The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...
2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Coby White
Max vertical: N/A
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%
Player comparison: Steve Nash, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 7th, NBADraft.net 6th, Bleacher Report 7th, Sports Illustrated 7th, Ringer 7th
5 things to know:
*White is a 6-foot-5 combo guard who has stated his preference to play point. He projects as a possible two-guard because of his size and scoring ability. He can score from the outside and get to the rim off the dribble. The versatility will only help him at the next level, no matter where his coach chooses to play him.
*The first thing that stands about White when you watch him is his speed with the ball. He is like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with an extra gear. When he gets going downhill, it is hard for defenders to keep up with him. He is very aggressive attacking the rim.
*Most evaluators expect White to be a solid shooter at the next level. He made 35.3 percent of his threes at UNC and with volume on 6.6 attempts per game. He also has a quick release and is ahead of the curve with shots off the dribble. He may not be an elite shooter in the NBA, but he should have an effective perimeter game.
*The biggest concerns with White center around his defense. He wasn't a lockdown defender in college and is more of an offense-oriented player. He also doesn't have a plus-wingspan, which suggests his ceiling is low on that end of the floor. He will have to make up for that with his quickness and size. He also has good instincts jumping passing lanes, which should help.
*White broke Michael Jordan's freshman scoring record at UNC. He also holds the North Carolina high school record for points scored.
Fit with Wizards: 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.