2010-11 Washington Wizards NBA Picks, Predictions and Futures Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 10/19/2010
It seems rather amusing to even say right now, but remember that heading into last season the Washington Wizards actually thought they might be Eastern Conference contenders by adding Mike Miller and Randy Foye – for the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft – to their “Big 3” of Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler?
Needless to say, that was a pipe dream, with Washington finishing 26-56 for the second-worst record in the East. The only time this team was interesting was when Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton nearly had a gunfight in the locker room.
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Of those five guys listed in the first paragraph, only Arenas remains. And you can be certain that the Wizards would love to dump ‘Agent Zero’ after that gun incident last year, but Arenas has arguably the worst contract in sports: four years remain on his six-year, $111 million deal. That makes him totally untradeable and means the Wizards have no choice but to see if a backcourt of Arenas and John Wall will work (do you realize Arenas hasn’t been on the team’s active roster at the end of any of the past four seasons due to injury or suspension?). Offensively it could but defensively it could get ugly.
Wall is now the face of the franchise after the Wizards were able to win the NBA Draft Lottery and take him No. 1 overall – probably just a slightly a better pick than their last No. 1 overall was: Kwame Brown. It’s really the only positive thing that has happened to this franchise in a while. But dumping the likes of Jamison and Butler in trades last year should allow the Wizards to be a free agent player in the coming years. They had significant cap room this offseason, but no big-ticket free agent in his right mind was going to go to a rebuilding Washington.
The Wizards do have some decent young big men in JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche. Those two, Wall, Arenas and either Josh Howard or Al Thornton will comprise the starting five. This season isn’t about reaching the playoffs or even a .500 mark, but rather starting the long climb back to respectability.
Washington Wizards: Offseason Moves
Obviously, getting Wall was the most significant move and the team also drafted Clemson’s Trevor Booker in the first round. The Wizards also re-signed Josh Howard to a low-risk deal and traded for Yi Jianlian, who still has some potential. In a bit of a weird move, however, the Wizards basically took on Kirk Hinrich’s remaining two years and $17 million in a salary dump by Chicago. That’s a lot to pay a guy who is solid, especially on defense, but in essence the third guard.
2010-11 Washington Wizards Futures Odds
The Wizards’ ‘over/under’ regular-season win total on BetUS is 32.5. Their odds to win the Southeast Division are +2000, they are +1500 to reach the East Finals, +3000 to win the East and +5000 to win the NBA title. Wall is the +150 favorite to win Rookie of the Year.
2010-11 Washington Wizards NBA Picks
If Arenas sticks to his word and basically steps back and lets Wall control the team, obviously the Wizards are both better off now and for the future. But already Arenas has a tweaked hammy – an actual real injury this time, not the one he faked and got fined for. This guy never learns. Wall should win the NBA Rookie of the Year award as he’s already the fastest guy in the league from coast to coast with the ball. This team could be in some very high-scoring games because it will again be among the worst in the NBA on defense.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t be wasting any money on the Wiz to win the division or anything, but adding seven wins to last year’s total seems very doable, so you might want to take the ‘over’ 32.5.
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