Story By: Erin Zollars and Sol Tucker
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Starting this 2023-24 Wizards season, its going to be much different then we have seen it before. This is the first media day and start of training camp that we have not had Bradley Beal in the mix.
As many Wizards fans know, Beal is now in Phoenix and the faces that are left to lead this squad are Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Poole. Can they make some waves? Or is this the start of building something new all over around these two players?
There was already some bad news coming out of training camp regarding Daniel Gafford, who has spent his share of time on the injured list the past few seasons. Gafford fell during a recent pickup game and hurt one of his elbows, per a league source. Gafford will not need surgery, but he is expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks.
“I don’t expect it too keep me out too long,” said Gafford. “I know these guys need me on the court and I am in my sixth season in the league this year and hope that I can make it back after the first few games.”
The second bit of news for the Wizards today was that guard Landry Shamet broke a big toe is expected to be sidelined for 2 to 4 weeks as well.
Both Gafford and Shamet were expected to give the Wizards some bench scoring that they missed last season, but that will have to wait as well.
Lastly, Kuz and Poole are going to have to carry the scoring load for most games if they want to compete in the East for a playoff spot.
“Most nights I’m gonna have number one primary defenders on me…so that’s a challenge in itself,” Kuzma said. “When you’re in the type of position I’m in, you have to produce every night.”
As for the Wizards Draft Pick, Bilal Coulibaly, he says his biggest problem so far is getting around D.C.
“I am having a tough time getting around D.C. because I don’t have a drivers license,” said Coulibaly. “I will rely on Deni for that ride,” said Coulibaly.
Overall the Wizards have some young potential on the roster and do have guys like Corey Kispert back, but can that be enough to get them over the hump this season? The first few weeks should say a lot about this team. Preseason is just over a week away and the regular season starts in Indiana on October 25th.