Grading the Wizards’ shocking decision to draft Bilal Coulibaly

(Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images) /

With the seventh pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards select (Player Name). A dream come true for the 18-year-old forward. He was involved in a trade by the Indiana Pacers where they received the eighth pick, Jarace Walker, and multiple second round picks.

This was a huge swing by the Wizards as he is one of the rawest players in the draft. Something that the team is at liberty to do since they have officially begun a rebuild.

One of the fastest risers in the draft going from an unknown prospect to somebody that could have realistically gone as high as fifth overall. Much of his recent rise has been attributed to a shout out from his teammate Victor Wembanyama.

He is an elite defender at his young age, having the ability to defend one through four at a high level. Finishing the stop is also a specialty of his, being an explosive rebounder.

His offense has a lot of work ahead of him, but presumably, he will be receiving heavy minutes next to Jordan Poole, allowing him to grow as a scorer.

Verdict: A+

I wanted either a huge swing, or a player like Anthony Black ahead of the draft. This is a great example of the former. He has huge potential, this is a high risk, high reward selection, making this the perfect way to start a rebuild.

Teams in the past ten years who have drafted a raw prospect at the forward position to begin a retool include the San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard, Indiana Pacers with Paul George, and Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

This is a great decision for the Washington Wizards and will really help with kickstarting the rebuild. Welcome to DC Bilal Coulibaly!