Starter: Bradley Beal
Bench: Austin Rivers, Jodie Meeks, Troy Brown
In a plot twist that contributed to the inner discord, Beal took advantage of Wall’s injury and rose to All-Star status last year, averaging 22.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game last year. He is one of the league’s best pure shooters, and his steps forward as a playmaker last year really softened the blow of missing Wall. The next task for Beal is to improve his defense and take a firm step into the DeRozan tier of elite scoring talent, and the help Washington’s brought in behind him should help him do that.
Rivers provides another highly talented ball-handler that can take the creation load off Beal if Wall gets hurt, and his ability to defend the point of attack will be valuable in bench lineups should the Wizards go small. Secondary creation has been a huge void in the Wizards’ bench over the years, but Rivers and Satoransky should make it a strength this year.
Meeks was healthy for the first time in nearly four seasons last year, and while his shooting numbers didn’t reflect it, he’s firmly an established shooter in the NBA. Another healthy season from him will be valuable, allowing the Wizards to continue to provide adequate spacing in lineups where they try Beal at the one. He also will help save rookie Troy Brown, who while talented, needs significant development as a shooter and defender before he is playing NBA minutes.
This should be the Wizards’ strongest position group heading into the season. “Best backcourt in the league” is a mantle that Wall and Beal contentiously claim, but factoring in depth, few teams are as flush with creators as Washington.