UA-59049186-1 NBA Team Preview: Washington Wizards - Good if it Goes

NBA Team Preview: Washington Wizards


Draft Picks: None

Key Acquisitions: C. Ian Mahinmi, PG. Trey Burke, PF. Andrew Nicholson

Key Losses: SG. Garrett Temple, SF. Jared Dudley, C. Nene, PG. Ramon Sessions 

Player Profiles

Projected Lineup

PG. John Wall: 6’4, 210

  • All-star PG with elite speed and size
  • Pass first PG that is at his best in transition where he can use his breakaway speed to attack the rim. He’s very good at creating for others. Good but not great scorer in large part due to his inconsistent outside jump shot.
  • Elite tools for the defensive end and he uses them well. He’s 1 of the best defenders at the PG position in the league.

SG. Bradley Beal: 6’5, 207

  • Scoring SG who’s had some issues staying healthy.
  • Offensively he can score with or without the basketball. He’s improved his ability to score with the ball but he’s still at his best off the ball on the move where he can catch and shoot.
  • Doesn’t have great athleticism or length nor is his effort good enough to overcompensate for it, which by and large makes him a below average defender.

SF. Otto Porter: 6’7, 205

  • Long, versatile forward with the skill set to play 3 positions.
  • He’s an elite mid-range shooter and can hit the shot as a spot up shooter, on the move via screen, off the dribble, or as the pop man playing as a small ball 4.
  • Very good young defensive player with the potential to be great. Huge wingspan and effort allow him to be very disruptive at times and he’s very effective contesting shots.

PF. Markieff Morris: 6’10, 245

  • Big, physical big man that likes to shoot.
  • Can hit the 3, but not quite well enough to be viewed as a true stretch 4 and is more effective in the mid-range area.
  • Decent defensive player that plays hard and holds his own in the interior. Not a great shot blocker but can defend down low.

C. Marcin Gortat: 6’11, 240

  • Underrated Polish center that is still quietly very good.
  • Highly efficient offensive player especially given the fact he doesn’t need to be set up to score. Has become 1 of the best in the game at scoring in the pick game. Fantastic mid-range shooting ability allows him to thrive as a pop guy and his touch around the basket makes him dangerous as a dive man as well.
  • Good defensive big that blocks shots and plays good positional defense. He plays smart and usually makes good rotations.


C. Ian Mahinmi: 6’11, 262

  • Big-bodied, nimble center that is 1 of the best backup big men in the game.
  • Not much mid-range game though he can hit the occasional wide open look. Does most of his work 10 and in as a roll guy.
  • Elite defensive big man that can do a little of everything. He’s a good rim protector, steals at a very high rate and is a monster on the defensive glass.

PG. Trey Burke: 6’1, 191

  • Undersized shoot first PG with average athleticism.
  • Lack of athleticism has forced him to be strictly a outside jump shooter who relies on his effective ball handling skills to create space to launch shots.
  • Too small and not quick enough to be an effective defender at the PG position.

PF. Andrew Nicholson: 6’9, 250

  • Thickly built tweener combo forward
  • Has become a better shooter but still at his best around the rim.
  • Can bang a little on defense but not effective overall defensively. Doesn’t have the necessary length to defend down low nor the lateral quickness to defend on the perimeter.

SG. Marcus Thornton: 6’4, 205

  • Inefficient chunker of a SG that isn’t of much use if his shot isn’t falling.
  • Capable ball handler that can create space for himself and get off shots but lack of athleticism and size often force him into tough contested shots.
  • Pretty bad defensive player that doesn’t give much resistance on that end.

SF. Tomas Satoransky: 6’7, 210

  • Draft and stash prospect with 3 and D potential looking to make the jump to the league.
  • Has very good athleticism and will contribute offensively in transition or as a spot up 3 point shooter.
  • Reportedly defended well over seas and since he does have good athleticism he should be able to have some success in the NBA on defense.

C. Jason Smith: 7’0, 240

  • Backup 2 way center.
  • Contributes best offensively as a mid-range shooter.
  • Can block shots and get steals but struggles to defend 1 on 1 or on the perimeter.

SF. Kelly Oubre Jr.: 6’7, 205

  • Long athletic wing looking to prove he belongs in the rotation in his 2nd year.
  • Offensively he’s at his best on the move in transition or cutting where he can utilize his athleticism. His overall game is still very raw as it results to contributing in a half court set vs set defenses and his jump shot is a work in progress.
  • Wasn’t awful defensively by rookie standards but still has to get better. But he has the tools to be a good player on that end of the floor.



The Wizards have a talented starting lineup. It all starts with their backcourt of John Wall, the starting PG, and Bradley Beal, the starting SG. It’s 1 of the most talented backcourts in the league but the question is whether they can coincide. They’re playing styles are actually a really good fit together as Wall is a ball dominant play making PG and Beal is a scoring off guard that can light it up off the ball. The frontcourt is better than most people think. Otto Porter stats at SF and is primed for a breakout season in his 4th season as he looks to set himself up with a huge contract this summer. He’s improved every year since entering the league and I expect the trend to continue. The bigs are Marcin Gortat at center and Markieff Morris at PF. One has to wonder if Gortat can keep up his high level of play as he continues to get older but if he can he provides excellent play down low on both ends for Washington. I’m not big on Morris as a starter and he’s definitely the weak link in this lineup.

At face value, the Wizards have 1 of the weakest bench’s in the league. Outside of Mahinmi, I can’t say there’s another trust worthy guy they have. I know that Mahinmi is going to come into games and play his role fabulously as he has done for years now but the rest of that bench is a complete question mark and so is how new coach Scott Brooks plans to utilize it. Trey Burke is an inconsistent shoot first PG that plays no defense, Nicholson is a tweener who’s effectiveness might often depend on the opposing matchups. Those 3 figure to get the most consistent playing time and after that group things get really uncertain. Jason Smith is actually a ok backup center but with Mahinmi sure to get all the backup center minutes he’s only going to be utilized in the case of injury or foul trouble. The back up wing situation is 1 of the worst in the league. Thornton’s game doesn’t work in this new ball movement NBA and Oubre and Satoransky are completely unproven.


The East is loaded with playoff caliber teams and though the Wizards lineup is talented enough to compete with most of those teams, the Wizards bench and lack of depth scare me. I’m also not thrilled about the relationship dynamic between Wall and Beal who apparently have some friction issues. Last season the Wizards finished 41-41 and just missed the playoffs and I can see a similar ending result this season.

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