In two weeks, we could be discussing how KD, Wall and Beal are going to play off each other (please, no on the KD part). We could be discussing how long our rebuild around Tyler Herro is going to take. Or, critically, we could just be discussing how our new, traditional FA point guard is going to mesh with Beal. After all, it was just April when Tommy said "I think we need somebody who is going to be a pass-first point guard." And all evidence points to the Wizards trying to trade up for Jaden Ivey last night. I get it. We kinda backed into this.
But the Wizards also have a robust history of sitting on their hands and letting strategy come to them. As fans, we don't have to do the same. Waiting to see what happens is BORING. So, let's push the chips in like the Wizards probably should've, and overreact as we must—have the Wizkids stumbled into a point-guard-by-committee that will unlock Beal and—maybe even—the legendary Point Deni? (Side note: if you haven't seen our own Matt Modderno's Twitter thread on Pokemon draft comps, run, don't walk, to the thread. Point Deni would be... what? Ash himself? Need advisement.)
Count me in the camp that believes Johnny Davis can be our 1; I know many (like Quinton Mayo on his pod today) disagree. Even Wes Unseld mentioned he wasn’t sure last night. But this exploration doesn’t start in that argument—it doesn't even need it. Instead, we start with an aside from Tommy in last night’s presser.
"We like to even have three ball-handlers on the floor," Sheppard said. "You can create from anywhere, you can create for yourself, you can create for your teammates. But it really does spread the floor out. If they’re all shooters and able to guard, I think we’ll be able to do a lot of things – be hard to guard." (Credit NBC Sports Washington)
Wall/Westbrook/Dinwiddie—all capable ball-handlers, but maybe not the trio of guys you want operating off the ball. As much as we’ve given lip service to the idea of Beal being a primary ball handler (to be fair, he has been, in spurts)—we haven’t planned around him by giving him another true off-ball threat in the back court. Another pseudo-Beal. A Johnny Davis. But now we’re here. Davis can bring the ball up some, he can run around screens when Beal takes it up, and he can give Beal a backcourt partner who can maybe best unlock the 2020s version of Beal—the one who simply isn’t best utilized spotting up and taking 3s off the ball.
Flimsy and temporary evidence, surely. And yet... Quenton Jackson (a possible real shot to make the roster?) and Davison Mintz’s Exhibit 10s both focus on getting scoring guards with some playmaking skills. Jordan Goodwin remains poised to potentially be the same if he can crack the roster this year. We seem to be stacking enough of these types to build a... stack...house? (Sorry.)
So, two ball handlers… but three, Tommy? (Point Deni stans, ready your fingers!) My eyes go straight to Kuzma and Deni—both of whom have flashed playmaking skills from the forward spots. Without the "point guard" pressure--and working in tandem with two playmaking guards--we may finally give both the chance to really unlock their potential in the "pass dribble shoot" mode we keep hearing about…. not to mention make us excitingly tall and more stout defensively.
Again, the Wizards didn't seem to plan this. Most of us probably wonder if there even is a plan at all. But, for today, it's something to grab.