The Washington Wizards were a promising team not too long ago, but they’ve been one of this year’s worst NBA picks. What happened, and how long will it take to fix?
Record: 4-1 ATS
Ernie Grunfeld had a plan. The GM of the Washington Wizards drafted John Wall with the first overall pick in 2010, then started drafting a supporting cast. Results were hit and miss (Jan Vesely, anyone?), but Bradley Beal and Otto Porter bore fruit, and with Marcin Gortat at center, the Wiz made the second round of the playoffs in 2014 and 2015. Everything seemed headed in the right direction.
Those were the days. Washington missed the playoffs last year at 41-41 (43-39 ATS), and they're off to a horrible start this year at 9-14 SU and ATS. New head coach Scott Brooks hasn't gotten much out of this sad-sack team, their defense is awful, and Grunfeld is back on the hot seat. Again. Will fading the Wiz continue to be a profitable NBA pick?
Mahinmi Resonance Imaging
For a while, at least. Wall (+4.7 BPM) and Beal (+0.8 BPM) are reportedly not getting along well at all, and bringing in Markief Morris (–2.7 BPM) has proved to be less than helpful. But the Wizards were also supposed to have Ian Mahinmi (+2.4 BPM last season for Indiana) in the mix this year. He's only played 14 minutes because of bad knees.
A bit of good news for Washington fans: Mahinmi had an MRI on his right knee last week and it came out clean, so he could be in action any time now. It might not fix all their problems, but Mahinmi's defense should help the Wizards beat the NBA odds – if he's healthy enough. If not... watch out.