The Washington Wizards may have new energy in the front office but they seem to still be full of surprises. After making several trades this week and stacking future draft picks, the Wizards put some of their return in use via a trade with the Indiana Pacers to get forward Bilal Coulibaly from France.
For the most part, Coulibaly was a surprise pick. With the Wizards in need of a guard to replace Bradley Beal, most mock drafts had the Wizards selecting either Cason Wallace of Kentucky or Anthony Black from Arkansas. Black was taken off the board by the Orlando Magic with the sixth overall pick. It’s hard to tell if the Wizards pivoted their strategy with the Indiana trade or if Coulibaly was the guy they wanted all along.
Coulibaly played with No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama on the Metropolitan 92s in France last season. Coulibaly who did not play much during the first half of the season but his stock began to rise on pre-Draft boards after he helped guide his team to the finals against Monaco. He also impressed scouts during individual workouts.
Draft experts are calling Coulibaly a “high risk, high reward” player. He is physical and athletic but still very raw. However, Coulibaly has tremendous upside.
The Wizards were willing to take the risk and although there are mixed reactions from fans, most can see Coulibaly’s future potential.