Washington Wizards: How to Attack the Draft

Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After back-to-back losses following the All-Star Break, the playoffs are a long shot for the Washington Wizards and it’s time to focus on the upcoming offseason.

The Washington Wizards are four games back of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference with 22 games left. This point in the year is when the focus of the fans typically shifts from a playoff push to the ever-important upcoming draft. Especially for Wizards fans, this can be a very nerve-wracking time.

If you’ve watched any college basketball this season then you know this draft is loaded with talent. That said, boatloads of talent doesn’t necessarily mean a good draft for the Wizards, as we’ve seen in the past. Troy Brown Jr. has barely been able to get on the court and Issuf Sanon’s name hasn’t been mentioned since draft night last year. After the aforementioned train wreck of a draft in 2018 and not having a single pick in the 2016 or 2017 drafts, the Wizards desperately need to get this one right.

Breaking Down the Current Roster

The Wizards only have four players under contract for the upcoming season, one of them being John Wall who will miss significant time next year. With this being said, the Wizards have to get younger, more athletic, and all around better through this year’s draft.

Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis have both been bright spots for the Wizards in frontcourt and both will more than likely be retained in the upcoming season.

Jeff Green and Trevor Ariza both are in the back half of their careers and have given the Wizards a much-needed consistent veteran presence, but with two very similar skillsets, it doesn’t seem realistic to bring both back on board next season.

Last but not least, Tomas Satoransky is out of contract at the end of the year but will almost certainly be back given the impending absence of Wall.

Where to go from here?

Depending on how the next 22 games and the lottery go, the Wizards will probably have a pick as high as fourth or as low as 14th. The most likely scenario though, will be to fall somewhere between the seventh through 11th pick range. Given the structure of the roster for the upcoming year, the selection for the Wizards has to be a wing who can contribute on both ends of the floor right away.

This skillset screams one highly impressive name: Jarrett Culver. The 6’6” combo guard from Texas Tech has averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds, and almost 4 assists per game while leading the Red Raiders to a 22-5 record in a tough Big 12 Conference. As the draft goes though, Culver may not be there at the Wizards pick.

If this is the case, the next man in line should be Nickeil Alexander-Walker, 6’5” shooting guard out of Virginia Tech. Alexander-Walker has averaged 16.5 points per game while shooting just a shade under 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three. Not to mention, averaging 2 steals a game in the toughest conference in college basketball.

Washington Wizards: Sam Dekker, Troy Brown Jr. should be playing more. dark. Next

Both of these young men have shown versatility on both ends of the floor throughout their college careers. Each of them are only 20 years old and have plenty of time to continue to grow and develop into their bodies. Needless to say, if the Wizards are able to draft either of these two in the first round then the future will be in good hands.