Well, now the draft order is set. The Hornets get to replace Chris Paul with another great talent in Anthony Davis and the Bobcats found out that even the worst winning percentage in NBA history couldn’t land them the superstar the desperately need. Lost in the shuffle of all this news is the third pick of the draft, the Wizards pick.
The Wizards are now rebuilding in a division where the overall quality of play will only go down. The Bobcats won’t be saved by the second overall pick, the Hawks will just get a little older and continue to not show up for games at random, and the Magic will likely trade Dwight Howard so they will start rebuilding. Assuming Howard does get his wish to play in Brooklyn (or he gets sent off to LA, Dallas, or Houston) that means the only team other than the Heat that is definitely better than the Wizards next year is the Hawks. With some smart draft picks and not ruining their cap situation, the Wizards could be second in command to the Heat after a couple of years.
So with this pick meaning an awful lot and the Wizards being able to make a great choice to put beside John Wall and Nene, who will they pick? Well here are the top five prospects for them:
1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SF (Kentucky): He probably won’t be there by the third pick but other than Anthony Davis going first nothing in this draft is certain. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per 40 minutes last year and was the second best player on the best team in the country. He shot 49% from the field, plays super hard, and is a leader. This and his Kentucky pedigree as a winner that he can team up with John Wall makes Kidd-Gilchrist the best case scenario for the Wizards.
2. Bradley Beal SG (Florida): Beal is another very good pick here. He averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds per 40 minutes as a shooting guard. He has a 6’8” wingspan despite being 6’5”, can defend, shoot well, and has that it factor in the clutch. The only real down is that he shot 34% from three despite being considered a very talented three point shooter. Beal would also allow Jordan Crawford to own the role of spark off the bench (what he is made for) for years to come.
3. Thomas Robinson PF (Kansas): We all remember Robinson’s ridiculous NCAA title performance of 18 points and 17 rebounds but his season was no less impressive. Last season Robinson averaged 22 points and 15 rebounds per 40 minutes. He is an excellent rebounder, defender, and his offense game is improving every year. Some say he is a little undersized but at 6’9” he should be alright. Pair him with Nene and that is a very scary 4/5 moving forward.
4. Harrison Barnes SF (North Carolina): Barnes is a big small forward (6’8”) that can shoot from three (36%), get to the line (7 times per 40), and rebound (7 per for 40). Add this to his 23 points per 40 minutes average and you have a great small forward prospect. Barnes can be passive at times though as he was at UNC. That could be bad on a team with Jordan Crawford and even John Wall who sometimes love to shoot.
5. Andre Drummond C (Connecticut): Drummond is a scary pick. He is one of those kids that didn’t have a great year but has great potential. Drummond’s per 40 averages aren’t bad, 14 points and 11 rebounds but there were long stretches of games where you forgot he was on the team. He is very athletic but he needs to develop a low post game. Drummond isn’t a bad pick but I’m not a huge fan taking these great upside guys who are projects.
About the Author
Written by Frank Diglio
I'm a 21 year old diehard sports fan from New York. I just graduated from Marist College with a sports communications degree. I love the NBA, MLB, NFL, NCAAB, and NCAAF. Outside of sports I am really into comedy and Batman.