2012 Offseason Rankings: No. 11 Washington Wizards

With training camp starting in Cleveland on October 1, Right Down Euclid will be ranking teams from the bottom to the top of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Everyday I will rotate between conferences, starting with the East teams and counting up from No. 16 all the way to the best team in each respective conference.

I will give a quick synopsis of each team’s roster, some of their statistics from last year and why I think they will finish in the position that I predicted. Agree or disagree, stay tuned to RDE to see where your team lands in the 2012 Offseason Team Rankings.

July 18, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

No. 11 – Washington Wizards (3rd in Southeast)

2011-12 season: 20-46 (.435), 4th place in Southeast Division (7-7)

Offensive Efficiency: 97.8 (28th)

Defensive Efficiency: 103.8 (23rd)

2012-13 roster:

F-G – Trevor Ariza

G – Bradley Beal

F – Trevor Booker

G – Jordan Crawford

G – Shelvin Mack

F – Cartier Martin

C – Nene

C – Emeka Okafor

G – A.J. Price

F – Kevin Seraphin

F – Chris Singleton

F – Jan Vessely

G – John Wall

G-F – Martell Webster

If you read anything that I wrote before the NBA draft, you would know that I was kind of obsessed with shooting guard Bradley Beal. I loved him as a compliment to Kyrie Irving and I thought the two of those could have been one of the most dominant backcourts in the Association this season. However, the draft is long over and I must move on. Dion Waiters is the future starting two guard in Cleveland, and I’ve grown to really like that decision. Regardless, the Wizards have a bright future with their backcourt of John Wall and Beal. Wall was the star of the team last season in just his second year in the NBA. He led the team in points and assists, averaging 16.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals. He also clocked in just over 36 minutes per game, but lost the ball almost four times per game. Wall’s assist-to-turnover ratio was a dismal 2.08, ranking him 39th in the NBA.

The Wizards also brought in two seasoned veterans in center Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. Ariza is a great wing player who can be another option for Wall to go to, helping him with that assist-to-turnover ratio problem. I really like this move, as the Wizards have weeded out a lot of players, like JaVale McGee, were just holding Washington back from achieving team goals. Since acquiring Nene in the McGee trade with the Denver Nuggets and receiving Okafor from the New Orleans Hornets, the Wizards will have lots of help down low with the two big men working together. Nene (10 years of NBA experience) and Okafor (eight years) are threats on both sides of things. Okafor averages a double-double for his career, while Nene, who has spent basically his whole career with the Nuggets, has averaged 12.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocks for his career.

Unfortunately the Wizards don’t have too much time with Ariza and Okafor, as they will both be free agents next season. With that being said, I still think the Wizards can achieve big things this season. They will be in a dead heat with the Atlanta Hawks, Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth playoff spot, but they’re not ready quite yet. Losing those vets will leave a lot of empty spaces to fill the season following, but the young stars could really benefit from having that type of leadership even if it is only for one season.