3 Washington Wizards who are expendable, and 2 they can’t afford to trade

Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
5 of 6

Can’t afford to trade: Deni Avdija

One of the few bright spots for the Washington Wizards this season has been Deni Avdija’s resurgence. The 22-year-old forward is having his career season with career-high points and assists per game with the best shooting splits. With an impressive 61.2% True Shooting, Avdija has finally taken the leap the Wizards fans have been hoping for ever since he got drafted 9th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Avdija continues to be one of the best defenders on the Wizards roster. Perhaps that is damning with faint praise, but this team needs defensive intensity, effort, and discipline. Avdija consistently provides that, despite it not translating to much defensive success, especially this season. The Wizards, however, can’t afford to lose that.

The Wizards have him under team control after they re-signed him to a four-year, $55 million extension last offseason. He is on a good value contract, and it behooves the Wizards to keep him around as long as they can to see what they have in him. Is Avdija a future star? Probably not. But could he be a long-term starter for this franchise? Absolutely.

And that is what this organization needs: good, starter-caliber young players who are on team-friendly contracts. Plus, he is the longest-tenured Wizard on the roster, and the franchise needs positive developmental stories.

Building a team from the players you drafted is a good way to create a winning culture. Avdija has proven that he can be a part of that as he plays the right way, competes hard, and puts the work in to get better. Young players like that are indispensable.