As it stands right now, the Washington Wizards hold the 3rd overall pick in this years draft, as well as the 32nd pick. There has been much discussion as to who the Wizards will take third — with the likely candidates being Thomas Robinson, Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Harrison Barnes.
But there has been less talk about what Washington will do with their second selection in this draft.
Prior to the recent trade, the Wizards were going to have two selections in the second round. It was unrealistic that they would take on three new rookies, and Ernie Grunfeld made the move to acquire veteran leadership in the form of Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.
This however creates a logjam at the 4 & 5 position with Okafor joining the likes of Kevin Seraphin, Nene, Trevor Booker, Amnesty Blatche, Jan Vesely, and Chris Singleton.
I would not be surprised at all if the Wizards are not done wheeling and dealing. I could see a draft day trade going down, one that possibly includes one of the Wizards younger players and the 32nd pick in order to get back up into the mid to late first round.
Their biggest need is obvious — scoring from the wing position. Whether they select SG Bradley Beal or SF Harrison Barnes, they would be wise to take another capable wing player with their second choice.
Here are a couple prospects to keep your eye on that I feel would be a good fit for Washington. I grouped them into the category of either Mid to Late First Round (assuming a trade to move up) and Second Round (assuming they keep the 32nd pick).
Mid To Late First Round
Quincy Miller: SF – Baylor
At 6’10’ and 219 pounds, this 19 year old still has some weight to put on in order to become a fully effective NBA player. He averaged 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds for Baylor last year while coming off of a torn ACL he suffered his senior year in High School. Miller contains all of the Ernie Grunfeld essentials in size, length, and potential.
Quincy would be a good pairing with John Wall as he can contribute in the pick and roll game with his mid-range shooting ability. He also can step out to range and knock down shots as well, shooting almost 35% from the college three point last year.
If the Wizards end up with Bradley Beal and Quincy Miller, I think they can consider the draft a big success.
Jeff Taylor: SF – Vanderbilt
Averaged 16.1 points and 5.6 rebounds for Vanderbilt last year. His played all four NCAA seasons and would come in with more experience than most of the guys on this list. On the flip side he would be ready to come in and contribute right away. At 6’7″ and 213 pounds he doesn’t possess the length and height that Miller would at the SF spot, but he is extremely athletic and has a 40″ max vertical.
He is a very good spot up shooter, and would allow the Wizards to better space the floor — something they will desperately need this upcoming season. He shot just under 50% from the field last season. Taylor can knock down the deep ball as well, shooting 42.3% from long range last year. He is a very tough defender as well, and would fit in with Washington’s shift to tough basketball they are trying to build.
John Jenkins: SG – Vanderbilt
John Jenkins is the best three point shooter in the draft, and according to his spike in 3PT% last year, he is still improving. He shot an astounding 43.9% from deep last season, but the real thing to point out about that number is that it was on 8.7 attempts per game!!! That is incredible efficiency on that many three point shot attempts. He average 19.9 points per game in the NCAA last year.
Pairing Jenkins alongside Wall could be another great scenario. Jenkins excels as a spot up shooter, from both mid and long range. With John’s ability to create and open things up for his teammates, the John to John connection could be a very successful one.
John Jenkins has been on my Wizards wish list for some time now, and I hope Ernie can find a way to make it happen.
Jae Crowder: SF/PF – Marquette
I love everything about this guy. Scouts are calling him a “tweener”, I just call him a flat out baller.
A lot of mocks have Crowder falling to the mid second round, due mainly to his size. At 6’6″, he is a bit undersized to play the SF position. If the Wizards somehow are able to land Jae Crowder, regardless of whether its making a move to get back into the first round, I will be ecstatic. He is an extremely efficient scorer, and carried averages of 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per game last season. Crowder plays extremely tough on both ends of the floor, and has the ability to impact the game both offensively and defensively. One of his biggest strength is his transition game, and pairing him with John Wall could be a great choice for Washington.
Will Barton: SG/SF – Memphis
At 6’6″ and 174 pounds, Barton looks to be another sort of tweener that can shift between playing the SG and SF in smaller sets. He has the size height and length wise to play the wing at the NBA level, but will need to add weight in order to be able to guard bigger wing players.
Barton averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds last season for Memphis, while shooting 50.9% from the floor and a decent 34.6% from 3 point range. If Washington hangs on to their 32nd pick, I believe Will Barton would be a good selection for them.
Orlando Johnson: SG – UC Santa Barbara
Whenever you have the opportunity to select a former Gaucho, it is a win for everyone. When that player we are talking about averaged 19.7 points per game while shooting 45.1% overall and 42.7% from three point range on 5.3 attempts…..then it is definitely a win.
He is a very good wing scorer, and can knock down long range jumpers as well as mid range. If the Wizards were to select Orlando Johnson, he would probably serve as a scorer off the bench initially. Johnson could be a long shot if Washington stays at 32, but he certainly could help fill the void of wing scoring.