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2021-22 Wizards player evaluations: Anthony Gill improves in his second year off the bench

Let’s take a look at Washington’s reserve center.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gill made the unusually late transition from EuroLeague to NBA at the age of 28 years and 2 months, in late 2020. He initially signed a 2-year deal with the first year at below $1M, and with the second year (non-guaranteed) at around $1.5M. The Wizards liked Gill enough to guarantee that second year, which was the previous season. The question of whether the Wizards will retain Gill for another year or two probably does not keep Wizards fans up at night, but let’s nevertheless take a quick look at how Gill did over these past two years.

Season Evaluation

Popularity — Anthony Gill is probably the most popular player’s player in the Wizards. In a nice piece by Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington you can read more about “How Gill became every Wizard’s favorite teammate.”

I had a chance to chat with him after a game this year and his shy and self-effacing personality is not one you often run into in a league that emphasizes individual performance and personal eccentricities. To be honest, I completely understand his popularity in the locker room: he is just a good guy, humble and hard-working, who is just grateful to be in this league after being a journeyman in Europe for a bunch of seasons.

For the minimum, it’s a perfect signing and I hope the Wizards can bring him back.

Statistical lines — Gill has always been an excellent shooter at least when left relatively open. This year however he really stood out, albeit on a very small sample size. He was the Wizards’ best 3-point shooter, essentially (again with the caveat above!)! He shot 53.8 percent from deep on 0.6 attempts per game (he played 44 games, so you can do the math), and 80.8 percent from the stripe, for a mind-boggling 63.3 eFG. Wow! Pass him the ball more often, and play him more often, coach Wes.

Gill’s PER stood at 14.4. His rebounding took a hit compared to his first season though: per 36 minutes, he had 8.4 in 2020/21 while only 6.6 in 2021/22. All his other stats basically look quite similar. The biggest difference perhaps between the seasons is his playing time: 463 total minutes in the previous season compared to only 218 in his rookie season.

The award — If being a great teammate was something everybody knew about Gill, few knew about his extensive community outreach until he was awarded an inaugural prize by the Wizards organization on April 1st (it was real!):

Well-deserved, Anthony!

The outlook — as I wrote above, I hope Gill stays in D.C. for a couple more years. He’s a veteran that actually costs very little due to his short tenure in the league, and he is a super-glue guy in the locker room. Moreover, his shooting stats show he can be useful for even a good 15 minutes off the bench on a night-to-night basis, and there were a few games where he played quite effectively as a small-ball lineup center. He is un-selfish and hardly looks for his shots/stats, which in some sense is something he should work on as he should be increasing his attempts from the perimeter, if at all possible.

Here are Gill’s highlights from his standout performance (15 points, 2 rebounds, 6/7 from the field) in the Wizards' dramatic 113-112 win against the Nets in Brooklyn on national TV, right after the trade deadline. Ben Simmons, who was just traded to the Nets that evening, could take a page out of Gill’s book in terms of motivation: