The Washington Wizards rumors this offseason will likely come to a close thanks to the team signing Paul Pierce to a two year, $11 million deal. However, the Washington Wizards rumors for 2016 are just getting started. Kevin Durant, a Washington D.C. native, will be a free agent in the summer of 2016 and the Wizards are hoping another NBA superstar will be coming home.
With John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Marcin Gortat firmly entrenched in the long term plans of the Wizards, Paul Pierce joins them as a stop gap for the next two years. And while he is excited about joining John Wall (and apparently president Obama), the Wizards have bigger plans.
Obama, J Wall here I come
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 13, 2014
Trevor Ariza, the starting small forward for the Washington Wizards last season, signed with the Houston Rockets this weekend leaving the Wizards needing to fill his slot. Although Paul Pierce is older and a few steps slower than Ariza, he can still knock down clutch shots and is one of the most respected veterans in the league.
The Washington Wizards rumors surrounded the need to pick up more veteran players with playoff experience, as the Wizards were exposed by the Indiana Pacers in this year’s playoffs. The Wizards looked like they were in control, but their inability to put the Pacers away showed the inexperience of the young team. Paul Pierce will help remedy the youth of the Wizards.
The next two season for the Wizards will be about growing up. At times, Washington looked like they were ready to make the leap into the upper tier of NBA teams. As the team continues to grow, they will separate themselves in the Eastern Conference. Just in time for the summer of 2016.
Even though 2016 is a long way off, Kevin Durant and the Washington Wizards will certainly have their eyes on two summers from now. The Wizards appear to have a long term plan that may or may not include Nene, but definitely includes the best young backcourt in the NBA. With an opportunity to grow under Paul Pierce, John Wall and Bradley Beal will develop into an unstoppable force by then. Kevin Durant would have to seriously consider the opportunity to play alongside those two.
The Washington Wizards rumors suggest the team could pick up another veteran front court player to help finish out their depth this offseason. But the team really has two goals in the next two seasons. Win a championship and convince Kevin Durant to come home.
[Image via Howard Smith, USA TODAY Sports]