Wizards

Did the Draft Lottery shake up the Wizards' prospect options?

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Once again the Wizards didn't move up at all in the NBA Draft Lottery. For the second straight season, they will draft at No. 9 overall. 

But while their positioning didn't change, the teams in front of them did shake up. The Charlotte Hornets went from eighth to third. The Chicago Bulls went from seventh to fourth.

Teams also fell, Golden State went from No. 1 to No. 2 and Cleveland dropped all the way back to fifth after slotting at No. 2. All those changes could alter some team's plans heading into the draft.

The Warriors, who already were open to trading their pick, now won't have their pick at No. 1 and are now surely drawing calls from around the league. A trade is now definitely more likely. Atlanta also is now missing out on one of the few prospects billed as a franchise player and can focus more on positional needs. So too are the Cavaliers. 

Before the ping-pong balls fell, here's how things shook out No. 1-8 in NBC Sports Washington's pre-lottery mock ahead of the Wizards. It left power forward/ center Onyeka Okongwu (USC) available for Washington. 

RELATED: UNLUCKY AGAIN, WIZARDS ARE PICKING AT NO. 9

Anthony Edwards (Georgia, G) LaMelo Ball (International, G) James Wiseman (Memphis, C) Deni Avdija (International, F) Isaac Okoro (Auburn, SF) Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State, PG) Obi Toppin (Dayton, PF) Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky, SG)

 

Here's what won't change: Edwards, Ball and Wiseman are all going to be gone before the Wizards pick, baring a trade. In all likelihood, they will be off the board by the time the Bulls pick at No. 4. Avdija and Haliburton are too positionally friendly to slip too far back as well. Basically every team ahead of the Wizards could utilize those two, even if they aren't drafting based on the best player available.  

What remains would be Okoro, Toppin and Maxey. One of the best NBA-ready prospects in the draft (Okoro) and two great playmakers and scorers (Toppin and Maxey). Also Okongwu, who many including NBC Sports Washington's mock had being the Wizards' pick, now could be a target for the Knicks and Pistons depending on where he is on their big board.

At this point in the draft, we're getting to the section where there are so many unproven players and much inconsistency from mock drafts and evaluators. For that reason, this draft may not be the typical 'pick the best player available' year. There's a strong argument that teams will draft for need more than they have before.

The order of the pick may not have changed for Washington, but it definitely feels like there are more options for the team once things settle down.