The Washington Wizards will have a first-round 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: Jarrett Culver
School: Texas Tech
Position: Shooting guard
Max vertical: N/A
2018/19 stats: 18.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.6 bpg, 46.1 FG% (6.7/14.5), 30.4 3PT% (1.3/4.2), 70.7 FT%
Player Comparison: Joe Johnson, Kerry Kittles
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 8th, NBADraft.net 7th, Bleacher Report 4th, Sports Illustrated 4th, Ringer 4th
5 things to know:
*Culver is one of the best wing prospects in this year's class. He's a 6-foot-6 slasher whom mock drafts project to go anywhere from fourth to eighth. Culver wasn't considered a top prospect entering his sophomore year, but shot up draft boards after posting a season that earned him Big 12 player of the year honors.
*He helped lead Texas Tech to the NCAA Tournament final where they fell to the University of Virginia. It was the furthest Texas Tech has ever gone in school history. Culver had some big games along the way, including 29 points in the first round, and was named both All-Tournament and All-Region. But he struggled in the final game, managing only 15 points in 41 minutes and went 0-for-6 from three.
*Culver is an interesting case to evaluate when it comes to outside shooting, which will be important for his success at the next level. Though he only shot 30.4 percent from three as a sophomore, he made 38.2 percent from long range as a freshman and on 3.9 attempts per game. That said, he also only shot 68.7 percent from the free throw line in his college career. That's a very mixed bag of numbers. Anyone who does what he did as a freshman has the potential to be a good shooter, but he has to be more consistent.
*He is a versatile offensive player, able to be effective with or without the ball. He is excellent in the open court with the ability to score and set others up in transition. A common criticism for Culver, though, is his lack of moves off the dribble. Like most players his age, he will need to develop his shot-creating skills.
*Culver is more than a scorer. He did a good job in college of filling up the stat sheet with 6.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. As we have seen over the years, some guards take time at the NBA level to diversify their games and become more than just scorers. DeMar DeRozan and Bradley Beal have done it, while Andrew Wiggins has yet to. Culver could prove ahead of the curve in that regard.
Fit with Wizards: Culver isn't a perfect fit for Washington based on the fact he's a shooting guard. If the Wizards have one place on their roster solved, it's that one. They already have a perennial All-Star two-guard in Beal.
Culver, if he joined the Wizards, would have to prove he can co-exist on the floor with Beal. It might require the team going small with him at the three and Culver may have to gain some weight to play that position.
The Wizards, though, aren't in a position to draft for need. They have to take the best player available, even if that is a shooting guard.
If Culver is the best player on the board, though, that could convince the Wizards to trade back. The Wizards have only one pick in this year's draft and don't own a second-round selection until 2023. They could trade back, pick up more assets and likely still get someone who offers the upside that Culver will.
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