Over the past few weeks of the offseason the Washington Wizards officially entered a new era. Wizards legend Bradley Beal was traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, 6 2nd round picks, and a few trade swaps. But, Washington wasn’t done there, going on to trade Kristaps Porzingis to the Boston Celtics in a 3-team trade with the Grizzlies. Washington acquired Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, and Mike Muscala. Stay with me. Chris Paul did not last long as a Wizard, as he was then used to acquire Warriors star Jordan Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., and Ryan Rollins. I’ll put a link below to a tweet that shows the Wizards roster as it currently stands.
The Wizards roster right now as far as I’m aware:— Martin Gorthot (@washedwiz) July 1, 2023
Guards: Poole, Tyus, Bilal, Delon, Rollins, JD, Shamet, Cooks
Forwards: Kispert, Deni, Kuzma, Gallinari, Gill, PBJ
Centers: Gafford, Muscala, Vukcevic
Waiving Gallinari and Cooks would get us down to 15
Washington is stacked with young talent and should have a lot to look forward to this season and for the years beyond.
First, let me start with Jordan Poole. After winning a championship with the Warriors in 2022, Golden State decided to move in a different direction this offseason, following their 2nd round exit to the Los Angeles Lakers. Poole averaged a stunning 24.6 points per game in his 43 starts this year for the Warriors. Putting him next to Kyle Kuzma creates two of the most creative budding stars in the entire league. When asked about how creative he was, he credited his hard work as well as his experience with Golden State, and how he was going to continue to grow in Washington. “Now being able to come to D.C. and have even more of an opportunity just to show the creativity, it’s just natural…being able to make plays for my teammates…having the freedom to make plays in both systems”. Kuzma plays a similar brand of basketball to Poole, and both players are young, talented, and ready to compete. That theme runs strongly through the entire organization. Tyus Jones balances out the flash and creativity from Poole by being a rock-solid decision-maker and facilitator. Jones had a productive year in Memphis this past season, averaging 10.3 points and 5.2 assists per game, while leading the NBA in assist/turnover ratio.
Washington drafted Bilal Coulibaly from France who played with number one overall pick Victor Wembanyama during their time with Metropolitans 92. Coulibably shot up draft boards late into the draft process after scouts discovered his length and athleticism, as well as improved shooting ability. During his time at Summer League, Coulibably displayed exactly why the Wizards took him at number 7 overall. He made numerous defense plays protecting the rim, as well as bothering guards on the perimeter. Against the Celtics he iced the game with 12 seconds left by burying a stepback from the right baseline. Coulibably might seem raw and still improving, but his talent level and size really impressed at Summer League.
Guards Johnny Davis and Ryan Rollins both took full advantage of the opportunity to show Wizards staff and fans exactly how talented they both are. Both rising Sophomore guards were in similar positions last year, spending time in the G-League getting ready for the future behind established players in the league. Davis lead the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game on 43%(!) from 3. Rollins averaged 14 points per game, and also lead the Summer League squad in assists and steals while showing flashes of his scoring potential.
There’s a lot to be excited about in D.C. Change came this offseason and fans have a reason to be excited. They have a talented and unique group of young players who are ready to compete in the East again.