After a disappointing end to the 2017-18 season, the Wizards were hanging their heads. They finished barely over .500 and got knocked out by the Raptors 4-2 in the opening round. They decided to re-tool and add some big-name players to help second unit scoring and improve their depth chart. Read below as we highlight those guys and what they will bring to the table.
The first player on the docket to discuss is Jeff Green. He spent four years in OKC, parts of five years in Boston, parts of two years in Memphis, half a year with the Clippers, one year in Orlando, and one year in Cleveland. Now he’s joining his fifth team in five years, but he should fit pretty well in Washington.
Green is a rare commodity who can play efficiently at small forward, power forward, or even a small ball center. If they want to use a little more size when going super small, they can use Green to replace Markieff Morris. He does a great job of driving and finishing at the rim. The jump shot fell off a bit last year, but that is a quick fix. His athleticism and defensive switching ability will do wonders for the second unit. He is reunited with his OKC coach, Scott Brooks.
They sent former starting center Marcin Gortat to the Clippers to bring in Austin Rivers. His career started slow, but as soon as he reunited with his father in LA, all was well for him. In his first year as a full-time starter, Rivers averaged 15 points and four assists per game, while showing he can be a pesky defender.
He hit a career-high 136 threes and showed during stretches that he and Lou Williams could run the show. Turning 26 years old next month, he’s still got a lot to show. The Wizards have lacked second unit playmaking the past few years, and the acquisition of Rivers should be a quick fix. If Wall or Beal have to miss time, he can be plugged in immediately. He is as good a passer as he is a scorer, and Scott Brooks is lucky to have him.
Last but certainly not least is Dwight Howard. Though he has played for three teams in three years and is rumored to be a “locker room issue,” he has continued posting great numbers. He has averaged a double-double every year of his career and posted 16.6-12.5 and 1.6 blocks per game in Charlotte last year. He had a 30-30 game, and he looked good.
Howard will be a significant upgrade over Marcin Gortat who had struggled to perform the past few years. He gives them rim protection they haven’t had in a long time since JaVale McGee was here while improving their paint offense. When Wall and Beal need a few possessions to catch their breath, they can dump it to Superman in the post. This move will prove to be worth it, as they get a nightly double-double and an excellent veteran LEADER for the locker room.