NBA Draft: Analysts pick who the Wizards should draft at 15


It's a simple question, but it can invite a complicated answer. Who will the Wizards select with the 15th overall pick in Thursday night's draft?

The truth is a lot of it depends on what happens ahead of them. There is a wide range of possibilities, but it all depends on who is left on the board.

With many hypotheticals in mind, here are how our NBC Sports Washington writers, reporters and analysts would handle the 15th pick if they were on the clock choosing for the Wizards. Some found it hard to choose one...

Chris Miller: Jalen Johnson, F, Duke

Jalen Johnson at 15 serves a need for Washington at small forward. Despite only playing 13 games at Duke, Johnson shot 52% from the field. His size (6-foot-9, 210 lbs) makes it so he can play both forward positions. Johnson is an active rebounder and defensively can guard multiple positions. Playmaking might be his best skill. His athleticism on the open floor is noticeable.

Glenn Consor: Kai Jones, F/C, Texas

He's a swing[man] and I think we could use a swing player that can shoot it and defend. He's a big swing, Kai Jones. He's got versatility, he's bouncy. I do like [Corey] Kispert if he's available because he can shoot it, but so can Tre Mann. He's a high percentage shooter and he can make plays. I think he sees the game pretty well. He could play and be very complementary to Brad [Beal] and Russ [Westbrook] because of his versatility.


Jimmy Patsos: Chris Duarte, G, Oregon

In my dream scenario, I would trade up to get Scottie Barnes of Florida State because he's a really good player who could help us right away. Other than that, I would go [Chris] Duarte from Oregon because he's ready to play. Or, Corey Kispert of Gonzaga because he's ready to play and can really shoot. I spoke to [Virginia head coach] Tony Bennett in Indianapolis and he really, really likes Trey Murphy and thinks he would be a great fit in Washington. He said it may take a few years, but he will be worth the wait.

Chase Hughes: Trey Murphy III, F, Virginia

The Wizards need shooting, more depth at wing and defense on the perimeter. For the range they are picking, it would be hard to find a better fit than Murphy III who has a lot of selling points. He shot 50-40-90 at UVa last season while playing solid defense. Then, he went to the combine and measured in at over 6-foot-9 with a 38-inch vertical leap. He's a polished shooter, a smart guy, athletic and versatile. He would make a ton of sense for the Wizards right now while also presenting upside down the road.

Related: 2021 NBA Mock Draft 9.0: Final Mock, Two-Round Edition

Wes Hall: Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga

Give me Corey Kispert from Gonzaga, if he's available. He's got the size, at 6-foot-7, and shooting proficiency to spread the floor and knock it down from deep. Plus, it doesn't hurt to pair him with another Bulldog in Rui Hachimura.

Tyler Byrum: Corey Kispert, F, Gonzaga

Bringing Kispert in would immediately elevate the Wizards long-ball shooting. The Gonzaga forward would be the second-best - if not the best - 3-point shooter on the roster. Last season he shot 44% from behind the arc and projects to thrive in an up-tempo system - which was the norm under Scott Brooks. He's insanely efficient and most of his looks come from a catch-and-shoot position which is a great fit for Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. Much like his former teammate Rui Hachimura, there won't be a huge learning curve either, and could be thrust into a position where he can immediately produce.

Mike DePrisco: Moses Moody, G, Arkansas

The Wizards need shooting, defensive versatility and someone who can make an impact right away. Moses Moody checks every box for them and offers some long-term upside as a 19-year-old. He's a knockdown shooter, strong, versatile defender and flashed a nice dribble-pull-up at Arkansas as a freshman. Moody may be gone by the time the Wizards are on the clock, but if he's not, this would be a terrific selection by Tommy Sheppard. Corey Kispert and Trey Murphy III make a lot of sense as well if Moody gets taken in the lottery.

Prince Grimes: Trey Murphy III, F, Virginia

If the Wizards remain committed to building this team around Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, then a solid three-and-D prospect makes the most sense. Others will be available, but I like Murphy for his specific fit as someone who doesn’t need the ball in his hands to have an impact. He’s obviously a knockdown shooter but also a good cutter with the size and athleticism to finish at the rim. And with his long frame and 7-foot wingspan, he has the potential to be the lockdown perimeter defender the Wizards desperately need.


Andrew Gillis: Trey Murphy III, F, Virginia

Murphy has reportedly skyrocketed up draft boards, and there's a lot to like about the 6-foot-9 forward out of UVA. He shot 43.3% from deep last season, his first in the ACC, and would provide the Wizards a knockdown shot from 3-point land to improve their 22nd ranked shooting from behind the arc. He's got length and would be a plus on the defensive end, a need Tommy Sheppard said the Wizards wanted to address "immediately." I think the Wizards can jump on an ascending player here at 15th overall.