Basketball season has arrived! Now that the rosters are out Hoop District ranked the top five players to watch this season. There are several in the grand scheme of things as an infusion of youthful talent will take the floor.
Those youth combined with a few veterans will make up a team that looks to surprise people. After all, the success of the other teams in this city including the WNBA champion Mystics and World Series hopeful Nationals did cause a ripple effect that helped one of these players sign for the next few years.
5. Ish Smith
The Wizards signed Ish Smith to a two-year deal over the summer to held address their hole at point guard with John Wall out for possibly the entirety of 2019-20. He comes from the Detroit Pistons where he averaged 8.9 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game while averaging 41.9 percent from the field. He’ll look to improve his shot. Last season Smith shot 32.6 percent from beyond the arch on 2.4 attempts. Isaiah Thomas is sidelined with injury, which means the Wizards will turn to Smith running the point on opening night. The veteran has suited up for 11 teams and he looks to bring his leadership into the locker room
4. Thomas Bryant
3. Isaiah Thomas
With John Wall out for possibly the entirety of the 2019-20 season, the Wizards needed some help at point guard. As far as players to watch at that position look no further than Isaiah Thomas. You may remember how he went off in the second round of the 2017 playoffs against these Wizards as a member of the Boston Celtics. If he can return to that form it would be a welcome sign for Wizards fans and a solid backcourt with Bradley Beal.
2. Rui Hachimura
One of the Wizards biggest draft picks in years, Rui Hachimura comes form Gonzaga where he averaged 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in his final college season. The ninth overall draft pick hails from Japan and is a big time superstar over in his home land, being a big face to basketball like Ichiro was to baseball. Hachimura brings a two-way game, a solid jumpshot and a presence inside the paint. In the preseason, Hachimura started in four games and averaged 10.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
1. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal will once again be relied on to help carry the team this season and last year Beal proved he was up to the challenge. Last season the all-star averaged a career-high 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. Now Wizards fans will sleep easy knowing that the team won’t trade Beal nor will Beal want out as he signed a two-year extension worth $72-million. In a team full of youth, the 26-year old looks to step up as a leader this season which could be a retool instead of a rebuild.