Projecting the Wizards' starting lineup and rotation without Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans

Chase Hughes
·4 min read

Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans not playing in Orlando means the Wizards have to replace their top two scorers and, arguably, their two-best players. Head coach Scott Brooks now has to form a lineup and a rotation with two major pieces missing.

How he approaches that decision could change as the rest of the season goes. Perhaps they first gear things towards trying to make the playoffs and then shift towards player development if they lose a few games out of the gate.

With that in mind, here is a projection of what the Wizards could look like in Game 1:

STARTERS

G - Ish Smith

Though both of their top two point guards are in Orlando, this one isn't an easy call because Brooks has shifted Smith and Napier back-and-forth in the starting spot. Napier had started eight straight games before the season shut down, but with Beal out, it would make sense if they rolled with Smith as the starter given his ability to get players into rhythm and push the pace.

G - Jerian Grant

This may be the biggest surprise on here, but it also makes some sense if you think about it. Grant is a more experienced player than Jerome Robinson, which Brooks might prefer at least at first while the team's playoff hopes are very much alive.

F - Troy Brown Jr.

Brown is listed as a small forward, but the best role for him in Orlando would be as a versatile playmaker on offense. He is a good passer and, with Beal out, they could try to run some plays through him to maximize those strengths.

F - Rui Hachimura

This is the easiest call in the starting five. He has been a mainstay at the four all season and now should have a much larger role on offense with both Beal and Bertans out. Expect Hachimura to take 5-10 more shots per game than he usually does (11.1/g).

C - Thomas Bryant

Bryant gets the nod over Wagner and Ian Mahinmi here because the Wizards are going to need all the offense they can get with the players they are missing. Bryant can get you double-digit points on the regular.

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BENCH ROTATION

G - Shabazz Napier

Putting Napier on the bench gives you a guy who can shoot and score. Without Bertans, the second unit could struggle in those areas. If Napier doesn't start, he will probably be their sixth man.

G - Jerome Robinson

Robinson is going to be one of the most interesting Wizards players to watch in Orlando. So far in his career, he's always had to take a backseat to veteran players and often stars. In L.A., it was Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams. In D.C., he has had to wait in the shadow of Beal. Now, he should get the best opportunity to seek his own shot that he has had in the NBA so far.

F - Isaac Bonga

Though Bonga has started 41 games this season, the likely increased responsibility for Brown means it makes sense for Bonga to come off the bench. Bonga would still get plenty of minutes and during an important time for him without a guaranteed contract for next season at this point.

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F - Admiral Schofield

Schofield seems like the most likely player to enter the rotation with Bertans out. General manager Tommy Sheppard recently mentioned him as someone who could earn an opportunity. And Schofield says he has returned having dropped close to 20 pounds. 

C - Moe Wagner

Wagner will definitely be one of the top seven or eight members of the rotation. He has already proven his worth this season and is one of the young players the Wizards hope to get some valuable experience in Orlando with an eye towards next year.

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Projecting the Wizards' starting lineup and rotation without Bradley Beal and Davis Bertans originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington