No. 3 – Xavier Tillman, F Michigan State
The next Draymond Green? I won’t speak too soon, but Xavier Tillman has many of the same qualities Green did when he entered the draft. Yes, they’re both Michigan State alum and rep the number 23. But they’re both extremely effective because of their tenacity, energy, and leadership, too.
Draymond spent four years with the Spartans and averaged 16.2 PPG, 10.6 RPG & 3.8 APG as a Senior. Xavier, on the other hand, only spent three years at Michigan State. His averages this past year were very similar to Draymond’s, though. Tillman averaged 13.7 PPG, 10.3 RPG & 3.0 APG as a Junior.
They have almost identical physical molds as well! Yes, Tillman does stand a little taller than Green at 6’8″ compared to 6’7.” However, their wingspans are the exact same at a towering 7’1.” Most of their offensive game is in the post, but they can stretch out to the perimeter if needed. Low post moves and soft touch around the basket are crucial to their games because they aren’t the most athletic players.
Plus, you can always count on these two players to do the dirty work, that’s for sure! Whether it be drawing charges, chasing down loose balls, or fighting on the offensive glass for extra possessions, they’ll do absolutely anything to win. You want these types of players on your team.
Drafting Tillman could instantly solve some of the issues the Wizards have on defense. At Michigan State, Tillman was a defensive force down low, averaging 2.1 BPG and 1.2 SPG. He’s a great on-ball and man-to-man defender who is also capable of switching onto wings and guards.
As a leader for the Spartans, Tillman was key in communicating defensive adjustments to his teammates on the floor. He acts like another coach on the court, and that’s vital for a good defense – something the Wizards did not have last season.
Wizards need experienced players, so adding the former Spartan would be good for their roster. Coach Tom Izzo is great at developing talent at his program. Draymond Green, Miles Bridges, Jaren Jackson, Jr., Gary Harris, and Bryn Forbes are all current NBA players that came out of Michigan State.
If the Wizards are looking to add a young, natural born leader to their team, then Xavier Tillman is the answer. He would come in right away and provide Washington with quality minutes off the bench. Like Draymond, he could be the ultimate glue guy for a team fighting to get back in the playoffs.