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July Mailbag: Your Wizards and Mystics questions

Why are the Wizards drafting bench players all the time? And will Natasha Cloud have a big post-All-Star snub stretch?

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards
Rui and Deni seem like nice guys. But are they still destined to be reserves to start the season?
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Thank you for your questions for this month’s mailbag. We will have our next mailbag in August.

The Wizards clearly have a logjam at forward with Rui/Deni/Kispert/Kuz/Barton all competing for valuable minutes. Will they consolidate by moving young pieces and picks for a John Collins or be content with a deep, balanced squad to emulate the Nuggets model? (Scott Parveen)

That is an interesting question. This season, I think the Wizards are likely content keeping things the way they are with a logjam at the forward positions to start the season. But I don’t see all five of these players remaining by next season. If the Wizards are serious about trying to contend with Beal (or despite him), they are probably going to keep Kuzma for the long haul. As for the Rui/Deni/Kispert logjam, one or two of them will likely get traded for younger pieces in the next coupe of years if Barton hits the ground running.

Why aren’t Corey Kispert and Deni Avdija playing for the Wizards summer league team? Love them as players, but neither of them are “above” playing in the summer league. Short of injury rehab, this feels like a missed opportunity. (Derrick Wigglesworth and OKNow)

Corey Kispert did play for the Summer League last season and I don’t believe Avdija ever has (correct me if I am wrong). I don’t think it would hurt to see Kispert in the Summer League before his sophomore season, but not sure about Avdija because he may play in EuroBasket this September. It is not uncommon for NBA players to only play one year in the Summer League, before their rookie season. John Wall and Bradley Beal did just that.

Will Delon Wright be a better fit than Monte Morris with Bradley Beal? How about putting Morris in the second unit with Johnny Davis? (Djchatbot)

I could see why you may think Wright would fit better than Morris, because Wright didn’t play as much as Morris. But generally speaking, the projected top point guard on the team will play alongside the top shooting guard on the team. Davis appears to be a bench player next season regardless.

Why is Tommy Sheppard not drafting starters on a fringe playoff team (6th seed)? (Jmpaolomo)

Sheppard doesn’t tell the draft picks where to play (cop out I now) and it’s not like draft picks between No. 9 and No. 15 have much of a chance to start in their first few seasons on average. I would expect Rui Hachimura to have a good chance to start next season though.

Can we just let Steve Cohen, the New York Mets owner buy out Monumental please!? For the love of getting some owners in DC who gets it for any of our sports teams. For crying out loud, the dude just straight up understands… just give me owners who will take chances and let the professionals do their jobs.

Ted has “got it,” at least once with other teams he owns.

I know some commenters have said that Ted Leonsis should sell the Wizards as a one-off, or Monumental as a whole and I get why. The buck stops with him. Besides the reality that it is unrealistic to see a team sale, who would be the favorite to buy the team or enterprise? Those folks probably won’t be Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. I don’t see either of them being interested in a very hostile takeover to make the Wizards the Texas Teslas or the next generation of the Seattle SuperSonics (I know, Bezos owns The Washington Post but Amazon’s presence is bigger in Seattle, even with HQ2 being in Arlington).

So if any of you want Ted to sell the Wizards or Monumental, there probably is some form of a plan in place should it ever occur. I’m the short run, Laurene Powell-Jobs likely has the first right to buy the Wizards/Monumental, because she is the second largest stakeholder.

I’m not sure that a new owner is going to change things for the better, especially if the Wizards were sold off as a one-off.

Do you think Natasha Cloud goes on a Beal-like tear in 2018-19 since she got snubbed from the All-Star Game? (Jayscott)

Yes. In her first game after the snub, Cloud went on a scoring tear. The Mystics also saw Elena Delle Donne get snubbed despite being getting the fifth most votes for the All=Star Game. They are in great position to use this as a rallying cry for the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

I wouldn’t give the Mystics an A for 2020 and 2021. But they are better managed and have better results than the Wizards. We give the Mystics a preview and recap for each game they play. We find more content to write about individual players too.

That said, the NBA is a bigger league than the WNBA, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that more people want more content on the Wizards, even if they are playing poorly.

Yesterday, Evina Westbrook was signed to her third 7-day contract. Multiple teams are signing players to multiple 7-day contracts to keep roster flexibility given the cap, which goes to the point that you are talking about in regard to Burke, etc.