5 Free agent steals the Wizards should try to turn into stars

Here are five free agents the Washington Wizards should take a chance on in hopes of developing them into star-like players (even if it's unlikely).
Washington Wizards, NBA Free Agency, Patrick Williams, Markelle Fultz, Bol Bol, Talen Horton-Tucker, Lonnie Walker IV
Washington Wizards, NBA Free Agency, Patrick Williams, Markelle Fultz, Bol Bol, Talen Horton-Tucker, Lonnie Walker IV / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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The Washington Wizards are in the middle of nowhere. They just started a rebuild, are fresh off their worst season in franchise history, and this year’s draft is one of the worst in recent memory.

So, what’s the best next step for them? While the draft and trade market will be important, Washington could also look to free agency as a means to improve.

But rather than going after players who can help them win now, they should be looking for players they can develop into stars. Or, at the very least, stars in their roles.

Every year, teams snag free agents for cheap prices that turn into legitimate rotation pieces, and sometimes even more. Here are five free agents the Wizards should target in hopes of developing the next steal.

1. Patrick Williams (restricted)

The Chicago Bulls never gave Patrick Williams a contract extension. The former fourth-overall pick will now be heading into this summer as a restricted free agent.

And while it seems likely that the Bulls will choose to match whatever offer he gets and bring him back, the Wizards could still look to clear up some cap space and steal him away from Chicago.

That could mean a hefty price, a price the Wizards may not be able to afford, but he should definitely be on their radar heading into this summer.

The Bulls have a history of failing to develop their talent. Lauri Markkanen has emerged as a star since leaving the Bulls, and, to a lesser extent, Wendell Carter Jr. has also enjoyed success post-Chicago.

Williams has the build of a great 3-and-D player, and if he goes to a place that’s committed to letting him play through all his mistakes, it could do wonders for his development.

In Washington, he would be able to play heavy minutes, learn on the fly, and not have to worry about winning above all else. (Even though that’s always the goal in the NBA.)

Should the Wizards trade Kyle Kuzma, which they probably should, Williams would be a nice guy to pair with the rest of Washington’s frontcourt players.

Washington doesn’t have any cap space, so they would have to do some real finagling to get something like this done, but Williams would definitely be an interesting target.