2018 Washington Wizards Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert Picks
The Washington Wizards are proof of just how random and meaningless divisions are in basketball right now. Unless the Heat land Jimmy Butler and don't give up much in terms of current talent to get him then the Wizards should be in the driver's seat to win the Southeast Division. Yet, despite being one of just three division winners in the East, if they were to finish better than sixth in the conference it would be a fairly significant surprise.
The Wizards are in a very tough spot as a team right now. They have a core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. that is likely good enough to get them into the playoffs in the East every year but hasn't been enough to win a second playoff round yet, and they lack the cap flexibility with that core to do major damage. They can shuffle the middle of the roster, which they have done fairly significantly this year, but it is hard to imagine them being able to do enough to compete with the top teams in the conference like Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia and even Milwaukee. This is such a tough place for owners to get out of. On one hand they get some playoff revenue to pad their bottom line and are doing well enough to make everything work pretty well. But they are not going to be able to improve without significant moves - the kind that can be tough in the short term.
2018 Washington Wizards Additions and Departures
Austin Rivers now not only has the distinction of playing under his father for most of his career, but now he has been traded away by the Clippers while his dad is still the coach - though no longer in charge of personnel. He came to the Wizards in a one-for-one swap for Marcin Gortat. When Rivers entered the league, and when he moved to the Clippers certainly, he was a bit of a joke - his name certainly went a long way to explain why he was employed. But he is coming off a very nice year and has a chance to have a significant impact here off the bench. It was a very sound move for the team.
Less sound was the addition of Dwight Howard as a free agent, using the mid-level exemption. Howard has averaged a double-double every year of his career, so he is likely an upgrade over Gortat. Yet despite still being reasonably productive, and reasonably affordable, this is his fourth team in four seasons - Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte - so he's obviously not the ideal guy to have around a locker room. It is hard to believe that he is worth the hassle anymore.
I'm a little mystified by the selection of Troy Brown Jr. out of Oregon with the 15th pick of the draft. He joins the depth chart in a depth area, so he sits behind Porter and Oubre. And he is a lousy three-point shooter, so he can't help in that regard - and this team was in the bottom third of the league in three-point productivity last year, so it seems like it would have made sense to take a guy who shoots better than 29.1 percent from beyond the arc. I get the logic of picking the best guy on the board up to a point, but at the 15th pick there were other guys who were as talented and were a better fit. That's not to say that Brown isn't talented, though. He scored well in the summer league and through college. It just seems like he will be doing a good portion of his scoring this year in the G-League.
2018 Washington Wizards Futures Odds and Trends
NBA title odds ( from Bovada ) : +10000
Eastern Conference title odds : +1800
John Wall MVP Odds : +7500
Season win total: 44.5
The team went 39-48-1 ATS on the season, including the playoffs, which meant that there were profits to be made in betting against them consistently. They went "under" the total 47 times and "over" 39, so there were small profits on the under as well.
2018 Washington Wizards Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
When I look at this team I just get a little depressed. They are so painfully mediocre. Wall and Beal are both good players, but they eat up too much money together. The rest of the core is solid, and the bench has some decent depth. They are fine. Like vanilla ice cream. But no one waits in line for an hour on a hot day at the fancy ice cream parlor to order vanilla ice cream. You want more. You want pizazz. And this team offers none of that. They will win more games than they lose. They will make the playoffs. And they will lose their first-round series without too much of a fight. Ugh. I'd go slightly under the season win total, but I don't see enough value to do anything with that opinion.
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