Another disappointing season for the Wizards once again after showing the league they could hang with the best when they took the Celtics to seven games in the second round in the 2017 playoffs. The Wizards hold the sixth best odds at the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft after finishing 32-50.
The Wizards have a nine percent chance at the first overall pick once the draft lottery rolls around. Here are three off-season moves the Wizards need to make to be competitive next season and in future seasons:
1. Re-sign Thomas Bryant
After coming to D.C. via the wavier wire from the Lakers, the 21-year old center impressed fans and the Wizards staff in the 72 games he played for the team. Bryant started 53 games for the Wizards, leading the league in shooting percentage inside the three point line.
The young center showed flashes of NBA stardom including a performance where he went 14-14 from the field scoring 31 points in the triple overtime win against the Suns in December. He was the first player in 24 years to make 14 field goals while failing to miss from the floor.
Overall, Bryant was on the floor for an average of 20.8 MPG. He averaged a slash line of 10.5 points /6.3 rebounds/1.3 assists per game. The Wizards should do everything in their power to re-sign the blossoming star.
2. Draft De’Andre Hunter
It’s entirely possible that the Wizards don’t have the chance to take Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter based on where they fall in the lottery but if he’s on the board the Wizards should take him. Unless they select in the top three where they should take one of Duke’s top freshmen, Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett.
Taking Hunter proves that the Wizards are building a winner as they currently have no starting forward unless they sign one in free agency or re-sign Trevor Ariza. Hunter is a 6-7 wing that can guard both bigs and guards without a problem.
Hunter shot 43.8 percent from behind the three point line during his run with Virgina to a national championship. It’s borderline impossible to think of reasons that he won’t be good, if not great in the NBA. In fact, many NBA analysts have compared him to Rapotors forward Kawhi Leonard.
3. Re-sign Bobby Portis
The 6-11 forward came over to the Wizards from the Bulls in the Otto Porter trade. The Wizards acquired both Portis and Jabari Parker after he fell out of likings with ownership and staff and was eventually removed from the rotation.
Although Parker was the better of the two after the trade. Parker, 24, was also the former number two overall pick in the 2014 draft and will likely command a larger salary in free agency.
In 28 games after coming to D.C. Portis averaged 14.3 PPG in 27.4 MPG. He also shot 44 percent from the field including a 40.3 percent clip from deep. In addition, Portis averaged 8.6 RPG for the Wizards.