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2019-20 Wizards player evaluations: Admiral Schofield

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Milwaukee Bucks v Washington Wizards
Admiral Schofield needs to make major improvements if he hopes to stick with the Wizards next season.
Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

When I performed my pre-draft analysis in 2019, Admiral Schofield had a borderline draftable grade. Meaning: maybe take him late in the second round or sign him as an undrafted free agent to see there’s actual 3&D potential.

The Wizards took him midway through the second round, two picks ahead of Bol Bol, a lottery-level talent with question marks about his health and commitment. Leaving aside the issue that the second round is the perfect place to take chances on a guy like Bol, the Schofield selection was iffy from the outset and looked worse nearly every time he entered the game.

He played just 368 minutes for the Wizards, which while small is enough to get a feel for what he can do at the NBA level. Schofield was ultra-low usage and inefficient. He connected on just 31.1% of his three-point attempts and his defense was ineffective — a bad combination for someone the team hoped could develop into a 3&D specialist.

According to my Player Production Average (PPA) metric (average is 100 and higher is better), Schofield was Washington’s least productive player in the before times (PPA: 22). He played worse in the bubble (PPA: 5) but slouched out of the “least productive” spot because four teammates were somehow even less productive.

For the season, his PPA was a below replacement level 18.

His G-League performance doesn’t offer much encouragement. He played 1,019 minutes for the Capital City Go-Go, and while he shot better than he did at the NBA level, his offensive efficiency was below the G-League average and his overall production was as subpar PPA 68.

Schofield’s G-League production suggests a replacement level NBA performer.

The so-called eye test does him few favors either. Where teammate Garrison Mathews looks confident and fluid, Schofield seems tentative and stiff. Schofield has clearly spent a lot of time in the weight room, but his chiseled physique seems to have left him lacking in flexibility and mobility.

He lost 20 pounds during the quarantine because he wanted to have more positional flexibility, but even in the bubble the word that kept coming to mind when watching him play is “stiff.”

The Wizards are likely to bring Schofield back next season — at least to get another look at him during training camp. Schofield needs a ton of developmental work to show he belongs.

If he puts in the work on his body and game, I see some potential for a P.J. Tucker-like small-ball four. But Schofield needs to become a high-quality defender and a league average three-point shooter. And there’s considerable improvement needed for him to reach either.

While it’s too soon to pronounce final judgement, the reality is that it’s rare for players to start like Schofield and become quality players.