By JP Finlay
Now that Wizards fans can give up hopes of drafting consensus No. 1 pick Anthony Davis, the team must consider its options with the third pick of the upcoming NBA Draft. Davis will surely go first overall to the New Orleans Hornets, but beyond that, nothing is certain.
For the Wizards three players have emerged as possible picks; Bradley Beal of Florida, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky and Thomas Robinson of Kansas. Before the debate between those three players finalizes, fans may also also want to add UConn's Andre Drummond and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes to the list of Wiz possibles.
A team as bad as the Wizards can use a great player at any position - beyond franchise point guard John Wall - though that won't help in this debate. None of the players considered for the Wiz play the point, and fans can make a case for help from a sweet shooting guard, a slashing forward, or an emerging big man.
Across the blogosphere, fans weighed in for each player. Some want D.C. native Thomas Robinson to return to his hometown and bring his rebounding presence and tenacious effort to the Wiz. Others talk about the immense upside of Bradley Beal, with some even comparing him to Dwyane Wade.
Kidd-Gilchrist could bring athleticism and a high-speed motor to a young Wizard team looking for pieces to keep up with the speedy Wall. Many draft experts predict MKG plays for the Wiz next year, as Bullets Forever showed.
Kidd-Gilchrist lacks a polished jump shot though, something that cannot be said for Harrison Barnes. Barnes, perhaps overhyped in his two years at UNC, still has the size and game pro scouts drool over. A killer performance from Barnes at the NBA Draft Camp would surprise few people.
The last name on the potential Wiz list, Andre Drummond, seems like a stretch. But let's not forget that NBA executives have a long history of falling in love with young big men that ooze potential, and Drummond fits the mold.
For anybody that wants to dismiss whispers of Drummond to the Wiz, just remember Greg Oden went before Kevin Durant, and before that Sam Bowie before Michael Jordan. Stranger things have happened.
Of course, much of what the Wiz do at No. 3 depends on what the Charlotte Bobcats do at No. 2. The rumor mill suggests Bobcats' owner Michael Jordan may reach for a fellow Tar Heel and take Barnes, but the Bobcats could also use a big man like Drummond.
Beyond that, Bobcat management may want their choice of Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist or Robinson. The Bobcats were another level of awful last season, winning just seven games, so they need help everywhere.
Mock drafts will likely connect the Wizards with a number of different players over the next month. For now, Sports Illustrated has the Wiz taking Robinson at three, with the Bobcats taking Kidd-Gilchrist at two. Expect those predictions to change, over and over, before draft night on June 28th.
And, last but not least, let's not forget that Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld has made many a draft day trade, giving up picks for established veterans. Wizards' brass say that this year's pick will not be moved, but we will know for sure in a month.