Washington Wizards: 4 Bold Predictions for the 2019-20 Season

Washington Wizards Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, Justin Robinson, Jordan McRae (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Isaiah Thomas, Bradley Beal, Justin Robinson, Jordan McRae (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards Thomas Bryant (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Thomas Bryant averages a double-double for the season

If Bradley Beal is the obvious alpha in DC, then Thomas Bryant is second in command. The 22-year-old center showed his potential with a surprisingly productive season with the Wizards last year. Now, back with the team for at least the next three seasons, the Wizards are looking to unlock that potential and turn those flashes they saw last season into nightly occurrences.

Throughout the preseason games, Bryant has been the second option behind Beal. If that continues into the regular season, Bryant’s numbers are going to take a big leap.

And that’s not to say Bryant’s numbers were bad last season. In fact, they were quite good for a guy that was essentially playing his first full season of NBA basketball. Despite starting the season behind Dwight Howard and Ian Mahinmi on the depth chart, Bryant found himself in the starting lineup by the end of November.  He finished the season with 52 starts and averaged 10.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 72 games.

Solid numbers, for sure. However, a look at Bryant’s per 36 minutes numbers from last season paints a clearer picture of what the big man can bring in an expanded role.

Per 36 minutes, Bryant averaged 18.2 points and 10.9 rebounds last season. He probably won’t be seeing that many minutes this year, but he’ll certainly see more than the 20.8 minutes per game he averaged last season.

Bryant might not need 36 minutes per game to get a double-double, though. If you look just at the 28 games from last season in which Bryant played at least 20 minutes, his per-game averages jump up to 16 points and 9.7 rebounds. That’s nearly a double-double already.

If he can average double-digit points and rebounds for a full season, he’d be joining an impressive and relatively short list of players who have done so before turning 23. The active players to have done it reads like an All-Star roster: Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and Dwight Howard (per Basketball-Reference).