The Washington Wizards have some gaping holes in their reserve unit. A backup big and a 3&D wing is still desperately needed. But you make do with what you have. The ideal starting five to start the season would be:
PG: Delon Wright
SG: Jordan Poole
SF: Corey Kispert
PF: Kyle Kuzma
C: Daniel Gafford
For the second unit, these should be the primary players coming off the bench:
PG: Tyus Jones
SG: Landry Shamet
SF: Bilal Coulibaly
PF: Deni Avdija
C: Mike Muscala
The most important here is trying to find the balance between offense and defense. Shamet and Muscala can both shoot the three. Both shoot near 40%, which will help to open up lanes for the drivers.
Deni Avdija as a power forward off the bench will help push the pace
Avdija will have to be turbo-style Avdija with the second unit. If he can’t shoot the three, that is not too concerning since there is enough three-point shooting around him. He needs to push the pace of play, utilize his passing skills, and primarily look to score off of drives and mid-range shots. If the Wizards get a serviceable three-point percentage too, all the better.
Bilal Coulibaly will be the rim protector for the second units
Coulibaly will be the cleanup specialist. Instead of a center playing that role, Coulibaly and Avdija will do that by committee. But Coulibaly will still likely be the goalie for the second unit, primarily because he has the best capability. That is extremely difficult to ask from the wing position, especially as a wing defender guarding three-point shooters. The opportunities won’t be as frequent for Coulibaly to block shots in the paint, but he will likely make the best of his limited opportunities. In other words, a high block percentage, but a low block per game, maybe around 0.5 bpg is feasible. However, without a backup big, the Wizards will need Coulibaly to excel as a weak-side defender.
Tyus Jones will help get the second-unit offense humming
Tyus Jones is the glue for this unit. He should excel with this second unit by getting the young guys into their spots. There’s not much defense in the guard rotation with this lineup, but there is some possible help from the 3rd string players. Both Ryan Rollins and Johnny Davis should have an opportunity to showcase their defense.
Rebounding could be serious a problem as well. Muscala’s rebounding percentage is just okay, and his per 36 is serviceable, but not great. The best rebounder with this unit will be Deni Avdija, who will have to excel as the primary rebounder to help solve this problem.