The Wizards traded Russell Westbrook to the Lakers over the offseason after just one season with the team, but in came Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and Aaron Holiday in a five-team deal.
Despite losing a former MVP, Bradley Beal appears optimistic about what he and his new teammates can accomplish on the court
“It was just me and Russ before,” Beal said via phone to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. “Now we have so many guys who can be versatile with the game. I can play off ball, and take more challenges on the defensive end. We have probably the best depth we’ve had in a long time, maybe since 2017. To be able to look at the roster on paper, and see we’re three-deep at every position, is pretty good.”
Dinwiddie can serve as a decent catch-and-shoot option from downtown while still scoring at the rim and being a playmaker for others. Kuzma could look to regain his form from his earlier days with the Los Angeles Lakers and regain his confidence as a scorer in the league.
Caldwell-Pope, who is good friends with Beal, can be a nice catch-and-shoot option when Beal draws defenders and on the other side of the ball, Caldwell-Pope can help guard the best players on the opposing team.
In a new situation, Harrell can get back to being one of the best scoring bigs in the league, as he earned Sixth Man of the Year honors following the 2019-20 season.
Improving Roster Without Sacrificing Much
What Beal seems particularly impressed with is that GM Tommy Sheppard was able to improve this roster without having to give up anything significant, other than, of course, Westbrook.
“Shep played the hand he was dealt,” Beal said. “He had to clean up some things to shape it the way he wanted to and I’m definitely impressed with it. The way he made moves, he was able to save us without giving up crazy picks or assets to go get what we wanted.”
Wizards Possess Lots of Great Young Talent
The Wizards have a bunch of young talent on their team, including Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert, Thomas Bryant and Daniel Gafford. Beal feels like they can all thrive much like the young players on the Suns did.
“We’ve seen teams that have been able to develop their young guys, like Phoenix, to prepare them for the playoffs,” Beal said. “I think we can do that. I have trust in our player development staff and in our young guys. We have gym rats, guys who you have to draw back but not kick in the ass. That’s what we have and that’s a good thing.”
Washington D.C. is the nation’s capital, but somehow, gets labeled as a small market. Beal doesn’t see D.C. as that, however. “We’re just missing the wins,” Beal said. “D.C. just needs to be talked about again.”
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