Let’s keep this thing rolling! Numbers 60-41 are when things start to get real!
60 – 51
60) James Singleton (2009-2010, 2011-2012): Singleton averaged 6.7 points and 6.9 rebounds. He was long, scrappy, and the kind of hustle player that teams love. Picture this decade’s Dominic McGuire. He probably shouldn’t have been an NBA player but he worked hard enough to hang around for 243 career games (plus some time in China in between stints with the Wizards). Props for that!
59) Sam Dekker (2018-2019): In 38 games, Dekker averaged 6.1 points and 3 rebounds. Dekker was pretty solid at most things but as a 28.8% shooter from 3, he just didn’t do everything else well enough to overcome that and to justify being out on the court for meaningful NBA minutes. Maybe some time overseas to refine his game will help him make an NBA comeback in the future.
58) Jodie Meeks (2017-2018): Basketball reference says he shot 39.9% overall and 34.3% from three…but I never personally saw him make a shot that season. Personal bias aside, his stats aren’t the worst. But it kills me that he is an NBA Champion now, and I will probably never get to experience the joy of rooting for a championship team.
57) Marcus Thornton (2015-2017): Thornton averaged 7.2 points and 2.4 rebounds. He shot below 40-percent from the field overall and 34.3-percent from three. It wasn’t always the most efficient, but he could put up points for a guy that always looked slightly out of shape.
56) Maurice Evans (2010-2012): In 50 games with the Wizards, Evans averaged 7.4 points and 1.9 rebounds. He was a pretty good glue guy for about a decade. Naturally, the Wizards added him at the tail-end of his career.
55) Jordan McRae (2018-present): McRae has played 40 career games for the Wizards as of the time of this writing. In that limited time, he has been a walking bucket. Literally a professional bucket getter. And he worked really hard to make sure that the “professional” label meant NBA and not Euroleague. McRae didn’t play a lot in his first few NBA seasons but he seems to have found a home in Washington. Best wishes on continued improvement in the new decade!
54) Shelvin Mack (2011-2013): Mack played 71 games for the Wizards after they took him in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Mack developed into a productive NBA player for almost a decade. Very little of that production came while he was with the Wizards.
53) Roger Mason (2006-2008, 2011-2012): Mason played 194 total games which should have landed him much higher on the list. Unfortunately, the majority of those games came in the last decade. Even more unfortunate, the majority of his productive games were also last decade. I, honestly, loved Roger Mason in 2007-2008…not as much in 2012 when he only played 52 games.
52) Jabari Parker (2018-2019): Parker played 25 games for the Wizards after coming over in the Otto Porter trade. He actually put up some solid numbers (on paper). His averages of 15 points and 7.2 rebounds were mostly hollow statistics, however. The season was lost and he was essentially trying to put up numbers to justify his next contract. He also played very little defense (although, his defense was actually better here than in Chicago).
51) Bobby Portis (2018-2019): Portis was the other major “piece” in the Otto Porter trade. That trade was basically nothing more than a salary dump as it seemed likely Portis would be moving on at the end of the season. Similar to Parker, Portis put up very good averages of 14.3 points and 18.6 rebounds. But he also played less than thirty games on a non-playoff team and played very little defense. People might object to both of them being placed this low based on their numbers but stat hunting on bad teams for limited duration didn’t merit them going any higher either.
50 – 41
50) Trey Burke (2016-2017): Burke played 57 games for the Wizards and averaged 5 points and 1.8 assists. He dribbled pretty well and got hot from time to time. That’s better than some back-up point guards the Wizards have had. Total non-factor in the playoffs though.
49) Gilbert Arenas (2003-2011): Arenas played 357 of the wildest games in the history of Washington basketball. Only 21 of those games came this decade, however. He still managed to score 17 points per game (down from his overall Wizards average of 25) but he was a shell of his former self. Not to mention he was a major distraction with no knees making a ton of money. If this was a list about last decade then we would put him at #1, write “HIBACHIII” and move on. But by 2011, it was time for him to go and to hand the keys over to John Wall.
48) Yi Jianlian (2010-2011): Jianlian averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds over 63 games. Despite going 6th in the 2007 NBA draft, he was not the next Yao Ming. He seemingly had some talent but never looked entirely comfortable in the NBA game. Given the attention that Monumental Sports and Entertainment has received from drafting Rui Hachimura, you have to wonder if part of the appeal of Jianlian stemmed from him being Chinese.
47) Josh Howard (2010-2011): Howard only played 22 games for the Wizards but he averaged a solid 9.5 points and 4 rebounds. He was a former All-Star whose best days were well behind him by the time he got here. A tale as old as time in Washington.
46) Isaiah Thomas (2019-present): At this point, it seems fair to say he is never going to be Boston IT again, but that’s okay. He could be a valuable microwave scorer off the bench for a good team if it had defenders around him to pick up his slack on that end of the ball. The dude is all heart though, and it’s always nice to have guys like that around.
That being said, if some team was willing to trade a draft pick of any sort for him then Tommy Sheppard needs to be all over it. This season is lost so unless you think he is willing to come back next year on a team-friendly deal and accept a role off of the bench, then moving on might be best for both parties.
45) Ish Smith (2019-present): This is apparently the point in the list where my recency bias goes into full effect. Sure, he’s played less than 30 games for the Wizards in total. But, he’s going to be here for a whole year so that will help him move up the list. I salivate at the thought of him backing up Wall with a fully healthy second unit next season.
44) Moritz Wagner (2019-present): Wagner has been the stretch five the Lakers probably envisioned when they drafted him. So thanks for that, L.A.! And kudos to Tommy Sheppard for adding a good, young piece for nothing. This guy even takes charges! Lots of ’em in fact! Who was the last Wizard you remember who willingly took charges? Antonio Daniels?
43) Rui Hachimura (2019-present): The first pick of the Tommy Sheppard era! We could nitpick about the defense but most rookies suck defensively. We could even harp on the suspect three-point range. But instead, let’s give Sheppard credit for taking a good kid with a good work ethic as he attempts to establish a better “culture” (whatever that actually means). Hope, excitement, and the international reach he provides help move him up the board some.
42) Troy Brown Jr. (2018-present): I promise I’m not just getting list fatigue, Brown Jr. has played 77 games for the Wizards. That extra time served vaults him ahead of most of his current teammates. In an era where 3&D wings are all the rage, the Wizards used a first-round pick on a wing who is a below-average shooter. Troy seems like a good dude though, and he handles and rebounds well for his position. If he ever gets the shooting thing down he could be a star in the making. If not, he could still be a really useful back-up small forward whenever the Wizards are relevant again.
41) Gary Neal (2015-2016): Neal brought the Spurs mentality with him while shooting 41-percent from three on his way to 9.8 points per game. Plus, he’s from Baltimore and went to Towson, so he gets the local homer bump.