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Is the Wizards “Big 3” really a Big 3?

Troy Haliburton and I discussed this Wizards’ core, how they can build around them, and the overall direction of the team.

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal dunking against Miami
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Is the Wizards’ “Big 3” really a Big 3? That’s the question I asked Troy Haliburton on the latest Bleav in Wizards podcast. We discussed whether that core is worth building around, Tommy Sheppard’s commitment to this path, and how to best upgrade the supporting cast around them.

Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis have both been playing like All-Stars this season so the answer to that question probably boils down to how you feel about Kyle Kuzma. We reviewed Kyle Kuzma’s play as of late and discussed his future with the team.

While we’ve both been impressed by Porzingis’s play this season, we did think it was appropriate to discuss how he seems to be somewhat matchup dependent. Recently, Porzingis has struggled against quicker, more mobile centers. Whereas, he has feasted on drop coverage big men like Rudy Gobert.

Troy and I also talked about what’s been going on with Daniel Gafford. Troy believes that the early play of Gafford when he first joined the Wizards was more fool’s gold because the bar was slow low with the other centers he replaced that season. I believe that while there has definitely been a real regression, the Wizards aren’t setting up Gafford to be as successful as they could.

We both agreed that it’s too early to give up on Gafford and that the team shouldn’t be in a hurry to trade him away. However, they should not be afraid to make him available in any move that improves the overall roster.

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat
Daniel Gafford dunking against the Heat
Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

We also covered the point guard position, including the ideal role for Monte Morris. Naturally, Jordan Goodwin’s name came up a lot and we both agreed that the Wizards need to be including Goodwin in their long-term plans. Troy brought up a really interesting point about being surprised Tommy Sheppard hasn’t taken more of a victory lap regarding Goodwin. Finding real players outside of the draft might be one way to distract from the play of some of his recent draft picks.

Additionally, I brought up that it is alarming to me that we’ve heard multiple Wizards this season talk about underestimating opponents and needing to bring full effort against every team. Troy thought it was at least encouraging that after Porzingis made similar comments after the loss to the Celtics that the team actually followed through and backed up that talk against the Celtics. Hopefully, they’ve learned that lesson once and for all.

I also did NBA Draft Prospect profiles on Brandin Podziemski of Santa Clara and Baylor Scheierman of Creighton. Teams are always looking for shooters, especially later in the draft, but both of these guys can also put the ball on the floor and create for others.

Podziemski is a 6’5 guard looking to fill the shoes vacated by fan-favorite draft prospect Jalen Williams. Podziemski is averaging 19.9 points, 10 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.6 steals, and his shooting 41.7% from three. Scheierman is a 6’6 guard on a loaded Creighton team averaging 12 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and is shooting 44.2% from 3 on 6 attempts per game (he shot 47% on 5 attempts per game last season.

NCAA Basketball: Holy Cross at Creighton
Baylor Scheierman shooting against Holy Cross
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

We would love to hear what you think about the Wizards’ Big 3 and, personally, I’d be really interested if any of our arguments in the podcast persuaded you one way or the other.