The Wizards will face extreme pressure in 2016
The Washington Wizards have a lot on the line this season. More than their self-imposed expectations to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers and get to the Eastern Conference Finals, they can't afford to stumble and eliminate any chance of acquiring Kevin Durant next summer.
It's a lot of pressure, and, in the words of SB Nation's Tom Ziller and Paul Flannery, they can't afford to screw up:
The Wizards have enough talent to make a respectable playoff run, but can they dethrone the Cavs? Or will they get eliminated in the first round by an upstart like the Boston Celtics? Things can go either way for Washington, a team with versatility on the perimeter but very little depth in its frontcourt.
And if John Wall or Bradley Beal go down with a long-term injury they'll be in serious trouble.
I've gone back and forth on the Wizards this offseason. In July I was touting them as the second-best team in the East after Cleveland. Now, I'm skeptical for all the reasons you mentioned. Losing Pierce was a psychic blow as much as a personnel one, but that assumes that Otto Porter is ready. The frontcourt is pretty thin and getting older. As for Wittman, I'm skeptical.