The 2019 NBA Draft is full of exciting talent, but some of the headline-grabbing names may be off the board by the time the Wizards take their pick at No. 9.
Who are the best players Washington could realistically draft? Here's a look at three big men that could still be available with the ninth selection, and Chase Hughes' perspective on their fit with the Wizards.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
2018/19 stats: 19.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.7 bpg, 59.1 FG% (7.4/12.6), 41.7 3PT% (0.4/1.0), 73.9 FT%
Chase's Take: Hachimura could end up as the best option for the Wizards at No. 9, depending on how the board moves on draft night. He plays a position of need and would add scoring and speed to their offense.
Hachimura, though, wouldn't necessarily help the Wizards with their biggest weaknesses of defense and rebounding. And he may not offer the upside they should probably seek in their first round pick.
Hachimura may have a high floor based on his college production and style of play. But whether he has All-Star potential is a real question.
The Wizards need to hit on this draft pick either way, but ideally they would find someone who could someday make a major difference.
Jaxson Hayes, Texas
2018/19 stats: 10.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.6 spg, 2.2 bpg, 72.8 FG% (3.8/5.3), 00.0 3PT% (0.0/0.0), 74.0 FT%
Chase's Take: Hayes is one of the best fits for the Wizards among the players who could be available with the ninth pick. He does what they arguably lack the most, which is play defense and more specifically protect the rim.
The Wizards allowed the most field goals within five feet of any team this past season and the third-highest field goal percentage in that range. They desperately need someone who can block and alter shots.
Hayes would likely be the Wizards' best shot-blocker Day 1. But whether he can help them in other ways is a question at this point.
Hayes would represent a bit of a project for the Wizards and may not have All-Star potential because of his offensive limitations. Still, he remains one of their best options in the first round. Long-term, he could transform their defense and form a strong pick-and-roll partner for John Wall.
Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
Age: 22 (turns 23 in September)
2018/19 stats: 16.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.2 spg, 3.2 bpg, 68.7 FG% (6.8/9.7), 26.7 3PT% (0.1/0.4), 69.4 FT%
Chase's Take: The Wizards like Clarke, as evidenced by their interview with him at the NBA combine. And there are reasons to suggest he would fit in quite well with what they are looking for.
He would be plug-and-play and provide an instant impact at a position of need. Depending on what they do with their free agent forwards, he could even start as a rookie at the four.
They also need a complete overhaul defensively and he would help them improve on that end of the floor. He would provide rim protection and help shore up their midrange defense as well.
Clarke plays smart, team-oriented defense and the Wizards need more of that. He could help them change their mindset on that end of the floor. Clarke seems like the type of player good defensive teams like the Bucks and Pacers would covet, that too often in recent years the Wizards have overlooked.
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