There are numerous possibilities for what the Washington Wizards starting lineup for next season will look like. Besides Beal, there are no real locks.
The Wizards experienced a large amount of roster turnover from last season. Numerous players who spent time in the Wizard’s starting lineup last year are no longer with the team.
Now, with John Wall likely out all of next season, the Wizards could be looking at four new members in their starting lineup.
At point guard, there are two main options for the Wizards, Ish Smith and Isaiah Thomas. Smith is an NBA veteran who was a solid point guard for the Pistons over the last few seasons. Last season in Detroit, smith averaged 8.9 points and 3.6 assists per game. Smith would be a viable option to become the Wizard’s starting point guard.
However, the more intriguing option is Isaiah Thomas. Thomas is a two time All-Star and was nearly named MVP just three seasons ago when he averaged 28.9 points per game with the Celtics. Yet, over the last few seasons, Thomas spent most of his time on the sideline due to problems with his hip. When he was on the court, he just wasn’t himself. Once considered one of the best guards in the league, Thomas became a guy not many teams wanted on their roster.
Thomas is now completely healthy and will likely be the Wizards starting point guard, but he has to earn it first. This is Thomas’ perfect opportunity to prove that he is the same player he was just three years ago.
The only 100% lock in the starting lineup is at shooting guard with Bradley Beal. Beal, who is a two time All-Star, averaged 25.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists last season. He is the teams best player and there is no reason for why he would not be the Wizard’s starting shooting guard for next season.
Miles is an NBA veteran, entering his 15th season in the NBA. He is deadly from three, shooting over 36% from three last season with the Grizzlies while averaging 9.4 points per game. He can provide instant offense and veteran leadership, but is mostly used as a player off the bench as he is has only started in four games over the last two seasons.
Brown has more raw talent than Miles, but is very young and needs to be developed more. Brown is entering his second year in the league. He spent much of the start of last season on the bench, but finished off the year strong and had a great summer league.
It remains to be seen if Brown is ready to enter the Wizard’s starting lineup right off the bat. Expect to see Miles as the opening day starter, but Brown has a solid shot to take over later in the season.
At Power Forward, Rui Hachimura is the heavy favorite. The 2019 ninth overall pick has been a monster this offseason. Hachimura balled out this Summer, earning a spot on the NBA Summer League Second Team. He also carried Japan in the FIBA World Cup, putting up crazy stats almost every game.
If for whatever reason Hachimura does not start next season, Davis Bertans would be next in line. Bertans is one of the league’s best shooters, knocking down nearly 43% of his shots beyond the arc last season with the Spurs. However, it would be shocking and greatly disappointing not to see Hachimura be the Wizards starting Power Forward.
At Center, expect the starter to be Thomas Bryant. Bryant came out of no where last season. He started 53 games with the Wizards last season, averaging 10.5 points per game and shot 62% from the field. His stellar play landed him a three year, $25 million deal with the Wizards this offseason. Bryant is undersized, but proved he can be a dominate big man last year. Unless Ian Mahinmi turns into Rudy Gobert somehow, Bryant will be the Wizards starting center.
For opening day, I am projecting the Washington Wizards starting lineup to look like Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, C.J. Miles, Rui Hachimura, and Thomas Bryant. However, with so much uncertainty, expect the starting lineup to change multiple times throughout the season.