Is Bilal Coulibaly already starting for the Washington Wizards?

Bilal Coulibaly of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Bilal Coulibaly of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

As training camp rages on, we are beginning to see more and more glimpses into how the players are doing. One player from the Washington Wizards has seemingly stood out from his peers at his position early on and may have already earned the starting nod.

Bilal Coulibaly, seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, has shown his work ethic in the past as he went from the U21 league at the beginning of his 2022-’23 campaign to being the second-best player on one of the Finals teams at the end.

As he keeps working, his jump shot has progressed. His mechanics are looking strong and he seems confident and comfortable shooting the ball during training camp so far.

He has also continued his excellent defensive work and has impressed a number of reporters and by the looks of it, head coach Wes Unseld Jr.

Bilal Coulibaly ran with the starters during an inter-team scrimmage

On Friday, the Washington Wizards ran a team scrimmage. On one team, Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Bilal Coulibaly, Kyle Kuzma, and Danilo Gallinari ran together.

This team is interesting as outside of Coulibaly, it seems to be the players projected to start during preseason. It is worth noting that Danilo Gallinari is likely to start at center due to Daniel Gafford’s recent elbow injury.

This is an interesting development ahead of the season as previously, many just assumed that the battle for the starting small forward would be between Corey Kispert and Deni Avdija, a tale of offense vs defense.

If Coulibaly is named the starter over the other two, more experienced options, it likely means that he has continued to take steps forward as a shooter. This is an area that many have expected from him, but he may have already surpassed all expectations already.

If he is already making leaps like this possible development suggests, then the Washington Wizards have already nailed the selection of Bilal Coulibaly. He is already the most promising player the franchise has drafted in years and if he can start out strong, his ceiling will only grow.