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Evaluating the Washington Wizards Roster for 2020-21
It’s the final straw for Scott Brooks in D.C.
Entering the last year of his contract after a blockbuster trade, the Wiz will need to be a formidable opponent in the Eastern Conference if Brooks wants to stick around beyond the upcoming season.
Let’s take a closer look at the Washington Wizards roster heading into 2020-21.
Washington Wizards Roster in 2020-21
- Key Additions: Russell Westbrook, Deni Avdija, Robin Lopez, Cassius Winston
- Key Losses: John Wall, Shabazz Napier, Ian Mahinmi
- PG – Russell Westbrook
- SG – Bradley Beal
- SF – Davis Bertans
- PF – Rui Hachimura
- C – Thomas Bryant
John Wall’s impending return was going to be big news in the nation’s capital. Kevin Durant worked out with Wall and said he looks amazing, and the man making north of $40 million per season is eager to prove doubters wrong.
However, on December 2nd, Wiz GM Tommy Sheppard pulled the trigger on swapping Wall (and a 2023 draft pick) to the Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
Houston has agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall and a first-round pick, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 3, 2020
Westbrook lands in D.C. and will be joined by superstar talent Bradley Beal to form a powerful “1-2” punch in the backcourt. Resigning Davis Bertans was crucial, while Rui Hachimura averaged 13.5 points and 6.1 rebounds as a rookie. Thomas Bryant posted similar numbers (13.2 ppg, 7.2 rbg) and looks to continue his ascension up the “big man” ranks.
Washington Wizards Key Bench Pieces
- Deni Avdija
- Robin Lopez
- Ish Smith
- Troy Brown Jr.
- Cassius Winston
- Jerome Robinson
- Moe Wagner
How Scott Brooks manages minutes in the early going will be key to this team’s success. As Beastbrook eases in and begins meshing with his new teammates, Ish Smith and Cassius Winston will battle for time at the backup point guard position. Troy Brown Jr. and Jerome Robinson will both be utilized, but Deni Avdija is the guy everyone is talking about.
Brooks said Deni Avdija's workout was "high level… when you have that work ethic, you're going to see an improved player. I love that about Deni… He's so upbeat and excited to be here… His workout was high level." Brooks seems thrilled by Avdija.— Ben Mehić (@BenMehicNBA) December 1, 2020
The 19-year-old hybrid forward has already been hailed as the “steal of the draft” by Mike Schmitz. Few are more in tune with grading out prospects than Schmitz, ESPN’s top NBA Draft analyst.
Washington Wizards Best Player – Bradley Beal
After what had been a fruitful start to his NBA career leading into 2019-20, Bradley Beal exploded this past season. Only James Harden averaged more points per game, and let’s not forget that he scored 50+ in back-to-back nights in February.
From January 1st until the season was paused, the Wizards shooting guard scored 33.9 points per game.
At age 27, Beal is smack dab in the middle of his prime and on the verge of being an All-NBA player.
The X-Factor – Russell Westbrook
For the third consecutive year, Russell Westbrook begins the NBA season with a new organization. Perhaps a fresh start and some new scenery are all the 2017 MVP needs to get back to playing at an elite level.
Despite averaging more than 27 points last season in Houston, Russell shot under 26% from beyond the arc (his lowest % since 2010). Due to James Harden’s ball-hogging ways, Westbrook’s rebounding and assist total plummeted. It was clear that a change needed to be made.
Washington emerged as the ideal trade partner as they were dealing with a similar situation.
The question now is, which one of these overpaid and disgruntled PGs will flourish in their new city?
Final Assessment of the Washington Wizards Roster
If you want to be picky, they are a little thin in the post. With that being said, the Washington Wizards roster is two-deep with capable players at all five positions. Scott Brooks’ backcourt is among the most electric in the NBA, and Deni Avdija has a chance to special.
In terms of Avdija’s style, think Dirk Nowitzki – only more athletic and more useful in transition.
All in all, the Wizards coaching staff should be elated about what they have in front of them.