It’s that part of summer where there isn’t much NBA news (unless you count endless Donovan Mitchell rumors) so we asked listeners of the Bleav in Wizards podcast to suggest any topics they thought would be worth talking about during the show. This is the time of the year to review “What Ifs” and all-time lists, just so we all have something to talk about.
Shawn Wehland, a podcast listener and diehard Wizards fan, suggested doing All-NBA teams for Wizards players this century. Osman Baig and I slightly expanded the inclusion criteria to account for players in the Wizards’ era of the franchise. I just want to make it clear that we didn’t include any Bullets before someone asks why Wes Unseld isn’t on the list or something like that.
I realize it’s a hole in my Washington basketball fan resume but I’m just not old enough to have seen much of the Bullets, so it seems like a clean cutoff point for these totally arbitrary exercises. We also only considered the level of player they were when they were in Washington. For instance, peak Michael Jordan with the Bulls would have ended up higher on a list than Wizards Jordan did.
We also wanted to keep the selections to traditional All-NBA team positional groupings with two guards, two forwards, and one center. For that, we tried to stick to the positional assignment listed for that player on Basketball Reference for their tenure in DC. If a player was listed as both a shooting guard and small forward at certain points, we were more flexible with where we placed them on our lists. My teams are listed below, and Baig’s appear at the bottom of the page for comparison.
G - John Wall: 573 games, 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 1.7 steals, 32.4% 3PT, 43.3% FG
G - Bradley Beal: 645 games, 22.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 37.2% 3PT, 45.6% FG
F - Caron Butler: 310 games, 19 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 31.5% 3PT
F - Antawn Jamison: 421 games, 20.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 35.9% 3PT
C - Chris Webber: 212 games, 20.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.7 blocks, 33.6% 3PT
G - Rod Strickland: 304 games, 15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 1.6 steals
G - Gilbert Arenas: 357 games, 20.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists 1.6 steals, 35.1% 3PT, 42.2% FG
F - Michael Jordan: 142 games, 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 24.1% 3PT
F - Juwan Howard: 464 games, 18.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1 steal
C - Marcin Gortat: 402 games, 11.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 blocks, 55.5%FG
G - Larry Hughes: 189 games, 17.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.9 steals, 32.1% 3PT, 42.8% FG
G - Rip Hamilton: 212 games, 15.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 31.7% 3PT, 43.3% FG
F - Otto Porter: 384 games, 10.7 points, 5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 39.9% 3PT, 48.3% FG
F - Nene Hilario: 249 games, 11.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1 steal, 51.1% FG
F - Daniel Gafford: 95 games, 9.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 69% FG
There were a few players considered for the third team that I think you could make a case for. Mitch Richmond, Trevor Ariza, Markieff Morris, and Brendan Haywood were arguably more productive on the box score than some of the people on this list, but we detailed why we made the choices we did during the podcast episode. Realistically, Haywood probably deserves the last center spot over Gafford but I’m partially forecasting a strong upcoming season for Gafford and giving credit to the immediate defensive impact he provided when traded to Washington.
We also chose to omit players who were only here one season like Russell Westbrook and Kristaps Porzingis (so far) but you could make a case that in 17 games Porzingis showed more than some of these other centers ever did. If you would have made different selections or we missed anyone glaring, please let us know in the comments!
Osman Baig’s All-Wizards All-NBA teams:
First team: John Wall, Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Michael Jordan, Chris Webber
Second team: Rod Strickland, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter Jr., Antawn Jamison, Marcin Gortat
Third team: DeShawn Stevenson, Richard Hamilton, Juwan Howard, Calbert Cheaney, Nene Hilario