The positives and the negatives of the Washington Wizards season so far

Nov 25, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33)
Nov 25, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards currently have the second-worst record in the entire league at 3-15. Their win against the last-placed Detroit Pistons moved them ahead by a game. According to Tankathon, the Wizards are a lock for the third overall pick in the 2024 Draft. This might be the only thing the fans have to look forward to this season. 

Even though this is the first season of the Wizards’ rebuild, some fans have been disappointed with how poorly the team has played so far this season. One reason for the team’s failures has been Jordan Poole. Poole might be by far the most disappointing player in the NBA this season as everyone expected him to be a breakout star. A lot of his play has been highlighted by his lack of basketball intelligence, poor shot selection, and visible lack of focus during team huddles. There are high hopes that he will eventually turn it around and step into the player fans all envisioned for him.

Kyle Kuzma's career season has been one of the bright spots so far

On the opposite side of the coin, however, Kyle Kuzma has stepped up. He is looking like the leader he said he would be coming into this season, averaging 23 points, six rebounds, and close to five assists per game. His efforts have not been enough to prevent the Wizards’ atrocious start to the season but Kuz is looking like he can become an All-Star this season. 

Another player who fans thought would take a big leap is Tyus Jones. He has been a little disappointing so far this season, with his averages being the same as last year. His play last year as a backup point guard had fans thinking he could come into a starting role and his production would go up. His assist percentage is at a career-low at 24.1 but it is good for 13th in the league this season. 

Deni Avdija has been another bright spot for the Wizards this season, as he is seeing career-highs across the board with points, assists, free throw percentage, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, field goal attempts, and makes. The thing with Avdija in the past has been his engagement throughout the game. He has been more aggressive through the first 18 games, looking to make plays and being efficient in doing so. 

Bilal Coulibaly won the Wizards fans over almost immediately

Bilal Coulibaly has been a surprising rookie so far. He has shown some flashes of being a future defensive star in this league, coming up with big steals and blocks, and showing the awareness of a 10-year vet. He’s averaging 1 steal and close to 1 block per game. Not only has he shown his defensive ability, but he has also shown that he can put the ball in the basket. He is shooting 42% from deep on 2.8 attempts per game. Some fans were disappointed when the Wizards traded for Coulibaly on draft night but he has won them over already. This was perhaps evident in the preseason when he was already making an impact on the game. 

Lastly, with the Wizards potentially being a lottery team, the fans can look forward to another high draft pick in 2024. The opportunity to potentially draft a star is there for the taking, assuming they continue to lose games. The new Wizards management expressed they want to build through the draft for the next few years so losing as many games as possible may be the right approach until they can land a player who can change the fate of the franchise. 

Next. Grade the trade: Wizards find new homes for Kuzma and Poole in this proposal. Grade the trade: Wizards find new homes for Kuzma and Poole in this proposal. dark