As he is wont to do, Grantland's Zach Lowe writes a tremendously detailed piece on the revitalized Washington Wizards Tuesday titled "The Washington School of Witchcraft and Wizardry". In it, Lowe breaks down the success of a team poised to break through in the Eastern Conference after years of futility. From the piece:
After a history so sad, the last month has real meaning. John Wall has struggled shooting and looked totally out of sorts against Indiana, but he’s learning, and he kept making plays even while flinging up bricks. Bradley Beal emerged as a potential All-Star, a crucial development. Free agents will want to play with a starry backcourt, and the Wiz have long been a sleeping giant in attracting free agents. Washington is a cool city, and a ton of high-profile players grew up in the surrounding region.
Moving the narrative forward, Lowe adds, "So let the Wiz and their fans bask in this a bit, because things are about to get complicated."
Celtics fans might not care about the nitty gritty of Washington's salary cap situation, but the basic premise is that the team has several ways to go about building around Wall and Beal, and has decisions to make about impending free agents Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza. Lowe writes:
Washington could work the trade market to find a capable replacement for one or both guys -- a proven veteran better than the minimum-salary stopgaps, but on a cheaper and/or shorter deal than Ariza and Gortat will get. The Wiz have long liked Jeff Green, who has just two seasons left on his current deal.
Before Celtics fans line up to drive Green to the airport, it's important to look at what he did this season in Boston. For one, Green played in all 82 games, leading the team in points (16.9) and minutes. Celtics fans would be foolish to talk so nonchalantly about sending off the team's leading scorer given the current state of the club. Take a look at the Wizards roster: Outside of Beal, Wall, Gortat, and Ariza, are there any players you'd be dying to have instead of Green? Nene has two years and $26 million left on his contract, and he's probably not available, anyway. Given his production, the two years remaining on Green's contract, at $9.2 million per season, are actually pretty reasonable.
What do you think? Would you be happy or sad to see Jeff Green go?