This past Tuesday, the Washington Wizards held a media Q&A session before the beginning of training camp. In it, Wizards executive Tommy Sheppard and Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr both took turns addressing the media about the fast approaching 2022-2023 NBA Season.
According to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, when Sheppard was asked if this year’s Wizards team was a playoff team on paper, the Wizards exec said: “I think we just continue to improve. Obviously, that’s everybody’s goal: to make the playoffs. I think we’ve got to see the improvement on the defensive end. I think we addressed that this summer. You find out in the winter what you did in the summer.”
The Wizards made some interesting moves this off-season, trading Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ish Smith to the Denver Nuggets for Will Barton and Monte Morris. Unseld stated that he had seen an “immediate impact” coming from Morris.
“He’s a connector,” Unseld said. “And he’s a guy that, I’m not sure how, but around the league, everyone knows Monte, and he does a terrific job of ingratiating himself beyond just between the lines. He’s obviously a point guard at heart. He prides himself on running the team, and I think that’s going to be a huge benefit to this group because he’s going to know what the group needs at the right time.”
“I think all the guys that are new to our roster bring a whole different mentality may be in terms of their expectations of themselves,” said Sheppard. “Walking in the door, defining themselves as players, it’s obvious that they don’t have to tell you about it. They show you.”
It seems Washington’s coach and front office staff took the steps they felt were necessary to drastically improve the team’s chemistry issues and move forward from last season’s struggles. With the 2022-2023 NBA Season set to tip off in just a few more weeks, the clock is ticking to see if this Wizards team can back up these words.