8 Wizards/Bullets players who left too soon
8 players who's time on the Wizards was cut too short
When you've been around as long as the Wizards/Bullets franchise has, you come across your fair share of good players.
And while Washington has managed to hang on to quite a few of them through their prime, like Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Gilbert Arenas, John Wall and Bradley Beal, they haven't been exempt from the occasional misstep.
Not every great player figures it out on their first, second or third team. Here's a rundown of eight players who left or were traded out of D.C. much too soon.
The Bullets took Rasheed Wallace with the fourth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft and started him 51 games during his rookie season. Wallace averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and shot 48.7% from the floor.
Despite a promising rookie year, the Bullets decided to trade Wallace to the Blazers for point guard Rod Strickland and Harvey Grant.
Wallace would go on to make four All-Star games, two with the Blazers and two with Detroit and won an NBA title as a key player on the 2004 Pistons.
The Bullets paid a serious price to pry Webber away from the Warriors, sending Golden State three first round picks for the talented young forward following his rookie season.
Webber played four seasons in Washington, averaging 20.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists all before he turned 25.
Once the Wizards traded him to Sacramento in exchange for Otis Thorpe and Mitch Richmond, he really hit his stride. Webber made four-straight All-Star games with the Kings and came really close to an NBA Finals berth had it not been for Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and a massive referee scandal.
Another smart decision by the Wizards taking Richard Hamilton with the No. 7 pick in the 1999 draft, but another mistake letting him go too early.
Hamilton showed a ton of promise early in his career, averaging 18.1 points in his second season and 20 the following campaign. After his third season, the Wizards traded Hamilton, Hubert Davis and Bobby Simmons to the Pistons for Jerry Stackhouse, Brian Cardinal and Ratko Varda.
Hamilton would make three All-Star teams and win a championship in 2004 along with Rasheed Wallace.
The Pistons should include something like "courtesy of the Wizards" at the bottom of their 2004 championship banner.
Wallace went undrafted in the 1996 draft and Washington keenly took a flier on the defensive specialist big man. He spent just three seasons with the Wizards/Bullets before he was traded to the Magic in 1999. Orlando then traded Wallace to Detroit the following summer, and the rest is history.
Wallace became one of the league's best defensive players ever, winning four defensive player of the year awards and helped build the Pistons' identity throughout the mid-2000s.
Unfortunately for D.C. hoops fans, Bogues' lasting influence with the Bullets is the picture you see before you.
After using the 12th overall pick in the 1987 draft on Bogues, the Bullets only held onto the 5'3 points guard for one year. The following summer, Washington didn't protect Bogues in the expansion draft, so the Hornets promptly picked him up.
Despite his small stature, Bogues went on to play 14 seasons in the NBA, 10 of which in Charlotte, and was one of the better set-up men and defensive guards in the league during his prime.
In Ariza's first stint with the Wizards from 2012-14, he proved to be a valuable piece to an up and coming Washington team led by John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Ariza signed with the Rockets in the summer of 2014 and the Wizards got a nice trade exception out of it, but one's left to wonder what could have been had Ariza stuck around as Wall and Beal blossomed into stars.
Once he left Washington, Ariza became one of the better 3-and-D wings in the league playing next to James Harden. He nearly helped get the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 2018, though they fell to the Warriors in seven games that season.
Bogdanovic only played 26 games for the Wizards after he was acquired at the 2017 trade deadline. The following summer, Washington pulled his qualifying offer, which would have allowed them to match any offer sheet he signed in free agency. Otto Porter's max contract extension most likely had something to do with that.
Bogdanovic ended up signing with the Pacers and really came into his own on a team with limited scoring options. His scoring average has increased in every season since his time in D.C.
Before the 2019-20 season was suspended, Bogdanovic was averaging 20.2 points shooting 41.4% from three.
Kelly Oubre Jr.
Wizards fans aren't over this one quite yet.
Oubre flashed promise in a limited role with the Wizards through his first three-and-a-half seasons, but Washington decided to trade the 23-year-old wing to the Suns for Ariza.
Since arriving in Phoenix, Oubre has started to tap into his serious scoring potential. Prior to a knee injury ending his season, Oubre was averaging a career-high 18.7 points while shooting a career-best 45.2% from the field and 35.2% from three.