Washington Wizards: 15 greatest scorers of all-time

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Richard Hamilton, Washington Wizards
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14. player. 142. . SG. (1999-02). Richard Hamilton

While Richard Hamilton has become synonymous with the team he spent the most time and won a championship with in the Detroit Pistons, the man who is also known as “Rip” got his start in D.C.

The former UConn Huskie was drafted seventh overall by the Wizards in the 1999 NBA Draft, but he didn’t become a big-time scoring threat until his second season. Hamilton spent his rookie year primarily backing up aging star Mitch Richmond and only averaged 9.0 points in 19.3 minutes per game.

Thanks to Richmond missing a significant part of the 2000-01 season, Hamilton saw his minutes increase to 32.3 per game. He took full advantage of the bump in playing time, averaging 18.1 points with a .438/.274/.868 shooting line.

His scoring numbers increased again the next season to 20.0 points per game, despite having to share the ball with Michael Jordan, who came out of retirement (again) to play for the team that he previously served as president of basketball operations for.

Jordan’s return marked the beginning of the end for Hamilton in Washington. Upon his return to basketball, Jordan often turned his ire to many of his teammates. Hamilton received some of this treatment, with Jordan telling Hamilton that Jordan sneakers were “only for All-Stars”.

He would be sent to the Pistons for a package that included Jerry Stackhouse, which ended up being the best thing that happened for his career. Through three seasons with the Wizards, Hamilton averaged 15.6 points per game with a 50.4 true shooting percentage.

Unlike a lot of top scorers during that time, Hamilton wasn’t a high volume shooter. He did most of his damage off screens and spot-ups, which should have made him a great complimentary piece next to Jordan.

Instead, he found a better home in Detroit. As a result, became yet another player that falls in the Wizards “what if” folder.