The Washington Wizards are revamping its roster surrounding John Wall – Javale McGee is already out the door and Trevor Ariza and Nene are on board. Now it looks like Andray Blatche is on the chopping block, via trade, or, more likely, amnesty. He has $23 million and 3 years remaining on his 5 year, $35 million contract he signed two years ago.
Blatche is immature, like other players we’ve spoken about, so the move is commendable. But now that Washington has shed its tomfoolery for saner commodities, the pressure is on John Wall. No one’s quite given up on him yet – he’s 21 years old, after all – but expectations have been tempered, for the most part. But he’s always competing against parallel expectations, those of the No. 1 overall pick and those of a guy who looks like Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook, but just isn’t as good.
Andray Blatche and Javale McGee camouflaged the blame. McGee was doing McGee things, which, unsurprisingly, redirected our focus. John Wall’s timetable for entering the point guard elite stalled, too. But now he’s front and center, simply because there’s nowhere else to look. The Wizards realized the error of their ways and have been cleaning house for a year, but they’ve simultaneous placed John Wall on a pedestal for criticism. Even with these moves, the Wizards aren’t a playoff team. And unless Wall makes a gigantic third-year jump to lessen the gap between himself and his point guard contemporaries, we’ll never appreciate the value he does bring to the Wizards. Instead, he’ll find himself the wrong end of every comparison, fairly or not.
How good will the Wizards be next season?
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