2 Wizards players who will step up in Bilal Coulibaly's absence

Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls
Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

The seventh pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, Bilal Coulibaly will miss the rest of the season due to a right wrist injury. 

Coulibaly took a nasty fall during Saturday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. The Wizards, who have won only 11 games this season, announced the news Monday evening, saying they want to play it safe with their lottery pick and his injury. Coulibaly, who is one of the youngest players in the league, will be turning 20 years old next July. 

He finishes the season averaging 8.4 points. His defensive ability is his most coveted attribute, averaging almost one steal and block per game in just over 27 minutes. The Wizards are looking to rebuild for their future and Coulibaly is a part of that plan, so the team will be smart to continue developing him while not rushing his recovery progress. 

Which players will take his place in the Wizards rotation?

With Coulibaly out for the rest of the season, this can be a great opportunity for other players to step up and show their value to this team. One player who can take advantage of this is the Wizards’ lottery pick last season, Johnny Davis. He hasn’t gotten a lot of chances to prove himself on the NBA floor yet, spending much of his time with the Wizards’ G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.

Davis can come in and work his way as a rotational player by the end of the season, something he did around the end of last season. He took advantage of the opportunity he was given by Coach Unseld Jr. in the last eight Wizards games of the 2022-23 season by averaging 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists. This season, Davis is averaging 12 points and 1.2 steals per game in the G-League showing he can add some defensive help to the ball club. 

Another player who can benefit from this injury is Hamidou Diallo. Diallo has been on a crazy streak lately down with the Go-Go, scoring as much as 41 points while averaging 19 points and close to eight rebounds per game. He can also help to fill some of the defensive holes, averaging 1.5 steals per game. Davis and Diallo have shown some potential and can earn some minutes if they get called up to the big leagues. 

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