Had it not been for a right hamstring strain sustained while playing in China, Will Bynum would've joined the Wizards much earlier than March 27 when he signed his first 10-day contract. He stayed for the rest of the season and earned time during the final weeks leading into the playoffs. When John Wall went down with a broken left wrist, Bynum came through in Game 3 vs. the Atlanta Hawks by making 4 of 5 foul shots late for a 103-101 victory. Bynum scored nine points in 13 minutes and had 10 points in 14 minutes of Game 4. Bynum's presence, along with Ramon Sessions, gave the Wizards backcourt depth that they hadn't seen in years.
The stats: 3.1 points, 2.6 assists and 32.3% shooting.
The improvements: Bynum only appeared in seven games during the regular season so there wasn't much to go on. He had to be eased back in because of the hamstring injury. He didn't make a three-point shot until the playoffs.
The next step: Bynum has been professional for 10 seasons, with eight coming in the NBA. He's undersized and generously listed at 6-0 and only has shot 45% or better from the field twice and never better than 32% from three. At this point, Bynum probably won't get much better than that but if he ever can add range he can extend his career even further. He still can blow by defenders and get into the lane.
2014-15 grade: B+.
2015-16 outlook: He's an unrestricted free agent and given his experience he'll find another team to play for if he's not in D.C. He did enough, however, to warrant another look here if he's willing to accept his role.
*Hayes is considered the best center prospect in this year's class. He is athletic, plays with energy and measured in at the combine at about 7-feet in shoes with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. He can run the floor and play above the rim.
*The skill that stands out most for Hayes is rim protection. He averaged 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes per game. That extrapulates to 5.7 blocks over 100 possessions. He has long arms and appears to have good instincts tracking the ball in the lane. He is following in the footsteps of fellow Texas shot-blockers before him like Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. The latter may be the best player comparison for Hayes in today's NBA.
*Hayes is not considered a very good rebounder. He averaged 5.0 per game and only once reached double figures. It could be that he just needs to add some weight, an issue that is correctable but would hurt him even more at the NBA level initially. The worst-case concern is that he is soft and won't do the necessary dirty work.
*At this point, Hayes offers nothing in the way of an outside shot. He didn't attempt a single three-pointer in college and didn't do much on offense outside of dunks and putbacks. In order to justify being taken with a high draft pick, he will either need to develop a post game, an outside shot or be extremely good on defense. His lack of an all-round game will certainly give some teams pause in evaluating him.
*Hayes comes from a family of impressive athletes. His father played 12 seasons in the NFL and recently served as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. His mother played basketball at Drake University and later coached in college, including a stint as an assistant at Oklahoma. Hayes followed his father's footsteps by playing wide receiver in high school before a growth spurt made it clear basketball was the path to go.
Fit with Wizards: Hayes is one of the best fits for the Wizards among the players who could be available with the ninth pick. He does what they arguably lack the most, which is play defense and more specifically protect the rim.
The Wizards allowed the most field goals within five feet of any team this past season and the third-highest field goal percentage in that range. They desperately need someone who can block and alter shots.
Hayes would likely be the Wizards' best shot-blocker Day 1. But whether he can help them in other ways is a question at this point.
Hayes would represent a bit of a project for the Wizards and may not have All-Star potential because of his offensive limitations. Still, he remains one of their best options in the first round. Long-term, he could transform their defense and form a strong pick-and-roll partner for John Wall.
*Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill. There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true.
*He is more known for his defense at this point. Little is an aggressive and physical perimeter defender who could develop into a Marcus Smart-like pest. Though he didn't force a ton of turnovers in college, Little clearly gave opposing teams problems with his energy and length.
*There are questions about whether Little will ever be more than a dunker on the offensive end. He is excellent in transition and cutting to the rim, but he didn't do much creating off the dribble in college and needs to work on his outside shooting. He shot just 26.9 percent from three at UNC.
*Little had a strong combine with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers helped his reputation as one of the most athletic wings in this year's class.
*Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military. He had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC.
Fit with Wizards: Little fits with the Wizards given he is a small forward and they currently have an opening there. He would also give them something they need in terms of style as a physical wing defender. Little is the type of player who could help them improve their horrid three-point defense.
But Little's raw skillset suggests he may take some time to develop offensively and it brings into question how high his ceiling will ultimately prove to be. The Wizards may be able to find someone with the ninth pick who can both contribute sooner than Little and offer a clearer road to potential stardom.
That said, if Little's game is indeed more designed for the NBA than in college, he could impress in pre-draft workouts and end up rising up the board.