After a quiet off season, the Washington Wizards are starting the new season with the same core group of players. The Wizards are hoping to build on a strong 2016 season with a team that could potentially make a playoff run.
1.Otto Porter will make the All-Star team. With talented forwards Paul Millsap, Jimmy Butler, and Carmelo Anthony all leaving Eastern Conference teams for Western Conference teams, there is far less competition for Porter to make the All-Star roster. As of now, Porter is underrated. However, he was one of the most efficient players in the NBA last year He plays solid defense and is an amazing rebounder for his position. Porter is also still young (24 years old) and thus has ample room to improve. Off-season reports say that Porter has added muscle, which could allow him to be even better as strength has been the main weakness in his career.
2.Kelly Oubre will be in the discussion for most improved player. Oubre has been surrounded by hype after being selected 15th overall in 2015 draft. He has shown flashes of stardom throughout his short career and is one of the most athletically gifted players on the Wizards. Throughout his first two years in the NBA, however, Oubre has been plagued by poor shot selection and inconsistency . This could change in 2017 as many stars emerge in their 3rd year as they gain experience and become accustomed to playing in the NBA. Oubre could have more minutes this year as starter Markieff Morris is often injured. Look for Oubre to win the starting job by mid-season and have a strong finish to the year.
3. John Wall will finish top 3 in MVP voting. Wall is entering the prime of his career and has improved every year. This is the first surgery free off-season he has had since being drafted, so he could focus on improving his game this summer. Also, the MVP field will be easier to crack this year due to the formation of super teams. The Warriors have 4 potential MVP candidates, but they will split votes and sharing so much firepower will reduce stats for each player. Last year’s top two finishers, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, now play on teams with one or two all-stars as the Thunder added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony and the Rockets added Chris Paul. If the Wizards as a team find success, it will start with a career year from Wall — which would make him a serious MVP candidate.
4.The Wizards will make the Eastern Conference Finals. #4 is the boldest take on this list as the Cavaliers and Celtics were the pre-season favorites to face off in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, the Celtics just lost star Gordon Hayward to a horrific injury, which could open to door for the Wizards. In addition, the Wizards core of Wall, Bradley Beal, and Porter are all entering their prime and are ready step up their games.
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