The NBA Draft is less than a month away, which means rumors overpower truth, and there's about a million scenarios that could impact the Wizards at No. 9 on June 20.
Since the Wizards don't have a GM yet, I'll do the honors of deciding who they take at that spot based on several draft simulations.
In scenario one, here's who's already off the board:
1. New Orleans - Zion Williamson, PF, Duke
2. Memphis - Ja Morant, PG, Murray State
3. New York - RJ Barrett, SG, Duke
4. Los Angeles - Jarrett Culver, SG, Texas Tech
5. Cleveland - De'Andre Hunter, SF, Virginia
6. Phoenix - Coby White, SG, UNC
7. Chicago - Darius Garland, PG, Vanderbilt
8. Atlanta - Cam Reddish, SF, Duke
With names like Garland, White and Reddish off the board just before the Wizards pick, this leaves us with a couple of different ways to go.
The Wizards can go for the raw upside in Jaxson Hayes, whose rim-running and shot-blocking abilities are something they desperately need at Capital One Arena.
They also can shoot for a major risk-reward choice, and take 7-2 Bol Bol, who averaged 21 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and shot 57 percent from three-point range, but saw his season end after nine games with a foot injury. Big guys with foot injuries are scary, but big guys who can shoot from 25 feet away are also scary (in a good way).
There's also the safer route with Brandon Clarke. His 6-8.25 wingspan and 8-6 standing reach was smaller than some guards, but he brings a strong low-post presence and rebounding ability that have drawn comparisons to the Clippers' Montrezl Harrell.
In this case, I'm going with the chance at a little more upside for the Wizards and taking Jaxson Hayes at No. 9.
With Dwight Howard's health still in question and John Wall possibly missing all of next season, the Wizards are in a position where they can develop someone like Hayes, who fills a valuable role in today's NBA.
After Washington ranked 23rd this season in blocks per game and even worse in rebounding at 27th, this pick would fit need and show potential all in one.
Hayes has a ton of physical tools, but lacks experience. His first start as a basketball player came as a senior in high school, but he grew almost a foot from his freshman year in high school to his freshman year at Texas.
The chance at a player like this in Washington is just too good to pass up. Hayes is likely to become an fan favorite in D.C.
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