2017-2018 Record: 43-39 (eighth in Eastern Conference)
Players added: Dwight Howard (Free Agency), Austin Rivers (trade), Thomas Bryant (waivers)
Players Lost: Marcin Gortat (trade), Ty Lawson (free agency)
Projected MVP: Bradley Beal
I probably could have (and should have) hedged and named both Beal and John Wall here, but being on the fence is not my strength, nor would that fence hold me up. It’s Beal and not Wall that makes this team go, as Beal had his best season to date last year while Wall was limited to 41 games due to injuries.
Beal is also one of the Wizards’ best floor spacers, along with Otto Porter Jr., which frees up room and allows Wall to attack the paint. However, it’s Beal’s growth as a playmaker last season in Wall’s absence that sets him apart and makes him the team MVP. Beal averaged nearly five assists per game in 2017-18, almost one and a half assists more a night than his career average. If Beal can continue to facilitate to this level while maintaining his sharpshooting ability, the Wizards will be in good shape.