The Wizards roster is likely complete at this point unless General Manager Tommy Sheppard makes any last minute moves. For instance, if Sheppard packages several players to upgrade at a particular position, that would leave them with roster spots to fill. Or perhaps they could decide they need some veteran help midway through the season.
Whatever the reason, here are the top available forwards on the free agent market.
Jordan Bell, 26, 2020-2021 stats: 2.5 points, 4 rebounds, 1.2 assists
You could argue that Bell has more of a center’s skillset in a forward’s body but he plays hard. Because of that, they liked Bell enough to bring him back a few times last season. That could be enough to earn him some call-ups this season as well.
Nicolo Melli, 30, 2020-2021 stats: 3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1 assist, 27.1% 3PT
Melli was considerably more productive during his first NBA season, averaging 6.6 points, 3 rebounds, and shooting 33.5% from three-point range. Those still aren’t great numbers but the Wizards could do, and have done, worse with their last big on the bench. He’s at least a theoretical floor spacer. He is currently signed to play in Italy this season so it seems unlikely he makes any more NBA appearances.
Isaac Bonga, 21, 2020-2021 stats: 2 points and 1.7 rebounds
Yes, he is currently on the Raptors’ roster. No, he doesn’t seem particularly likely to survive training camp. On the plus side, he’s still only 21 years old...
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 26, 2020-2021 stats: 2.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0% 3PT% (career 21.2%)
He’s an almost non-factor on offense but he’s long and active defensively. I wouldn’t want to have to rely on him consistently. But situationally as a guy to cover bigger wings off the bench, he wouldn’t be the worst pick-up ever. It makes more sense to me this year because he would likely be surrounded by several respectable perimeter shooters.
Justin Jackson, 26, 2020-2021 stats: 7.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 33.3% 3PT
I’m not sure what Jackson actually does well (by NBA standards) but he just won a ring with the Bucks so maybe he’d be able to add some championship pedigree to the team. Okay, so that was mostly meant in jest. I can’t see Jackson moving the needle for the Wizards at all.
Mike Scott, 33, 2020-2021 stats: 4.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 34.2% 3PT
He ain’t no b...
Kostas Antetokounmpo, 23, 2020-2021 stats: .8 points and 1.3 rebounds
He’s still really raw and hasn’t produced much in his NBA career. But Giannis was a bit of a late bloomer so maybe there’s still hope Kostas ends up as a productive role player. I kind of doubt it though and would likely pass on him. (He’s also signed a two-year deal overseas so not sure if he could get out of that anyway).
James Ennis III, 31, 2020-2021 stats: 8.4 points, 4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 43.3% 3PT
He’s a veteran wing who plays solid perimeter defense and shot over 40% from three-point range last season. I firmly adhere to the roster building strategy that you can never have enough capable 3-and-D wings. The Wizards could do a lot worse if they decided they needed more of a small forward.
Bell seems the most likely to get a call from Sheppard. But of this group, I think I’m partial to Ennis. I’ve always thought he was slightly underrated. He’s by no means a gamechanger but he’s too productive to be potentially out of the league.