The Washington Wizards achieved their primary goal of the offseason: to get younger and more athletic. As part of this goal, they replaced key rotation pieces in Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Monte Morris with Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin Jr, Tyus Jones, as well as their draft pick Bilal Coulibaly.
This type of roster overhaul comes with some uncertainty. There are rumors about potential trades of Delon Wright and Landry Shamet, and the second-round pick Tristan Vukcevic coming over to Washington for next season. Even though the 15-man roster will not be finalized until after the training camp, let’s make a projection on what the lineup and rotation for the 2023-24 Washington Wizards will be.
The Washington Wizards’ current depth chart
PG: Tyus Jones / Ryan Rollins / Delon Wright
SG: Jordan Poole / Johnny Davis / Landry Shamet
SF: Corey Kispert / Bilal Coulibaly
PF: Kyle Kuzma / Deni Avdija / Patrick Baldwin Jr. / Danilo Gallinari / Anthony Gill
C: Daniel Gafford / Mike Muscala
This is what the 15-player rotation looks like. It’s important to note that it’s subject to change depending on what happens with Delon Wright, Landry Shamet, Danilo Gallinari, and Mike Muscala. At least a few of these players will likely not finish the season with Washington.
These players could be replaced by Quenton Jackson, Xavier Cooks, Eugene Omoruyi, or Tristan Vukcevic, depending on what decisions the Wizards make regarding the final roster spots. There could be more players coming in via trades as well.
Who is guaranteed a rotation spot?
Players whose starting spots are presumably guaranteed are Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Kyle Kuzma, and Daniel Gafford. The fifth starting spot is presumably between Kispert, Avdija, and Coulibaly.
It would make sense for the Wizards to start the season with Kispert at the three, providing shooting and floor-spacing. As the season progresses and Coulibaly acclimates himself to the NBA, it would be mutually beneficial to have him start at the small forward.
Yet, the closing lineup is more important than the starting lineup in most cases. Coaches like to close games with the lineup they trust the most. In certain situations, Avdija can close games as well.
There are eight players whose spots in the rotation are almost guaranteed to start the season: Jones, Poole, Davis, Coulibaly, Kispert, Kuzma, Avdija, and Gafford.
Who else deserves regular rotation minutes?
After their Summer League performances, one has to imagine that Baldwin Jr and Rollins most likely earned themselves a small role off the bench as well. Muscala is the only backup center on the roster and should get some minutes off the bench almost by default.
As it currently stands, this rotation of 11 players is too large. Depending on injuries or trades, this rotation can take many different shapes throughout the season, and we can expect a few moves toward the end of the rotation.
A frontcourt need is obvious and the Wizards may consider making an addition there, signaling the in-flux nature of this team. Regardless, for a young and rebuilding team, the Wizards have decent depth. It will be up to coach Wes Unseld Jr to find the optimum rotation and playing time for each player to maximize their potential. It will not be an easy task.