Rookie forward Bilal Coulibaly is reportedly the only untouchable player on the Washington Wizards.
"The reality is there's one player that is off the table for the Wizards, and that's their top pick in last year's draft, Bilal Coulibaly."@ShamsCharania on if the Wizards have any untouchable players coming up on the trade deadline. pic.twitter.com/5N2hs2n535
— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) January 22, 2024
The Wizards traded up in the 2023 NBA Draft for Coulibaly, who was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the No. 7 overall pick.
The 19-year-old has shown flashes of productive two-way play in his rookie season, as he is averaging 8.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 39.8 percent from 3-point range across 41 appearances so far during the 2023-24 regular season.
He is fresh off a solid performance on both ends of the floor in the Wizards’ game against one of the NBA’s top teams in the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Across 31 minutes of playing time, he totaled nine points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal and a whopping four blocks in a game the Wizards lost by nine points.
Considering how poorly the Wizards have been playing from a collective standpoint this season, it makes sense as to why Coulibaly is reportedly the only untouchable player on their roster. At 7-35, Washington owns the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference ahead of only the Detroit Pistons — who hold the league’s worst record.
Plus, Washington’s loss to the Nuggets marked the team’s fourth straight defeat. The Wizards haven’t picked up a win since they beat the Atlanta Hawks by 28 points back on Jan. 13, which was over one week ago. Coulibaly played well in that game too, as he finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block while shooting 3-of-8 from the floor and 1-of-2 from deep.
Coulibaly’s defensive chops coupled with his scoring potential make him a player that the Wizards might be able to build around for years to come.
Fans of the Wizards will have to wait until Jan. 24 to watch him play again though. The Wizards will take on the Minnesota Timberwolves — who own the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference as well as an excellent 30-12 record — at home.