NBA

Wizard List FAQ: Will they make another trade? Does Monte Morris start?

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With the NBA Draft and the first wave of free agency now behind us, the 2022-23 Wizards roster is starting to take shape. That said, many fans seem to have a few questions about their offseason.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the team as the offseason progresses.

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Will they make another trade?

We can never say never, but there seems to be a good chance that the roster they currently have is essentially what we’ll see on opening night. Sorcerers have so far decided to patch the holes and fix the weaknesses with pragmatic and relatively inexpensive moves. They likely view this offseason as a continuation of what they had already started at the trade deadline. That’s when they acquired Kristaps Porzingis, who is yet to play under Bradley Beal and only played six games under Kyle Kuzma last season.

Last summer, there was a lot of speculation over whether the Wizards would make another trade after Russell Westbrook’s deal with the Lakers, even after the dust settled in free agency. They didn’t budge and instead waited to see what they had after the start of the season. Given that was their approach last summer and team president Tommy Sheppard and head coach Wes Unseld Jr. insisted continuity was important to defensive team chemistry , it looks like they’re probably done making substantial moves.

Is there a blockage in the front?

Also, like last offseason, many fans are wondering if the Wizards will make a consolidation trade to sort out their depth at the forward position. Wizards, however, seem to see their situation differently. While there is indeed some overlap between Kuzma, Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert, Anthony Gill and now Will Barton, these players all have some positional versatility as well.

Certainly, if the list is whole and healthy, someone can be the odd one out. But the Wizards have also prioritized roster depth over the past two summers, so they can see the amount of forwards they have as a good thing. This could help them better overcome injuries and ideally bring out the best in competing players for minutes.

Who starts as point guard?

Morris seems to be the safe bet here even though they have also signed Delon Wright. Morris started 74 of 75 games he played last year for the Nuggets, which were good. Wright, meanwhile, has long been a stand-in and knows how to thrive in that role.

Wright, as some have pointed out, could very well complement Beal due to his size and defense. It wouldn’t be surprising to see them play together because of this. Morris, however, could also play well alongside Beal due to his shot. He is a 39.4% long range shooter in his career. That should give Beal more room to operate off the dribble.

Where have they improved?

The Wizards roster appears to be in better shape than it was a few weeks ago, in part simply because there’s more balance with Morris at point guard. They also added depth with Wright, plus Barton and also first-round pick Johnny Davis. As for areas of the game that Wizards have improved, their 3-point shooting seems to be better. Morris is an above-average 3-point shooter percentage-wise, while Barton and Wright are both league average. None of them will lead the league by three, but they give the Wizards more shooters and that should allow Unseld Jr. to build more balanced rosters.

Defensively, it’s a little harder to define. The Wizards have likely made progress in terms of stopping the ball at the perimeter with Morris and Wright, and Davis could help that cause. If Avdija, Kuzma and others can provide toughness and versatility in the middle, and Porzingis and Daniel Gafford can protect the rim, it could all come together to be a pretty decent defense.

Are there any needs to be filled?

Wizards technically have holes at point guard and center, if they choose to carry three players at each of those positions. Raul Neto, Ish Smith and Tomas Satoransky all left to play elsewhere and the Wizards signed only two point guards. Maybe Kris Dunn or Pierria Henry can play a part in coming out of the Summer League.

Thomas Bryant should sign with another team. That would leave the Wizards with just Porzingis and Gafford at center, though they have Vernon Carey Jr. and Jaime Echenique, who both play for the Summer League side. Maybe the Wizards could add another low-cost signing to rival them in training camp.

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