Earlier this summer, the Wizards signed former Rutgers forward Eugene Omoruyi to a two-year contract. They also waived Quenton Jackson and replaced him with former Baylor guard Jared Butler.
That still leaves the Wizards with one open two-way contract. On this week’s Bleav in Wizards podcast, Greg Finberg and I discussed some of the names we would like to see them consider for that spot and why.
Given that they have added one guard and one forward, it might make some sense to use the final spot on a big man. Especially when you consider the lack of size on the Wizards’ roster. They made need minutes from a two-way big man just to get through the season.
Only two from last year’s Capital City Go-Go roster really warrant consideration: Trevion Williams and Makur Maker. Both played Summer League elsewhere which likely means their time in Washington is over for now.
Williams, a 6-8 energy forward out of Purdue, averaged 8.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 25 games for the Go-Go last season. He doesn’t provide much in the way of blocks, steals, or floor-spacing. He was also a bit foul-happy at times last season.
Maker, a 6-11 stretch big out of Howard University and the NBL, averaged 6.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and .8 blocks in 44 games. He only made 32% of this 3.1 three-point attempts per game but I think a lot of this is attributable to shot selection.
Osun Osunniyi barely played for the Wizards Summer League team but might still be worth consideration. The 24-year-old has a 7’8 wingspan and recorded 2.7 blocks per game in four seasons at St. Bonaventure. Osunniyi averaged 8.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 blocks this last season at Iowa State.
Two of the most productive big men in last year’s draft class, Jake Stephens and Liam Robbins, ultimately went undrafted because they were both super seniors perceived to have limited upside. But that may be okay for this year’s Wizards team who could use a big body to come in and play right away.
Robbins is also recovering from an injury he sustained at Vanderbilt last season so this is partly contingent on his health status. Stephens barely played for a Kings Summer League team that was clearly prioritizing other guys. I wrote about both during the pre-draft process but have included the summary of their games here.
Jake Stephens, PF/C, 7’0, Chattanooga, super senior
Stats: 22 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.2 blocks, 55.2% FG, 40.8% 3PT (45.1% over the last two seasons), 82% FT
Stephens is arguable the best shooting big man in this class. He hit threes from all over the court and usually did so while well-contested. He was insanely productive at the mid-major level, especially around the basket where he made 70% of his attempts. He also has a really good feel for the game and keeps the ball moving within the flow of an offense.
On defense, he uses his 7’10 wingspan to help protect the paint but he’s not a great athlete and is pretty slow laterally. He projects almost exclusively as a drop-coverage big. It still seems worth finding out if he can translate that overall production to an NBA game.
Liam Robbins, C, 7’0, Vanderbilt, super senior
Stats: 15 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1 assist, 3.2 blocks, 50.4% FG, 36.5% 3PT, 73.1% FT
Robbins protects the rim and projects as a floor-spacer. He played for Jerry Stackhouse the last two years and should be able to come in and understand an NBA offense right away. A plug-and-play third big could be valuable for the Wizards. He doesn’t defend well in space but for a team that may just need a big-bodied drop-coverage alternative, Robbins seems worth a flier. He suffered a season-ending leg injury in early March, otherwise he may have found himself getting drafted.