NBA Draft: 4 Centers the Washington Wizards Could Draft at #9

Washington Wizards Bol Bol (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bol Bol (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Goga Bitadze
Washington Wizards Goga Bitadze (Photo by Savo Prelevic/EB via Getty Images) /

Like another highly-touted Wizards draft prospect, Sekou Doumbouya, Goga Bitadze comes to the NBA Draft from overseas. But there are fewer question marks around the 19-year-old Georgian than there are around Doumbouya, and a lot of that has to do with the league Bitadze played in last year.

While Doumbouya played in an ‘ok’ league in France, Bitadze cut his teeth in Europe’s top basketball league, aptly named the Euroleague. Players such as Luca Doncic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nikola Mirotic, Ricky Rubio, Danilo Gallinari, Manu Ginobili, and Pau Gasol have all made the jump from EuroLeague stars to NBA starters, so success crossing the pond is not unprecedented.

And Bitadze could certainly be the next name added to that list. He excelled as a shot blocker in the EuroLeague, averaging 2.3 blocks per game, which is an unreal number in that league. Bitadze is only the second player since 2017 in the last decade to average over two blocks per contest. Adding a dominant defensive presence like Bitadze would immediately make the Wizards better.

His passing ability, especially out of the pick and roll, has scouts drooling, too. He’s the draft’s best passing big man. And if you need any convincing at the importance of passing in the post, go check out what Nikola Jokic, Al Horford, and Draymond Green can do as distributors.

Next. 4 Forwards the Washington Wizards Could Draft at #9. dark

But like Hayes, Bitadze’s defensive ability is somewhat negated by his offensive inability. While he can score close to the basket, something you’d expect from a 6’11” 250-pound center, he struggles as he moves further and further from the hoop. He’s another prospect who doesn’t fit the increasingly popular “stretch five” label. Instead, he represents a traditional center in a league that’s growing less and less traditional with each passing season.