Finally, we are at the end of the preview series. The last team we will talk about is the Washington Wizards. The Wizards had a down 2018-2019 season, finishing 32-50, placing 11th in the conference. The biggest news from last season was star point guard John Wall tearing his Achilles and missing the rest of the season and potentially all […]
Finally, we are at the end of the preview series. The last team we will talk about is the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards had a down 2018-2019 season, finishing 32-50, placing 11th in the conference. The biggest news from last season was star point guard John Wall tearing his Achilles and missing the rest of the season and potentially all of this upcoming season.
Heading into this season, the team re-signed Bradley Beal to an extension while also drafting Gonzaga star Rui Hachimura with their first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Other than that, no other big signings happened, showing that the team is at the start of a rebuild.
Here is a look at the final roster heading into their season opener.
- Isaac Bonga
- Chris Chiozza *Two-Way
- Justin Robinson
- Ish Smith
- Isaiah Thomas
- John Wall
As stated earlier, Wall is expected to be out for the entire 2019-2020 season after rupturing his Achilles. This is a huge loss as Wall is one of the best point guards in the league when he is healthy. Because of this, the Wizards have decided to keep five other PG’s on the roster, showing that the team is in no need to rush back their star player.
Thomas went from superstar with the Boston Celtics to bench player for the Denver Nuggets last season. He’ll look to bounce back this season in an expanded role with Washingon. Smith is set to play for his 11th team this season and no matter what jersey he has put on, he has been a quality bench player. He’ll likely get the starting nod for the rebuilding Wizards team. Bonga and Robinson are young players that’ll look to earn playing time early in the season while the Wizards converted Chiozza’s contract to a two-way deal, that way the team has more time to see if he has a future with the team.
- Bradley Beal
- Garrison Mathews *Two-Way
- Jordan McRae
- C.J. Miles
The shocking news here was Beal signing a two-year, $72 million extension. Beal is a great player and there were rumors that he was on the trade block for the team to continue their rebuild. Nonetheless, Beal will be the main star to this team as the teams leading scorer while Wall is out. Miles is a 15-year veteran that is still a solid role payer but will mainly be a veteran leader in this young roster. McRae has bounced between the NBA, G League, and overseas that will look to earn minutes on the roster. Mathews is the other two-way player that’ll spend the majority of his season with the Wizards G League affiliate, Capital City Go-Go.
- Troy Brown Jr.
- Rui Hachimura
- Admiral Schofield
Hachimura was the team’s first-round selection out of Gonzaga. I believe he has a bright future with the team as he is a solid scorer and three-point shooting, as well as a solid defender. He’ll be the starter from day one and the franchise hopes he can be the next big star for them. Brown Jr. was the team’s 2018 first-round pick that’ll look to improve from his 4.8 points per game last season. Schofield was the team’s 2019 second-round pick that will look to earn minutes throughout the season.
An overall solid young group of small forwards that have a bright future in the Nation’s Capital.
- Davis Bertans
It would not shock me if the Wizards play Hachimura as the power forward spot more but they have a solid backup in Bertans. Bertans played three years for the San Antonio Spurs with a career average of 6.2 points and 2.3 rebounds a game that is also a solid three-point shooter (career average of 44.4%).
- Thomas Bryant
- Ian Mahinmi
- Moritz Wagner
Bryant is a guy I think you should keep an eye on. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers in limited minutes during his rookie season. He signed with the Wizards last season and carved out a nice season, averaging 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 72 games (while starting 53). The team re-signed him this offseason, so it clear that the team believes he can be a quality starter for the franchise. Mahinmi is a veteran that has spent the last three seasons in Washington that’ll be the backup while Wagner will look to have an expanded role after playing limited minutes for the LA Lakers last season.
Scott Brooks is hading into his 4th season as the Washington Wizards head coach. He has had a solid tenure with the team so far but will have a lot of work to do as the team tries to stay competitive.
Projected Lineup/Roster Cuts
- PG: Ish Smith
- SG: Bradley Beal
- SF: C.J. Miles
- SF/PF: Rui Hachimura
- C: Thomas Bryant
- Sixth Man: Isaiah Thomas
- Key Role Players: Troy Brown Jr., Jordan McRae, Ian Mahinmi, Davis Bertans
- Rest of the Bench: Isaac Bonga, Admiral Schofield, Mortiz Wagner, Justin Robinson
- Injured: John Wall
- Two-Way Players: Garrison Mathews, Chris Chiozza
- Roster Cuts: Jemerrio Jones, Phil Booth, Justin Anderson
Outside of Beal and the potential of Hachimura, the roster is nothing special. There is a lot of potential in Bryant to be a solid starter but the loss of Wall hurts.
Expect the Washington Wizards to be at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in 2019-2020 and maybe even longer. The team has a lot of rebuilding to do but there is potential, especially if they nail their draft picks and acquired solid players in free agency.
*Thank you for joining in on the NBA Team Preview series. I hope you enjoyed the articles from myself, Joe Mitchell, and Tom Scavetta. This season should be a good one!*