John Wall and Bradley Beal have very well-documented strengths and weaknesses. It's an open question as to whether they'll reach their full potential, but for the most part, fans have a general idea of just how good they can be.
Wall and Beal aren't the only young players the team has brought in over the last few years, though. There are quite a few questions as to how good these youngsters -- Jordan Crawford, Jan Vesely, Chris Singleton, Kevin Seraphin, and Trevor Booker -- can be, should be and are likely to be.
Jordan Crawford: There's a lot to like about him, most notably his high-usage rate (something very common among young players who stick around the league) and already-solid outside shooting. Unfortunately, his shot selection leaves a lot to be desired, he still isn't a good three-point shooter and is only an average athlete. He needs to improve his offensive awareness and defensive effort in order to reach his full potential. While the latter is doable, the former will require quite a bit of effort and mental discipline, something he still hasn't demonstrated up to this point in his career.
- Best Case: Jason Terry 2.0
- Worst Case: Flip Murray
- Likely Peak Statline (per 36 minutes): 20 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 43% from the floor, 52% true shooting percentage
Jan Vesely: The Airwolf struggled as a rookie, so much so that his impressive physical tools might not be enough to overcome his very steep learning curve. Vesely is already a solid rebounder and a disruptive defender, sort of like a more explosive Jared Jeffries. How good he becomes will depend largely on his ability to improve his awful jump shot and weak body.
- Best Case: Kenyon Martin
- Worst Case: Jared Jeffries
- Likely Peak Statline (per 36 minutes): 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 50% from the floor, and good team defense.
Chris Singleton: The rangy small forward has tons of defensive potential, but his success or failure as an NBA player is going to hinge on his ability to find a role on the other end of the court. He was a very solid defensive player last season -- the Wizards were 6.2 points per 100 possessions better on defense when he was on the court, per 82games -- and that should continue, as his rates of blocks, steals, and charges drawn were all very impressive for a small forward last year. The problem, though, is that he couldn't buy a bucket, shooting below the league average from every part of the floor. His long arms make significant improvement to his handle and shooting ability an uphill climb, so working on his finishing ability -- someone as big and athletic as Singleton should be very good at the rim -- and possibly adding a post-game will be key to his development.
- Best Case: James Posey in Gerald Wallace's body
- Worst Case: James Johnson
- Most Likely Peak Statline (per 36 minutes): 10 points, 6 rebounds, 35% from deep
Kevin Seraphin: The entry on this list that's probably the closest to reaching his full potential, Seraphin had a breakout 2012 campaign and is poised to play a major role this year. He's already a solid post scorer and defender who should only get better as he continues to learn NBA defense and how to draw contact around the rim. Seraphin's biggest areas to improve are his relatively weak passing and rebounding. While he's a good enough at both to be a serviceable big man, he'll need to show a lot of improvement on the defensive glass -- something a lot of his closest comparables did -- and moving the ball in order to become a true star.
- Best Case: Nene crossed with Al Jefferson
- Worst Case: Johann Petro
- Most Likely Peak Statline (per 36 minutes): 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and great defense
Trevor Booker: It's easy to overlook Booker, as he lacks the upside of some of the Wizards' other youngsters. Nonetheless, Booker has been very productive over his first two seasons and has the work ethic necessary to make the most of his talents. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of 6'7'' big men, and his lack of size will always limit his defensive abilities. He really needs to become a knockdown shooter from 18 feet out, something that seems increasingly unlikely each season his free throw percentage is below 70 percent.
- Best Case: Poor man's Paul Millsap
- Worst Case: Poor man's Dejuan Blair
- Most Likely Peak Statline (per 36 minutes): 14 points, 9 rebounds, 53% from the floor
What do you think? Which youngsters are you most excited about? Vote in our poll, then explain yourself in the comments.