With the draft concluded and summer league on the horizon, the Wizards officially released their minicamp roster yesterday. There’s several interesting names here, including rising sophomore Troy Brown Jr. and rookie forwards Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield.
Washington’s minicamp squad also has several players from their G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go, as well as the undrafted rookies the team agreed to deals with on Thursday and Friday.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 24, 2019
Here’s an in-depth breakdown of the minicamp roster by position.
The deepest area on the roster is by far the two guard spots and the competition for playing time figures to be intense between several guys. Justin Robinson and Tarik Phillip are certainly two names to watch for. Robinson is a bit of a local guy, as he went to Virginia Tech and grew up in Manassas, VA. Almost immediately after the draft concluded, the Wizards signed the senior point guard to a multi-year deal with a partial guarantee. Robinson has a great chance to start for the Wizards summer league team and even if he doesn’t, he’ll almost certainly play signifcant minutes. Robinson was the catalyst for the Hokies last season, averaging 13.5 PPG and 5.0 APG on an impressive 41.8% shooting from deep.
As for Phillip, the Wizards signed him back in April to a non-guaranteed deal for the 2019-20 season. Phillip went undrafted out of West Virginia in 2017 and spent time playing in Hungary and Spain. This past season, he played 48 games in the G-League for the Memphis Hustle, averaging 13.8 PPG. At age 25, Phillip on the older side compared to other players on the roster but his experience could be an advantage. The same applies for Tony Wroten, a 26-year old guard whose once-promising NBA career took a slide in the wrong direction several years ago. Wroten has bounced around the G-League and overseas since 2015-16. While never a very efficient player in his four-year career, Wroten was productive at times. In 2014, Wroten averaged 16.9 PPG, 5.2 APG, and 1.6 SPG. It’ll be interesting to see if he can make the most of his shot in Washington to return to the league.
Other guards jostling for reps will be Issuf Sannon, Garrison Matthews, Corey Davis, and Armani Brooks. Sannon was the Wizards’ second-round pick last year and after joining the team in summer league, he continued playing overseas during the regular season. At 19 years old, Sannon is likely a long ways away from playing in the NBA, but minicamp and summer league will be important for his development. Matthews, a senior out of Lipscomb University, was signed to a two-way contract last Friday. The small-school product is a skilled scorer and shooter, as he averaged over 20+ points and nailed at least 155 three-point shots in three consecutive seasons. Davis and Brooks, the dynamic backcourt from Houston, helped lead the Cougars to a 33-win season and Sweet Sixteen showing in the NCAA tournament.
Highlighting the forwards on the Wizards minicamp roster are perhaps the three most important players: Troy Brown Jr, Rui Hachimura, and Admiral Schofield. Brown had an up-and-down rookie season but after bouncing between the Go-Go and Wizards for most of the season, he received heavy minutes towards the end of the year and showed significant improvement. Brown now has a year of experience under his belt and as the best overall player on the minicamp roster, he figures to lead the team throughout summer league once again.
It’ll also be exciting to see Hachimura and Schofield take the floor for the first time in Washington. The Wizards selected Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the last week’s draft and while the pick came as a surprise to many, Hachimura is a skilled forward with solid scoring ability. He didn’t start playing basketball until just a few years ago but developed signifcantly at Gonzaga under head coach Mark Few. Hachimura broke out his junior season, averaging 19.7 PPG and 6.5 RPG on 59.1% shooting. All eyes will be on the Japanese product during minicamp and into summer league. Same goes for Schofield, whom the Wizards selected in the second round after trading for the No. 42 overall pick.
A senior out of Tennesee, Schofield averaged 16.5 PPG on over 41% shooting from three-point range. He was instrumental in leading the Volunteers to an impressive season and deep tourney run. At 6’6″, 245 pounds, Schofield plays a gritty style of basketball, particularly on the defensive end. How he acclimates himself over the next few weeks could go a long way in determining whether or not he plays regular season minutes come October. Rounding out the forward position is Noah Allen, Dikembe Doxson, and Vince Hunter. Allen and Doxson played for the Go-Go last season, and Hunter, who has four games of NBA experience under his belt, averaged 13.3 points in Greece.
There’s only a few centers on the Wizards minicamp roster: Jeff Withey, James Thompson IV, and John Egbunu. Withey is the most noteworthy name of the bunch, as he’s the only player with NBA experience. The former Kansas standout played five seasons between 2013-2018 with the Pelicans, Jazz, and Mavericks. His best season came in 2015-16 when he started ten games for Utah and averaged 4.3 PPG and 3.4 RPG in a backup center role behind Rudy Gobert. Last season, Withey played in the Greece and will look to use this opportunity with the Wizards to get back on the NBA landscape.
Thompson IV isn’t a household name but could make an impact in minicamp. The 6’10” senior had a productive four-year stint at Eastern Michigan. In all four seasons, Thompson IV averaged over 30 minutes per game and a double-double. He also shot over 64% from the field in his freshman, junior, and senior seasons for the Eagles. As for Egbunu, the talented center returned to Florida for his senior campaign but suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener.