Washington Wizards: 4 Things the Next GM Must Focus On

Washington Wizards (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Player Development Must Get Better

Some of this may fall more to the head coach, but that ultimately falls to the GM, as well.

Player development wasn’t exactly a strength of the Wizards while Grunfeld ran the show. In fact, youth seemed to often be an afterthought during those times. Instead of trying to draft and develop talent, Grunfeld and the Wizards often tried to find a quick fix by trading youth and/or picks for proven and established NBA talent, even if the talent wasn’t that good.

Hopefully, the Wizards learned their lesson with the emergence of Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown this season. Bryant started the season struggling to see the floor and may have never gotten a real chance if not for the Dwight Howard injury. Now, he’s on pace to finish the season with the best single-season shooting percentage in Washington Wizards franchise history. Re-signing him this off-season should be a top priority.

Likewise, Brown struggled to find minutes all season until late February. Since then he’s averaging over 23 minutes per game and has even become a nightly starter. Brown was considered a draft and stash project when he was drafted at the ripe age of 18. He’s proving to be a more than capable pro, though. His time with the Go-Go certainly helped but imagine if his Go-Go reps came against NBA competition. He might be even further along now.

Valuing youth is a change that starts at the top. Plus, acquiring young assets doesn’t just set you up well for the future. It also helps in the trade market. With youth, you have something to offer.