5 greatest Washington Wizards small forwards of all-time

Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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No. 2 Greg Ballard

After a good college career at the University of Oregon, Greg Ballard was selected by the Wizards as the fourth overall pick in the 1977 draft.

Despite his college days, it took some time for him to get used to the NBA as he averaged just four points in his first season. Ballard and the Wizards did make the playoffs that year and ultimately won the championship against the Seattle Supersonics. But Ballard only logged in three points per game.

In the 1978-79 season, he began to slowly grow as he averaged seven points and five rebounds. He had some good games that year but his best one was on Jan. 24 when he recorded 24 points and 12 rebounds against the Boston Celtics.

When the postseason arrived, he was a little more prepared. He put in seven points and four rebounds a game but this time, the Wizards lost 4-1 to the Supersonics in the Finals.

The following year was a special one for Ballard. Now an official starter, he averaged 15 points and seven rebounds.

He also turned in a handful of high-scoring games this season, including back-to-back 30-point ones. On Jan. 11 and 13, he scored 31 points and 32 points, respectively. He even ended the season on a great note. From Feb. 21 to the end of the season, he recorded 23 straight games with double-figure points.

Once again, the Wizards made the playoffs but got swept 0-2 in the first round by the 76ers. Ballard scored 11 points in both games played.

During the 1980-81 campaign, he logged in 15 points and seven rebounds a game but increased his playmaking skills with an average of two assists. Just like the previous year, Ballard had a ton of huge performances. On Feb. 3, he turned in 38 points and 15 rebounds during an overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 1981-82 season proved to be the best one of his career. With an average of 18 points, he led the Wizards in scoring. Along with his point outing, he averaged eight rebounds and three assists a game. He recorded six 30-point games throughout the season but his standout one was on Dec. 3 when he logged in 33 points and 14 rebounds against the Knicks.

When the playoffs came back around, Ballard excelled. He averaged 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. He had three games with double-figure rebounds and only scored single-figure points once.

The following season was nearly a replicate of the previous as he averaged 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. He had a huge game this year but not in terms of scoring. On Dec. 1, he dished out 10 assists against the New Jersey Nets. It remains the only game of his career with double-figure assists.

Ballard’s scoring average took a great dip in the 1983-84 season as he averaged 14 points to go with six rebounds and three assists. He did, however, put together an eye-popping showing. On Feb. 4, he turned in 21 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals against the Indiana Pacers.

He also had one of the best postseason performance of his career. Although the Wizards lost to the Celtics in the first round, Ballard averaged a playoff career-high 16 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

The 1984-85 season was his last one in a Wizards jersey. It was also when his numbers started to decline as he logged in 13 points, six rebounds and two assists per contest. He did have an excellent rebounding game on Jan. 24 when the grabbed a career-high 20 boards against the Dallas Mavericks.

On Jun. 17, 1985, Ballard was traded to the Golden State Warriors, thus ending an incredible eight years in Washington.