Previewing The 2023-24 Washington Wizards
September 8th, 2023
by Alan Lu
Last year, the Wizards were unable to make the play-in tournament, despite being able to have Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis for parts of last season, but both players dealt with injuries and struggled to stay healthy. The Wizards then fired Tommy Sheppard and then hired Michael Winger to run their basketball team, and they traded both Beal and Porzingis and acquired Jordan Poole and other players for the upcoming season.
This season, the Wizards are ushering in a new era in the post-Bradley Beal world. It appears as if they’re rebuilding, so it could be a long season. That said, the Wizards’ fans will have Jordan Poole, Kyle Kuzma, and Tyus Jones to root for heading into the 2023-24 NBA season.
The Washington Wizards’ fanbase is probably brimming with excitement that they will be led by one-time NBA champion and former Golden State Warrior, Jordan Poole to lead their team into the 2023-24 NBA season.
(Photo: Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Bullets Forever)
Right now, the Wizards do not have any star players on their team, but the closest one to that designation is former Golden State Warriors’ guard, Jordan Poole. He helped the Warriors win the 2022 NBA championship, and after having an up and down season last year, he will be given the keys to have his own team for the upcoming season. He is a talented shot maker that can score in bunches and he may be a rising star, but he will have to improve his shot selection and defense in order to help his team get wins this year.
They made many moves in the offseason, and the biggest moves they made were landing Poole, Tyus Jones, and Danilo Gallinari. They added potentially a future star in Jordan Poole, and he’s a talented shot maker that has the swagger to carry a team on his best days. Tyus Jones is a solid game managing point guard that makes smart decisions on both ends of the floor, and he filled in well as a starter when Ja Morant was serving his suspension. They also got veteran role players to help add to their bench.
The Wizards also lost a lot of players, and the biggest losses were that they lost Beal and Porzingis in the offseason. Though both were oft-injured players, they also are very skilled former All-Stars, but that the Wizards couldn’t make the playoffs or play-in tournament even when they played in a handful of games was surprising in not a good way. That the Wizards will be without them means that they will be rebuilding and it could be a long season for them.
Bilal Coulibaly is an athletic, high-motor forward that projects into a 3 and D role in the NBA. He played well for the Metropolitans 92, but it will be interesting to see if he can play just as well without Wembanyama this time around, and on a team that probably won’t win many games this season.
Tyus Jones is a cerebral playmaker that will hope to get the Wizards to be competitive for the upcoming season.
(Photo: G. Fiume/Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Bullets Forever)
The Wizards will lean on Poole and Kuzma for offense, but they will need more consistent production out of them. Tyus Jones is a safe playmaker that can run a team and is a solid role player, but he may not have the dynamic playmaking skills to make their team elite. The Wizards are hoping to that their burgeoning group of starters could mold into being a solid unit one day, but they may not be consistent enough to win games.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Key Bench Players:
Landry Shamet entered the league as an impactful rookie for the Philadelphia 76ers years ago. The sharpshooting combo guard was maligned for parts of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but as he’s been healthy and in the lineup, there is no doubt that he will enter the season as one of the best reserves on the Wizards’ team for the upcoming season.
(Photo: Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports, via SB Nation’s Bullets Forever)
The Wizards may have some interesting young guys, and they were able to acquire Gallinari, Shamet, and Delon Wright to bolster their depth, but that may not be enough for them to compete in the East on a consistent basis.
The Rest of the Roster:
G Jared Butler (Two-Way)
F Eugene Omoruyi (Two-Way)
Others In Camp:
G Dejan Vasiljevic (Exhibit 10)
Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. has not led the Wizards to the playoffs yet, and while losing Beal and Porzingis will hurt his team greatly, there’s a chance the Wizards could perhaps be competitive in some of the games this season.
(Photo: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)
Wes Unseld Jr.
2022-23 (WAS): 35-47, missed the playoffs
Coaching Career: 70-94, 0-0 in the NBA Playoffs
Wes Unseld Jr. was a former assistant coach that had helped the Denver Nuggets get to the 2020 Western Conference Finals before he was able to land a head coaching job with Washington. Since then, he hasn’t had a winning season, even despite having Beal and Porzingis for stretches last season. This year, he will have a rebuilding team, so his team is not expected to win, but he’ll have to do a better job of developing his players this season.
Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma will hope to help the Wizards be competitive for the upcoming season.
(Photo: Ben Golliver/The Washington Post)
The Wizards are in rebuilding mode. Even if they end up being more competitive than expected, they are expected to trade veterans to bottom up and tank, which would allow them to be in the Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis, or Zaccharie Risacher sweepstakes for the 2024 draft.
Projected 2023-24 Finish:
Projected Regular Season Finish: 13th in the Eastern Conference
Expected Playoff Finish: Projected to miss the playoffs
2023 Preseason NBA Power Ranking: 26
I went to Basketball-Reference and No-Trade Clause to look up some information for this write-up. It will be an exciting basketball season this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing the in-season tournament to see how that will unfold. Anyways, that is my write-up on my preview of the 2023-24 Washington Wizards. Thanks for reading.