For now, the road to the Finals runs through Miami. In the post-handcheck era, perimeter play is the sine qua non of contending teams and the Wizards are sorely lacking. There's a need in just about every perimeter category you could name; there are more holes than can realistically be addressed via the draft and free agency. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting the Wizards should identify their area of greatest need and draft to fill that need rather than draft the best available player.
If the Wiz have their choice of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson and Bradley Beal they will choose the greatest talent because the playoffs depend so heavily on matchups, even in the hybrid zone. Teams grow around their players because talent rises to the top in the NBA like no other league, but let's say for a moment that MKG, TRob and BB's talent levels are equal for the sake of argument.
Kidd-Gilchrist would bring elite perimeter defense and finishing at the rim despite a somewhat shaky offensive game, perhaps shades of Andre Iguodala? Robinson would bring that physical flavor of play we love in DC, the defensive rebounding we rabidly slaver over, the high-energy athleticism we take for granted and another offensive game with asterisk. Beal would bring perimeter playmaking and three-point shooting to a team that just so happens to be in desperate need of it. Is it worth exploring which skillset is more valuable to a contender as opposed to pure talent level?
Draft players that fit the system, not the best player. Draft the best player for the system. Don't deviate or get seduced by agents, media demands, or by just stats or hype. Envision how this player will slide into your system.
The Ten Point Plan has a LOT of operational flexibility built into it. It's easy to reach for conclusions from the preceding point, but it's definitely worth pointing out that the system will heavily depend on the head coaching position, which makes accurate draft projection difficult. Or, since Ernie and Ted seem to have a vision of the team in place, maybe not. But for now, let's go ahead and artifically level the playing field and ask which of the three prospects we assume would be looked at the hardest have the most to offer a DC contender.
The 2012 NBA Draft Lottery takes place on May 30th. T minus 6 Days, and counting.