The Wizards are currently loaded with forwards on their roster, and that includes Deni Avdija, who was the ninth pick in the 2020 draft. Wizards GM Tom Sheppard seems to have a plan in mind for the 20-year-old.
“I think Deni, it gives him a little bit more confidence, I believe, if he comes off the bench. In that second unit, he could be a secondary playmaker,” Sheppard said. “He can do a lot more things that he wasn’t able to do in that starting lineup last year. No roles are nailed down. Certainly, if he earns more minutes, he earns more minutes.”
Standing at 6-foot-9, Avdija possesses many traits that could make him a successful point forward in this league with his athleticism and ability to handle the ball as well as facilitate it, especially on the fastbreak.
For Avdija to live up to his full potential in the league, however, he will need to improve his 3-point shooting, as he shot just 31.5 percent from downtown last season.
More Wizards Notes
- Rui Hachimura has never come off the bench ever since coming into the league, and Sheppard doesn’t see that changing any time soon. “I don’t see Rui’s role changing,” Sheppard said. “He’s started since his rookie year.” Hachimura raised his 3-point percentage from 28.7 percent his rookie year to 32.8 percent last season.
Davis Bertans is highly unlikely to be traded any time soon, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. Given Bertans’ remaining four years, $65 million on his contract and that Washington’s 2023 first-round pick belongs with the Thunder and is protected through 2026, the avenues to move him are limited.
The Wizards rebuilt their roster to complement Bradley Beal very well, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. Adding more defenders at the guard and wing positions should help Beal expend significantly less energy on defense. Adding more 3-point shooting and shot creators next to Beal should also open up the Wizards’ offense in so many different ways. Especially with Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma and Hachimura’s ability to create their own shots and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s 41 percent 3-point shooting.
Mike Williams has been named head coach of the Wizards G-League affiliate, the Captial City Go-Go, according to their team press release. Williams spent last season as a development coach on the Wizards’ staff and director of player development for the Go-Go. “I look forward to leading our development and instilling the new philosophies of Coach Unseld into the Go-Go as we return playing in front of our great fans at the Entertainment and Sports Arena this season,” Williams said.