The 2023 calendar year is almost over. Before the year ends, I wanted to write a post on the ten most-read pieces. We used our analytics system to figure out what those stories are. So, without further ado, let’s get right to them!
No. 1. The Wizards acquire Tyus Jones in three-team deal with the Grizzlies and Celtics (Albert Lee). — The most read piece of the story had nothing to do with Tommy Sheppard’s dismissal, Bradley Beal getting traded or Bilal Coulibaly getting drafted. Instead, the most read piece was about D.C.’s new point guard.
Okay in detail, this was the transaction that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Celtics with Jones, Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari coming to Washington in return in a three-way deal that involved the Memphis Grizzlies.
It sucks that Porzingis was traded away for cents on the dollar in any Wizards fans’ eyes. But I found it interesting that this piece ended up winning.
No. 2: Jordan Poole’s departure from the Warriors came from Draymond Green’s reluctance to clear the air with him. Yeah, this wasn’t the actual title of the piece, but it sums up a story that was our second-most read piece of the year.
The Wizards ultimately acquired Jordan Poole from the Golden State Warriors with Chris Paul, the guard whom they received in the Bradley Beal trade. Poole, coming from one of the NBA’s most popular teams, has a national following. And it was no secret that things were eerie in Silicon Valley after he got sucker punched by Green, the veteran forward, before the start of the 2022-23 NBA season.
Given that the Wizards don’t have a true national following, I’m not surprised that one of the Warriors’ major storylines had a lot of traction on this site too. And since Warriors fans are still invested in Poole’s success, every Poole story on this site gives us a boost with page views and engaged minutes. [THANK YOU DUBS NATION!]
No. 3: The Wizards acquiring Chris Paul and Landry Shamet for Bradley Beal. The future Hall of Famer was a Wizard, at least technically, for a few days. And it should be no surprise that the deal involving Beal, Washington’s then-franchise player, was one of the most read stories of the year.
No. 4: The Wizards acquired Patrick Baldwin from the Warriors in the Paul-Poole trade (Greg Finberg). Like the Poole-Green beef story, anything involving the Warriors around draft time increases the number of eyeballs on the site. Baldwin has played sparingly for the Wizards so far this season, but just being part of that big trade makes it a big story to cover.
No. 5: The Wizards drafted Jarace Walker No. 8 overall, but trade up one spot to acquire Bilal Coulibaly from the Indiana Pacers (Greg and Kevin Broom). New Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins was open that he wanted to make a splash in the draft. The Wizards did just that by trading Walker, their first round draft pick and some future second round picks to acquire Coulibaly, a French wing prospect whom the Pacers selected.
Coulibaly is known as a sidekick to San Antonio Spurs forward and 2023 No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama for Mets 92 in France. And while Coulibaly isn’t expected to be the next Giannis Antetokounmpo like Wemby, he was ranked as one of the prospect with very high potential. So far this season, Coulibaly has had his moments, but has been held back from being a regular starter. So far, he is averaging 8.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. At least he is playing 26.4 minutes per game, so let’s not accuse Wes Unseld, Jr. of refusing to unleash Coulibaly.
We really should be writing a lot more about Coulibaly. That’s a resolution I have for 2024. And when skeptical folks ask whether he was the right pick in 2023, I hope we call can say,
“HELLLLL OUAIS!!!!” (Ouais, pronounced “WEH” is “Yeah” in French.)
No. 6: Four buy low candidates for the Wizards (Marco Gacina). While the Wizards haven’t signed anyone Marco suggested, it is these types of moves that the Wizards need to look for in order to accelerate their rebuild.
No. 7: The Wizards get six second round picks and four first round swap opportunities with the Suns for the Beal trade (Kevin). I get that the Suns are “supposed” to “win” the trade. But they aren’t particularly great this season with Beal, who has been injured quite a bit. And it appears that our friends at Bright Side of the Sun aren’t so happy with this move either. If these trends hold up, maybe the Wizards could get a nice selection of second round picks in the years ahead!
No. 8: Breaking down the Wizards’ 2023 Summer League roster (Matt Modderno). Matt has been one of our better eyes and ears around future draft prospects and G-Leaguers over the years. Given that the Wizards can use any developmental player they can, this was a great breakdown of each Summer League player who could produce in Vegas for Washington and in the months ahead.
No. 9: The Kristaps Porzingis trade announcement (Matt). We already discussed that the topic of Porzingis leaving the Wizards was the top story for the 2023 calendar year. But this piece was specifically on that move.
No. 10: Tristan Vukcevic is the Wizards’ 2nd round pick for 2023 (Greg). Vukcevic is a 20-year old forward with multiple passports, including from Serbia via his father, as well as Sweden and Greece via his mother. Tristan could even claim an Italian passport if that weren't enough, considering he grew up there. Regardless of what country he plays for FIBA purposes, he was part of the Wizards’ Summer League team and could be a presence here in future seasons.