For every young and rebuilding team, the future is more important than the present. What a team has in their asset drawer in terms of young players and future draft picks is the main determinant for how bright their future is. More draft picks mean more rolls of the dice to hit on a superstar. Draft picks that are projected to be higher in the draft mean a higher chance to hit on that superstar.
Draft picks change hands constantly in the NBA. Playoff teams trade their future draft picks to contend now, and rebuilding teams collect them to try to draft the next franchise cornerstone or consolidate them for a big move later. So, where do the Washington Wizards rank in the NBA in terms of the quantity and quality of their future draft assets?
Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report took on the unenviable job of going through and ranking every team’s draft assets. Looking at how many of their own draft picks each team still has and how many are incoming, Pincus took a crack to see which teams have the brightest futures.
The Washington Wizards came in 11th in the NBA in terms of draft assets. According to Pincus, the Wizards are “functionally at a net zero with exactly seven firsts over the next seven years.” However, as he points out, the pick swaps the Wizards received from the Phoenix Suns in the Bradley Beal deal could be extremely valuable. Washington will have first-round pick swap rights with Phoenix in 2026, 2028, and 2030. Considering the age curve of Phoenix’s stars, there is a serious chance the Suns will be a lottery team in a few of those years.
The Wizards also have an impressive 13 second-round picks in total. These could be used to move up into the first round or higher in the second round. They are always valuable assets to possess.
Washington by no means has an overflowing asset cabinet. Eastern Conference foes like the Indiana Pacers, the Orlando Magic, and the Brooklyn Nets are in a much better position than the Wizards in terms of draft assets. However, the new front office certainly did a good job restocking the draft picks. Even the fact that the Wizards are now much likelier to keep the 2024 protected first-rounder they owe to the New York Knicks is a huge win.
No outgoing picks and a decent number of pick swaps in the next seven years is a good start. Now it’s time to put them to good use.