The Washington Wizards were one of the league’s most pleasant early surprises. They started the season 10-3, racing to the top of a crowded Eastern Conference. Washington took a nosedive from there, though, going 13-20 since mid-November.

A .500 record at the season’s midway point is plenty respectable for a team that some assumed would end up in the lottery. But the Wizards’ hot start heightened expectations, and Bradley Beal’s foray into free agency this summer looms. Washington must be better over the next three months to secure a playoff berth, increasing the odds its franchise player stays home.

If the Wizards fail in either capacity, don’t be surprised if these ongoing issues are the biggest reasons why.

Reasons for Wizards struggles

Beal having a down season and some players falling off

To be completely honest, this is what could have been expected out of this roster, to begin with. Beal is Washington’s only star, and his personal struggles have come as a major surprise. The All-Star guard had an especially great year last season, but has followed it up with a significant statistical decline across the board.