The 2023 NBA Draft is in the books, free agency starts in two days, and transaction rumors are in full swing. The Washington Wizards already executed their big moves, trading away their two All-Stars Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. However, the roster reshaping is still not over. The looming trades of Delon Wright and Monte Morris, as well as a potential sign & trade of Kyle Kuzma, keep the door open for the Wizards to continue to be active in the next few weeks. A long rebuilding process awaits the Washington Wizards. The lack of established stars and veterans will likely make it difficult for the Wizards to be competitive in the next few years. And that is fine. The focus needs to be on the development of young players, gathering future assets, and maximizing their own draft picks.
One of the key elements of a long rebuild is taking flyers on young players with upside while their stock is low. Since the Wizards are not trying to win any time soon, they will have playing time to offer, a sizable role, and patience for players who either failed or didn’t get an opportunity in their previous stops.
This is a good strategy to get high-potential players in the door by only sacrificing second-round picks and salary fillers, or veterans who don’t fit the timeline.
Think of it as a second draft for these players. For a multitude of reasons, it may have not worked out for them with the team who drafted them, but sometimes a fresh start in a new city and organization is all one needs. Kyle Lowry and Jermaine O’Neal could be two examples of players who couldn’t succeed with the team that drafted them but became All-Stars once they were given a bigger opportunity by a new team.
Let’s look at some players who could potentially follow the same path for the Washington Wizards.