By David Thorpe
We've discussed on this blog before that the NBA draft is more about tomorrow than today. We've also addressed the idea of drafting need or value. This year, with so few potential stars in the draft, it becomes more likely that need will come before value since the differences in value between many players will be seen as very small. With that in mind, let's project what players each of the five worst teams should draft, with the balance scale more weighted on team needs.
If Toronto is sick about Barnes, the Wizards are in intensive care. They have a franchise talent in Wall and must take care to surround him with skilled shooters with athleticism and great character. Barnes would have been heaven sent because players with those three traits are rare indeed.
JaVale McGee had a breakthrough season and is the league's best shot-blocker, so drafting anyone who could take away his minutes would be a problem. But in Enes Kanter, the Wiz can get someone who can play alongside McGee and be a backup center, while giving them more scoring punch inside. McGee is not a great first option inside, and Kanter has a chance to be just that. His feel and poise inside are impressive. Because Kanter hasn't played in a real game in a year, it may take him a while to recover, but he's been working every day on his game. And compared to the other top Euros the Wiz can consider drafting, Kanter is already comfortable playing in and being in this country, an advantage when we think of how many other young players the Wizards have, plus they have three of the top 35 picks in this draft. Think of Kanter/McGee as a clone to the Boozer/Noah tandem in Chicago, with Wall playing the Derrick Rose role.
In case you've been hiding under a rock for the last few months here are some clips of Enes...It's ok to dream on both fronts Wizards fans...
A. That we will be able to draft Kanter
B. That the combo of Wall/McGee/Kanter will clone Rose/Boozer/Noah
B. And in case you didn't know, his intro at Big Blue Madness was to the theme of WWE's Undertaker however they called him UnderKanter
David Thorpe is an NBA analyst for ESPN.com's Scouts Inc. and the executive director of the Pro Training Center in Clearwater, Fla., where he oversees the player development program for NBA and college players. David has trained Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, Omri Casspi, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Yi Jianlian, Courtney Lee, Kyrylo Fesenko, Earl Clark, Jrue Holiday, DeJuan Blair and others.