While they may not have a pristine draft history, the Washington Wizards have had some noteworthy success in their history when it comes to the NBA Draft. This could easily be one of those years where they just get the right pieces at the right time through the highly-anticipated event.
It has been well noted across the NBA community that this draft class is absolutely loaded with talent. There are numerous players who would be consensus number one picks in any other year falling short of that selection, there is a generational talent leading the way, and there is incredible depth to the class as well with quality prospects all the way into the second round.
The Wizards are lucky enough to have three selections this year, although two will be in the second round. With one pick most likely falling in the mid-lottery, there is ample opportunity for them to make a splash through the draft.
Before getting into the potential selections, we need to identify some of the weak points of the Wizards this season.
The point guard play was bad at best and horrendous at worst when Delon Wright was injured, and it only improved to decent when he was healthy. Finding a starting caliber point guard in the draft should be priority number one.
Second, as many have criticized the team for since the Rui Hachimura trade, there has been very limited scoring potential off the bench for the Wizards without the Gonzaga product. While this isn’t a huge priority and could be fixed in other means, finding a scorer in the draft couldn’t hurt.
Finally, the only backup center for the Wizards this past season was Taj Gibson. Finding somebody who can step in in case of Daniel Gafford or Kristaps Porzingis being unable to play would be huge, although, again, could be found elsewhere as well.
Who should the Washington Wizards select with their lottery pick?
With their selection most likely landing at the eighth overall selection, the thought of one of the Thompson twins or even Scoot Henderson leading the franchise seems far out of reach. However, there is another point guard who would fit the current roster like a glove.
If there were an instruction manual for how to perfectly compliment Bradley Beal on the basketball court, it would be a picture of Anthony Black. His defensive prowess, ball movement, and ability to move without the basketball all culminate to make a player like Beal even more dangerous.
Black is a tall point guard who can really round out the starting five if they retain Kyle Kuzma. Two elite defenders, two elite shooters, and a do-it-all forward that every contending team seems to have could be an interesting group in the rotation.
The Wizards also own the 42nd and 59th picks in the draft
To address the other two main weaknesses in the roster, it may be best to go with low-risk/high-reward types of players. Players with a high ceiling taken really late in the draft due to their equally low floor.
With the 42nd pick, it may be worth it to take the AP player of the year: Zach Edey. He boasts a huge frame even for his position and is capable of putting the ball in the hoop from the paint and is capable of shooting from the line. He is even a high-quality shot blocker. He isn’t without his flaws though, which is why he is projected to go second round.
With their final pick in this year’s draft, if he is available, Emoni Bates could be a huge scoring spark off their bench. He has the all-around scoring potential to really pull together the second unit. However, his thin frame lack of depth to his game may hold him back as an NBA prospect.
A five-man group featuring Monte Morris, Corey Kispert, Emoni Bates, Deni Avdija, and Zach Edey would be incredibly interesting to see as a secondary unit. Something they could very easily create in this year’s incredible draft.
If the Washington Wizards select Anthony Black, Zach Edey, and Emoni Bates, they would patch up nearly all of the holes that were present in the roster last year without giving anything up and not taking any huge risks. These are safe moves that can easily work out greatly in their favor.