It’s not every day a front office is asked to establish a team culture. It normally isn’t something that needs to happen with a team more than once a decade. However, this is exactly the situation Will Dawkins and co are in with the Washington Wizards.
The Wizards finally tore down the house and are beginning the process of rebuilding. They have already made a slew of trades that leave them with a pretty solid young core. Names include Bilal Coulibaly and Jordan Poole, both of whom have superstar potential.
The biggest thing the team lacks starting their rebuild is a culture player. Every great team has that player who goes out and plays 15-20 minutes a game and does nothing but play hard-nosed defense, draw charges, and dive for loose balls.
These players are often times also the ones who set the example in the weight room by working hard. One of the best examples of this on a rebuilding team is Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons, a player who is just as untouchable as anybody on that team. Ironically, one of the best temporary options for the Wiz is also a Piston.
The Washington Wizards should pursue Eugene Omoruyi in free agency
Omoruyi filled in during a period where nearly every forward on Detroit’s roster was injured and really impressed. His high motor and unrelenting energy gave new life to a Pistons team with only eight healthy players.
The 26-year-old went undrafted out of Rutgers University and played with both the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder before exploding onto the scene this year.
In 17 games with the Pistons the six-foot-seven forward averaged 7.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.7 assists per game. His efficiency left plenty to be desired but for a defensive specialist expected to play primarily on the bench, it’s not horrible.
He can play both small and power forward effectively and has a certain bully ball feature to his game. This allows him to get to the rim even against great defenders, although he is not the most reliable scorer in the world.
He has been praised by the Pistons players and staff for his strong work ethic. This is not earned lightly as they are one of the hardest working teams in the league.
This would likely transfer to another team should he decide to take his abilities elsewhere this offseason. This is precisely why the Wizards should target the forward in free agency.
They need to establish a culture of hard work and gritty defense. This is not something that any player currently on the roster and also likely to stick around is really capable of doing except for maybe Johnny Davis or Bilal Coulibaly.
Doing this will lead to other players working harder and in turn producing better play on the court. This is something that con only end in good results.
Omoruyi would only be a temporary solution as his age doesn’t quite match the window for the Wizards. It would be wise to look for a player in the upcoming draft who fits a similar description and select him after signing the Pistons’ forward to a one-year deal.
Best part is, the Wizards only need to offer him slightly above the minimum to bring his services to the roster. However, he is on a team option, meaning he may not even touch free agency this year.
While he may not be the most well renowned player available in free agency, Eugene Omoruyi could greatly benefit the Washington Wizards both in the short term and long after he is gone. Signing him may be the best move the Wizards could make in free agency.