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September Mailbag: The Wizards player who’s most likely to surprise, Bonga and Wagner’s German connection, more!

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Our mailbag on the Washington Wizards is ready. And here are some answers to your questions!

Denver Nuggets v San Antonio Spurs - Game Six
Davis Bertans could be one of the Wizards’ best performers this season. He could be Bradley Beal’s right hand man as well.
Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images

Here are the answers to your questions for the September mailbag. Thank you! We’ll have our next mailbag in mid-October when the Wizards season begins!

Please note that some questions are lightly edited.


Did Isaac Bonga and Mo Wagner play together before the Lakers? — Expatde (comments)

Both Bonga and Wagner are from Germany, so they are familiar with each other. But the two played for different teams in the Basketball Bundesliga before going to the NBA.

It also appears that they didn’t play together on the German men’s national teams at the youth level. Wagner was part of the 2014 FIBA Europe U18 national team that won the gold medal at the European Championships in Bulgaria. But Bonga is two years younger than Wagner, so I don’t believe they played together though they are from the same country.

Who’s the Wizards player most likely to surprise us this season? — averagebro (comments)

I saw that you noted that Davis Bertans was your pick as the one most likely to surprise. I would pick him as well. He averaged 8 points per game in the last season for the Spurs and should have more opportunities to shine this season, perhaps even as a starter. Bertans has the opportunity to emerge as a default No. 2 or No. 3 option behind Bradley Beal.

Rui Hachimura or Bradley Beal, who has the best dimples on the team? — yop32 (comments)

I’ll let you pick — and you can add John Wall’s chin to the list as well.

Would you add a defensive player on the team? Would you pick Thabo Sefalosha, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Courtney Lee, Andre Roberson or Amida Brimah? — GreatWallofWizards (Comments)

I wouldn’t pick any of them because these players would interfere with the playing time of younger players who need it this season.

How can Thomas Bryant win the 2019-20 NBA Most Improved Player award? — Expatde (comments)

Last year’s Most Improved Player of the Year, Pascal Siakam increased his production from 7.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the 2017-18 season to 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in the 2018-19 season. Bryant certainly improved by an even larger margin where he averaged 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in the 2018-19 season from playing sparingly the year before. However, the Raptors also finished last season with a 58-24 regular season record and the NBA championship while the Wizards were well out of the playoff hunt.

Bryant will probably have to be close to a 20 point and 10 rebound per game player to be in consideration for the award. And the Wizards will probably need to be in contention of a playoff spot as well.

Many of the “so called” professional magazines have rated the Wizards very poorly. How do you rate the Wizards for this coming year? — Hervey Aitken (email)

I think the Wizards will probably win 25-30 games this season. Based on last year’s NBA standings, the Wizards would be about 11th or 12th place in the Eastern Conference. I would say that ranking the Wizards as a sub-20 win team is a bit extreme unless more key players are injured.

Why did the Wizards never pull the trigger on Chris Chiozza? He had an amazing Summer League with us in 2018 and is exactly what we need, a fast paced young developing point guard who can control the game and shoot the three. — Ethan Rasmussen (Facebook)

Chiozza was signed to a training camp contract earlier this week. He signed a 10-day contract with the Houston Rockets and ultimately played a few games toward the end of the regular season.

At the time last season, they had Wall and Tomas Satoransky manning the point guard position. But now, the depth chart consists of Ish Smith and an injured Isaiah Thomas though Troy Brown Jr. and Beal could also play point guard if needed. I’d say that the Wizards had the chance to take the time to decide whether to bring Chiozza back, and now they have.


Thanks again for your questions!