Wizards

Wizards

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 guards that could still be available with the ninth selection, and Chase Hughes' perspective on their fit with the Wizards.

Coby White, North Carolina

Age: 19
Height: 6-5
Weight: 191
Wingspan: 6-5

2018/19 stats: 16.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.3 bpg, 42.3 FG% (5.4/12.7), 35.3 3PT% (2.3/6.6), 80.0 FT% 

Chase's Take: The Wizards could use a guy like White. He could fill in for John Wall while he rehabs from his Achilles injury and give them insurance at the point guard position in the event Wall never regains his form. He could also give them depth behind Bradley Beal and a long-term backcourt option in the event Beal leaves in a trade or free agency.

White would help the Wizards take the next step offensively with another playmaking scorer. Though they need to improve their defense more, he could take a lot of scoring pressure off of Wall and Beal.

The problem for White would be a potential logjam at guard when Wall returns. Not only would White lose some minutes behind Wall and Beal, but he also seems to be the type of player who will be at his best running the offense with the ball in his hands.

 

Also, if the Wizards draft White, that probably means the end of Tomas Satoransky's time in Washington. It wouldn't make sense to sign him long-term with Wall and White on the roster.

Still, if White is the best player available, the Wizards should take him. They aren't in a position to draft for need if a potential star can be had.

Darius Garland, Vanderbilt

Age: 19
Height: 6-2
Weight: 175
Wingspan: 6-5

2018/19 stats: 16.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.4 bpg, 53.7 FG% (5.8/10.8), 47.8 3PT% (2.2/4.6), 75.0 FT%

Chase's Take: Garland's fit with the Wizards is not perfect, as he plays point guard and employs a shoot-first style. With John Wall signed to a supermax contract, the Wizards would really have to believe that Garland is the best player available at No. 9 to take him.

Garland, though, would have a big opportunity to prove himself early on, as Wall will likely miss more than 50 games this upcoming season. Garland could step right in as the starter, depending on what happens with Tomas Satoransky.

Long-term, the Wizards also may need a replacement for Wall, depending on how he recovers from his ruptured Achilles. They have to think in terms of insurance policies and Garland could fit the bill.

But given the Wizards have other needs, it would not be surprising if they fielded trade calls on draft night if Garland fell to them. He's good, but not Ja Morant good and it seems like other players would be better fits for what they need.

Romeo Langford, Indiana

Age: 19
Height: 6-6
Weight: 215
Wingspan: 6-11

2018/19 stats: 16.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.8 bpg, 44.8 FG% (5.5/12.3), 27.2 3PT% (1.1/3.9), 72.2 FT%

Chase's Take: Langford isn't a great fit with the Wizards and especially at ninth overall. If they traded back in the first round, then perhaps that could change.

But there are several things that make Langford a question mark for the Wizards. One is that he plays shooting guard and, as long as Bradley Beal is part of the organization, minutes could be hard to come by. 

Also, Langford doesn't appear to present the athletic upside that other prospects would. And he is more of an offensive player when defense is the Wizards' biggest need.

Now, the counter to those points is the Wizards need depth behind Beal. He played more minutes than any other player this past season and that is not sustainable. And Langford could untap a lot of potential if he can develop as a shooter. Also, offense or defense, the Wizards need to add the best players they can find.

But given the options likely available at No. 9, the Wizards can probably get someone who is a better fit for what they need both in the short- and long-term.

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