Reporting Frank Hanrahan
The NBA Draft Lottery stunk on so many levels, with Cleveland essentially getting paid back the number one pick for losing Lebron James to Miami last summer. What made it even worse, was the Wizards — a year removed from suspiciously getting the top pick — dropping back to the number six spot. Pretty much the worst case scenario played out for a rebuilding Wizards team coming off a wretched 23-59 season.
So what do the Wizards do with that pick? Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld made it clear he will take the best player available with the selection. And just who would that be? Therein lies the problem, because after Kyrie Irving of Duke and Arizona’s Derrick Williams there is no clear cut best player available. You can look at the mock drafts and summarize for yourself but no one really knows except for the team’s themselves.
Don’t be surprised at all to see the Wizards take a European player with that sixth pick. Jan Vesely, an athletic 7′-0″swing forward from the Czech Republic has caught the eye of the Wizards and if he is there, Washington would most likely snatch him up. Another option is yet another Euro in center Jonas Valenciunas out of Lithuania. The verdict is very much out on these two young players who play pro ball in the Euro-League. If the Wizards take an international player, they will be projects at least for a few seasons, perhaps extending the rebuild plan.
“We have worked extremely hard to execute our rebuilding plan and reshape our roster over the last year and a half, and the draft will be a big part of continuing that process,” said Grunfeld. “We will continue to develop and build around our young core of players, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to add more pieces to our team.”
The Wizards need help front-court help and they should take another forward or center with the 18th pick. Chris Singleton out of Florida State and Kawhi Leonard from San Diego State, could very well be there and either or would be a nice addition to a team that needs athletic wing and post players.
This is a pivotal draft for the Wizards and they really cant afford to screw it up.