Wizards owner: Revamped roster could be deepest 'we've ever had'
Washington has undergone a face-lift this offseason after trading the disgruntled Marcin Gortat for Austin Rivers, as well as signing Dwight Howard and Jeff Green to complement the core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter Jr. Leonsis believes the Wiz are now ready to become a force in the new-look Eastern Conference.
"If you look at this roster for the Wizards, I think it’s as deep or the deepest team that we’ve ever had," Leonsis said Monday, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post. "I think that the East will be very competitive but I don’t think we should be overlooked. I think we’re going to have a really good team this year."
Adding Howard to the mix would seem to add another potential problem to the team's psyche due to his big personality, but Leonsis believes the troubles reported in his last few stops have been overblown.
"I think that’s a media-generated issue. I don’t think it’s a basketball-related issue," he said. "He could’ve signed in many, many places and really it all comes down to the salary cap. Dwight is paid like a max player. We’re paying him the mid-level exception. He will be a great addition to the team, he wants to be here, and his skill set is what we needed. Someone who could run, play defense, and rebound.
"And he’s at the time of his career right now where he’s been paid a lot of money, he’s still getting paid max money. The buyout and what we’re paying him. ... I think he was the greatest addition we could add at that position."
Rivers and Green should bolster bench scoring, and Leonsis believes the team could very well go 10 or 11 deep throughout the year.
"I thought both (the Wizards' and Capitals') front offices had 'A' grades for their offseason. I think that when a season ends you sit down and say, 'This is what we want to accomplish,' and for the Wizards, it was, 'We need to have more balance and more depth and be prepared for injuries,'" he said. "We had injuries last year and we want to be able to have interchangeable parts and players that are adapted to the new NBA."