NBA Mock Draft: Washington Wizards take star combo guard

With the Washington Wizards now well into a free fall, they are starting to move up in where they will likely land in the upcoming NBA Draft. With that, comes a larger group of players to choose from.

With the Wizards now holding the sixth worst record in the league, it seems likely that they will at least be in the mid lottery and have a strong chance at moving up into the top five. Many mock drafts have combo guard Nick Smith Jr from Arkansas going in this general area.

Since he is a point guard, he is immediately put on the radar of every Wizards fan as that is the position of most need. Although, he may not fit quite as well as another player covered previously by this site.

While he may have been injured this season, Nick Smith Jr has still displayed some skill and upside.

While Nick Smith Jr missed over half of his season so far with a knee injury, he is still an interesting prospect as he has shown the ability to create his own shot at an elite level. He is fully capable and willing to take any kind of shot and is able to get to the rim as well.

While his shooting splits may not show it, he is an elite shot maker. His history shows that he is more than capable of shooting from anywhere on the floor, he may just be suffering from jetlag following his injury that held him out for most of the season. His consistency is the key to unlocking his play at the NBA level.

His ability to swerve and find gaps in a defense more than make up for his lack of athleticism and height compared to other players projected to in the top ten this year. He finds ways to put pressure on a defense at all times and it makes his scoring that much more deadly.

He has not shown too much ability as a playmaker while at Arkansas, but his role with that team is to be a scorer. His high school stats suggest that he is capable of making plays for teammates, although, it is questionable whether or not he can do it at the higher level.

He brings effort to the defensive end, but that doesn’t always translate to a higher level like most would think. Collin Sexton was once an incredibly energetic defender for Alabama that high school coaches used as an example of how to play with energy.

He is absolutely a player who could see his draft stock vary heavily based on his performance in the Draft Combine. If he performs well, he could be a top five pick, if he performs poorly, he could fall out of the lottery all together.

His fit with the Washington Wizards is a different story.

While he has plenty of skill and upside, his fit on whatever team drafts him is just as important. With what Smith Jr brings to the table, he needs to be the primary ball handler for whatever team he ends up on.

That may become problematic if he ends up on the Wizards. Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma, and Kristaps Porzingis are all players who need the ball in their hands and benefit from plays in the isolation. If Smith ends up on the Wizards, it could just cause the offense to become even more stagnant and predictable.

The only way for him to work with the Wizards is for Bradley Beal to be moved and the likelihood of Tommy Sheppard making that move to accommodate for an incoming rookie not named Victor Wembanyama is incredibly slim.

It seems like Nick Smith Jr is probably not the next point guard of the Washington Wizards as there are far better fits for the roster both above and below him in draft projections. The Wiz are better off going with his teammate Anthony Black or one of the Thompson twins if they fall anywhere beneath number two in the draft.