The Washington Wizards' season is not going according to plan. The team is not only losing games, they are doing so in a hopeless and deflating manner. That is why it is best to look ahead for the Wizards fans, and there is nothing more hopeful than the NBA Draft for fans.
Washington will almost certainly have a top-four pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Even though this year's class is considered a relatively weak crop, there is still plenty of talent at the top of the draft. To accelerate the rebuild, the Wizards desperately need to nail this pick. G-League Ignite's Ron Holland might be that guy.
Holland is an 18-year old prospect with a versatile skillset. He is a 6'8 all-around wing who is averaging 18.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks in the G-League so far. He projects to be the two-way athlete with high upside that the Washington Wizards could build around going forward.
As impressive as his on-court performance was his latest interview with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The way he evaluated his own game and analyzed his strengths and weaknesses is mature for an 18-year-old prospect.
""I feel like I’m a really good finisher. I can make spot-up shots. I can shoot a little bit off the dribble, but I feel like I need to get consistent with everything, including ball handling and tightening up when it comes to ball pressure. Guys are starting to press up on me a lot and see that I’m a little weak there, but that’s what I’ve been working on, and that’s why I’m at Ignite. They are helping me to expand my whole game. There’s nothing bad or anything I can’t do, but there are things I can definitely grow and get stronger at.""- Ron Holland
Holland is a 23.4% shooter from three so far this season. He realizes that this is a part of his game he needs to improve. In the meantime, he says, "Anything the coach needs me to do, I’m able to do. That’s what’s most versatile about me. I can defend, make plays, and guard. I can play point guard and one through five. I can guard one through four. I’m here to do whatever the coach needs me to do and make myself that much more available."
That is an excellent attitude to have for a young player. The willingness to play multiple positions and guard the best player on the other team is a great place to start for the building block of your franchise. When asked about the player he compares his game to, Holland says:
"I’d say Mikal Bridges and Jaylen Brown. Guys who can guard the ball and make shots when they need to. They can get whatever they want and be able to guard anybody when the coach needs them to."- Ron Holland
Players of that mold are tough to find but easy to fit around. They can play on-ball or off-ball, be a primary initiator, or fit around other stars. That makes team-building and roster construction that much easier going forward. Ron Holland and Bilal Coulibaly as the foundational pieces for your team could be an exciting future.