Giants historically dominate the NBA. Perimeter players ruled the 2015 Finals.
That's what makes the draft-year timing for all-court prospects like Virginia's Justin Anderson and Arizona's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson rather fortuitous.
For chunks of Game 5 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, neither team used a traditional big man. LeBron James served as a de facto center. Warriors 6-foot-9 forward Draymond Green matched the Cavs star as the tallest player on the court. Mid-sized scoring threats motored for fast break chances when they weren't looking for deep perimeter shots and all coming with long-limbed defenders in the fray.
This is the modern NBA. Interior options like Wizards center Marcin Gortat remain key pieces for contending teams, but all-court athletic threats are becoming invaluable. Scratch that. Having numerous all-court athletic threats, like the sculpted Anderson or the sleek Hollis Jefferson, is essentially mandatory in this free-flowing era.
The pair worked out for the Wizards at Verizon Center Thursday. Both could be in play for Washington with the 19th overall pick.
"I think it's a good time," Anderson said about players with his skill set entering the league.
The 6-foot-6 swingman shot 45 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. He's also muscular enough to attack the basket. Combined with 43-inch vertical, a wingspan that measures just shy of 7-feet and three years experience playing in Virginia's defense-first system, the former Montrose Christian product is a prototype for the "3-and-D" type teams covet.
"Even if it wasn't that (small ball) era, I'd be good being an athlete, being able to shoot the ball, stretch the floor, being long defensively," the confident Anderson stated. "But with the smaller lineups, that's something a lot of teams are doing."
Guarding opposing scoring threats and generating offense in the open court is how the 6-foot-7 Hollis-Jefferson stood out during his two seasons with the Wildcats. Just ask him.
"I showed in college being able to score close to the basket. Being able to score in transition, make the right play, I feel like that's my game and playing tremendous defense," he said. "That's what I do."
DraftExpress.com ranks the Pac 12 first-team and all-defense team selection 13th overall in the 2015 class, though Hollis-Jefferson acknowledged his draft range is anywhere from "10 to 30." Some teams might downgrade his value because of poor 3-point shooting (20.7%). Others may fall in love with his staggering 7-foot-2 wingspan and defensive mindset needed against dynamic scorers.
"Coaches are looking for two-way guys who can play defense and then be able to get the ball out, move in transition." Hollis-Jefferson said. "I feel like that fits my game very well. I feel like I do that with the best. I'm just excited to see how things go."
Both players, who have now worked out for 8-10 teams with more to follow, expressed interest in seeing how things might go with the Wizards.
"They're pretty deep on the wings. They could also go with a smaller lineup if need be. I can see myself fitting in," Anderson said. "I'm just trying to find the best fit for me."
Golden State's smaller lineups often meant using 6-foot-6, 215-pounder Andre Iguodala at power forward. The 231-pound Anderson, whose massive shoulders appear carved from granite, believes he's got the physique to guard true four's on one end and cause mismatches on the other.
"I can play the four. I'm a natural two or three. But the way the NBA is going, playing small ball, with my body I think I can guard multiple positions," Anderson said. "Being able to guard a four creates maybe a mismatch on the other end of the floor.
"You've got to be versatile."
The NBA champion Golden State Warriors agree.
[MORE WIZARDS: NBA Draft profile: R.J. Hunter]