Washington Wizards: reacting to Bleacher Report’s top 3 young prospects list

Bilal Coulibaly of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Bilal Coulibaly of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

In a recent article posted on Bleacher Report, Zach Buckley listed who he believes are the top three prospects on each team. His selection for the Washington Wizards was typical yet still raised a huge question.

The biggest tragedy of the article was the fact that for this team that has really turned itself around this summer, all he had for the team were criticisms.

The biggest question for the Washington Wizards list is: Where is Jordan Poole?

On his list, he claimed the top prospects to be Bilal Coulibaly, Deni Avdija, and Corey Kispert in that order. While this is about what you could have expected, the two major questions are where is Jordan Poole, and why is Corey Kispert listed above other players younger than him.

He did limit the article to players with “no more than three years of NBA experience”, but that doesn’t stop Poole from being younger than Kispert. It doesn’t stop him from being a better young asset than Kispert. Part of that limitation seemed like it weas put in place just to make certain teams like the Washington Wizards seem worse off than they actually are.

Poole, Kispert, and Daniel Gafford are all 24 years old. Gafford is the oldest, followed by Kispert and then Poole is the youngest among the trio. So why is Kispert a young prospect and not Jordan Poole?

The only way this makes sense is if they are going on when a player was drafted. Poole having been drafted two years before Kispert may disqualify him, but then again, he was only drafted a single year ahead of Deni Avdija.

Daniel Gafford is arguably on the same level as Kispert, he’s the same age, and was drafted in the same year as Avdija as well.

On a statistical level, Poole has averaged 15.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 3.4 assists for his career. Gafford has averaged 8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game. Kispert only averages 9.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game despite getting almost 10 more minutes per game than Gafford and only one less minute per game than Poole.

Even this season, Gafford averaged more rebounds, more blocks, and similar numbers in points, assists, and steals per game despite playing significantly less minutes this season.

Poole last season was on a completely different level than any player on the list. If Poole and Gafford are both too old for the article, than Corey Kispert should be too.

If the goal was to focus on players with less experience, than Tristan Vukcevic or Johnny Davis also could have been answers here as they both shined in the Summer League. The latter is also likely primed for a breakout sophomore season.

Corey Kispert is by no means a bad player. He is an elite three-point shooter and fantastic at cutting off the ball. Occasionally, he even has a nice dunk highlight. However, I do not think he is a better prospect than some of the other guys on the roster.

Even if we follow the limitations put in place at the beginning of the article, Patrick Baldwin Jr has far higher upside and is four years younger. This is the same reasoning that Bilal Coulibaly was placed as the number one prospect on the list for the Wiz.

Other than the odd decision to place Kispert as the third best prospect on the team, the other two selections were pretty spot on.

Overall, the list by Bleacher Report was ok, it just seems like the limitations and the reasoning behind the Kispert selection was largely to have reason to criticize the Washington Wizards along with some other teams who have quality young talent with multiple years of experience.

Next. Washington Wizards: 3 winners and 3 losers from Summer League. dark