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This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

This video of early Thomas Bryant-Isaiah Thomas chemistry should make Wizards fans smile

One of the best parts of the NBA offseason, behind free-agency and the draft, has to be the open run's that go on all summer long. These sessions give an opportunity for NBA players to team up with each other, while also playing alongside high school, college, and overseas talent. 

Some new Wizards teammates, Isaiah Thomas and Thomas Bryant, made their way to the Rico Hines private run in Los Angeles, California to establish some chemistry before training camp opens in late September.  

As seen above, IT is no stranger to sharing the sugar as he finished top 20 in the league in assists per game (5.9) in 2016, the last season he was fully healthy. While TB is one of the most efficient rim-runners in the league, leading the NBA in two-point field goal percentage (68.5) last season. 

Could this be a preview of what to expect come season's tip? Wizards fans sure hope so. 

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Wizards' young player development in Orlando could also help in potential offseason trades

Wizards' young player development in Orlando could also help in potential offseason trades

Though one particular Wizards reporter (me) has been walking around in a tin foil hat clamoring about how the adjusted draft lottery rule could create a very uniquely unlucky situation for the team, the positives of Washington being included in the NBA's restart should ultimately outweigh the negatives. As we have seen so far, it is a gift in the way of player development. They have a roster full of young players gaining experience they would otherwise not receive.

But it goes well beyond just those players getting some extra seasoning before they return next year to a team that will expect to make the playoffs with John Wall in the fold. You could also view it as them being showcased for potential trades.

After all, Wizards chairman Ted Leonsis and general manager Tommy Sheppard do not plan on the roster revamp they began last summer to take long. They want it to be ready in just a few months to boost Wall and Bradley Beal as they reunite in hopes of finding more success as a duo than they have ever had before.

Leonsis even said, if you recall, "why can't this be quick?" Well, the most surefire way to do that is not likely going to be in the draft, though they should have another prime selection this year. Young players take time. And it probably won't be in free agency, either, given they have limited salary cap room and it is a relatively thin class of players.

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No, the most likely way for the Wizards to vault forward quickly is with a trade. And that's what brings us back to the team's inclusion in Orlando.

The Wizards' young players aren't just auditioning for roles on the team next year. They are developing as potential trade assets, as other teams will now have more film to evaluate while determining who to request in a possible deal.

That process is about to be taken up a notch on Wednesday as the Wizards' schedule turns more difficult. They will see the Sixers (4 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington), who have one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the league. Philly has a loaded team with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Al Horford, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson as the headliners.

After that, the Wizards' road will stay tough until the very end with match-ups against the Pelicans, Thunder, Bucks and Celtics on tap. Over the course of the next week-plus, guys like Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jerome Robinson will get to play heavy minutes against some of the league's best players and teams. And if they hold their own, it will speak volumes about their long-term potential, whether it is realized hear or elsewhere.

(I'm hesitant to include Rui Hachimura in this dicussion because last time I did, Japanese media thought I reported he would be traded. It was technically an international incident. On related note, I think the 10 nicest people I've ever met in my life are Japanese reporters assigned to cover Hachimura and the Wizards. Just amazingly generous people.)

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Whenever a team goes young like the Wizards have over the past 13 or so months, trades have to be considered in the long-term, especially if the goal is to win sooner than later. That's how the Lakers got Anthony Davis and the Clippers got Paul George last summer. This is not to say the Wizards are gearing up for that level of a blockbuster, but the point stands.

Playing the lottery, which is in extreme cases known as tanking, is all about stockpiling assets that can turn into other, more substantial things. The Wizards have been doing that in their own right over the past calendar year.

As for which player could become available for them to trade for, or who would be shipped out, is difficult to determine at this point. The NBA offseason is crazy and unpredictable and the tea leaves are a bit harder to read right now than they usually are.

We don't know which star or stars could be the next ones dealt. But if their young players keep coming along, the Wizards will continue to improve their chances of being ready to strike.

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Troy Brown Jr.'s role as a playmaker doesn't have to change when John Wall returns

Troy Brown Jr.'s role as a playmaker doesn't have to change when John Wall returns

One way the Wizards have shrewdly utilized their time inside the NBA bubble has been giving second-year wing Troy Brown Jr. more time with the ball in his hands. 

Without Bradley Beal and John Wall with the team, Brown has been playing most of his minutes as a primary ball-handler. He even closed out Washington's game on Monday at the point guard position, a role he said, "felt natural" to him. 

It's easy to understand why Brown enjoys dictating the action on the floor. He has a tight handle for a wing his age and displays excellent patience and vision in the pick and roll. He's at his best with the ball. The results speak for themselves, as he's averaging 15.7 points, six rebounds and 5.7 assists while shooting over 46% from the field through Washington's first three games in Orlando. 

There's just an All-NBA-sized elephant in the room. Once the Wizards' bubble experience ends and Wall returns next season, what will that mean for the 21-year-old who's started to find an area in which he can excel?

Obviously he'll have to take a step back. As promising as Brown has been in the bubble, Wall and Beal are two of the best in the game at what they do. You defer to those players because they're All-Star level talents and Brown just isn't yet. But there's still a way for Brown to get minutes running the offense to alleviate Wall and Beal rather than take away from their contributions on the court. 

It all starts with head coach Scott Brooks staggering the young wing's minutes. If he's starting next to Wall and Beal, take Brown out in the first group of subs, maybe for Isaac Bonga or one of Rui Hachimura/Davis Bertans. Then when Wall and/or Beal need their rest, send Brown back out there -- whether it's with Ish Smith or by himself -- to lead the second unit. If he struggles at points as a young player often does, that's what a guy like Smith is there for.

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That way, Brooks can take his best players out of the game without worrying about the second unit collapsing in on itself, which has been a problem for the Wizards in the past. If Brown isn't a starter -- which should probably be the case -- simply sub him in for Wall or Beal. The key is to give Brown as many minutes as a ball-handler as possible. 

This isn't to say Brown can't develop into an off-ball threat and play beside Wall and Beal. As he improves his three-point stroke and gets more playing time with the team's franchise players, he'll find his spots to impact the offense without the ball in his hands. For now, however, it'd be wise for the Wizards to put Brown in a position where he's comfortable. 

Brown was a starter early in the 2019-20 season and struggled. He mostly stood in the corner as a third-or-fourth option while Beal and Isaiah Thomas ran the show. Once he moved to the bench and got more opportunities to handle the ball, we saw a noticeable uptick in production and efficiency. 

Starter: 8.1 PPG / 5.2 RPG / 2.6 APG / 38.4% FG / 28.1% 3P
Reserve: 10 PPG / 5.4 RPG / 2.4 APG / 47.9% FG / 38.5% 3P

Per Cleaning the Glass, the Wizards were a -9.9 per 100 possessions when Beal and Brown shared the court this season. When Brown was on and Beal was off, they were over six points per 100 better than that number. When Beal was on and Brown was off, they were over eight points better. This isn't exactly a coincidence. 

It's okay to have more than one playmaker on your team. It's okay to have more than three playmakers on your team. The best and most difficult offenses to stop are those that can come at you in a multitude of ways. Bradley Beal's development into an all-around first option will surely help Wall and Washington's offense become harder to stop, and utilizing Brown in a similar role could take them even further. 

Some of the best teams in the NBA have an abundance of ball-handlers on their roster. Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart all spend time as the lead ball-handler for Boston. The Thunder have three point guards -- Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Dennis Schroder -- that all play heavy minutes. The Clippers have Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Lou Williams running the show at various points throughout games.

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Sure those players share the court a good amount and there's only one ball, but those teams stagger their minutes to put constant pressure on opposing teams. 

It'd be unfair to expect Brown to be a legitimate third fiddle to Wall and Beal like Schroder and Hayward are for their teams. But he's not going to get there any quicker if you stick him in the corner and tell him to be a spot-up shooter. Let the man cook.

I'm not one who's aware of the Wizards' plans or goals for next season, but if they want to develop their former first-round pick's strengths, maintain their bench production from this season and ease their best players' burdens to the point where they can be more rested for the playoffs, playing Brown as a primary ball-handler would be a step in that direction. 

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