This upcoming Wizards season will be the third year of the self-proclaimed rebuilding project, and another big piece of the process will be added on June 28 when the Wizards select third overall in the NBA draft.It's another big decision for Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld who has the final call on all personnel moves.
After Grunfeld took guard John Wall 1 in 2010 and forward Jan Vesely with the 6th pick last year, the Wizards are counting on getting a quality player in this draft who will be a major component of what they hope will be a playoff team sooner rather than later.
Wall hasaveraged16 points and 8 assists over his first two years in the NBA so he was certainly the right pick. The verdict, however, is still out on Vesely who had an up and down rookie campaign, averaging just 4 points and 4 rebounds while starting 20 games.
The last time Washington made the post-season was 2008 and they are coming off adisappointing20-46 season. The Wizards have to make the right selection here in this draft. It can't be a project. It must be a player who comes in and contributes right away next season.
So which way will Grunfeld go?
The Wizards desperately want to add outside scoring with their sights likely set on Florida guard Bradley Beal, Kentucky' forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and North Carolina swingman Harrison Barnes.
Depending on what Charlotte does with the 2 pick, expect one of those players to be called as the Wizards' draft pick.
With Nene, Kevin Seraphin, Trevor Booker and Vesely up front, the Wizards feel like they have a good corps there and don't need to draft a power forward like Thomas Robinson out of Kansas. The Wizards think they must focus on finding scorers to fill a need. Last season, the Wizards statistically were the 23rd ranked team out of 30 on offense.
The clock is ticking with the draft fast approaching. The Wizards have made it clear they want to rebuild through the draft. Here's another chance to lay the foundation.
The 2019 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 20. The Wizards hold the ninth overall pick. Here's everything you need to know...
When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
TV: NBC Sports Washington will have Wizards-centric draft coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. on TV and the MyTeams app, the official broadcast is on ESPN
Wizards' picks: Ninth overall in first round with potential to add a second round pick via trade or by purchasing one from another team
Wizards needs: Rim protection, perimeter defense, forward depth, guard depth
What to watch for: The Wizards' best bet is probably to trade down for more picks, but it all depends on how the board shakes out. There is a chance a top prospect falls unexpectedly.
Point guard Coby White of North Carolina is one to keep an eye on. The Wizards worked him out this week in Washington despite him ranking higher than ninth on most mock drafts. Many expect him to go to Phoenix or Chicago ahead of the Wizards. But if he falls, that could become an easy decision, even with John Wall and Bradley Beal in the mix.
If White isn't there, their best choice may be either Sekou Doumbouya, Nassir Little, Jaxson Hayes or Bol Bol. All four would help them defensively and offer high upside.
The most controversial player is definitely Cam Reddish, who is a boom-or-bust prospect that may or may not be there when the Wizards are on the clock.
4. Pelicans (trade with Lakers)
10. Hawks (trade with Mavericks)
14. Celtics (trade with Kings)
1. Zion Williamson, Duke
2. Ja Morant, Murray State
3. R.J. Barrett, Duke
4. De'Andre Hunter, Virginia
5. Darius Garland, Vanderbilt
6. Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
7. Coby White, North Carolina
8. Cam Reddish, Duke
9. Sekou Doumbouya, France
10. Nassir Little, North Carolina
11. Jaxson Hayes, Texas
12. Keldon Johnson, Kentucky
13. Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
14. Bol Bol, Oregon
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