Washington Wizards: Can Chandler Hutchison finally solve the woes at forward?
Hopefully, Chandler Hutchison’s hot start is a sign of things to come because the Washington Wizards are desperate for more production at the forward spot.
Did the Washington Wizards find their upgrade at the forward position? Ok, I may be getting a little ahead of myself, but Chandler Hutchison had a fantastic debut with Washington! In only 25 mins, Hutchison scored 18 points (8-11 FG and 2-3 3pt) and grabbed five rebounds, finishing the game with a +12 net rating, which was second on the team behind only Alex Len. Hutchison was the leading bench scorer for the Wizards and his hot day was absolutely necessary because Washington’s leading scorer, Bradley Beal, was out due to a hip contusion.
One thing is for sure; it didn’t take very long for Hutchison to display his natural scoring ability. Whether it’s coming off screens, attacking off the dribble, cutting backdoor, or spotting up from three, Hutchison showed off some extreme versatility on the offensive end and that’s exactly what the Wizards need at the wing. Hutchison has some work to defensively before he’s a real 3&D threat but offensively he already has an excellent feel for the game and knows how to get to his spots on the floor. Just take a look at his highlights from his first game with the Wizards down below.
When the Washington Wizards acquired both Chandler Hutchison and center Daniel Gafford from Chicago Bulls at the trade deadline, Gafford was widely considered to be the centerpiece of the deal. Hutchison was somewhat of a wildcard because he hasn’t seen much game action in his first three seasons in the league, but he’s still just 24 years old. Hutchison played 18.8 mins per game with the Bulls and averaged 5.8 points (45 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from three) with 4.0 rebounds.
Sadly, he dealt with a few injuries during his short stint in Chicago, which hurt his development as a young player. Hutchison played just 72 total games through his first two seasons. With so much time missed, Hutchison struggled to find a role on the team and he was inactive or a DNP in 37 out of 44 games to start this season.
But now he gets a fresh start! Keep your fingers crossed that he stays healthy in D.C. because the Wizards could surely use a scoring boost from their forward position! Deni Avdija, Garrison Mathews, and Isaac Bonga are all averaging less than 7.0 points per game and they’ve logged the most minutes at small forward this season. Yes, Hutchison is only averaging 6.0 points for his career so far. However, he’ll be playing a much bigger role in Washington than he did in Chicago. With more opportunities to shine, the Wizards and Hutchison are hopeful that this will turn out to be a match made in heaven.
Last year at the trade deadline, the Washington Wizards acquired Jerome Robinson from the LA Clippers in hopes of finding a scoring guard/forward. Unfortunately, it hasn’t panned out. Robinson is only playing 17.1 mins per game this year and he’s averaging 4.9 points while shooting a lowly 30.6 percent from the field and 28.1 percent from three. On December 29, the Wizards opted not to pick up Robinson’s fourth-year option so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer and most likely won’t be returning. Hutchison, on the other hand, is still on his rookie deal and has two years left on his contract. It’s only been one game so far but as long as he continues to play well, Chandler’s stay in the nation’s capital could be for the foreseeable future.