Porzingis’ analysis of Kispert bodes well for Wizards’ future

Corey Kispert

After Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma went down and it became increasingly likely the Wizards would miss the playoffs, developing their young talent became one of their priorities. So far, they’ve succeeded.

Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert have all taken strides in their individual games throughout the 2021-22 campaign, but it's the rookie who has shined in the twilight hours of Washington’s season. It's been a key development for the Wizards' outlook beyond this year.

“I think Corey has gotten better since the moment I got here ‘til now,” said teammate Kristaps Porzingis after Washington’s 118-103 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday. “I think he’s feeling more and more comfortable in certain situations and…when I got here he was already a great shooter, great doing certain things, strong body.”

Kispert has in fact improved month-to-month since Washington drafted him 15th overall last summer. After hitting 32.2% of his threes off 3.4 attempts per game before the All-Star Break, those stats have climbed to 38.3% off 5.7 attempts since.

Kispert is getting more confident with the ball and it’s paying off. Considering the Wizards drafted him almost exclusively to be a prototypical 3-and-D forward, that bodes very well for their future. But that’s not the only thing the rookie has improved over the season.


“And also a great cutter—he’s one of the best cutters I’ve seen,” Porzingis said. “And now I think he’s getting more comfortable with the ball, and getting to the rim, and getting some nice dunks and finishes around the rim. So yeah, he’s been great and if he keeps getting better like this, he’s gonna have a great career.”

Porzingis’ comments echo those made by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope last week, when the veteran lauded the rookie’s work ethic.

“He gets in the gym early, gets his shots early, he stays out late and gets shots. He’s already ready and prepared. Just seeing him have fun and knock down shots like that with no hesitation was great. Every game he gets better,” Caldwell-Pope said.

Washington’s young core will be a source of excitement for the future, especially considering the strides the team’s past three first-round picks have made this season. Building confidence seemingly by the day, Kispert, Avdija and Hachimura should pair nicely with the veteran crew of Beal, Porzingis and Kuzma next season.

Though Washington has just two games left before the inaugural season of Wes Unseld Jr. expires, this playoff-less season was anything but a waste of time. Newfound depth and player development might highlight the campaign.