August 12, 2022

The Wizards begin Summer League action Saturday at 6 p.m. ET against the Detroit Pistons. Here are five things to watch for the Wizards in Las Vegas…

Davis vs. Ivey (and other top picks)

This year’s Summer League for the Wizards has a chance of being very entertaining based on the likely matchups between Johnny Davis and other top draft picks. In Game 1 for the Wizards, they’ll see the Detroit Pistons select Jaden Ivey with the fifth overall pick, five spots ahead of Davis. Ivey and Davis play the same position as shooting guards and faced off in college as members of the Big 10 conference. It’s likely that Davis and Ivey will be paired up on both ends of the floor.

The Pistons Summer League roster is packed, as they also face 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, as well as other established NBA players like Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. They also have Jalen Duren, Memphis’ 13th overall pick. After the Pistons, Davis and the Wizards will see the Suns, Pelicans (8th overall pick Dyson Daniels) and Pacers (6th overall pick Bennedict Mathurin). Davis could potentially play against four other lottery picks from his same draft class.

Davis at point guard?

Team president Tommy Sheppard has mentioned the possibility of Davis being played at point guard in the near future and Davis even said so himself in a recent interview with The Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. While Summer League coach Zach Guthrie was less engaged at the team’s mini-camp, it seems somewhat possible that we’ll see the 10th overall pick run at some point in Las Vegas.

In fact, we got to see him play in a few different positions. Of the 15 players on the Wizarding Summer League roster, 10 of them are guards and another two are smaller wingers. Davis could very well be needed at three and maybe even four. This is how their list is built. But if we see Davis at point guard, it will be an interesting insight into his preparation to play there. Davis was an underrated passer in college and that could be on display.

Todd’s Progress

While the Wizards are keeping Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert out of the Summer League, they have another recent draft pick on the roster in Isaiah Todd. He spent last season mostly with the Capital City Go-Go, but appeared in 12 NBA games. Todd has obviously worked hard at the Wizards facility this offseason, so it’s possible he’ll look significantly better in Las Vegas.

Certainly, wizards can hope for that. They’ve been lucky with their second-round picks, including 2020 selection Cassius Winston who has already left the organization less than two years after being drafted. Winston plays for the Sixers in the Summer League.

Carey Jr. and Echenique

With Thomas Bryant leaving in free agency, the Wizards currently have a vacancy at center behind Kristaps Porzingis and Daniel Gafford. So far, the door has been opened for some of their young center prospects to step up. Vernon Carey Jr. and Jaime Echenique could benefit in Las Vegas as both are likely to play key roles for the Wizards’ Summer League team.

Carey Jr. was acquired from the Hornets in the wizarding trade involving Montrezl Harrell and Ish Smith. Echenique, meanwhile, made NBA history last year as the first Colombian player. Echenique stood out in the Summer League last year and could end up being one of their best scoring options this time around.

Spencer, Goodwin and the Go-Go

In addition to Echenique and Todd, the Capital City Go-Go will be well represented with other players from their 2021-22 roster. There’s Jordan Schakel, a double guard the Wizards signed to a two-way contract. There is also Jordan Goodwin, Pat Spencer and Craig Sword. Schakel, Goodwin and Sword all spent time with the Wizards last season.

Spencer didn’t get the call but it’s an interesting story. He was one of the most decorated players in college lacrosse history and decided to pursue the NBA even after being selected first overall in the professional lacrosse draft. The Summer League should be a big step for him to show how close he is to achieving the dream of making an NBA roster.