Later this month the Washington Wizards 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 those selections. The prevailing belief is upgrading the team's perimeter weapons and small forwardwing guard depth is a must this offseason, but few would knock more interior help even with the intriguing core of Nene and kids.
Between now and the draft, were going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target in both the first and second round. Up next, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles. More to come before the June 28 draft in Newark.
KentuckyDraft Express overall ranking: No. 3HeightWeight: 6-7, 232 lb (combine numbers)Key stats: 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds in 2011-12. Shot 25.5 percent (13 of 51) on 3-pointers.2The player: Even as a freshman at Kentuckylast season, it often felt as if MKG was a man among boys, basketball maturity wise that is. That grown-up vibe stemmed from the small forwards overabundance of intangibles plus his relentless pursuit of all aspects of the game that go beyond the glory of scoring points. Were talking defense, rebounding, leadership and tracking down every loose ball like he was Liam Neesons character in Taken. Offensively especially outside of 12 to 15 feet - is where the challenge lies, though Kidd-Gilchrists rugged approach serves him well in the trenches. The fit: In case you havent noticed, the Wizards have had trouble winning games lately. Maybe not so much right at the end of last year, but you get the point. Kidd-Gilchrists spirit and knack for the hustle plays is indeed contagious; anyone that watched Kentuckys march to the national title would concur. Perhaps putting an 18-year-old (turns 19 on September 28) into any kind of leadership position is folly early on, but the others will notice the effort and hopefully act accordingly. The fact that MKG is a small forward and that position remains the most unsettled on the team, all the better.The issue: Already hinted at his lack of perimeter offense. At one point during my research process, the term broken was used to describe Kidd-Gilchrists jumper. Granted, improving ones shot is certainly doable and frankly a common trait among the games elite. However, the Wizards already have a host of players at that positions and elsewhere who struggle to knock down open mid-range or deep looks. It would be nice imagining MKG on the court with the Wizards' other recent high selections - John Wall and Jan Vesely - but that's a whole lot of clanking and not much spreading of the floor going on.The analysisNBA scout(to CSNwashington): "Kidd-Gilchrist is a three-man. You have ChrisSingleton there. You got Trevor Booker at the four. He, Vesely and Singleton are all kind of small fours, threes a little bit. Thats a logjam quite honestly. That team needs shooters. The problem with Vesely and Booker and Singleton is they dont make shots. Then it becomes redundant with a guy like Kidd-Gilchrist. Similar position, has all the intangibles, but is not a good scorer. If they want to go for a winner, hard worker, than its Kidd-Gilchrist."Andy Glockner, SI.com (to CSNwashington): " I really like Kidd-Gilchrist, but I think it has to be in the right situation NBA-wise...Hes going to some trouble scoring from the perimeter on the NBA level. I dont think his handle off the bounce is outstanding. Hes not slow, but hes not like a blow-by guy from the three. His jump shot is terrible, his form is screwy. But, hes a guy whos going to get all the loose balls, hes going to rebound, hes going to work to defend. Hes a very good teammate. Was willing to defer at times at Kentucky for the betterment of the team."The summation: Just about everyone fell in love with Kidd-Gilchrist energy during the Wildcats title run. You need players who contribute with passion regardless of whether their shot is falling or whether they are taking any at all. Its not hard to define Kidd-Gilchrists intangible qualities as what stands out compared to his peers. And yet, and yet the constant emphasis of those admirable traits reminds me of a blind date setup where the other partys personality is highlighted. Lets be clear: Kidd-Gilchrist is no ugly prospect even if his current shot is rather unsightly. As mentioned earlier, this current lot of Wizards can use all the winning mentality they can find.. Getting rid of the cinnamon twins helped. Adding Nene did as well. Add in Veselys instincts and Singletons pre-NBA reputation for defense and it seems as if many of the qualities MKG brings to the equation are already in the current mix, just not fully developed. Meanwhile the other likely draft candidates address the Wizards more immediate shooting (Bradley Beal) or rebounding (Thomas Robinson) woes.More draft profilesFestus EzeliJeremy 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 email@example.com, follow him on Twitter @BenStandig and catch his musings at the D.C. Sportalist.