This post was written by Ben Mehic of FanSided’s Washington Wizards website Wiz of Awes.
The Washington Wizards are projected to get the 8th overall pick in this upcoming NBA Draft, which certainly isn’t the greatest of spots to be in. The Wizards have had their share of ups and downs throughout this past season, but more importantly, they’ve seen glimpses of John Wall and Bradley Beal’s rise to stardom. When the team is healthy and intact, their playoff chances are basically as good as everybody’s in the Eastern Conference. With that said, John Wall and others have expressed their interest in trading the late lottery pick in exchange for an established veteran.
Washington’s only glaring weaknesses is their lack of a power forward who can stretch the floor, and a small forward which they could use to help build the team around. As I look around mock drafts, there honestly isn’t too many players which catch my eye. Georgetown’s Otto Porter would be a perfect fit, since he brings the length, athleticism, and the scoring ability this Wizards team desperately needs. Unfortunately, seeing as though Porter will likely be gone by the time the Wizards pick, they’ll likely have to look in a different direction.
UNLV’s Anthony Bennett would also help the Wizards in the scoring department, since he’s billed as one of the most versatile big men to come out in the NBA Draft in recent memory. Since Nene and Emeka Okafor have entered the latter stages of their careers, adding another young forward to build around will inevitably become crucial. Washington was ranked 8th in defensive efficiency this past season, so I’m not sure how Anthony Bennett would fit in on that side of the floor. His lack of commitment on defense is quite worrisome, and I’m sure he would likely end up in Randy Wittman’s doghouse if he underperformed in that area.
The only logical next pick would be Indiana’s Cody Zeller. Washington could use a pick-and-pop big man to help John Wall and Bradley Beal on the offensive side of the floor. Zeller’s athletic measurements were off the charts in the NBA Draft Combine, making him an even more intriguing prospect. Unable to necessarily dominate his opponents, and struggling to finish over stronger defenders, Zeller’s stock did drop a bit during his sophomore year at Indiana. Zeller, who was once a coveted big man, may have fell into obscurity. I think this is the perfect opportunity the Wizards could potentially capitalize on, since Zeller’s stock did drop a bit.. With John Wall and Bradley Beal leading their backcourt, Zeller could complete their “Big Three” for the future.