After waiving center John Butler Jr, the Washington Wizards filled his two-way contract spot with Jules Bernard, a dynamic scoring guard from the Capital City Go-Go, the G-League affiliate of the Wizards.
Bernard, who spent four years at UCLA and went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, has been with the Go-Go since December 2022. After struggling with efficiency last season, the 6'6 shooting guard has had impressive scoring performances through the first eight games of the season, putting up averages of 21 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists with 47.5/42.2/91.4 shooting splits.
Despite already being 23 years old, Bernard could be an intriguing developmental story for the Wizards. Washington hasn't had much success with individual player development in recent years, especially with their own draft picks. Being able to find talent through undrafted players and their G-League affiliate could be an excellent way to improve their standing as a player development franchise.
According to Hoops Rumors, Bernard is eligible to play in up to 37 NBA games, due to two-way contract rules, He’ll make $415,011 if he remains under contract through the NBA’s league-wide salary guarantee date in January. The Wizards can choose to give him a guaranteed deal at any point during the season if they manage to open a roster spot via trades or transactions.
Bernard doesn't have a path to consistent playing time in the short-term. The Wizards backcourt is crowded. The current injuries to Johnny Davis, Landry Shamet, and Delon Wright could perhaps provide Bernard an opportunity to step in in limited minutes. However, his main opportunity could come at the trade deadline if the Wizards are able to move on from some of their veteran players. Until then, he will try to continue to impress in the G-League, and in short spurts with Washington.