The Washington Wizards retooled their roster in 2022 NBA Free Agency. They kept Bradley Beal and added some new pieces around him as they look to get back to the playoffs. Along with trading for Monte Morris and Will Barton and drafting Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis 10th overall, the Wizards made a few free-agency signings to round out the roster.
At the moment, the Wizards seem like they will be running back a team similar to last season. Their backcourt, both starting and reserve, is improved and most of the key forwards/big men are still around. Barring a massive trade, Washington is looking to add on to what they already have rather than make something new.
After winning just 35 games, Washington is hoping that the return of a healthy Beal and the new additions will get the team back into playoff contention. After looking into the trade the Wizards made, let’s look into how their free-agency signings will impact the team.
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Washington Wizards: 2022 NBA free agency grades for every key signing
Re-signing Bradley Beal: B-
In the biggest move of the offseason, the Wizards signed Beal to a new long-term contract extension. It is worth $251 million over five years and features a no-trade clause. All things considered, the decision and execution to keep Beal in DC is a solid, but not outstanding, move.
Obviously, the Wizards needed to shell out to keep Beal. But paying him such a lucrative contract as he continues to age will come back to bite them. Trading him will be very hard and trying to build a team around that sizable contract will not be much easier. This offseason was the best time to move on from Beal and start a rebuild but Washington chose instead to try to compete. Now, they will be going with a very similar team to last year in the hopes that they improve enough.
The Wizards retaining Beal is certainly a better move, whether they intend to trade him down the line or not, than letting him go. Making a team to show that Beal made the right decision to stick around will be incredibly tough. Whenever they do want to rebuild, they will have to play by Beal’s rules because of the no-trade clause. This contract may sour sooner rather than later, though keeping their star is still preferable to losing him for nothing.
Signing Delon Wright: C+
Washington signed Wright, teaming him up with his former college teammate and good friend Kyle Kuzma and providing another veteran guard.
Wright spent last season with the Atlanta Hawks. As a defender and 3-point shooter, the 30-year-old is a decent backup guard. He played 18.9 minutes per game across 77 contests last season, averaging 4.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. His services may not be worth $8 million a year but they still fit as a complement next to guards who can create their own shot.
Signing Wright is a decent move but was one that wasn’t really needed. Morris, Beal, Barton and Davis are sufficient enough depth. It’s likely that he cuts into Davis’ playing time unless Barton is used more as a small forward, which wouldn’t be the best use of his abilities.
Perhaps Wright and Davis can work in tandem, but with the Wizards urgently looking to make the postseason, the rookie may be the odd one out in the rotation.
Signing Taj Gibson: D+
After Thomas Bryant left in free agency to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Wizards signed veteran big man Taj Gibson.
Gibson, at 37 years old, will provide Washington with veteran leadership at the very least. He may get some real playing time in Bryant’s absence, and that could be a bit troublesome for the Wizards. His mobility is diminishing and as a smaller center, his physicality is not getting any better.
The grade for this signing isn’t awful because Gibson signed for a minimum salary. Only a portion of his already small contract counts towards the salary cap. The risk is low but so is the reward, as Gibson isn’t a player who can be relied on consistently for long stretches anymore.
Re-signing Anthony Gill: C-
Gill has been a bench presence for Washington for the past two seasons. He has played in just 70 games total in that time but has had a very positive impact on the community and the locker room.
Keeping Gill gives the roster some continuity and a strong presence on the glass who can hit free throws at a very efficient rate. Signing him to a cheap, two-year deal is a decent move for Washington. The upside isn’t really there for the 29-year-old though he may get more playing time as a backup. On a contract worth the minimum amount, Gill is a fine addition.