Though in a Rebuilding Year, The Washington Wizards Have Young Talent

Raptors at Wizards 4/22/18

Even though the Wizards have had a slow start to the season, the team has pieces that make the future seem promising. As of Nov. 12, the team holds a record of two and six and sits one spot away from the bottom Eastern Conference under head coach, Scott Brooks, who has been with the team since 2016.

During Brooks’ first few years at the helm of the program, the team has had an abundance of success as they showcased many contributors such as John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and Markieff Morris, to name a few. They have advanced as far as the conference semifinals, where in the 2016-2017 season, they forced a game seven against a stacked Boston Celtics squad. However, after the injuries of star point guard John Wall and the trades of players such as Porter and Morris, the team suddenly found itself relying on many young faces that they hoped could step up to guide the squad to success.

A few of the young contributors that the squad has relied on in the season thus far have been 2019 first round draft pick Rui Hachimura, 2018 first round draft pick Troy Brown Jr. and a 2017 second round pick who stepped up greatly in Thomas Bryant. In addition to the young contributors upon whom the team is relying this season, they have the continued and steady presence of NBA all-star, Bradley Beal, who has been an integral part of the Wizards success.

According to NBA.com, Bradley Beal is leading the way for the Wizards squad so far this season as he is averaging 26.1 points per game. Recently Beal signed an extension with the Wizards for the amount of $71.8 million dollars for two years. In an article by Tim Reynolds of NBA.com he states that “ [Beal is] an elite scorer, 12th in the league last season at a career-best 25.6 points per game. And he will again be the centerpiece for a Wizards team that is without point guard John Wall for an entire season as he recovers from an Achilles injury.” When Reynolds asked Beal why he chose to sign for two more years in Washington, he asserted, “This is where I’ve been for the last seven years, going on eight… I have an opportunity to turn things around. A lot of people doubt that. I view it as a challenge.” 

Another player who the Wizards’ front office and fans have a lot of excitement for this season is 2019 first round draft pick, Rui Hachimura. He is currently averaging 13.6 points per game and is poised to continue to make an impact as the season progresses. In an interview done by Jackson Filyo of NBA.com with head coach Scott Brooks, he argued “[Hachimura is] exactly what the NBA is all about…you work hard, you dream big and you have an opportunity. With his skillset, he is only going to get better. Rui is right there with all the great players that I have ever coached.”

Finally, Brown and Bryant are two other contributors who have made an impact for the squad and will continue to do so in the future. Bryant is averaging 14.8 points per game while Brown is averaging 8.4 points per game. Both players are sure to be key contributors throughout the season and the team is sure to rely on the two young players for years to come.

While the Wizards have had a few lackluster seasons, the future is bright. They have many pieces in place who are sure to complement NBA stars such as Bradley Beal and John Wall. In the hands of new general manager, Tommy Sheppard, the team is on a track for future success that they hope to continue to develop.

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