How good will the Washington Wizards be next season?

Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
Kyle Kuzma of the Washington Wizards (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards were one of the most active teams this offseason, completely overhauling their roster from the previous season. The top two scorers on the team; Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal are gone and the starting point guard for all of last season, Monte Morris was traded away as well. This has left the Wizards with a completely new roster. It’s time to take stock of the talent level of this team, and where they rank in the overall league hierarchy.

Barring major surprises, the Washington Wizards’ rotation to start the season looks like this:

Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Bilal Coulibaly, Johnny Davis, and Landry Shamet as guards; Kyle Kuzma, Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija, and Patrick Baldwin Jr as forwards; and Daniel Gafford, Mike Muscala, and Tristan Vukcevic as centers.

Delon Wright is still expected to be traded. That deal or a last-minute free-agency signing could alter this depth chart, but needless to say that this team lacks elite talent despite having a lot of intriguing young players.

The Wizards lack the experience and high-end talent to make real noise next year

Kuzma and Poole are good scorers but they are over-stretched as the primary options on offense. Tyus Jones will be an important table-setter on offense, but he lacks the dynamism and scoring prowess you would ideally want from your starting point guard.

Corey Kispert is a great shooter who will play a significant role as a floor-spacer, and Daniel Gafford is a solid center but they may both be underqualified as starting-caliber players.

Moreover, there are players like Bilal Coulibaly, Johnny Davis, and Tristan Vukcevic who the Wizards will want to give playing time and development opportunities. They will be a part of the rotation, but they will most likely not contribute to winning basketball right away, considering how young and raw Coulibaly and Vukcevic are, and how much Davis struggled most of last year.

Many Eastern Conference teams took a step forward this offseason

This makes this Washington Wizards team a lock for the lottery. And that is fine since the Wizards owe their first-round pick to the New York Knicks unless it falls into the top 12 of the draft. There is no incentive for the Wizards to be competitive.

It will be hard for Washington to be competitive anyway, taking into account the overall experience and talent level of the squad. Most of the worst teams in the league last season are trying to take a step forward, especially in the East.

Detroit Pistons, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, and Indiana Pacers should all be better than last season as they made considerable additions to their roster. Other teams in decline like the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls still have better talent compared to the Wizards.

It will be tough for the Wizards to win 30 games with this roster

There will certainly be injuries and underperformance that will cause some teams to unexpectedly fall behind, and pull the plug on their season. Those are hard to forecast before the season. Nevertheless, it’s close to impossible to see this Wizards team win over 30 games next year, and a win total of over 25 should be considered an overachievement. They should rank near the bottom of the Eastern Conference and have a fantastic chance at a top-four pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

That is a great scenario for Washington. If they see enough flashes from the likes of Coulibaly, Davis, and Vukcevic, and solid improvement from Avdija and Kispert, next season will be a massive success regardless of the number in the win column.

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