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NBA Draft profile: Festus Ezeli

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NBA Draft profile: Festus Ezeli

Later this month the WashingtonWizards will take part in the 2012 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3,32 and 46, the franchise could go in almost any direction with thoseselections. The prevailing belief is upgrading the team's perimeter weapons andsmall forwardwing guard depth is a must this offseason, but few would knockmore interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene and kids. Between now and the draft, weregoing to identify some of the players the Wizards might target in both thefirst and second round. Up next, potential second round option,centerFestus Ezeli.Check below for a running of list ofall our draft profiles. More to come before the June 28 draft in Newark.Festus Ezeli
VanderbiltDraft Express overall ranking: No. 31HeightWeight: 6-11,264 lb (combine numbers)Key stats: 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.0 blocks in 2011-12The player: As the saying goes, you can't coach height and Ezeli certainly offers that, not to mention a filled out frame. His strength exists on the defensive end, though heshowed flashes of legitimate low post moves during a mixed senior season. Averaged 14 and 6 in two games against Anthony Davis and the eventual national champion Kentucky Wildcats, though nobody will confuse Ezeli with an Anthony Davis-level athlete.Family moved from Nigeria to Sacramento in 2004 and eligibility issues kept him off the high school team and slowed his growth (as a player that is). The mock draft world has Ezeli as a late, late first round or early second round pick.The fit: Should the Wizards address their perimeter needs in the first round, taking an upside center with one of their two second-round selections is rather logical. That spot is open with Hamady Ndiaye no longer on the roster. Ezeli should be able to contribute defensively as a rookie if called upon. With Nene and Kevin Seraphin at center, there would be minimal external pressure onhim for more than that. If a trip to the Developmental League is the plan so Ezeli can receive steady minutes, so be it.The issue: In terms of his game, averaging only 5.9 rebounds per game last season is a head scratcher considering his physical gifts. Ezeli ranked in the bottom third in defensive rebounding among centers (adjusted for 40 minutes) per Draft Express. The Wizards already have issuesin that area.Stepped up board work in the NCAA Tournament, averaging11 rebounds in two games for the Commodores.The analysis Rob Dauster, Pro Basketball Talk (interview with CSNwashington): "I think hell be a steal as a second round pick. He had a much better junior year than his senior year (Missed 10 games due to injury and NCAA rules violation). He can block shots, can score in the post. Is big, strong and athletic. 6-11 and just built like a freight train. Hes going to be able to get in there and defend, block shots. Im a little bit worried about how well hell rebound. I dont think he was healthy this year. I was really expecting a big year out of him and it was kind of frustrating to see what happened. He hasnt reached his ceiling as a player."Draft Express: "What makes Ezeli intriguing will always start with his 6'11, 255-pound frame. Possessing prototypical size and athleticism for a NBA center, Ezeli has no shortage of physical tools. As we learned in his match up against Anthony Davis of Kentucky, he may struggle against truly elite level athletes at his position at this stage in his career, but solid performance as an upperclassman in the college game and upside at the NBA level revolve around his ability to utilize his size effectively on both ends of the floor."The summation: Hard to imagine a player with Ezeli's physical gifts sliding out of the first round, but of the notable mock drafts I checked, only one had him in that range and as the 30th and final selection. Should he actually be available for the Wizards at No. 32 - perhaps even if they draft a power player likeThomas Robinson or Andre Drummond - it could be hard passing on a large man whooffers a shot blockingpresence. Considering Seraphin's growth from his rookie to second season, the Wizards may be embolden tomake such a move.Considering the youth on the roster, the team can certainly wait on Ezeli's development for a year or so if needed.More draft profilesJeremy LambAndre DrummondThomas RobinsonHarrison BarnesBen Standig blogs about the Redskins, Wizards, Hoyas and the D.C.area college basketball scene for CSNwashington. You can reach him by email at bstandig@comcast.net, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jerome Robinson

School: Boston College
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 21
Height: 6-5
Weight: 188
Wingspan: 6-7
Max vertical: N/A

2017/18 stats: 20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 40.9 3PT% (2.3 3PT/5.7 3PA), 83.0 FT%
Player comparison: Danny Green
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 29th, NBADraft.net 16th, Bleacher Report 19th, Sports Illustrated 17th

5 things to know:

*A three-year player at BC, Robinson developed into a big-time scorer before making the leap to the NBA. He averaged 18.7 points as a sophomore and then 20.7 points as a junior while improving his shooting percentages across the board. He went from 42.3 percent from the field as a sophomore to 48.5 in 2017-18.

*Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter. After shooting just 33.3 percent as a sophomore, he got that up to 40.9 percent as a junior and on 5.7 attempts per game. That trajectory bodes well for Robinson's chances at the next level.

*He has a quick release on his jumper, giving him the ability to be effective on catch-and-shoot plays off screens. Robinson could develop into a reliable scorer who doesn't need the ball in his hands as a primary focus of the offense. He also showed the ability to throw down some powerful dunks and finish with creativity at the rim. He didn't record a vertical leap at the NBA Combine, but playing above and around the rim didn't appear to be a problem in college.

*Though it didn't show in his last season at Boston College, Robinson was adept at forcing turnovers in his first two years. He averaged 1.6 steals per game across his freshman and sophomore seasons and 16 times in his career had three steals or more in a game.

*Questions for Robinson would include his versatility and speed. Some draft evaluators wonder if he will be able to get separation off the dribble at the NBA level. Also, he put up decent rebounding and assists numbers in college but didn't exactly stand out in either category.

Fit with Wizards: Robinson would give the Wizards depth at the shooting guard position and they need that. He could help Bradley Beal pare down his minutes and offer a scoring punch off the Wizards' bench. The Wizards could use a reliable shooter to help space the floor for Kelly Oubre, Jr. and others in the second unit.

The problems with Robinson's fit would be his lack of positional versatility and what appears to be a relatively low ceiling. He's not the freak athlete that some of his counterparts are at shooting guard. If the Wizards are choosing between Robinson and guys like Zhaire Smith and Lonnie Walker IV, they could view the latter two as more enticing because of their potential. Robinson would represent a safer pick while others could pay off big-time and have a greater impact on the franchise in the long-term.

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More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Draft prospect profiles on Moe Wagner, Michael Porter, Jr., Grayson Allen and more

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes was joined by Nick Ashooh and Stefon Marquis to talk NBA Draft. 

They broke down five prospects and their potential fit with the Wizards: Moe Wagner of Michigan, Michael Porter, Jr. of Missouri, Grayson Allen of Duke, Collin Sexton of Alabama and Omari Spellman of Villanova.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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