Washington Wizards rookie Corey Kispert has had a somewhat under-the-radar first season in the league so far, at least in comparison to many of his 2021 NBA Draft classmates. This isn’t very surprising, though, as Kispert was taken as a ready-to-contribute role-specific player in the draft.
Despite being drafted with a proven skillset and ability to do something important on the NBA court (make perimeter shots), the Wizards forced Kispert into slowly showing what he can do. They entered the year with far too high of expectations and had a few too many solid role players filling out the roster.
There was difficulty finding player roles and getting guys comfortable. After the Bradley Beal injury and trade deadline deals though, Kispert has been allowed to see the court consistently and the results have been impossible to ignore.
While still a small sample size, Kispert continues to make a statement with each game that the Wizards play. He has been back in the starting unit over the last five games, which should continue for the rest of the season due to the Beal injury.
That’s ideal, as the starting lineup is where he has played his best and most confident basketball this season. It’s also the best spot to get a player that possesses his skillset on-court action. He will benefit long-term from playing with guys that do get him better looks and that he can play off of.
Corey Kispert Getting it Done in the Starting Five
When Corey Kispert has come off the bench this season (670 minutes), he has struggled with consistency and overall production. In those 41 games, he is shooting just 27.4 percent from behind the arc.
That’s opposed to the play of Kispert as a starter (381 minutes), where Kispert has shot 39.2 percent from the outside. Obviously, the better the talent on the court the easier the looks will be for a guy like Kispert. That’s a major part of the point. These minutes are huge for his development if they are handled correctly.
Kispert doesn’t stop with the shooting success improvement, though. He is playing with a noticeable increase in confidence these past few games and the results have proven that confidence is justified.
One thing Wizards fans are quickly learning about Kispert is he is a really good and creative finisher. He is more than willing to go up and finish near the rim and he has a surprising ability to convert on those attempts. That’s one example of how he is showing the versatility he actually has.
Kispert has become not just a willing offensive aggressor but a constant one and it is paying off. He has attempted double-digit field goal attempts in four of the Wizards last six games, both times he didn’t reach ten he ended at nine field goals attempted.
Unsurprisingly, he has the highest total +/- on the Wizards over that span at +24, significantly higher than anyone else on the team in the same time period. He is making the team better by starting and it’s best for his long-term outlook. As the season continues, be sure to keep an eye on the productive sharpshooter.