The Wizards entered the season with a massive hole at point guard, and not just for a starter. They needed to fill the entire section of the depth chart before the start of the 2022-23 campaign.
By trading for Denver's Monte Morris and signing Delon Wright to a two-year contract, Washington likely already has its top-two options at that position. As free agency winds down, can we expect the Wizards to target a third point guard?
"I look at Bradley [Beal] as a third point guard," Tommy Sheppard told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. "He averaged over six assists last year. There's gonna be times where we have three point guards out on the floor. We think Deni's a secondary ball-handler, we know Delon [Wright] can do it, Monte [Morris] can do that. We can finish games with [Wright and Morris] and Bradley, there's so many different options for Wes [Unseld Jr.]."
Beal did in fact average a career-high 6.6 assists per game last season, albeit that mark was coupled with a career-high turnover rate as well (13.6%). Still, given the Wizards' roster construction, leaning on non-traditional point guards for playmaking looks like the right move.
A large portion of Washington's roster is dedicated to wing players. Assuming Morris and Wright log most of the minutes at point, sliding Beal into the floor general spot would allow Wes Unseld Jr. to better utilize all the wings he has at his disposal.
If the plan is for Beal, Kyle Kuzma, Will Barton, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura, Johnny Davis and Corey Kispert to all get minutes in the Wizards' rotation this year, it'll be difficult to put them all on the floor consistently if there's a third ball-handler to account for.
If Beal can hold it down at point guard from time to time, it'll allow the Wizards to play bigger and more versatile on defense.
"We can go long when teams go long on us, and play small ball. We can spread it out, we can really do quite a few things. The key for us to continue to get versatile, be able to have guys who can guard multiple players, guys who can fill it up, that's important."
Beal made strides as a playmaker last season and still has room to grow as he hopes to lead the Wizards back to the playoffs as the franchise cornerstone. Regardless of whether he plays point guard next season or not, a playmaking leap by Beal would help the Wizards' ceiling immensely.
Can Beal make such a leap? It sounds like he'll at least get the chance to.