Washington Wizards: Starting lineup locks, fringe, and potential break-ins

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards have most of their starters locked in for the 2020-21 NBA season, but there’s still some uncertainty around the starting unit.

For the second straight season, John Wall will not be part of the Washington Wizards’ opening night starting lineup, However, this time, it won’t be due to injury. Instead, Russell Westbrook has arrived to replace John Wall at the point guard position. By far, it’s the biggest offseason change to the Wizards’ roster we’ve seen since Michael Jordan was brought to D.C. in 2001.

What about the rest of the roster, though? There’s been more going on than just the Westbrook-Wall swap. With the start of the NBA season less than two weeks away, let’s dive into who’s a lock for the starting lineup, who’s on the fringes, and who could potentially break-in.

Locks for the Washington Wizards Starting Lineup: Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, Rui Hachimura, and Thomas Bryant

So, mostly everybody. Despite shaking things up in a major way this offseason, there is only one starting spot that’s guaranteed to look different next season, and that’s the point guard position.

Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are two no-brainers. You’re not going to keep superstar talents on the bench. Rui Hachimura and Bryant were both regular starters when they were healthy last season, and coach Scott Brook has said that they “earned” the starting spot this season. In Hachimura’s case, that’s hard to argue against. Hachimura stepped into the starting lineup on night one as a rookie and was excellent throughout the season, earning All-Rookie honors. Bryant, on the other hand, was inconsistent during his first season as a full-time starter. Bryant never took the leap that many expected last season, but that was largely due to injury. Once healthy in the bubble, Bryant looked like a legit starting center, averaging 18.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and 1.4 steals per game over eight games. The Wizards will need more bubble Bryant this season.

The Wizards could get wacky with their lineups this season. However, these four should be the first ones on the floor every night as long as they stay healthy.