Washington Wizards: 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Gheorghe Muresan, Washington Bullets
Gheorghe Muresan, Washington Bullets. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /Allsport /
  • Four seasons w/Bullets (1993-97)
  • Most Improved Player (1995-96)
  • 2x NBA field goal percentage leader (1995-96, 1996-97)
  • 276 career games w/Bullets
  • 10.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks per game w/Bullets

Gheorghe Muresan was the first pick of the second round of the 1993 NBA Draft. The 7-foot-7 center from Romania and the late Manute Bol, also a former Washington second-rounder, stand as the tallest players to have ever played in the NBA.

While Bol was truly just a shot-blocking phenom and little more than that, Muresan was a way more complete player for the Bullets, carving out a solid four seasons for the Washington professional franchise. After starting only two games in 1993-94 as a rookie, Muresan’s final three seasons with the Bullets were rather impressive for a guy of his size.

He averaged at least 10.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in his final three years in Bullets uniform, starting 203 games during that span. In back-to-back years in 1995-96 and 1996-97, Muresan led the league in field goal percentage and shooting percentage with 58.4 and 60.4, respectively.

Statistically, Muresan’s best season with the Bullets came in year three in 1995-96. He had career highs in points (14.5), rebounds (9.6) and blocks per game (2.3), as he started in all 76 games he played in. Muresan would be named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for that season, as he was a potential star in the making at age-24.

Unfortunately, injuries unraveled the Romanian 7-footer’s NBA career shortly after that. While he was a key player for the Bullets on their playoff team in 1996-97, that would be his last season with the club. He missed the entire 1997-98 season due to injury. Muresan would go on to play just 31 games with the then-New Jersey Nets from 1998 to 2000 before washing out of the league.

In total, Muresan average 10.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in 23.4 minutes per contest over four seasons. He played in 276 games with the Bullets, making 205 starts. Though injuries derailed his career, Muresan was a great value pick for the Bullets in the mid-1990s. Nearly averaging a double-double and winning Most Improved in 1995-96 is a testament to that.