Around 48 NBA Draft prospects visited Verizon Center over the last month for workouts with the Washington Wizards. In most cases, only those viewed as potential options with the 19th overall pick received attention from fans and writers. As interest in certain players grow, questions about moving up in the draft in order to secure the coveted power forward or wing shooter.
What generates fewer words is the idea of moving back in the draft or the second round in general.
At this point there is no reason to think the Wizards won't stay pat and use their first round selection to address need areas with prospects like Arkansas PF Bobby Portis, Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter, Notre Dame point guard Jerian Grant, Virginia swingman Justin Anderson and Louisville bruiser Montrezl Harrell likely in the mix.
It's also worth noting Washington brought in some players that, based on public big board/mock draft consensus, are projected in the range between 19 and the mid-second round. The Wizards also own the 49th pick.
For their final pre-draft session on Tuesday, the Wizards brought in four players that DraftExpress.com ranks 25-37: Christian Wood (25), Hunter (26), Anthony Brown (27) and 6-foot-11 Mouhammadou Jaiteh (37). Of those four, only Hunter cracks the top 24 on ESPN analyst Chad Ford's top prospect list. Another prospect in the same session, Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan, ranks 35th on Ford's board. Previous workouts included other prospects that fit this general draft range description in UNLV scoring guard Rashad Vaughn, UCLA combo guard Norman Powell and LSU forward Jordan Mickey.
Teams need players to run their workouts. Sometimes it's that simple when it comes to who receives an invitation. Other times, it might be about taking a closer look at someone who might become an option down the road. Also, opinions wildly diverge on prospects starting late in round one as teams start looking for players with specific skills or draft-and-stash options. The Wizards are doing their homework. We'll see if it's about the long-term future or something for the here and now.
- One reason trading up doesn't make tons of sense from a value standpoint is the perceived negligible talent gap between late lottery and 20-24. If need trumps value in the eyes of decision makers, then a deal up becomes more of a possibility. On the other hand, if Washington likes options projected in the 20-35 range, then moving down enters the discussion. Dealing in this direction could provide the team with future picks, an opportunity to shed a contract or possibly veteran talent for 2015-16 (Hypothetical deal: 19, Martell Webster ($5.7 million + team option), DeJuan Blair ($2mil + team option) to Denver for the reportedly on-the-block stretch-4 Danilo Gallinari ($11.6 mil expiring contract...Hypothetical scenario: The 76ers have five second round picks, including No. 35 and 37, plus enough cap space to take on contracts).
- As for options at 49, some names to consider (no, "Cash considerations" is not one of them. You guys are funny):
Tyler Harvey, SG, Eastern Washington - Led the nation in scoring last season. Deep range shooter for a team lacking in that area besides Bradley Beal.
Aaron White, PF, Iowa - Hustling, stretch-4 type forward who provides positional and scoring versatility. Tops among prospects in getting to the free throw line last season.
Olivier Hanlan, SG/PG, Boston College - The 6-foot-4 Canadian appears to be moving up in round two as teams get a closer look at his combo guard skills. Part of Tuesday's workout, which he said was his 18th.
Nikola Radicevic, PG, Serbia - Wizards clearly aren't afraid to take shots on international players. The 6-foot-5 guard, ranked 68th overall by DraftExpress, worked out in Washington.
Pat Connaughton, SG, Notre Dame - Orioles fans don't want to hear this, but Baltimore's pitching prospect ha turned into a bonafide NBA Draft option. 3-point threat also had highest vertical leap (44") at combine.
J.P. Tokoto, SF, North Carolina - Athletic wing who can contribute immediately on defense. Streaky shooter sank 37.5 % of his 3-point attempts.
Satnam Singh, C, India - Long-term project, but as the saying goes, you can't teach height. The 7-foot-2, 290-pounder could become the first NBA player from India
Dez Wells, SG, Maryland - Known in these part as a physical scoring wing threat for the Terps and John Wall's childhood friend.
Joshua Smith, C, Georgetown - Massive size and impressive scoring knack makes the latest Hoyas big man worth considering. Potential steal for any team capable of getting Smith to prioritize fitness and helping him find needed motivation.
- Since only 60 players will hear their names called during Thursday's draft, plenty of interesting options suddenly become coveted as teams look to fill out summer league rosters. Keep an eye out for guards Marcus Thornton (William & Mary), Jabril Trawick (Georgetown), Keifer Sykes (Green Bay), Amere May (Delaware State) and Jarvis Threatt (Delaware/D-League).
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