Wizards

5 things to know about Wizards pick Corey Kispert

Wizards

The Washington Wizards selected Corey Kispert out of Gonzaga with the 15th overall pick in Thursday's draft. Here are five things to know about him...

- Corey Kispert is in a tier of his own when it comes to his shooting ability in this draft class. Without much pure shooting competition among projected lottery picks, he is clearly the best shooter. In Kispert's final season with Gonzaga, he posted elite percentages from the field - his 44.0% from deep comes from 6.5 attempts per game. High volume, high efficiency. There's certainly the potential for him to be in the 50-40-90 conversation. A quick release and a fluid, consistent form will have him contributing right away.

- What's perhaps the most impressive about Kispert is that his numbers come without him being the primary focus of an offense. Kispert plays within his role and does it well without overstepping. Aside from running in transition, rarely do you see him trying to put the ball on the floor. Even if his shots are limited, he's fine playing in the system and being efficient. 

- At the NBA Combine, Kispert compared his overall skill set to Klay Thompson.

“The guy that has been the gold standard for me forever has been Klay Thompson,” Kispert said via The Mercury News. “Whenever I don’t feel good about my game or have a bad night or whatever, I watch him score 60 on 12 dribbles, the way he plays the game, the way he impacts (the Warriors), you’ve seen how much they’ve missed him since he’s been out. I want to be as close to that as I can.”

 

Ideally, Kispert would thrive in an off-ball primary shooter role, as Thompson has been in Golden State. Unlike his fellow Splash Brother, Steph Curry, Kispert is able to get his nose dirty on the defensive end. The forward isn't necessarily a lock-down defender, but there is positional versatility that he brings. But if you watch Kispert's cutting effort on offense, it mirrors Curry. 

- Drafting a 22-year-old in the lottery is rare. Since 2016, there have been only five players 22 or older drafted by a lottery team. Obi Toppin by the Knicks is the lone qualifier from last year. It's tough to draft a player that has a fully developed game and has reached his ceiling. But here, you know what you're getting out of the shooter.

- A year ago Kispert entered the 2020 NBA Draft but withdrew to return to Spokane. His announcement to return was that his Bulldogs had "unfinished business" as the 2019 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each season the lethal 3-point shooter has improved on all of his averages, peaking his final season with Gonzaga.