It would seem that everyone in is in the same ditch here during the lockout: no games, no progress and little hope. However, all teams aren’t created equal. The reality of what this entire scene breaks down to a prolonged offseason. Which would was some kind of structure to it all, but that most definitely is not the case for the currently estranged employees of the National Basketball Association. There are pickup games everywhere, All-Star tours and even flag football games that are being used to fill the time in-between a deal being worked (or waited) out.
More than any other pro sport league, the NBA is an elitist group. A small group of teams have the majority of the power, while the rest are comprised of talented younger squads that have a good number of flaws.
For veteran teams like the Lakers, Mavericks or Bulls, there’s a lot less to worry about right now. With their veteran laden clubs, they will be much quicker to get back to their rhythm. However, there’s a group of teams that are have very young cores that can’t lean on experience to help them pick up where they left off before the work stoppage. These are the teams that desperately need the development and structure that the NBA’s offseason conditioning, Summer League, training camp and preseason. Talent doesn’t win out automatically in the NBA, and these young teams need more honing and time together than any other club.
That is why the lockout is killing teams like the Wizards the most.
The rebuilding effort in DC is nothing new. However, there is a nucleus of young talent that is coming together, that well…can’t come together now to continue that effort. Even if an agreement for a shortened season is reached and they take to the court, the time they have been forced away from their coaches and organization in general could most likely delay any turn around for the club for an even longer time.
It’s not as if the pieces aren’t available for the franchise to begin to turn it around, and the time and place is definitely right as well. The NBA is a point guard driven league, and few teams have a better one than John Wall. His growth and maturity as a player is the key to the entire direction of the team going ahead. For proof of this, look at how quickly the Bulls turned around their fortunes after selecting Derrick Rose to handle their business. Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook all had similar effects. Wall has just as much, if not more, talent as any of that group, and his time is coming.
He’s not alone either. Last sea¬son, Nick Young became one of the most exciting young scorers in the game, JaVale McGee came on to the scene in a major way as well. With their two first round picks in this past NBA Draft, they selected two promising talents in Jan Vesely and Chris Single¬ton, who will continue the stock piling of legit young talent in DC. It’s coming together, but the wedge of locked doors on their gyms is a bad look and potential is pointless if it can’t be realized.