Who should be part of Washington Wizards long-term core?

Washington Wizards (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Now 16 games into the 2019-20 season, Troy Brown Jr., Isaiah Thomas, Moritz Wagner and Davis Bertans are making strong impressions with the Washington Wizards.

Before the Washington Wizards’ 2019-20 campaign started, it was clear this season would be a year of progression, development and growth, particularly for the team’s young players. The Wizards have played competitively and demonstrated a fast-paced offense, ranking fifth in this category thus far, according to Basketball Reference.

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Incremental player maturation and an uptempo offense have also brought a high number of turnovers and personal fouls per game, ranking Washington 22nd and 14th, respectively, in those categories.

Narrow losses to the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and Boston Celtics have revealed some flaws with this young team defending the 3-point line consistently and closing out games down the stretch.

Despite these vulnerabilities, the Wizards have been a fun team to watch and several players have shown encouraging play. In particular, Japanese-born small forward Rui Hachimura has averaged 12.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, placing him eighth and fourth respectively among rookies this season.

While expectations for a Wizards postseason run may not appear to be possible after a 6-10 start, young players are receiving meaningful opportunities to refine their game on the court and Washington should not be counted out yet.

Second-year swungman Troy Brown Jr., resilient former Boston Celtic Isaiah Thomas, German center Moritz Wagner and Latvian 3-point marksman Davis Bertans are among the Wizards’ brightest spots early this season, with each making a case to be part of the team’s long-term core.