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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Washington Bullets, Washington Wizards, Chris Webber
Washington Bullets, Washington Wizards, Chris Webber (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

1. Chris Webber, Power Forward

The only player on this list that wasn’t drafted by Washington, Chris Webber arrived in the nation’s capital via trade. Webber was traded from the Golden State Warriors the same year he won NBA Rookie of the Year largely due to issues between him and the head coach, one Don Nelson. The Bullets acquired Webber for a package that included three first round picks.

Webber averaged 20+ points per game in all four seasons with Washington and in 1997 earned his first All-Star selection while also leading the Bullets to their first playoff appearance since 1988. Webber turned himself into one of the game’s premiere power forwards while playing with Washington. As a 6’10” forward who could dominate in the post, his surprisingly deft ball-handling and passing abilities impressed everywhere he went.

Webber becomes one of the best PFs of his generation

That wasn’t enough, however, as the 25-year-old was shipped to the Sacramento Kings for 33-year-old Mitch Richmond, leading to another seven-year playoff hiatus for Washington. Webber turned the perennially losing Kings into an exciting and dominant team (which he could have done in Washington as well), leading Sacramento to the playoffs in six straight seasons, including a controversial loss to the Lakers in the 2002 Conference Finals.

In six full campaigns with Sacramento, the big man averaged 23.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.6 dimes, 1.6 blocks, and 1.5 steals per game. Webber led the league in rebounding in 1999, was a four-time All-Star with the Kings, was selected to five straight All-NBA teams, had his No. 4 jersey retired by the Kings in 2009, and was inducted into the Hall Of Fame alongside Wallace in 2021.

Next. Washington Wizards: 30 greatest players in franchise history. dark