Washington WizardS’ Rebuild Is Off To A Rough Start

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Jordan Poole #13 of nan Washington Wizards dribbles against nan Dallas ... [+] Mavericks during nan 2nd half astatine Capital One Arena connected November 15, 2023 successful Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and aliases utilizing this photograph, User is consenting to nan position and conditions of nan Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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When nan Washington Wizards initiated their rebuild this summer, they were good alert of forthcoming increasing pains, and nan overwhelming request for patience - some from themselves and their instrumentality base.

However, nan Wizards unquestionably believed they had gotten themselves a subordinate successful Jordan Poole, who could possibly go nan cornerstone of that rebuild, aliases astatine slightest a important constituent of it.

So far, that optimism has taken a hit.

Poole, who fans had pegged arsenic a imaginable campaigner to lead nan convention successful scoring, is putting up conscionable 16.6 points per game, and has 1 crippled of 30 points complete his first 13 games of nan season.

Granted, nan play is young, and Poole has clip to alteration course. After all, he's a talented subordinate who won a title pinch nan Golden State Warriors successful 2022, and averaged complete 20 points for them past season.

Yet, there's a somber emotion processing astir Poole. It's not conscionable nan deficiency of points, and wide production, but alternatively nan measurement he goes astir nan season.

His shot-selection is rushed and uncalculated, his defense is practically not present, and contempt those evident elements, he seems to transportation himself arsenic Washington's franchise savior.

It's a problematic move of events, which should person nan Wizards lowering their already debased expectations based connected nan information collected complete their first 13 games.

Poole, who is 24, is connecting connected conscionable 39.6% from nan field, and 28.4% from three-point territory. His compensation of $27.4 cardinal would person been easier to swallow for Washington if he didn't person different 3 years near connected his contract, totaling complete $94 million.

If this is nan caller norm for Poole, nan years attached to his woody could beryllium highly difficult to move successful a trade, meaning Washington could beryllium stuck pinch him for a while.

If thing else, it puts nan onus connected Washington to rate successful connected Kyle Kuzma arsenic soon arsenic possible, arsenic nan 6'8 guardant is really producing this season.

Kuzma, who re-signed connected a woody worthy $90 cardinal complete 4 seasons, is netting 23.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists connected nan year, hitting complete 47% from nan field, and doing truthful successful conscionable complete 30 minutes per game.

The thought down re-signing Kuzma, who is 28 and frankincense not included successful nan semipermanent reasoning of nan organization, was to get thing for him successful a trade, arsenic to not suffer him for thing successful unrestricted free agency.

So far, Kuzma has produced to a constituent wherever it'd beryllium shocking if not astatine slightest a fistful of teams were willing successful his services.

But for nan Wizards, a squad pinch a bare cupboard, only being capable to maximize 1 of their 2 highest paid players successful a waste and acquisition will beryllium to beryllium an uphill battle. They didn't get a large return for Bradley Beal owed to his no-trade clause, and are hopeless to create a wealth trove of assets to usage successful nan adjacent half decade.

There's still time, of course, but truthful acold it looks for illustration it'll beryllium a challenging fewer years successful Washington.

Unless noted otherwise, each stats via NBA.com, PBPStats, Cleaning nan Glass aliases Basketball-Reference. All net accusation via Spotrac. All likelihood courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.