COMMENTARY | The 2013-14 Washington Wizards have high expectations.
Despite missing the postseason every year since 2007-08, the Wizards are confident that they'll break their playoff drought in 2013-14. Led by the young and tantalizing backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards are locked and loaded as the NBA regular season unfolds.
Here are five bold predictions for the Washington Wizards as they embark upon what they hope is a journey to the playoffs this year.
John Wall will emerge as the NBA's best young point guard
With all due respect to the likes of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving, John Wall seems poised to become the NBA's best young point guard in 2013-2014.
Wall appears primed to fulfill the promise the Wizards saw in him when they made the former Kentucky Wildcat the first overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft.
After several years of displaying his intriguing talents in flashes, Wall is ready to turn his vast potential into elite production and emerge as the league's best young player at the one spot.
Bradley Beal will become an All-Star
John Wall isn't the only young and talented guard in Washington D.C.
Coming off an injury-filled rookie season, second-year shooting guard Bradley Beal is showing that he's ready to take his game to the next level in 2013-14.
Throughout the preseason, Beal has been a potent offensive force, scoring at will against the opposition via his trademark, silky-smooth jumper and by taking advantage of open court opportunities that come with playing alongside the quick and elusive John Wall.
The Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade is penciled in as the starter for the East, so Beal's goal will be to get voted in as D-Wade's backup in the All-Star game next year.
With the great strides he's already making in the preseason, there's a solid chance that the emerging Beal is up to the task.
Glen Rice Jr. will have a better rookie season than Otto Porter
Despite being a rookie, Glen Rice Jr. is already showing promise as a scorer off the bench for the Wizards. Although he isn't quite the shooter his father was, Rice is a versatile player who can put the ball into the hoop via jump shot or by taking it to the rack.
Unfortunately, Porter's rookie season has yet to start. Injuries have forced the Wizards' 2013 first round draft selection to miss all of the team's preseason games so far.
If Porter's injury issues continue throughout the season, don't be surprised to see Rice steal his thunder and emerge as the Wizards' best rookie in 2013-14.
Martell Webster will be in the running for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award
After years of failing to fulfill the promise that made him a lottery pick back in 2005, Martell Webster is finally starting to show what he's capable of providing when he's healthy.
Projected to serve as the Wizards' first player off the bench, Webster's shooting ability should allow him to take advantage of the open looks he'll receive playing several minutes a game alongside Wall and Beal.
If Webster can continue to avoid the injury bug in Washington, he certainly has the potential to emerge as one of the league's best sixth men.
Randy Wittman will get fired and be replaced by Sam Cassell
Wizards coach Randy Wittman's under a lot of pressure this year.
With the expectations of making the postseason surrounding the Wizards, Wittman's already on the hot seat. If the team stumbles out of the gates, don't be surprised to see Wittman removed as the team's coach pretty quickly.
Taking his place would be a guy who's well acquainted with pressure; two-time former NBA champion Sam Cassell. As a player, Cassell hit big shots in pressure situations throughout his career and as coach of the Wizards; he wouldn't be afraid of taking on the tall task of guiding the Wizards to the playoffs.
So as the 2013-14 NBA regular season begins next week, we'll soon get the chance to witness whether any of these bold predictions become reality for the Washington Wizards.
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Drexel Perry's a freelance writer who covers the Washington Redskins and the Washington Wizards for Yahoo Contributor Network. For additional sports talk, follow him on Twitter @DrexelPerry.
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