In what has become a lost season in many ways for the Washington Wizards, expectations have shifted for both the front office and the fan base. While they made the bold trade deadline move to add Kristaps Porzingis, that is about next year because of the season-ending injury to guard Bradley Beal
.The focus has mostly shifted to young players and young veterans that will be around for years to come. The Wizards can work on those players’ development and allow them to step into the right roles in the coming seasons.
One of the young players with upside is forward Deni Avdija, who the Wizards drafted 9th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. Avdija was always going to need time to become the player he can be, and that remains true midway through his second season.
As the games played pile up, though, he continues to flash the skillset and versatility that made the Wizards draft him in the lottery. Monday night against the Detroit Pistons was another instance of him showing one of the many different things he can do at a high level on the court.
Avdija tallied a career-high 15 rebounds in the Wizards 103-94 win over the Pistons. He also added three assists and 12 points in 30 minutes of action.
As most fans already know, Avdija has shown he can be at the very least a good defender in the NBA. His versatility offers the potential for him to become a great defender, something the Wizards will undoubtedly need in coming seasons.
His recent glass production, even before his career night against Detroit, suggests one of the additional ways he could become a difference-maker for Washington. His playmaking is not where his rebounding or defending is and likely never will be, but it’s something that has always been praised for a player his size.
Showing he is willing and capable of cleaning up on the glass is a promising development. Deni Avdija needs to hit the court with the same mentality he had Monday in the Wizards remaining games and the sky is the limit for his career.