The Washington Wizards roster is shaping up to be a young and exciting group. Now that the Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis trades, as well as the NBA Draft, are in the books, we have a better idea of what the Wizards are going to look like on the court in the 2023-24 season.
It is important to note that the roster moves are most likely not over in Washington. Free agent Kyle Kuzma can potentially bring back a player or two if he is part of a sign-and-trade. There is also an excess of point guards on the roster, meaning at least one of Monte Morris and Delon Wright is likely to be traded before the season.
Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole are almost guaranteed to start in the backcourt
Almost certainly the starting point guard will be Tyus Jones. The 27-year-old floor-general finally has the opportunity to be the lead guard on a team and it will be exciting to see what he is capable of in that role.
Jordan Poole is presumably guaranteed to start as well. He will be the main scorer on the team as the main offensive engine. As one of the core pieces of the Wizards’ rebuild, Poole will get as much playing time and offensive responsibility as he can handle.
At the small forward position, the competition is going to be between the newly-minted Wizard Bilal Coulibaly and Corey Kispert. One would expect the more experienced Kispert to start early in the season with Coulibaly taking the starting job from him as the season proceeds.
Deni Avdija is a good bet to start as the power forward for the Wizards. The other option would be Danilo Gallinari, but Washington will presumably want to see what Avdija can do with a bigger role and more on-ball reps on this team. Gallinari fits better as a bench scorer and veteran presence in a smaller role.
The center role probably will belong to Daniel Gafford. He might have a competition with Mike Muscala and the newly drafted Tristan Vukcevic depending on whether he comes over to the NBA immediately. However, Gafford, who is starting his 3-year, $40 million contract next season, will have the chance to start and prove he is a starter-caliber big man in this league.
This starting five lacks size and athleticism on the defensive end
To sum up, the early prediction for the Wizards’ starting lineup to start the season is; Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija, and Daniel Gafford.
Bilal Coulibaly and Johnny Davis will almost certainly play big roles off the bench, and they will have the opportunity to crack the starting lineup as the season goes on.
This is a starting five that has some shooting and scoring punch. However, it lacks size, athleticism, and defensive upside. It will be fascinating to see how all these players develop throughout the season as they will certainly have the playing time to do so.