Washington has struggled in the aftermath of John Wall’s departure to field a competent backcourt around Bradley Beal. Monte Morris has been a serviceable stopgap, but he doesn’t really encourage much confidence in Washington as the kind of team that can do more than compete for the 8-seed.
Beal’s future is very much in question, no matter how frequently he reaffirms his loyalty to the franchise. Kristaps Porzingis is evidently lined up for a significant extension — one has certainly earned — but at some point, one has to imagine the Wizards will start to look toward the future.
Anthony Black is the perfect bridge from the present to whatever’s next. He’s an excellent fit next to Beal — the kind of dynamic slasher and selfless playmaker who can kick the offense into high gear. He’s big for his position (6-foot-7) and profiles as a potentially elite defensive guard, which could help mask Beal’s most prominent deficiencies.
Then, there’s the future. Black is already a mega-intelligent playmaker at 19 years old. He doesn’t fit the traditional mold of a “star” guard, but he elevates those around him with effortless ball movement and consistent rim pressure. If he can get the 3-point shot to a place of reliability, then it’s hard to imagine Black not positively influencing winning for years to come.