With all the focus on the Wizards 5th pick, we might forget that they also have a 2nd round pick. The 32nd overall - and a nice place to potentially pick up a role player; or a back up; or maybe a sleeper with tremendous upside.
When Mike Prada asked me to do a write up of second-round prospects (presumably for the Wizard's second round pick at 32), I originally thought it would be easy enough. I have dozens and dozens of hours of DVD recordings I watched from College games last year. There can't be but 4 or 5 players the Wizards would be interested in........
Uh... Then I thought, what if the Wizards trade down into the late 1st round; one of the likely scenarios I've heard bandied about recently. So, I'll expand my write up from mid-20 picks through late 30's. Well, depending on the mock draft site you look at, that could be as many as 25 or 30 players; so I decided to just look at some of the most interesting prospects, from the Wizard's perspective.
The prospects are listed in order, with my favorite followed by my next favorite, and so on. Next to each prospect's name, I've listed their height (in shoes), weight and their mock draft ranking at DraftExpress, NBADraft.net, and ESPN respectively.
The first 5 prospects begin after the jump. As I have the time, I'll post the next batch.
Tyler Hansborough - 6'9" 230 PF (20,12,20)
There's been talk about Hansborough going in the top 15, but I don't think he belongs there. In this draft, he's probably a Low to Mid-20's pick. If the Wizards trade down in the draft, he may be available. If he slips past Utah at 20, he may free-fall into the high 30's, and they could get him with the 2nd Round pick.
There were those who were worried that Hansborough was too short to play PF in the NBA, he measured out bigger than most people thought at the NBA Combine in Chicago. At 6'8.5" without shoes, and 6'9.5" with shoes, he'll do fine. He's got a 6'11.5" wingspan and a 8'10" standing reach. He's also a better athlete than originally thought. He's a tough, physical player that likes to throw his body around in the paint - but he can step out and stroke the mid-range jumper too. He shows good form and excellent touch on his jump shot. He's also a very good Free Throw shooter. Hansborough has been a very good rebounder throughout his College career - relying upon fundamentals like positioning and blocking out (hear that Andray?) rather than athleticism. Those skills should translate well to the NBA.
Hansborough is a Senior, and therefore very experienced. He's fundamentally sound and has all the intangibles (High Basketball IQ, good work ethic, agressive, competitive, has a winning mentality from a winning program). He should be able to step in and help a team right away. His experience is also sometimes considered one of his weaknesses. There's not much upside here. What you see from Hansborough his first NBA practice will be what you'll get for the most part. There are questions whether he can defend NBA Power Forwards. He also needs to work on his ball handling - and his decision making when passing out of double-teams.
All-in-all, Hansborough will be a solid, if not spectacular Pro.
Darren Collison - 6'2" 165 PG (24,34,29)
Collison was a player I was extremely high on last year. He was overshadowed last year by Russell Westbrook (the 4th pick in last year's draft), and he decided to go back to UCLA for another year. Unfortunately, he was overshadowed again - this time by Jrue Holiday, who is expected to be selected in the top-10. Through it all, Collison has remained steady, consistent and productive at UCLA. He's extremely fast from one end of the court to the other. A real end-to-end blur. In addition, he's very quick; especially laterally, and he's got great hands. Collison is the best defensive Point Guard in the Draft. A real lock-down man-to-man defender; he brings an intensity and aggressiveness to the defensive side of the ball.
Collison is an excellent ball-handler with both hands. He can penetrate in either direction, making him hard to defend. He has a good jump shot, especially off the dribble or on the pick-and-roll. He's not as good as a spot-up shooter. He should be able to extend his range past the NBA 3-point line, but I wouldn't expect that his Rookie year. Another guy with all the intangibles (High basketball IQ, good work ethic, a winner, poised, experienced in big games).
Obviously, at 6'2" (in shoes) and 165, Collison lacks the ideal body type. Bigger Point Guards may be able to post him up. His lack of size and strength will make fighting through screens difficult; and he may have trouble finishing at the rim. Like Hansborough, Collison does not have a tremendous upside. His ceiling is probably as a back-up/rotation player.
Overall, Collison would be a perfect back-up Point Guard behind Arenas. With his speed, he can change the pace of the game. Defensively, he can guard those pesky, quick Guards that give the Wizards so much trouble.
Danny Green - 6'6" 210 SG/SF (44,45,39)
If you watched any North Carolina Tar Heels games this year, then you probably know who Danny Green is. He was the guy that guarded the other team's best player. Green is the best perimeter defender in the Draft. He's a tough, in-your-face defender. He can be the REAL "locksmith" (to borrow DeShawn Stevenson's moniker). Physically, Green has a lot of tools. 6'6.5 with shoes, he's got a 6'10" wingspan. His max vertical is only 33 inches; but he has tremendous timing and good reach - so he gets a lot of blocked shots in one-on-one situations.
On Offense, Green moves well without the ball, and has improved his jump shot (47%). He is especially good in spot up (catch-and-shoot) situations. He had good range in College, and should be able to extend and shoot a good percentage from the NBA 3-point line. He's a fundamentally sound player. He limits his Turn Overs; and he's an excellent Free Throw shooter (85%). He's also a very good passer (4.0 assists per 40) playing off the ball.
Like some of the other players on this list, Green has a limited upside. He has difficulty creating his own shot, and he doesn't drive to the basket much - as evidenced by his low Free Throw attempts (1.6 per game)
Green is one of the underrated talents in this draft. As you can see from his mock draft rankings, most have him going in the late 2nd round. If read Mike Prada's article on the ideal back court mate for Arenas, Green checks all the boxes. He can defend the perimeter. He has good size. He's a good spot-up shooter, and a good passer. If he can play SG in the NBA, he'll have a productive career.
Chase Budinger - 6'7" 206 SG/SF (25,22,25)
I watched a lot of Arizona basketball. Mostly thinking that the Wizards would be drafting Jordan Hill. The more I watched Hill, the less I liked him - but the more Arizona games I watched, the more I noticed I was paying attention to Chase Budinger. This is another guy with tremendous size and athletic ability. Budinger is a former beach volleyball player with an elite vertical (39"). I could see him winning the NBA Slam Dunk contest next year. Budinger was a very highly recruited High School player. Ranked 7th in his graduating class; a class that includes Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Brook and Robin Lopez, Mike Conley and D.J. Augustin. Budinger has not progressed statistically as much as expected in his 3-years at Arizona; but it may be due to the system, rather than the player. Although he has not advanced statistically, his game has become more controlled, more efficient and more versatile.
Offensively, Budinger has perfect form on his jump shot. He gets great height, and releases the ball high over his head with a beautiful arc. His shot is almost never blocked. Someone should make an instructional video using Budinger: "How to shoot a basketball". He made 53% of his 2-point shots and 40% of his 3-pointers. But Budinger is not just a jump shooter. He can slash to the basket; where he uses his explosive leaping ability to finish at the rim. He's also a threat on the alley-oop. He's fundamentally sound - and an above average passer (3.4 assists per 40).
So, he sounds perfect right? Well, uh... No. There's another side of the court. Defensively, Chase Budinger is not very good. He can't seem to stay in front of his man. Although he's athletic, he's not very long (6'7" wingspan). Pair that with his lack of quickness, and he becomes a defensive liability. In addition, at least defensively, the dreaded "s" word has been thrown around.... (soft). Budinger needs to get mentally tougher, physically stronger and fundamentaly sound-er.
With tons of experience and a good basketball IQ (and that beautiful shot); Chase Budinger could be a real weapon off the bench for the Wizards; but someone will have to "Coach him up", so he doesn't "stink it up" on the Defensive side of the court.
Patrick Mills - 6'0" 175 PG (32*,37,32*)
There weren't a lot of Saint Mary's games on television, so I was limited to watching Patrick Mills in the Olympics, where he played for the Australian National Team. Mills is an absolute speed demon. Extraordinarily quick, with great ball handling skills with either hand, he gave even Chris Paul of the U.S. team fits trying to stay in front of him. I think he scored 20 in the game against the U.S.
Mills showed an ability to create shots... all kind of shots; both for him and his teammates. That's probably the most valuable skill that a Point Guard can have. Despite his size, he was very aggressive driving to the basket. Sometimes, able to finish at the rim (even with shot blockers like Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh lurking) - and other times dishing off to open teammates. In the otherHe showed an accurate jump shot; even if it looked a bit awkward at times; and he should be able to extend beyond the NBA 3-point line.
On the defensive end, Chris Paul seemed to be able to get around Mills at will... Of course, it's Chris Paul! But it does bring up the question of Mills' defensive abilities. The only other thing that I could count as a weakness is his size. At 6-foot nothing, and 175 pounds, he will be at a disadvantage in the NBA against bigger PG's.
Like Darren Collison above, I think Patrick Mills would be a good back-up Point Guard behind Arenas. ESPN says he's like a poor man's Tony Parker, but I say think Dee Brown, but with a better, more reliable jump shot.
* Both DraftExpress and ESPN have the Wizards taking Patrick Mills.