The 2020 NBA draft is in the books, and many players are excited to start their NBA careers. In the first round of the draft, the Washington Wizards selected a player with a lot of talent and has the potential to have a successful NBA career. Washington selected Deni Avdija with the ninth overall pick in the draft.
This was a key pick for the Wizards as Avdija was one of the top players in the draft. Now he will soon start his NBA career.
The Washington Wizards have struggled the past few seasons
The Wizards are coming off a season where they finished 25-47. Washington was without their star player, John Wall, the entire 2019-20 season due to injury. Though the Wizards have talented young players, they haven’t been able to succeed in the last few years. Bradley Beal has been a bright spot for the Wizards, especially when Wall has been out. Beal has developed into one of the top players and scorers in the league.
The last time the Wizards made the playoffs was two years ago in 2018. That year they finished the regular season with a 43-39 record. They went into the playoffs as the eighth seed and lost to the Toronto Raptors in the first round 4-2. Things have not been the best for the Wizards since then. It seems like the team’s identity has gone away, and there have been multiple moves to the roster.
Now with a healthy Wall and Beal playing the way he’s been, the Wizards can make some noise in the Eastern Conference this upcoming season. With the addition of Deni Avdija, the Wizards now have more size and a versatile player. It will be interesting to see how Wizards head coach Scott Brooks utilizes Avdija in his first year.
Deni Avdija was one of the top international prospects in the draft
The 19-year-old is a native of Israel. He began his professional career in 2017 with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Avdija was an Israeli League Cup winner in 2017, and he’s a three-time Israeli League champion. He has had an impressive career playing overseas. In 2019 he was the FIBA U20 European Championship MVP, and a year later, he was the Israeli League MVP.
According to nbadraft.net, they compared Avdija to Hedo Turkoglu. In the analysis, it stated that Avdija is a talented wing at 6-foot-9. The analysis also states that he’s very versatile for his size and can play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. That versatility is something the Wizards need. They know they can depend on Wall and Beal to score, but having a third option will help out a lot. Avdija will need to get stronger, but that will come with time, and he has the ability to develop into a high-level NBA player.
The Washington Wizards got a steal in the draft
Going into the draft, Avdija was a top prospect, and it was surprising to some that he was still available after the first eight picks. With the ninth pick, the Wizards wasted no time in getting the talented international star. “We were absolutely thrilled to get the opportunity to select Deni at the ninth pick and add his versatility, toughness and effort on the defensive end to our roster,” said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard in an article from nba.com. “While he is a young player who is still developing, he has great experience playing at a high level both professionally and in international competition.”
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is looking forward to working with Avdija. “I love Deni’s competitive spirit and feel for the game and I’m excited to help him continue to improve when we begin camp in a few weeks,” Brooks said. “His toughness and overall skill set will allow us to use him in multiple lineups and allow him to seamlessly blend in with our team.” Avdija will be a player to watch for during the upcoming season.