Washington Wizards: 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards will be picking in the NBA Draft Lottery this year. Here are their 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history.

For the first time since 2003, the Washington Wizards will have a new general manager leading the charge in their war room. The Ernie Grunfeld era finally came to an end after a disastrous 2018-19 campaign in the nation’s capital. Tommy Sheppard is calling the shots in the interim.

Though Grunfeld hit on a few of his first-round picks in his decade-plus tenure running the Wizards front office, crushing it in the draft had not been his forte. In fact, Washington has very few great draft picks in the 21st century. That being said, this could all change with a new era of Wizards hoops rapidly approaching.

Owner Ted Leonsis is a year removed from the Washington Capitals winning the Stanley Cup over the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. Perhaps now is the time to begin a second golden era in Washington professional hoops?

It has been over 40 years since Washington won an NBA championship and over 40 years since the Bullets/Wizards have won 50 or more games in a regular season. Saddled with a John Wall contract that is getting worse by the day, it will be up to star shooting guard Bradley Beal to change this club’s fortune heading into the 2020s.

Since the Wizards failed to qualify for the 2019 Eastern Conference Playoffs, Washington will be picking in the lottery in the 2019 NBA Draft. Though the chances of landing Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson or Murray State Racers point guard Ja Morant are almost zero, Washington has a solid chance of landing a perfect role player to help build around Beal as he enters his prime.

Simply put, Washington needs to find a great deal of value with its lottery pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Fortunately, the Bullets/Wizards have been able to find value in many drafts before.

Here are the franchise’s 15 greatest draft steals of all-time. Do keep in mind that overall value of each pick trumps the overall greatness of a player. Since players like Wall and Walt Bellamy were drafted No. 1 overall, they will not be eligible for inclusion on this all-time list. So let’s get started with No. 15.