The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Washington Wizards, who hope to field a competitive team around Bradley Beal as he enters a contract season with the chance to be a free agent in 2022.
Washington Wizards 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Spencer Dinwiddie, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma, Corey Kispert
The Wizards got a good haul in the Russell Westbrook deal. Caldwell-Pope, Harrell and Kuzma are valuable rotation players with championship and playoff experience. Kispert is a sweet shooter who has upside as a rookie. Dinwiddie was the team’s best addition and should be a great backcourt mate for Beal.
Key departures: Russell Westbrook
Westbrook is a big name, but his style didn’t match Beal’s well enough to carry Washington. The Wizards were red-hot down the stretch of the season to make the playoffs, but failed to make noise in the postseason. Washington was able to round out the roster in the Westbrook trade, but loses one of the most energizing players in the league.
The Wizards have been straddling multiple paths for years. They have a solid core worthy of contending for the playoffs, while also featuring young talent on the rise with Deni Avdija, Kispert and Rui Hachimura. The expectation will be to do enough to convince Beal to sign a long-term contract in his prime, which won’t be easy.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Spencer Dinwiddie
Dinwiddie is coming off a major injury but will be a great asset if he can return to form. In 2019-20, he averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists per game with the Brooklyn Nets. His shooting percentage needs to improve, especially from deep. If Dinwiddie gets more open looks with Washington’s array of shooters, he could be in for a career season. It’ll also help convince Beal to stick around. Dinwiddie should be a strong value play in DFS lineups and won’t go until the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.