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Wizards Make Some Interesting Moves on Draft Night, Did They Come out a Winner?

Can the Wizards Find a Way to Win With All of the New Faces in Mix for 2023-24?

Story By: Sol Tucker

Photos By: Sol Tucker

Washington, D.C–

It has been an interesting few days in D.C when it comes to the Washington Wizards leading up to NBA Draft night. If you had a hard time keeping up with all of the trades in the two day period prior to the draft, last night it didn’t become much easier with the Wizards swapping first round picks with Indiana and then making more moves in the second round. It was hard to follow.

The big question remains, did the Wizards make out in a way to help the rebuild process from Draft Night? Is the 24-year-old Jordan Poole the guy that gets it done with a bunch of young guys along his side? We will soon find out. But before then here is a recap of what the Wizards did on Draft Night.

The Wizards agreed in principle to acquire the draft rights to Bilal Coulibaly in a trade to be finalized later with the Indiana Pacers. Washington also selected Tristan Vukcevic with the 42nd overall pick.

“Bilal brings energy and ability on both sides of the floor and we see his trajectory continuing to trend upward as his play catches up to his elite physical attributes,” said Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins.  “We feel that we improved the long-range outlook of our team tonight by adding him as a youthful, versatile and highly-skilled player.”

Coulibaly, who was selected seventh overall by the Indiana Pacers, is a 6-7, 190-pound swingman from Saint-Cloud, France. The 18-year-old split the 2022-23 season between the top pro league in France with the Metropolitans 92 and its under-21 league. With the senior team, he averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 28 games, shooting .532 from the field and .452 from three-point range. With the Metropolitans 92’s under-21 team, he averaged 21.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.6 steals in 16 games and scored 37 points against Fos-sur-Mer before permanently joining the senior team on January 18.

“Tristan has experience competing against some of the best competition in the world,” said Dawkins.  “He has proven himself overseas to be an efficient big that can pass and shoot.”

Vukcevic, a 7-0, 225-pound forward of Italian and Serbian descent, has played overseas for Real Madrid in the Spanish ACB (2020-21) and KK Partizan Belgrade of the Adriatic League (Liga ABA). In 2022-23 with KK Partizan Belgrade, Vukcevic averaged 8.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game in 22 Adriatic League games.

The Wizards also traded the 57th overall pick to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for cash considerations. They also hold the first-round picks in 2027 and 2030, which by that time we hope the rebuild process will be long over.

In a few weeks, the Wizards will take a squad to Vegas to see what they can put together on the court that amounts to winning games. Best take from all of this is that fans are going to have to sit back and hope it all works out. We knew there would be some changes but building without a foundation and having just a few bricks, doesn’t make a house worthy of living in very soon.

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