Wizards could draft guard in first round, even with Wall and Beal

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There is plenty of mystery about the 2020 NBA Draft class with no clear-cut No. 1 pick or even a defined top tier of players. But what is certain is that this year's group is deeper at guard than any other position. That could make things interesting for the Wizards who have the accomplished and well-compensated duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal already on their roster.

Most evaluators see Anthony Edwards (Georgia), LaMelo Ball (Illawarra) and Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State) among the top-five prospects. The back-end of the top-10 should feature guys like Killian Hayes (France) and Devin Vassell (FSU). And not long after them, there will likely be a run on players like Cole Anthony (UNC), Theo Maledon (France), Nico Mannion (Arizona), R.J. Hampton (New Zealand) and Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky).

There is talent at other positions, but there is a chance the Wizards get on the clock with the best prospect - or prospects - available being a guard. GM Tommy Sheppard, though, explained why the team can prioritize the best player available over needs.

"Need is always something that you’ve gotta focus on, certainly. But as you go through the draft, if there’s a player there where you say ‘look, the talent is too good, too great to pass on,’ then you still have free agency to address that need. You can still trade and you can still do other things," Sheppard said.

Sheppard went into detail about how the Wizards would like to have lineups with three or four guys who can create off the dribble. He mentioned the possiblity 2018 first round pick Troy Brown Jr. could see time as Wall's back-up at point guard, or in lineups alongside Wall and Beal as a third play-maker.


Basically, they still have room for more guards even with Wall and Beal in the starting lineup and signed long-term.

"Depth is the key. We’ve gotta have depth at every position, so I don’t feel like we can go wrong either way. You’re adding a good player that adds to your depth and adds to your options," Sheppard said.

There are definitely scenarios where the Wizards can draft for positional need and still take the best player available on the board. It all depends on where they select and what shakes out in front of them.

Some of the best fits would be big men James Wiseman (Memphis) and Onyeka Okongwu (USC), as they both block shots and rebound. But if those guys are gone, and it's a point guard or shooting guard that makes the most sense, that is the direction the Wizards will go.