The rebuilding process for the Washington Wizards has officially began on Wednesday night. After playing two years with the D.C. team, All-Star Kristaps Porzingis was included in a three-way trade involving the Memphis Grizzlies and Boston Celtics.
Porzingis was traded to the Celtics while point guard Marcus Smart was sent to the Grizzlies. As for the Wizards, they received Tyus Jones from the Grizzlies as well as Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari from the Celtics.
While most NBA pundits frowned upon this move, it could have its benefits for the Washington Wizards
When the Wizards’ staple player Bradley Beal was traded to the Phoenix Suns, they received Chris Paul back. But they weren’t in any hurry to officially sign the veteran point guard.
Since Paul’s future with the team was uncertain, the Wizards had to look into another guard which might have prompted them to go for Jones. Obviously, Jones isn’t anywhere close to the player Beal is, but he isn’t a scrub, neither.
After the Wizards averaged 14 turnovers last season, Jones is the floor general they need. Being one of the best back-up point guards in the league, he can be trusted to bring the ball up and create shots for his teammates without consistently turning it over. For his career, he only averages 0.7 turnovers which is rare for a player at his position.
Although he is a streaky shooter from the 3-point line and fails to finish at the rim at times, he’s still coming off a promising season. Starting in just 22 of the 80 games he played, he averaged a career-high ten points and five assists.
Jones also brings postseason experience to the Wizards, who rarely makes playoff appearances. He’s made the playoffs a total of four times (once with the Minnesota Timberwolves and three with the Grizzlies). Since he’ll most likely be surrounded by young players, he can also use his voice in the locker room to push his team.
With Porzingis gone and Kyle Kuzma a free agent, the Wizards are now down on size. So accquiring players Muscala and Gallinari made a lot of sense for them as it pertains to that.
But because Muscala doesn’t offer much appeal, he may be just a backup center. He is a decent spot-up 3-point shooter but only when he’s left wide open. It doesn’t help the Wizards much when his defender is leaving him open to crowd the low post.
Muscala’s lack of size and length also limit his abilities on defense and rebounding; the two main traits a center needs to possess.
As for Gallinari, he would be perfect at the four or five spot. Standing at 6’10” and weighing 233 pounds, he could be a major piece for the Wizards’ frontcourt.
His size gives him an additional advantage when defended in the paint. His high release jump shot and the go-to fadeaway would give him easy points. If things get hard for him in that area, he can space the floor out with his 3-point shot.
The only downside of Gallinari is his age and inability to stay healthy. At the moment, he’s still recovering from a torn ACL which kept him sidelined for the entire 2022-23 season.
Obviously, the offseason just began so these things can always pan out differently once the Washington Wizards’ season starts. However, the future looks bright in D.C.