Deni Avdija has an equally strong case to start for the Washington Wizards
A great defender who has yet to exert himself enough to become an elite one just yet, Deni Avdija is almost the exact opposite of Corey Kispert in almost every way.
His shooting is underdeveloped as he only shoots around 30% of his career and he doesn’t really stray far from that mark in individual seasons. However, this is really his only major weakness other than the fact that he isn’t overly comfortable going left.
Problem is, with the way he plays, he almost needs some sort of jump shot to have any positive impact on the offense on a night-to-night basis. He’s not athletic enough to jump over defenses, his handle isn’t good enough to weave through a crowded lane, and he’s not enough of a post player to rely on playing back to the basket.
The positive for Avdija on offense is the fact that he has completely rebuilt his shooting form this offseason while training in his home country of Israel. If this translates into a 35-37% mark from beyond the three-point line, the Wizards will be dangerous as soon as next season.
His playmaking is also far more advanced than Kispert’s but is incredibly limited by the fact that defenses don’t respect his ability to put the ball in the basket. If he shows the ability to draw attention from the defense on literally any level on offense as a scorer, his entire game will come together.
If he hits his threes the starting spot will be guaranteed for him, but until then, there is still a solid shot Corey Kispert comes in and steals it from him.
While I believe the starting spot will eventually go to Deni Avdija, it is still a hotly contested position for the time being. This is definitely a storyline to monitor for the Washington Wizards in the coming months.