Washington Wizards NBA Draft: 3 Gonzaga players the Wizards could draft

Washington Wizards Jalen Suggs. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Jalen Suggs. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Wizards Joel Ayayi.
Washington Wizards Joel Ayayi. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

Joel Ayayi: Point Guard/Shooting Guard

The Washington Wizards will likely be picking towards the top of the NBA Draft Order. At the very least, they’ll be among the first half of picks in the first round. And as of right now, that’s their only pick. But the Wizards could add some more picks before or during the draft, and if they somehow get a pick later in the first round, or early in the second, the Wizards should consider Gonzaga’s Joel Ayayi.

The 6’5″ junior isn’t the Bulldog that gets the most headlines, although he was the WCC Tournament MVP in 2020, but his contributions to the winningest team in college basketball this season cannot be understated. This season Ayayi averaged 12.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 57.5 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three.

In each of his three seasons, Ayayi saw an increase in minutes and was a regular starer each of the last two seasons. He took the increased workload in stride, raising his points per game, rebounds per game, true shooting percentage, and three-point percentage every season, as well.

Ayayi played more of a secondary role with Gonzaga, but he’s proven at Gonzaga that he can be impactful on both ends of the floor. One of the questions will be whether or not he can become a lead guard at the next level that can create his own offense. If Ayayi declares for the 2021 NBA Draft, he projects to be a late first-round, early second-round pick.