Wizards: Updated Roster, Depth Chart Post Free Agency

Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards, Will Barton III #5 of the Denver Nuggets. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards, Will Barton III #5 of the Denver Nuggets. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

While NBA Free Agency continues, the Washington Wizards are one of the many teams that have gotten most of their work done. That isn’t saying the Wizards are done with roster changes or off-season transactions, but it’s a safe bet that the team won’t be making any drastic additional moves via free agency.

A roster spot here or there for minimal financial commitment is going to happen, but the impact moves that should set the rotation (Barring a trade) are done. We saw them play out and the Wizards certainly acted with a sense of urgency in more ways than not.

There was the Monte Morris and Will Barton trade, drafting Johnny Davis in the NBA Draft, and the signing of Delon Wright to add to the revamped point guard group. Things look different.

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Bradley Beal is back but the surroundings are not familiar to him. Sure, he has played with some of his teammates before, but think about the ones he has not taken the court with yet. Kristaps Porzings and both of the teams’ new point guards fall into that second group.

The roster needs tweaking still, and it’s expected that will happen at some point. This should demonstrate why the roster needs some fine-tuning and where it should be done. It also will help you visualize just how things would be looking if the season were to start today.

A trade or move is still expected, but not technically guaranteed. That’s why it’s important to take a look at the roster after a handful of significant moves were made. Some things jump out right off the bat.

As you likely know, the wing rotation is a bit crowded while the bigs and guards on the squad would not be hurt by having more reinforcements in case of injury or other situations.

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Wizards Updated Depth Chart:

Players listed in Italics are at a secondary position

Point Guard: Monte Morris, Delon Wright, Johnny Davis

Shooting Guard: Bradley Beal, Corey Kispert, Johnny Davis

Small Forward: Will Barton, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert

Power Forward: Kyle Kuzma, Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Anthony Gill, Isaiah Todd

Center: Kristaps Porzingis, Daniel Gafford, Vernon Carey Jr.

Two-Way Contract: Jordan Schakel

There is a lot to note here because one might simply look at this depth chart and have issues without being providing the context needed.

First things first, Avdija is best suited at the four until he solves his shooting struggles. He will play that role quite often. When Rui is in with him, they’re essentially interchangeable on both ends of the floor.  The same can be said for Kuzma, so while Avdija gets listed at the small forward spot right now, he is playing in mostly interchangeable lineups at the forward spots.

That is one of the goals Tommy Sheppard has had while building this roster. Versatile players who can play multiple roles on both ends and can be interchangeable when using typical position titles. That applies to most of the forward rotation. It also includes Kispert, who can be used at the shooting guard spot or the small forward spot.

Entering the season, he gets penciled in behind Beal because the team knows what he can bring and it has value, especially on this roster. Davis will be much more involved in the rotation throughout the season, but as of now, don’t lock him in for a massive role.

Finally, the debate that has taken over conversations between Wizards fans recently. Barton gets the nod to join the starting unit, at least as of now, while Deni gets that the bench role.

It can go either way in training camp and leading up to the season but don’t expect Avdija to have that role by default. The main reason for this is because of what Barton can for sure do on the court and the number of ways Avdija’s weaknesses can be worked around in a flexible rotation.

The Wizards will likely want to give Beal as much juice in the starting lineup as possible, allowing him to do what he does best from the opening tip. Barton not only makes the floor much more spaced, something that would be a theme in this starting five, but he also is a more capable and efficient playmaker than Avdija.

Beal can score the ball while a combination of Morris, Barton and Kuzma all play relatively significant roles in initiating different things. They all do other things, such as scoring, at a strong enough level to make the offense from this unit very high-powered.

Wes Unseld Jr. will have to be creative with rotations, but he has more than enough options that he needs to get on the court anyway. Staggering combinations of Morris, Beal, Kuzma and/or Barton with mostly bench lineups should be able to keep the offense at a decent level while that group is in.

Remember, the players that start don’t by any means need to play the most minutes or finish games. The Wizards want to be flexible it seems, and they can do exactly that with their current group.

One area that is clearly lacking on the roster is a big body capable of eating minutes when needed. Most importantly, eating minutes against some of the tougher big men in the Eastern Conference. Porzingis and Gafford can’t be asked to get physical with guys like Joel Embiid or Giannis Antetokounmpo for 48 minutes every single night.

Without another option, the Wizards will once again get bullied all season long. Keep an eye out for a roster move that addresses this roster hole at some point. That is assuming Vernon Carey Jr. isn’t going to take a rather large step forward next season.

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