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Top 5 free agency targets need to sign to help new young core

The Washington Wizards are building something cool. They really cleaned up at the 2024 NBA Draft. They were able to snap up three impressive rookies who should develop well.

Washington selected Frenchman Alex Sarr with the second pick, Pittsburgh guard Bub Carrington with the 14th pick and Miami wing Kyshawn George with the 24th pick.

Now it’s up to them to maximize their development going forward. If Washington wants to help its young core succeed, it needs to surround them with the right talent.

They don’t have any real salary cap space, but they will have access to their $12.86 million non-taxpayer MLE exception. With that in mind, here are the top five players the Wizards should sign to bolster their young core.

The Orlando Magic recently declined their player option on Joe Ingles, and if the Wizards can get in, he would be a great fit for their young core.

Ingles is quite old. He is already 36 years old. However, he could still give the Wizards minimal rotation minutes and would be a great mentor for the rest of the team.

The veteran is a good 3-and-D player and a loud mouth on the court, which would make for a fun atmosphere. But most importantly, he provides a valuable veteran presence.

In his only year with the Magic, the team made the playoffs, and while that was largely due to their overall talent and development, Ingles’ veteran experience certainly helped, too.

While it’s a bit of a cheat, the return of Tyus Jones as a free agent will be a crucial step in the process for the Wizards as they look to build a top-notch team around their youngsters next year.

With Jones back in the fold, the Wizards will have a guy who can effectively organize the offense and create great scoring opportunities for their young players.

Plus, Jones would take a lot of pressure off Bub Carrington. With Jones at his side, he wouldn’t have to step in as the lead agent right away.

There will be plenty of other teams vying for Jones this summer, but the Wizards should definitely be one of them. And they should be at the forefront.

Of course, Patrick Williams is not a veteran and the Wizards would have to create some salary cap space to snatch him from the Chicago Bulls in restricted free agency, but they should be willing to make the effort.

After trading Deni Avdija to the Portland Trail Blazers, it might be a good idea for Washington to add another 3-and-D power forward, especially if they can do it without a trade. Williams’ defense would take some of the pressure off Kyshawn George and form a very interesting defensive duo with big man Alex Sarr.

However, this step will also be very difficult, as the Bulls have the right to undercut any offer.

If the Miami Heat are willing to offer Caleb Martin their full MLE, he will likely return. If not, however, the Wizards should be willing to shell out some cash to get him.

Martin is a quality 3-and-D player who plays a big role in the best moments of the postseason. Of course, the Wizards probably won’t be there next year, but having a guy ready to go would be useful.

His defense would take the defensive pressure off the young players and his three-point shots (when he’s on form) would provide easy shots for Carrington and Sarr.

(Martin is only ranked above Williams because he is a much more realistic target.)

Calling Kyle Lowry the Wizards’ top target in free agency seems very backwards, and he will almost certainly return to the Philadelphia 76ers, but he would be a huge help to the team’s young players.

Lowry is entering the final years of his NBA career and would provide invaluable insight to Washington’s young core while also giving the team some decent playing time.

As an NBA champion and one of the longest-serving veterans in the league, Lowry would be a huge help in Washington, especially for Carrington.

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