Another player that the Wizards fans, coaching staff, and the front office were expecting a leap from was Corey Kispert. After having an under-the-radar but excellent offensive season in 2022-23, Kispert was hoping to become a more well-rounded, two-way starter for Washington. That hasn’t panned out so far.
Kispert played in 74 and started in 45 games last season. In 28.3 minutes per game, he averaged 11.1 points on 42.4% three-point shooting and a fantastic 65.7% True Shooting. Entering his third season, he was bound to build off of that to further establish his career as a starter-caliber shooter.
He will start hitting more of his shots. He started cold from beyond the arc this season but is already up to the 37% mark. He will get closer to 40% as the season progresses. What has been disappointing, however, has been the other aspects of his game.
Kispert himself had pointed out that he needed to get better defensively before the season. He had said that he wanted to close games and didn’t want to be pulled because of his defensive shortcomings. He has failed to demonstrate his improvement on that end. He still gets taken advantage of, makes communication and scheme errors, and contributes to the porous team defense.
That is why he has lost minutes this season. While he was playing over 28 minutes for a much better, competitive team last season, he is down to 22 minutes per game this year. He has been surpassed by rookie Bilal Coulibaly in the rotation as the first player off the bench.
Unless Kispert catches fire offensively, it’s hard to see him play more minutes and close games. This team already has poor defensive guards in Tyus Jones and Jordan Poole. For Kispert to earn the trust of the coaching staff, he needs to start being better on that end. If that doesn’t happen soon, Kispert may not be long for the Washington Wizards.