With the draft just hours away, the rumor mill is in full swing. From trading all of their picks to move in to the top 3, to keeping all three selections and taking European big men with them. Anything is possible right now, except taking a Point Guard.
The 6th pick:
What we all hope is that the Wizards get one of the top two big men in the draft: Derrick Williams from Arizona or Enes Kanter of
Kentucky Turkey, either by sheer luck that they land at Number 6, or we trade up with a combination of draft picks.
I heard Danny Rouhier (as you all should, on Overtime heard on 106.7 The Fan) on Monday discussing his ‘Disaster Scenarios’ for the Wizards at 6. Basically, pick a Euro – not named Kanter – and there was your disaster scenario. I have to agree with his assessment, especially now that it seems likely the Wizards will take Jan Vesely from the Czech Republic. As reported by Mike Prada of SB Nation DC via DraftExpress.com and argued by Mike Wise of the Washington Post and 106.7 The Fan.
Here are some comments on Jan Vesely:
“If Vesely can shore up his ball-handling and perimeter shooting ability, he has all the makings of an incredibly versatile player.” – Draft Express
“Vesely needs to continue improving his offensive skills. He’s still a work in progress as a player as his athleticism and “wow plays” exceed his effectiveness and consistency… Could run into some problems fitting into an NBA position as his length slows him some on the perimeter in the half court set and he lacks the strength and toughness to play in the paint right now” – Nbadraft.net
I’m not saying Vesely is destined to be the next Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Frederic Weis, Yaroslav Korolev or even Darko Milicic. However, I’m also not ready to say just because Dirk Nowitzki won MVP of the finals that therefore we are having an International Basketball revolution.
Let’s take Vesely for what he is, a 6’11 Small Forward with a decent shooting stroke – just not from the free throw line, where he shoots under 50% – a high motor, and a desire to win. He’s not incredibly athletic, and doesn’t rebound well for a big guy. He has “Typical Euro” written all over him.
There are also reports that the Wizards are more interested Jonas Valanciunas, the Center from Lithuania. Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports that Valanciunas is actually higher on the Wizards draft board.
As many options as the Wizards have at number 6, that number doubles or triples once you get to 18. If the Wizards get Kanter at 6, I would think it would be more likely they would take a SG/SF like Jordan Hamilton out of Texas or Marshon Brooks out of Providence. However, if the Wizards take Vesely at 6, I would think the Wizards would go more in the direction of a big who can rebound, likely Markieff Morris out of Kansas or Kenneth Faried out of Morehead State.
The Wizards at this point should just take the best available player. Some names to keep an eye on: Chandler Parsons – Florida, Jon Leuer – Wisconsin, JaJuan Johnson – Purdue, Jordan Williams – Maryland and Jimmy Butler – Marquette.
My ideal draft would be Enes Kanter (6th overall), Jordan Hamilton (18th) and JaJuan Johnson (34th). Conversely, my worst case scenario would be Jonas Valanciunas (6th overall), Iman Shumpert (18th) and Kyle Singler (34th). To me, and many others, this draft is historically weak on stars, but has a good amount of role players. In a weak draft such as this, there’s no reason to swing for the metaphorical fence with the 6th pick if you are a rebuilding team. The 2012 draft will be stockpiled with the stars that didn’t come out this year. Take players you know will succeed this year, and allow them to get adjusted to the NBA, then ‘go big’ in 2012 with a Harrison Barnes or Perry Jones.
What is your best/worst case scenario?