Ryan Rollins came over to the Washington Wizards in the Jordan Poole deal. He didn’t show much during his rookie year but spent some time in the G-League with the Santa Cruz Warriors. He averaged just over 20 points with them and showed he can be an NBA player. Looking to make the Wizards rotation as a backup point guard, he’s played well in the preseason, scoring 13 points on 6-8 shooting in just 16 minutes against the Knicks on Oct. 18th.
Right now, Tyus Jones is slated to be the starter at point guard. At times, Poole will probably be the primary ball handler, especially when Jones is on the bench. This leaves Delon Wright as the other guard off the bench. Wright is a valuable player but he might not be the ideal guy to lead the secondary unit on this young team. He is more of a defensive specialist, leading the team in steals last season with a 1.8 average despite coming off the bench. At 31 years old, Wright can serve as a nice piece off the bench for a contender.
Rollins fits the young Wizards’ timeline
This Wizards team is looking to build for the future, so Rollins, who’s 21, is the ideal fit to grow with this core. During the summer league, he was given the starting point guard and put up nice numbers.
Rollins calls himself a two-way player, playing offense and defense. But he also compares his game to his teammate, Jordan Poole, as a scorer who can create off the bounce.
Players who can create for themselves and are willing to defend are rare in this league. Wright hasn’t shown much on the offensive end at this point in his career, so Rollins can fill in that role off the bench.
Rollins’ dynamism with the ball will help the bench units
The Wizards don’t have a defined shot-creator off the bench at this point. Corey Kispert will likely fill in as a scorer with the second unit. At this point in Kispert’s career, he’s more of a cutter and spot-up shooter. He knocks down 3s and gets a lot of layups off back-door or weakside cuts. However, for that to be an effective offensive option, the Wizards need someone who can break down the defense to find those cutters. Rollins can fill in that role as he’s a good playmaker for himself and his teammates.
A young prospect who is looking to make an impact, Rollins has found the perfect situation for him to build his own career. Being with the Golden State Warriors last season wasn’t ideal for him to get playing time and build confidence.
From a learning perspective, Rollins can use what he soaked up being around that championship pedigree to his new opportunity with Washington. Ideally, the Wizards can develop Rollins for the future and potentially make him their starting point guard if he flashes an ability to lead the starters. If it’s a rebuild that the Wizards are going for, Rollins can be a foundational piece.