Wizards put together an up and down Summer League
The Washington Wizards entered this year’s Summer League as the team predicted to have the first overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. While it is clearly too early to predict a team’s success throughout an 82-game season, the Summer League didn’t quiet any of those doubters.
All eyes were on the No.7 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Bilal Coulibaly, the guy the Wizards had enough confidence in to trade up one spot for. For Coulibaly, there was no better way to start his career with Washington than to face the guy the Wiz traded to the Pacers to get Coulibaly. That guy was Jarace Walker out of Houston.
Coulibaly struggled in the game against the Pacers. He was only able to put up 9 points on sluggish shooting and wasn’t a big threat defensively. Walker was a rebound machine for Indiana, bringing in 13 boards through the four quarters of play. However, other than that there wasn’t enough to separate the two players.
The Frenchman would get better as he played more games. In the last two games he played, Coulibaly combined for 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 blocks. His defensive abilities were the ones in question from the night he became a Wizard, but if he continues at this pace, Washington may have just found a special three-n-d wing to plug into their team.
Another player who had many Wiz fans watching was Johnny Davis, who was the 7th overall pick in the draft last year. However, Davis struggled to get minutes or even suit up for the Wizards this past season. Those who follow the Wizards will be hoping he follows the steps he took back in his Wisconsin days because he was a guy who didn’t do much his first year but exploded in his second year.
He started his Summer League with 17 points without shooting the ball well, which was his issue when he did manage to see the floor last season. Davis continued to put up double-digit points while struggling from the field until Friday night against the Thunder. This was the game where, if you are a Wizard fan, you have hope. He would score a team-high 19 points while shooting over 50% from the field. If Davis can find his scoring abilities from his college days, he could have a large role on a weak Wizards roster going into the 2023-24 campaign.
So after watching Washington play five Summer League games, we didn’t gain much information. They failed to put back-to-back wins together but also didn’t lose consecutive games in a row, and there wasn’t a single player that a huge impression. This upcoming season will, no doubt, be a season of unpredictability in Washington.