Every year, usually at Wizards locker room cleanout day at the end of their season, John Wall is asked the same question and every year he gives an honest and thought-provoking answer. The question is what the Wizards need to add in the offseason to improve their team.
This year, he was asked the question by Matt Barnes on Showtime's 'All the Smoke.' And once again, Wall gave a detailed response.
"With me and Brad [Beal], who is a great cornerstone, and you have Rui [Hachimura] who is a rookie that's in there, but I feel like we definitely need a three that's a dog, that can knock down shots and compete and create for us. And then, we've also gotta build a bench, just being realistic," Wall said.
First of all, Wall clearly sees Hachimura as a building block. For him to include Hachimura in that sentence along with Beal and himself says a lot about what Hachimura has shown already during his nascent NBA career. And Wall has certainly taken notice despite not actually playing with him and observing from the bench as he recovers from his Achilles injury.
Secondly, what Wall said about the small forward spot is not all that surprising. Though the Wizards have some young guys with potential like Troy Brown Jr. and Isaac Bonga at the three, no one has done enough to warrant any guarantees about their future.
Brown is atop that list as a recent first-round pick and has potential to be a creator on offense, as Wall says they need. But he has a developing jump shot and is still finding his way defensively, if that's what Wall means by a "dog."
Wall went into further depth on the bench to explain his reasoning.
"I love the team we have now. We have some great pieces. There are a lot of young guys getting an opportuntity to play that would probably not have gotten on other teams. But I feel like if you want to be one of those teams, you've gotta have veteran guys around that are willing to understand their role. That's kind of what we dealt with in years past with our teams is nobody really understood their role," Wall said.
He added that in years past the Wizards had too many players on one-year contracts and that it hurt the chemistry and cohesion of the team. And perhaps most interesting was a sort of big-picture request from the Wizards. It sounds like he would prefer some win-now moves this summer.
"I felt like for a couple of years in the past, we just tried to kind of rebuild through the draft like you do in a lot of other sports. But in the league, your window is kind of short. You don't have time for that," he said.
Wall seems to believe what the Wizards need will not be found in this year's draft. Whether that means he thinks they should trade their first-round pick or not is unclear.
The Wizards would be able to check off those boxes in a wing player if they lucked out in the lottery and could pick Anthony Edwards of Georgia. Maybe Isaac Okoro of Auburn would help out similarly, though to a lesser extent.
Granted, Wall didn't say how the Wizards should find the players he thinks they need. He just said what they need. It's up to the front office to determine whether they agree and then go from there.
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