8 Players the Washington Wizards gave up on too soon

Washington Bullets, Washington Wizards, Chris Webber (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Washington Bullets, Washington Wizards, Chris Webber (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls, Jerry Sloan
Chicago Bulls, Jerry Sloan (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

6. Jerry Sloan, Shooting Guard

This is a guy that the Bullets drafted not once, but twice, only to leave him unprotected in the 1966 expansion draft for the Chicago Bulls. They selected Jerry Sloan 19th overall in 1964, and after Sloan returned to college that season to win his second consecutive Div. II title, they drafted him again in the 1965 NBA Draft, this time fourth overall.

Despite going after Sloan in two consecutive drafts, the Bullets didn’t allow the 6’5″ shooting guard to spread his wings in his rookie year, scoring just 5.7 points in 16.1 minutes per game. The next season, despite not having a wealth of talent on their roster, they left the 4th overall pick of the previous year’s draft curiously unprotected, and the Bulls swooped right in to snag him.

Sloan becomes an all-time Bulls great

Sloan was put in the driver’s seat immediately, playing 36.8 minutes per game and contributing 17.4 points and 9.1 boards on his way to an All-Star selection in his first year in Chicago. He became known as “the Original Bull” for shepherding the franchise through its infancy and displaying the leadership qualities that would help him in his second career.

In 10 seasons with the Bulls, Sloan led them to their only pre-Jordan division title, earned two All-Star selections, six All-NBA Defensive team selections, and became the first Bulls player to have their number retired when his No. 4 went up in the rafters in 1978. He then went on to an illustrious career as a coach, leading the Jazz to 15 straight playoff appearances and finishing with 1,221 wins, which is third on the all-time list.