watch the young guys develop.

Posted by: psdfx | August 27, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I think the wizards will be headed for the Lottery again, which isnt a bad thing.

Ted told us to be patient. That this is the race for the one who endureth to the end. And I believe in that saying. When Oklahoma drafted Durant they were in the lottery the next year, and year after that Until recently they cracked the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

Maybe in 3 years if the core group of guys: Wall, Booker, Blatche the wizards soon to be Red Devils, will be a team that people will respect. It is just going to take some time. With that being said...

The wiz will probably finish the 11th seed this season and anything better will be a total shock to me. As long as we make progress then I am fine.

Posted by: mrhney03 | August 27, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

nick young anchoring a team? ha! hilarious

Posted by: ryjufox3 | August 27, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm excited for the season but not expecting many wins. I just want to see the young guys improve, see what Gil's got, and have the team figure out which of these players can be depended on moving forward.

This season is like preseason for next season (and maybe the season after that).

Posted by: manifested | August 27, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone here subscribed to Verizon FIOS?

Does there Prime HD (the cheapest) plan carries Comcast Sports Net HD?

Not to worry Saga, it does include CSN HD. Just put a 5 in front of the regular station to get the HD feed. I think it's channel 576.

Posted by: SportzWiz | August 27, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Please DONT discount the curse of DC sports. I am sure John Wall will blow out his knee within a month of the start of the seasons and join Strasburg and McNabb among our injured 'saviors'.

That's why you don't put all your eggs in one basket, you build depth. The Nats continue to draft pitchers to build up their depth (and hopefully some quality will start to come out of that depth soon). Shanahan and Allen brought in a legit backup in Grossman and traded for Beck. Hopefully nothing career threatening happens to Wall, but you can't plan that way. That's the way around the 'curse'.

Posted by: ts35 | August 27, 2010 12:38 PM

build depth??? like in resigning shaun livingston.

hah!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 27, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, I agree with those predicting another lottery (or most likely, just above it) finish this year. Wall may be slow to develop even if he doesn't get injured, and Arenas is the least reliable "franchise player" in the league. Neither he nor McGee can play defense, and Blatche and Howard will be slow coming back from injuries. I look for streaky play all season long, but the failure of the Wizards to draft anyone useful after Wall (look at the job the Lakers did drafting last)or to retain crucial backups like Livingston and so far Singleton spells 3rd to 6th-worst team in the league to me. But maybe they'll get lucky again--and move either up or down.

But I'll be watching either way. Just like I always do.

Posted by: KTV1 | August 28, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for responding, SportzWiz.

Yeah, I know CSN HD is 576 on Verizon FIOS. But its Prime HD plan does not list channel 576 on it. Wonder if I need to subscribe to the more expensive plan to get it, or they just didn't list it by mistake (since they gave it a blue dot on a different table).

Posted by: sagaliba | August 28, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Why call Ted Leonsis out for speaking positively about one of his players, no matter who he is talking about. He is the owner of the team! What should he say,"Gilbert is out of shape and looks like he has lost a step or two, we will be lucky to win 25 games this season".

Posted by: Beltwayboy7 | August 28, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Why call Ted Leonsis out for speaking positively about one of his players, no matter who he is talking about. He is the owner of the team! What should he say,"Gilbert is out of shape and looks like he has lost a step or two, we will be lucky to win 25 games this season".

Posted by: Beltwayboy7 | August 28, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

--------------------------

He would say nothing. So it's good to hear him say something.

Beyond that, Leonsis seems to be a little more genuine than you give him credit for

Posted by: crs-1 | August 29, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

A voice from the East. Let's hope our man Yi Jianlian gets an attitude transplant and starts playing to his potential (7 ft, can shoot the 3, and oop the alley). All he needs is a tougher mindset.

He was given lots of opportunities in Milwaukee and NJ, no one can say he should be frustrated by lack of PT like Rudy Fernandez. So, Yi, it is all on you.

Posted by: robtaipei1 | September 1, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

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