WASHINGTON — During the Wizards’ one-point loss to the Nets on Wednesday night, they played for some stretches featuring a lineup that nearly put all of their best young players on full display. Around veteran All-Star guard Bradley Beal were Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant.
The latter four make up most of the Wizards’ young core, sans Daniel Gafford. Hachimura (2019), Avdija (2020) and Kispert (2021) are the Wizards’ last three first-round picks, all aged 23 or younger. Bryant is only 24.
The results were mixed in a small sample size, but the mere fact they played together was a good representation of the Wizards’ relative youth and upside. While their team is most defined by veteran players like Beal, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, they have a collection of young players whose ceilings have yet to be realized.
Hachimura and Bryant both returned recently from long absences and have quickly made their presence felt. Against the Nets, Hachimura had a season-high 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three. He looks more decisive and assertive each time he takes the floor, now just six games back from missing roughly half the season due to personal reasons.
Bryant played less than Hachimura, but was efficient, scoring six points in 12 minutes on 3-for-5 from the field. Like Hachimura, he had five rebounds.
Neither guy is playing more than 14 or 15 minutes a night, as…