Another University of Kentucky product, Gabriel didn’t have the same level of hype Nerlens Noel did coming into the league. However, despite going undrafted in 2018, he managed to carve out a role for himself in the NBA, playing a bench role for the Los Angeles Lakers for the past two seasons.
Gabriel does not have elite size or rim protection ability, but he has an intriguing skill set. He has long arms and impressive mobility, allowing him to be active on the boards and in the paint. He is a competitive, high-energy type of player. Considering how much the Wizards have struggled to find their competitive spirit so far in the season, bringing a hard worker like Gabriel could have an outsized impact on the team.
Originally from South Sudan and a member of their national team, Gabriel is still only 26 years old. He doesn’t have a lot of NBA experience, so consistent minutes on a rebuilding team could also help develop him. Plus, he has the building blocks of an NBA big man. He can make plays as a roll man, he has good bounce and can finish around the rim thanks to his length and athleticism. He has even experimented with shooting the three. That could be a still the Wizards might want to develop.
Once again, a player of Gabriel’s caliber isn’t going to change the fate of the Wizards. However, in a bench role, he is better than what Washington currently has, and that could make this team harder to play against.