John Wall or Evan Turner, Kevin Durant or Greg Oden, Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley. Normally there is at least a semblance of a debate regarding who should be the number one overall pick in the NBA draft. This year there is no debate, anyone who knows anything about basketball is certain without a shadow of a doubt that Anthony Davis will be the first player selected in the draft. So the real question isn’t what the Wizards do if the get the first pick but what they do if they don’t.
If the season ended today, the Wizards would finish with the second worst record in the NBA. If that holds up that means that in the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery, the lowest pick they could receive would be the fifth overall pick. In a draft class that is deeper than any in recent memory, the worst case scenario of the fifth pick could still net the Wizards a potential superstar who could come in and contribute right away.
If the Wizards get the first pick: They should trade it… I kid, I kid. Just imagine Anthony Davis and John Wall together. Do you see all of the fast breaks, dunks, and alley oops? Let’s just savor the thought for a moment. The possibilities are endless. I mean, they could change the name to the Washington Wildcats, Ashley Judd would come to games, and free Mint Juleps and Jack Daniels at every game. Like I said, let me savor the thought.
If the Wizards get the second pick: Anthony Davis is off of the board so the Wizards go with the second best player on the NCAA Champion Kentucky Wildcats and maybe the second best player in college basketball, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG fits the mold of the type of players the Wizards have been targeting: hard-nosed, scrappy players who can guard multiple positions. He’s an elite athlete, maybe even the best athlete in the draft. He is another “victim” of what I’m calling the Calipari effect, where players get overshadowed because there teams are so loaded. If MKG went anywhere other than Kentucky, he might’ve been in the Player of the Year race with his buddy Davis.
If the Wizards get the third pick: Hopefully some GM is blown away by Andre Drummond’s one on one workouts and doesn’t mind that he is still years away from contributing on an NBA team, selects him with second pick and passes on MKG. If not, I implore the Wizards front office, whoever that may be, to stay as far away from Drummond as possible. As a college freshman he has the body of an NBA player but the game of a college freshman. The Wizards should not concern themselves with projects; we’ve been down that road before. So assuming Davis and MKG are both off of the board, I would go with my fellow Washingtonian Thomas Robinson. Robinson is my favorite to win Rookie of the Year, not because he is better than Davis and MKG but because he is ready for the NBA. Funny how three years of college does that. At 6’9” he may be a bit undersized for the power forward position but he plays much bigger than his height and he’s quite capable of developing into a big small forward. This guy is strong and tough and the Wizards can always use plenty of strong and tough.
If the Wizards get the fourth pick: They should draft Bradley Beal from the University of Florida for no other reason than the kid can shoot the lights out. I know a lot of Wizards are really high on Harrison Barnes and while Barnes has a decent outside game, Beal has out of the gym range. He’s fearless on the court and can get his shot off at any time, he reminds me of a more controlled Jordan Crawford with a higher basketball IQ. As a freshman he led the Gators to an appearance in the Elite Eight averaging 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. You have to love a shooting guard who averages almost 7 boards a game. He could come in right away and be the offensive spark off of the bench that the Wizards lost when Jordan Crawford got the starting spot.
If the Wizards get the fifth pick: They should draft Harrison Barnes. Poor Harrison, if he left UNC last year he could’ve been the number one overall pick but he went back to school to chase a championship. He missed out on the ring, gave scouts more time to find flaws in his game and subsequently watched his draft stock drop. Now there are mock drafts that have him going as late as tenth. Barnes is one of the safest picks in the entire draft. What you see is what you get, a complete player who can score from anywhere on the court. The knock on Barnes is that at time he’s been underwhelming, not living up to the hype thrust upon him. He seems to disappear in big games and his lack of athleticism. But if you told me last year that the Wiz would have a shot at him I would’ve been thrilled at the prospect.
With that said the Wizards look to be in good shape going into the draft but with Kevin Seraphin playing out of his mind, maybe the Wizards improve their record and decrease their draft odds. Should WE start the bench Kevin Seraphin movement?
Once again, I kid.