To get prepared for a regular season that they hope will end a four-season postseason drought, the new-look Wizards will play eight preseason games: Three will be against playoff teams from last season, two will be against teams from New York, one will be in Canada, one will be in a non-NBA city and another will be at home.
The Wizards will have a decent chance to chart their progression, since their first game will be against Charlotte – the team that recorded the worst winning percentage in NBA history – and their final two games will be against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat and San Antonio – the team that finished with the NBA’s best regular- season record.
Bradley Beal, the third overall pick in June’s draft, will make his preseason debut on Oct. 7 against No. 2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky as the Wizards play the Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena. They will return home to host Baltimore product Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks on Oct. 11 at Verizon Center.
Their final six games will be on the road, beginning on Oct. 13 in Cleveland, where John Wall and Kyrie Irving will battle in a duel of former No. 1 overall picks. The Wizards will then be the first team to play the all-star backcourt of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets in the sparkling new Barclays Center on Oct. 15.
They will get their first look at 2011 No. 5 overall pick Jonas Valanciunas of Lithuania – who was taken one spot ahead of Jan Vesely – on Oct. 17, when they take on the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Wizards will get Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis of the Milwaukee Bucks on Oct. 20.
To close out the schedule, the Wizards will travel to Kansas City and take on three-time MVP and two-time Olympic gold medallist LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the champion Heat on Oct. 24 at Sprint Center, then travel to San Antonio, where assistant Don Newman will get a reunion with his former team on Oct. 26.
Training camp will begin on Oct. 2 at George Mason and the Wizards open the season on Oct. 30 in Cleveland.