The Washington Wizards selected 19-year-old Deni Avdija ninth overall in the 2020 NBA draft which led Deni’s close family and friends to a rousing applause.
The Israeli sensation featured for Maccabi Tel Aviv for the past number of years and will now be taking his talents to America’s capital city.
The Wizards were pleasantly surprised to be able to nab Avdija in the ninth pick and had him high on their draft board. They thought he’d be selected earlier in the first round.
With the selection, Avdija becomes Israel’s first ever lottery pick, joining Omri Caspi who was selected twenty-third overall in the 2009 NBA draft.
Avdija will join Wizards star Bradley Beal and John Wall (who is expected to return after an extended injury period) along with rising star Rui Hachimura and will certainly be receiving plenty of playing time under head coach Scott Brooks.
The Washington Wizards featured in the NBA bubble this past season, finishing ninth overall, with a record of 25 to 47.
Scott Brooks spoke about what Avdija brings to the table, “I love his toughness. I love his IQ. … He steps on his court and competes.”
General Manager Tommy Sheppard has been following Avdija’s progression over the years, “Our international scouts have been on this kid since he was 16. I would call him a blend player. Whoever’s out on the floor, he’s able to make plays.”
“He was definitely the highest player left on our board,” he said.