(And no, I cannot take credit for that title. I wish I had something better, but I don't).
One subject we haven't really touched on much thus far is the NBA Draft. Maybe it's because we're tired of placing our energy into the draft after so many years of picking near the top. Maybe it's a fallout from the Kwame Brown #1 selection. Maybe it's just that I don't care as much. Who knows?
But with the draft less than a month and a half away, it's time to take a look. The Wizards pick 16th and 47th, which is only slightly higher than they did last year. The good news is that this draft is supposed to be one of the deepest in recent memory, although I personally think that's a little overstated.
Who's currently in the Wizards range right now?
NBAdraft.net has the Wizards taking Nick Young, a wing out of USC, with the 16th pick. Here's the "strengths" section from his scouting report.
Ooh, me likey, especially the defensive comment. Also, if you go to the ESPN page, Chad Ford has a podcast with Young. I'd link it, but it won't show up for some reason, and it's Insider anyway.
Draft Express has the Wizards taking Jason Smith, a 7 footer from Colorado State. This comes from a game log from the season.
Furthermore, while Smith puts up excellent all-around numbers, he probably doesn't impact the game as much as he could. Part of this is the sub-par team he plays for, but Smith generally scores his points in short spurts. He rarely makes the blue-collar play, and routinely gets himself into foul trouble.
I'd probably stay away from him.
Hoops Addict's latest mock gives the Wizards Al Thorton, a forward from Florida State.
My main problem with Thorton is that he's very old and doesn't really have an NBA position, but those same things have been said about guys like Paul Millsap, Craig Smith, and Josh Howard in recent drafts.
Chad Ford's 16th ranked prospect is Georgia Tech forward Thaddeus Young, who's stock has slipped this year.
The guys on the Real GM boards are behind Rice's Morris Almond. Says user "Chocolate City Jordanaire:"
31.1 pts (only 21.1 FGAs) and 9.7 rebs, and 10.5 FTAs and also 2.9 made 3pts at 48% fg and 45% 3pt and 84%FTs. (He can carry an offense, even at the NBA level especially in light of the emphasis now on perimeter play).
Of course, there's always the possibility that a sure-fire lottery pick slides down into the teens. This year, the top candidates seem to be Jeff Green and Joakim Noah. If Noah slips to 16, the Wizards should pick him right away. He seems tailor-made for improving the defense from the center spot. Green also would be a phenomenal fit, even though I don't see him becoming a great pro. He did play in the Princeton offense in college, after all.
What are your draft thoughts? Who should the Wizards grab?