Landry Shamet: B+
The best the Washington Wizards looked so far this season has been in minutes Landry Shamet played in. He brings competent guard play, shooting, and floor-spacing that makes everything easier for the rest of the team. He is not setting the world on fire on either end of the floor, but he rarely makes mistakes and plays the right way. In fact, the Wizards are +8.7 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor than off. He needs to play more if the Wizards want to look more respectable and competitive going forward.
Danilo Gallinari: C
This is admittedly a tough situation for Gallinari. At 35 years old, coming off a serious injury, he is tasked with playing full-time center, a position he is not super familiar with. He is doing his best to positively impact the team.
His best, however, hasn’t been enough. He is very limited defensively as he struggles to protect the rim, defend out on the perimeter, or rebound the ball. The value he brings comes on the offensive end, but that hasn’t been the case this season, either. He is only hitting 31% of his threes. He will always be guarded out there, so he helps with spacing, but he is not carrying enough of the scoring load to justify his defensive shortcomings.
Mike Muscala: D
Another backup big who has similarly disappointed so far this season is Mike Muscala. Bringing similar defensive limitations as Gallinari, Muscala was at least supposed to provide shooting and scoring from the center position. In his limited minutes, he hasn’t been hitting his shots. At 26.9% from behind the arc, Muscala is having the worst shooting season of his career. And if he isn’t scoring, there isn’t much value he provides to the team. The fact that the Wizards aren’t able to get enough production from Gallinari and Muscala has been one of the reasons why they have struggled to win games.
Johnny Davis: D-
One of the most disappointing Wizards this season, Johnny Davis, isn’t showing any signs of improvement from last season. The no. 10 overall pick in last season’s draft not being able to play even 10 minutes per game for one of the worst teams in the league is a very bad sign.
Davis played a total of 128 minutes in 14 games so far. In those minutes, he looked completely lost. His shot looks broken as he refuses to take jumpers. This has shaken his confidence, as he passes up shots and made only one three-pointer all season. Without a reliable jump shot or elite athleticism, it’s hard for a shooting guard to thrive in the NBA.
One reason this is not an F is that he has been dealing with injuries and has been in and out of the rotation. He needs to put together consistently productive performances to get this grade any higher.
Delon Wright: C
One of the under-discussed reasons for the Washington Wizards’ struggles this season has been the absence of Delon Wright. The 31-year-old guard has been dealing with an injury for most of the season as he only appeared in eight games. However, in the 141 minutes he played in, the Wizards have surprisingly looked good, outscoring their opponents by 3.5 points per 100 possessions. At +14.8, Wright has the best on-off rating among all rotation players on the Wizards’ roster. He continues to be the best guard defender on the team.
Yet, he is hurt once again. Similarly to last year, when his mid-season injury tanked Washington’s season, Wright has struggled to stay healthy. He could come back and improve this grade, but considering the limited minutes he played and lack of efficiency on the offensive end, a C feels right.