WASHINGTON — When asked about his offensive responsibilities on his new team, Washington Wizards guard Jordan Poole, known as a player who never saw a shot opportunity that he did not like, said that his green light is “as green as D.C.” That’s just a slice of what’s to come in the new era of the Washington Wizards.
Almost all of the teams have gathered at their respective headquarters for Media Day in the NBA on Monday, and in the nation’s capital, that meant the first time the team met the assembled members of journalists and photographers without Bradley Beal, the face of the franchise for a decade who was traded to the Phoenix Suns in the offseason as part of a three-team deal sending Chris Paul, formerly of the Suns, to the Golden State Warriors. The third team in the deal, the Wizards, acquired Poole, a key member of the 2022 Warriors’ championship team who quickly fell out of favor with the team after signing an extension last offseason. Poole projects to slide into the shooting guard position vacated by Beal’s departure, and through the deal sends him from a perennial title contender to a team in the middle of a clear rebuild, Poole is doing his part for the time being in looking at the bright side in getting a fresh start in his NBA career.
“I love playing at Capital One [Arena], every time.” Poole said about the times he came to the Wizards’ home arena as a visiting player. “Every time we play at Capital One, you feel the energy. You can just tell that the city is looking for something positive to get behind. I think we know that in the locker room, and now we have that opportunity to really start from the ground up and build all that.”
Another new acquisition for the Wizards via a trade is former Memphis Grizzlies reserve point guard Tyus Jones, who came over from Memphis as part of another three-team deal, this one sending former Celtics guard and emotional leader Marcus Smart to Memphis and former Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis to Boston.
One of the holdovers on the team, small forward Kyle Kuzma, had been the subject of trade rumors over the past couple of seasons, but remains in Washington and will be expected to shoulder the scoring load as the Wizards’ No. 1 option on offense.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Monday afternoon’s event, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Yusuf Abdullah. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 11 pictures in total.