GM Ernie Grunfeld continued to put the heat on Jan Vesely to improve during the offseason.
"He needs to do better, he needs to improve and he needs to find a way to get that confidence back," Grunfeld said. Grunfeld is the one who picked Vesely sixth overall, so he needs to look in the mirror as well. "He needs to be out on the court, he needs to be playing. That's a way to build up confidence and have success in game-time situations." Vesely won't get on the court if he can't improve his still incredibly raw game. Teammate A.J. Price confirmed Vesely struggles from confidence issues.
Over the final 49 games of last season, The Wizards outscored their opponents 95.6 to 94.5.
Over the first 33 games, the Wiz got outscored 97.2 to 89.2. It's not a coincidence that John Wall was on the court for those final 49 games and inactive for the first 33. It's perhaps the biggest piece of evidence his agent can bring to the table when the two sides open negotiations on a new contract July 1. Wall is going to be asking for a maximum five-year, $79 million extension.
Of 14 teams polled by ESPN's Marc Stein, only six expect impending free agent Jason Collins to be in the NBA next season.
This has little to do with Collins' groundbreaking announcement that he is gay. "The reality," said one Western Conference executive, "is that he's been an end-of-the-roster kind of player for the last couple years." Collins is 34 and hasn't averaged more than 12 minutes per game since the 2008-09 season. He still has a chance to stick in the league because he's 7-feet tall, can defend the post and is a leader in the locker room. We'd be a little surprised if Collins doesn't latch on somewhere this summer, but it's far from a certainty.
CSN Washington does not expect Jason Collins to return to the Wizards next season.
It's a byproduct of the Wizards big man depth and not a reaction to Collins' announcement regarding his sexuality. A gritty and smart player, Collins would make for a nice backup on a team that needs insurance in the big man department.
Wizards C Jason Collins revealed he is gay, making him the first openly homosexual athlete in the history of major American team sports.
Collins made the groundbreaking revelation in a first-person account as part of this week's issue of Sports Illustrated. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation," he said. Collins, a 34-year-old 7-footer, has served as a defensive stopper for six different teams over 12 seasons. He'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer and expects to continue to play in the NBA. Here's Kobe Bryant's response, via Twitter: "Proud of @jasoncollins34," the tweet read. "Don't suffocate who u r because of the ignorance of others #courage #support #mambaarmystandup #BYOU"
Martell Webster said re-signing with the Wizards is "a high priority."
It's a well-known fact that Washington would like to retain Webster, but things change when free agency enters the mix. Webster shot 42.2 percent from 3-point range this season and should have a fair number of suitors this summer. We expect the swingman to land a nice raise after signing a one-year, $1.6 million deal with the Wizards last summer.
Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld said the team will weigh whether to keep Nene on a minutes count next season regardless of his health status.
Nene played in just 61 games this year due to a variety of injuries and is under contract for another three seasons for roughly $40 million. It's understandable the Wiz would want to prolong his career and his value for as long as possible. Nene averaged 12.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 27 minutes per game this season.