The Wizards have decided that stage 2 of their rebuild starting this season, by adding Ariza and Okafor to the John Wall and Nene. EG's hope is that the trade will push the Wizards into playoff competition, creating a competitive front court to compliment John Wall's speed and skill. Absent this trade, there's no question the Wizards would want to keep their pick next year. A team with roughly 9 rookie contracts and few veterans is unlikely to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs. The current iteration of the team looks to fall somewhere between 5th and 11th in the Eastern Conference. Not a doormat, but not a true contender. There are several top flight prospects who have fallen for a variety of reasons: Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, and Jeremy Lamb all look like potential draft day tumblers. If these players or similar high risk-high reward players pan out, the team that acquire them could be in for a huge win. For the Wizards, this could be the difference between a playoff contender/1st round exit and being a true rival in the East. So the question is: Would you trade our 1st round pick next year? And if so, for what pick/player?
The following players are reported to have their draft stock falling:
1. The Boys from Baylor: Quincy Miller and Perry Jones- Both were highly touted prospects. Both have struggled, but have played out of position at the college level. Miller is 23th on both Draftexpress and NBAdrafnet, but undrafted on CNN/SI. Currently, Perry Jones is being picked 15th on Draftexpress, 21st on NBAdraftnet, and 16th on CNN/SI. Perry Jones was a player that was projected to be a top 5 pick last year and also a top 5 pick at various times throughout this season. He is physically amazing. Quincy Miller's story is equally interesting. A top 5 overall prospect coming out of high school, Miller's injuries have scared teams off. If he recovers fully, he could be amazing. Both players could be potential superstars. Both could be busts.
2. Jared Sullinger- Jared Sullinger was a top 5 pick in last year's draft. He went back to school, and his stock has tumbled. The deeper draft class accounts for some of the loss; however, failing the NBA physical has been an anchor. The latest mock drafts have Sullinger going 19th (Draftexpress), 22nd (NBAdrafnet), and 17th (CNN/SI). The Wizards don't have as big of a need for him, with the additions of Okafor and Nene. However, he's got the most polish back-to-basket games of any of the NBA prospects, rebounded well at the college level, and while he's not a potential superstar, he could be exceptional.
3. Arnett Moultrie- He refused to work out at the NBA combine, which hurt his stock dramatically. He is now being picked 20th (Draftexpress), 15th (NBAdrafnet), and 24th (CNN/SI). For a player who averaged a double-double in college on roughly 55% shooting, this is pretty great value. Like Sullinger, he doesn't feel a need. He does have tremendous upside.
4. Jeremy Lamb- Lamb's bad luck in NBA workouts may lead to a significant drop. Once the top shooting guard, Lamb is now behind Bradley Beal, Austin Rivers and Dion Waters on most draft board. Lamb is now projected to go 10th (Draftexpress), 14th (NBAdraft), and 13th (CNN/SI). Jeremy Lamb has a 6'11'' wingspan and a fantastic mid-range game. According to Draftexpress, he is the draft's most efficient shooter at 2pts. While he doesn't have the same superstar potential as Perry Jones, Lamb could develop into a lights-out shooter at the next level. He would fill a definite need, as our outside shooting is abyssal. Currently, Beal and Lamb probably couldn't play together, since Beal is too short to guard SF and Lamb is too small. However, is Lamb added some weight, they might be passable in some small ball lineups.
So looking at some of the value picks, would you trade back into the draft as the Wizards to get one? I find myself believing that parting with our draft pick next year for a chance at Perry Jones, Jared Sullinger, or Jeremy Lamb might be a good investment. Given that these players could be steals at their position, the Wizards might benefit by getting them now. The 2013 Draft looks to be less deep than the 2012 draft. Obviously, if the Wizards can buy a pick without sacrificing one next year, that'd be better. Teams like Phoenix (always cheap), Philadelphia (looking to shed salary), Denver (lots of restrict free agents, lots of young talent), and Atlanta all might be willing to sell their draft pick outright.