For the first time in a while, the Washington Wizards’ books are clean with no bad contracts. After a decade of overpaying the likes of John Wall, Otto Porter Jr, and Bradley Beal, the Wizards finally have some financial flexibility going forward. Washington’s roster is full of rookie-scale and mid-size contracts, with only two notable exceptions; Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole. The two stars are the only two players that have above an average starter salary, with Kuzma making $25.5 million and Poole making $28 million for the 2023-24 season. But, who actually has the best contract on the team? Which Wizard will outperform their contract the most?
After Kuzma and Poole, the three highest-paid players for next season are Tyus Jones, Daniel Gafford, and Landry Shamet in that order, all three making between $10 and $14 million. The rest of the team is on very reasonable contracts, especially considering that the average starter salary in the NBA these days is around $20 million per year.
Obviously, players on rookie-scale contracts will likely be underpaid. These are standard contracts solely based on the draft pick a player was selected with. For first-round picks, the first two years are guaranteed, followed by two extra years of team option. Hence, many young players outperform these deals and become bargain contracts.
Bilal Coulibaly, who will be making $6.6 million, Deni Avdija, due $6.2 million, and Corey Kispert, who will make $3.7 million in the 2023-24 season all fall into that bargain category. The best value contract for the Washington Wizards next year will likely be one of these three players.
It’s hard to see Delon Wright or Danilo Gallinari outplaying their respective $8.1 million and $6.8 million deals. Same with Tyus Jones and Daniel Gafford, who are appropriately paid as high-level bench players or low-level starters.
Among the Coulibaly-Avdija-Kispert trio, Kispert will likely outperform his contract by the largest margin. $3.7 million for a player who is likely to start and finish games and is one of the most efficient shooters in the league, is an incredible bargain. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the most underrated offensive players in the NBA is also one of the most underpaid.
That should be the case for the next two seasons. Kispert’s deal is up at the end of the 2024-25 season, but the Wizards would be smart to extend his contract before it expires. Until then, Kispert will continue to be the most team-friendly contract on the Washington Wizards.