Given their current salary restraints, the only way for the Washington Wizards to improve is this year’s draft, and by selecting Troy Brown, Jr. with the 15th pick, the team is hoping to have found such improvement.
Troy Brown, Jr. enters the NBA as a versatile wing out of the University of Oregon. He’s the first Oregon Duck taken in the first round since Aaron Brooks. At 19, he’s one of the younger players in the draft. He averaged 11.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, and 3.2 assists in his one season in the PAC-12. He checks off almost all the Jay Bilas credentials for NBA success: long arms, can do it all, pretty good, improved as a shooter, solid.
In all honesty, the Washington Wizards should consider drafting a Care Bear, Elmo, Bert, Ernie, or that pigeon driving the bus because the current state of the locker room is without love. The inability of back court talents John Wall and Bradley Beal to power Washington at the same levels of consistency as say Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan is mind-boggling. Whereas Toronto is consistently bounced by LeBron James in the playoffs, Washington consistently invents scenarios where they believe LeBron and company are dodging these would be world beaters from Washington. One of these Eastern Conference also-rans knows its struggles, while the other continues playing in denial.
Brown may not immediately transform the team into a true contender, but the team has addressed the need for depth on the wing. Wall and Beal have logged more minutes, at times, than anyone would want. Brown, while probably more suited for a spot on the wing, did play point guard in high school. He isn’t quite the shooter Otto Porter is, and he’s probably not the athlete Kelly Oubre is. But he can possibly spell all Washington’s core in fits and spurts as he learns the ins and outs of the league. And maybe a little extra rest here and there will help everyone just get along, emotionally and in the playoffs.