Wizards looking for pass-first point guard this summer originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Less than a year ago, the Wizards’ point guard situation seemed settled — at least, it appeared to be for a few-year stretch.
Fast forward to April, and the Wizards are entering a massive summer with a bevy of questions, one of which is at the point guard position.
After the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t work out, the team traded him to Dallas for Kristaps Porzingis and spent the rest of the year with a by-committee approach at the point guard position. That included Ish Smith, Tomas Satoransky and Raul Neto down the stretch.
Now, the search will commence for a point guard that fits the Wizards’ style of play.
“I think we need somebody who is going to be a pass-first point guard,” general manager Tommy Sheppard said Tuesday. “I think we need somebody that’ll be able to contain the dribble on the defense end and help us keep people out of the paint. Those are some of the prerequisites we’re probably going to be looking for.”
The Wizards boast a roster full of shooters in Bradley Beal, Porzingis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma amongst a few others. That’s an area the Wizards want to grow from, as a pass-first guard could help facilitate the team’s offensive sets.
“In the NBA anymore, I think they may even try to change the position into called points guard,” Sheppard joked. “A lot of guards now are just looking to score first. I’m traditional, I like point guards that really set the offense and really try to get everybody involved and move the ball because you see the results. When we move the ball, we’re pretty good.”
There are a few players the Wizards turned to this season, like Deni Avdija and Kuzma, to help run the offense and orchestrate everything on the floor. And while the idea of a pass-first point guard might be enticing, it’s hard to find a true guard like that.
There’ll be a handful of moves for the Wizards this summer, but they’re ready to exhaust all avenues possible to improve at the point guard position.
“Ideally, you have a guy who can keep us organized, who can defend his position, obviously make a shot when the ball finds him, but I don’t think you need a guy that’s tasked with having to orchestrate everything,” coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “I think that’s a lot to ask for. In an ideal sense, but those guys don’t exist. There’s not, I don’t think, five to 10 names left when you look at the true essence of a point guard. I think they’re hybrid guards and they’re players — you try to find the best talent, the best complimentary player for this group.”