Wizards

5 best wing defenders in 2020 NBA Draft

Wizards

A defensive-minded wing player is something the Wizards could really use, as they need to improve their defense and have some room on their depth chart at the position. With the ninth overall pick, Washington should have several options if that's the route they choose to go.

With that in mind, here are the five best wing defenders in the 2020 NBA Draft...

1. Isaac Okoro, G/F, Auburn

  • Age: 19
  • Height: 6-6
  • Weight: 225
  • Wingspan: 6-8.5
  • 2019/20 stats: 28 G, 31.5 mpg, 12.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.9 bpg, 51.4 FG% (4.5/8.7), 29.0 3PT% (0.7/2.5), 67.2 FT%

Okoro is a force on the defensive end with NBA-ready explosion and strength. He's an upper-echelon athlete and a very aggressive player, a good combination for the defensive end. Okoro in a best-case scenario could guard one through three and possibly some smaller power forwards. He's like Matisse Thybulle with more muscle.

Okoro's question marks are on the offensive end where at 6-foot-6 he doesn't have a defined position. He can't shoot well enough to be a shooting guard and he may not be big enough to live solely off plays around the rim in the NBA. Teams will have to weigh that as they consider him among the other players projected to go in the lottery.

2. Devin Vassell, G/F, Florida State

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6-7
  • Weight: 194
  • Wingspan: 6-10
  • 2019/20 stats: 30 G, 28.8 mpg, 12.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.0 bpg, 49.0 FG% (4.8/9.8), 41.5 3PT% (1.5/3.5), 73.8 FT%

Vassell can do a lot of things well including play defense. He has the athleticism and length to wreak havoc on the wing and in the midrange. Vassell earned All-ACC honors this season in part because he was so good at forcing turnovers. He averaged 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

Vassell is expected to go in the lottery and possibly the back-end of the top-10 in this year's draft. In addition to his defense, he is a prolific three-point shooter. How high he goes will likely depend on how teams view his offensive upside, as he was a solid but not spectacular scorer in college.

 

3. Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 216
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • 2019/20 stats: 31 G, 33.9 mpg, 16.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.4 bpg, 47.7 FG% (5.6/11.8), 45.1 3PT% (2.5/5.6), 76.9 FT%

Bey may be one of the safest picks in this year's draft, as he's solid on both ends, versatile and a deadly three-point shooter. Defensively, he can track guards and forwards and is effective both on and off the ball. Bey may not project as an All-Defense guy at the next level, but he has the chance to be a reliable piece of a good defensive team for many years.

Bey is one of the best shooters in this draft and one of the best wing defenders, making him a prototypical 3-and-D wing player. Whether he can develop into something more than that will determine where he gets picked, but it's likely he goes in the lottery.

4. Patrick Williams, F, Florida State

  • Age: 19
  • Height: 6-8
  • Weight: 225
  • Wingspan: 6-11
  • 2019/20 stats: 29 G, 22.5 mpg, 9.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg, 45.9 FG% (3.3/7.1), 32.0 3PT% (0.6/1.7), 83.8 FT%

Vassell's teammate at FSU, Williams is entering the NBA without a true defined position. Defensively, that can be considered a strength as Williams has a chance to be ideal in a switch-heavy defense. He is 6-foot-8, quick, has a plus-wingspan and a high motor.

Like Okoro, Williams is also a very unfinished product on the offensive end, though he has shown more potential as a shooter. Williams was an energy guy off the bench at Florida State and only averaged 7.1 shots per game. In the NBA, he may need to at least develop a reliable three to stick around.

5. Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 175
  • Wingspan: 7-0
  • 2019/20 stats: 22 G, 36.7 mpg, 15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.5 apg, 2.5 spg, 0.7 bpg, 50.4 FG% (5.6/11.1), 41.9 3PT% (2.4/5.6), 82.2 FT%

Haliburton may be seen more as a guard, but his versatility should allow him to serve multiple roles both on offense and defense. On the defensive end, he may be best suited as an off-ball defender trailing shooting guards and small forwards. He was very good at Iowa State at disrupting passing lanes and creating turnovers, averaging 2.5 steals per game this past season and 1.5 steals as a freshman.

Haliburton is likely to be a top-10 pick and could land in the top-5. He has arguably the most well-rounded game of any prospect in this year's class. Where he gets taken will be a matter of his long-term ceiling.