The Washington Wizards were outrebounded in their last preseason game against the Raptors. The leading rebounder for the Wizards was Deni Avdija with seven. The next most came from Daniel Gafford and Corey Kispert with four.
On the opposing side, the Raptors had six players with at least five rebounds, with Jakob Poeltl leading them with nine. Washington’s frontcourt depth is less than ideal, having no 7-footers on the roster.
The tallest players on the roster are Gafford, Danilo Gallinari, and Mike Muscala, all standing at 6-10. None of them are known for their rebounding, all three of them averaging less than five rebounds per game for their career.
Avdija and Kyle Kuzma are the best rebounders on the team, but with Kuzma sitting out the last preseason game, Avdija was the only one out there capable of getting boards. It is time for the Wizards to invest in some depth and go shopping for a big who isn’t afraid to get inside and get his hands dirty to grab some rebounds.
The Wizards can go for a former lottery pick who can score and rebound well
James Wiseman is one young big man the Wizards can go for. The former second-overall pick didn’t fit in well with the Golden State Warriors, but when he was traded to the Detroit Pistons, he started to show flashes of his skill set. The 22-year-old stands at 7’0 which would be the tallest player on the Wizards roster.
Wiseman can fit into today’s game of big men who can do a little bit of everything while still being an inside presence. In his brief college career at Memphis, he averaged almost 20 points and 11 rebounds. Last season with the Pistons, he averaged 8 rebounds in under 25 minutes a game. He won a championship alongside Jordan Poole in Golden State so bringing that knowledge to the locker room with his former teammate can definitely be beneficial. Also, being reunited with Poole will make the transition to a new team easier.
An established, veteran rebounder can also help the young Wizards
Another ideal target can be Memphis Grizzlies center, Steven Adams. Back in June, Adams was spotted in DC not far from Capital One Arena. The team needs players who are willing to dive on the floor for loose balls and give second, maybe third efforts to gain possession. In 2021-22, Adams led the league in total offensive rebounds with 349. In 42 games last season, he averaged 11.5 boards; not only a career-high for him but also would have been fifth in the league (he didn’t play enough games to qualify for the leaderboards).
Adams is a veteran and has been in a lot of playoff games. Known for setting hard screens, being an interior presence and a great teammate, he can help this young Wizards team build an identity. He’s still only 29 even though he has been in the league for a long time. A trade for Adams can be done by including Gallinari and Delon Wright. Unfortunately, Adams will be missing the entire season due to knee surgery but he can be on stash for the next season.
Another big man the Wizards can go for is Andre Drummond. A career journeyman who was a former All-Star, Drummond is a rebounding machine.
He averages 12.7 rebounds per game for his career and has led the league four times during his time with the Detroit Pistons. He is also 29 years old like Adams. Even though his days of being a star are behind him, he can provide some veteran depth. He is willing to be a starter or come off the bench, as he has been regulated to a reserve role over the last few seasons. Drummond’s salary this season is only around $3 million so he would be easily acquirable.
Getting defensive stops and ending possessions are key factors in team success
One last player the Wizards can go for is Jonathan Isaac. He’s still very young at 26 years old and provides defensive versatility. His size and mobility allowed him to average over a block and a steal for his career. In the 2019-20 season, before he got hurt, he was averaging over two blocks and close to seven rebounds per game.
The Orlando Magic have an abundance of young players and may need to move on from Isaac to make room for other young talent who’s on the roster. Isaac might be ready to move on as well, probably wants a fresh start with a new team and can become an important part of an upcoming roster.
For a team to be successful, you have to be able to get defensive stops and secure the stop with a rebound. All of these players can help with that in some capacity and the Washington Wizards should consider bringing one of them into the fold.