The Washington Wizards, like all other NBA teams, will be scheduling interviews with top NBA prospects during the Chicago pre-draft combine that begins tomorrow. The on-court activities have been rendered close to insignificant with so many players refusing to participate in recent years, so it's the one-on-one interviews that will matter most.
Who will the Wizards be talking to in Chicago? CSN Washington's J Michael has come up with a list that includes Otto Porter of Georgetown, Alex Len of Maryland and the following players:
Victor Oladipo (Indiana), SF Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), PG Isaiah Canaan (Murray State), SG Allen Crabbe (California), PG/SG C.J. McCollum (Lehigh), C Cody Zeller (Indiana), PF Mason Plumlee (Duke), C Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga), and C Steven Adams (Pittsburgh).
Notably absent from that list: Ben McLemore and Nerlens Noel. Noel is only expected to interview with the top teams in the lottery, according to Michael. McLemore and Trey Burke aren't on the Wizards' list because ... well, I guess either the Wizards think they'll go before their pick or they don't want them. It's probably too soon to read into anything, but their absences are interesting.
The other folks on the list are interesting as well. Porter, Len, Oladipo, Muhammad and Zeller are no surprise. Plumlee, Olynyk and McCollum are projected as late-lottery picks, so they belong there too. Canaan, Crabbe and Adams are the random names on there. Canaan is a small guard in the Nate Robinson/Will Bynum mode that is starting to rise up draft boards. Crabbe won Pac-12 Player of the Year and is a mid-first-round shooting guard prospect that comes off screens well, so he may be a good fit in the Wizards' system. Adams is very raw, but with lots of upside ... so he's the kind of player Ernie Grunfeld has taken often in recent years. This is a mental note for me to study them more.
There's lots of evaluating left to be done, but file these names away as we go on in this process.