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October Mailbag: Is Wes Unseld a good coach, and is Johnny Davis a G-Leaguer?

Let’s get to some of your questions now that the season is beginning.

Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers
How good of a coach is Wes Unseld. Jr.?
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Thank you for your question in this month’s mailbag. Our next one will be in November!

Is Wes Unseld Jr. a decent coach? I’m beginning to have concerns because of the “up and down” trajectory last season, and how poorly the team has looked in the preseason (compared to their opponents). — Twelfth man

I am a bit concerned though it is early. The Wizards were expected to lose both games against the Golden State Warriors in Japan and they did. But you would think that the game against the New York Knicks last week would have been more competitive, even if it is the preseason.

Daniel Gafford is worth $13 million/year and young. But Hassan Whiteside is making just $2.4 million and in his 30s.

In your honest opinion, Who is your backup center for Kristaps Porzingis? Never mind any locker room issues if there are any. — GreatWallofWizards

Of the options you listed, Daniel Gafford.

What do you think it will take for Ted to fire Tommy and replace the whole FO? If, as predicted, by the end of the season, the win-now Wizards finish at the bottom of the East (9-12), do you think Ted will pull the trigger? Will Ted fire Tommy if the team doesn’t make the play-in? If Davis turns out to be another mediocre draft pick, will that do it? What will it take? — Gaboshyn

The Wizards will have to be consistently in the bottom five of the Eastern Conference AND the team also has to remain relatively healthy. That removes the “we were so good when everyone was healthy” rationale.

As of now, Johnny Davis isn’t mediocre, which is AVERAGE. As of now, Davis is a bad pick, though Matt Modderno suggests that he has some potential upside. Still, Davis has left a lot to be desired.

Last season the infighting started quickly when there weren’t enough shots to go around. How long before the Wiz have the same issues this season given the number of potential FAs? Kuzma, Rui, KP and Will Barton are all playing for that next contract. — CityofOaks

I will give it one month.

How often do the Wizards and other NBA teams take measurements on their players and weigh their players? And how does that information flow to the reference sites like, and — CDKA

Good question. The NBA standardized heights in the 2019-20 season. While public data sites like ESPN and SI may not have the most accurate date, the NBA would have more accurate data from an internal perspective. Not sure how that is shared on public platforms like, Basketball Reference, etc.

How is Christyn Williams’ rehab going? Will she be considered for a roster spot?

What are the chances Alysha Clark and/or Elizabeth Williams are re-signed?

Any idea what position they are targeting in the draft? — Brian Copeland

Let’s answer these one by one.

First on Williams. Based on the photos from her Instagram page, she is clearly working out in Washington and making progress toward a successful recovery from an ACL tear she suffered during training camp last spring.

We spoke to Dr. Matthew Harb from The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics about ACL tears and recovery from knee surgery last May as well.

To your second Mystics question, I would say that Clark OR Williams gets re-signed, but NOT both. The Mystics had the WNBA’s best defense last season but their offense was lacking.

And to your third question, I’m not sure what Washington is looking for in the draft when their position has yet to be determined. But it seems that they can use a future small forward to replace Clark longer term.

Should Johnny Davis go to the G-League for awhile? It helped Jordan Poole secure a bag. — jayscott

As Gaboshyn replied, “Yes, but Ted/Tommy will never do it.” I think Davis should spend time with the Go-Go to get some reps. While watching games from the bench can also be valuable experience, he still needs playing time. And as we saw from the Wizards’ game last Wednesday, Davis earned a big fat “DNP.”

Sorry Matt.

If the Wizards start 3-7 with wins vs Pacers 2x and the Pistons, and losses to Bulls, Cavs, Cs, 76ers 2x, and Nets...should they pack it in and go for Victor Wembanyama? — DCrez

Yes. But there is no guarantee that the Wizards will suddenly get a Top-2 or Top-3 draft pick.

I know Bradley signed the contract and has a great deal to prove. I also know KP needs a season where he stays healthy to prove he is worthy of his unfulfilled accolades. But I think this season is more about Wes proving to us that he can truly be a head coach in the NBA. Tell us what we should be watching for at stages of the season for Coach Unseld.

Also, any chance of ever seeing KP and Gafford on the court together? They don’t play the same position and we need someone at the rim for defense and for offensive rebounding. —MPD from DC

I would say yes. In a big lineup situation, Gafford can remain at the 5 while Porzingis plays as a really tall four. I don’t see both of them like Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi from 2016-18 when it was near impossible to have the two play together.