Three examples of the Washington Wizards putting development first

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr.
Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Unleashing Troy Brown Jr

Isaac Bonga’s disappearance from the starting lineup hurts his development, but it ultimately helps Troy Brown’s. Brown, the team’s first-round pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, is certainly a bigger part of the Wizards’ future plans than Isaac Bonga is. So getting him starters minutes over Bonga will benefit them more in the long-term. It’ll help them more in the short-term, too.

Brown is an objectively better option than Bonga is. He’s a better ballhandler, he’s a better rebounder, he’s a better shooter, and he’s a better scorer.

He put all of that on display in just the third game of his second NBA season, a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double in a win against the Detroit Pistons. It was the first double-double of Brown’s NBA career. Two games later, against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brown got his first start of the season.

After spending much of last season with the Capital City Go-Go and then struggling to get minutes with the Wizards, Brown finally got a chance to shine towards the end of his rookie season. Brown started the final ten games of his rookie season and showed more promise the more minutes he got. Brown played 20 or more minutes in 13 games last season. In those games, Brown averaged nine points and five rebounds.

Defensively, Bonga might be a bit better than Brown (he has a slightly better defensive rating than Brown through two seasons), but Brown can more than manage on the defensive end. His trainer, Joe Abunassar of IMPACT Basketball has compared Brown to Andre Iguodala, whose defense helped him solidify a role on one of the Golden State Warriors championship teams. High praise.

Next. Troy Brown ready to make an IMPACT in his second NBA season. dark

We’ll see if he can live up to that comparison, but he’s looked pretty good so far this season. This season, his defensive rating per 100 possessions is second to only Moritz Wagner. So far, so good.