The Athletic drops critical scouting report on Wizards’ Deni Avdija

Washington Wizards, Deni Avdija. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards, Deni Avdija. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Deni Avdija has all the tools to be special. He can do a little bit of everything, a true jack of all trades. The only thing he lacks is the confidence to do it on a consistent level, something the Washington Wizards need to instill in him.

"“I feel like I did take advantage of it, and I played with more confidence, I played with more freedom. I feel like it helped develop my game and take my role to the next step a little bit,” said Avdija when asked about his season, “I think it needs to be more consistent, and I showed I can help the team in a variety of ways. But also on bad nights, I need to find a way to get back into the game. I feel a lot of times I lose focus or have a couple of bad stretches, which I feel I need to eliminate. But, other than that, I feel like I took another step forward for sure.”"

Avdija is still only 22 years old, nowhere near the prime of his career as of yet so he has plenty of time to grow into the player he envisions for himself. With time and effort, he can become an elite two-way player in the league.

In an article from Josh Robbins of The Athletic, scouts assessed Avdija’s game last season. Robbins wrote about the flashes that he has shown of solid play and also the things he has struggled with last season.

One scout touched on Deni Avdija’s scoring at the rim and shooting from 3-point range. He converted only 29.7 percent from three-point range and 39.5 percent from three to ten feet. A key for him to really become a reliable scorer is to improve his shooting especially in a league where big men need to learn to shoot to stay relevant.

His shooting mechanics have improved significantly since he first entered the league back in 2020 giving more optimism that he can become an at least average shooter. Still, there is plenty of work to be done in that regard.

Despite flashes of brilliance, Deni Avdija has yet to figure it out for the Wizards

The Israeli forward has not shown many flashes of brilliance on offense but has shown to be a reliable defender. Another piece of the article talks about how he was an offensive player before he came into the NBA. In the 2017 U16 FIBA European Championship, Deni Avdija was averaging 15.3 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 5.3 assists showing a complete skillset.

In the 2019 U20 FIBA European Championship, he earned MVP while averaging 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.4 blocks and 2.1 steals showing that well-rounded skillset again.

His defensive versatility keeps him in the rotation, being a forward who can guard four positions. That switchable ability from the forward position is in high demand in the league today. The combination of him cleaning the glass and defense indicates he is a top defensive player.

With his ability to rebound, he is also skilled enough at bring the ball up the court especially on the fast break. The Wizards should look to run more next season and use Deni as their point forward to maximize his skillset.

He did have some strong offensive runs after the trade deadline when the team decided to trade Rui Hachimura to open up minutes for the six-foot-nine forward. However, the consistency still needs work.

With the 22-year-old up for extension soon, this may be the year we finally see him put it all together and break out as a true rising star for the Wiz.

His lack of shooting does leave some room for improvement, maybe next season he will have more confidence to take those shots as he works to improve on them. He will have more opportunities to do so since the Washington Wizards will not be fighting for win.

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