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Better Know a Draft Pick: Tony Wroten


Editor's Note: The 2012 NBA Draft is just around the corner, and that means it's time to start looking at this year's prospects. We've enlisted the help of a couple of our community's top draftnicks to break down as many prospects as possible from this year's class, whether they're high-lottery picks, potential first-round sliders or sleepers that could make an impact on a team from the second round. Today: bubble first round pick Tony Wroten, by pantslessyoda1.

PREVIOUSLY: Bradley Beal, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones, Perry Jones III, Chace Stanback

Team: Washington Huskies

Expected draft position: Late first round or early second round

College career recap: Wroten entered Washington as a highly-touted prospect who had been on the radar of scouts since his early teens. While he didn't dominate at the University of Washington, he had a very solid, if inefficient season, after which he hired an agent and declared for the 2012 NBA draft.

Basic Statistics Per 40 Pace Adjusted, via Draft Express









































Best attributes: Wroten showed an incredible ability to use his athleticism and ballhandling abilities to live at the free-throw line, averaging 9.3 attempts per pace adjusted 40 minutes, which is an elite number for a guard. It compares favorably with players like James Harden and Tyreke Evans, who have been able to constantly get to the charity stripe in the NBA. Even more impressively, he did this despite the fact that everyone who defended him was very much aware of Wroten's poor jump shot and almost non-existent right hand.

Wroten is also a very good playmaker and passer. Although his pure point rating was fairly poor, he still created an enormous number of assists for a freshman who will most likely be an off guard in the NBA. This did come with an abundance of turnovers, but for the most part, turnovers drop as players mature, so it's not a particularly large red flag. Also, while things like shot mechanics, rebounding technique, and defense can be improved with coaching, court vision is one of the few attributes a prospect can have that can't easily be improved.

Biggest weakness: Wroten can't shoot. At all. Not from the line, not from inside the arc, not from behind it and not in the paint if he needs to use his right hand. His shot has a hitch in it even at the charity stripe and his mechanics are very poor, as demonstrated in this video from Swish Scout.

In his defense, shot mechanics can be corrected, and if Chuck Hayes can become a passable free throw shooter, anyone can. While his percentages were never good, they at least improved a bit with more attempts, so it could be a confidence problem, which is hard to solve but can be done (Hayes and possibly Jan Vesely are two examples).

Why he'd fit in D.C.: The Wizards could always use another playmaker, and Wroten has already demonstrated the ability to consistently create shots for himself and others. With his ability to get into the paint -- which will only improve due to the spread out nature of most NBA offenses as well as any improvements he makes as a ball handler and shooter -- Wroten could be a valuable asset to the Wizards' second unit as a combo guard who can create shots for spot up shooters like Cartier Martin, allow Jordan Crawford to play off the ball and get to the line himself when the offense begins to stagnate.

Wroten is also about 6'5'', long, and has excellent quickness, so he should be able to defend both backcourt positions somewhere between adequately and very well, especially if he limits his gambling and accepts a bench role. Even if he doesn't take well to coming off the bench, his physical tools give him that all-important quality of "upside," which should give him value as a potential trade chip down the line.

Why he might not: Wroten finished his freshman season with a true shooting percentage of 49 percent. That would be a red flag even if it was his two point percentage, much less his true shooting percentage. For the sake of comparison, this is roughly where Jordan Crawford was last year, and Crawford was (rightfully) criticized for his poor shot selection and efficiency. Good teams just don't generally let players that inefficient play a major role in their offenses. Even if Wroten became a 70-percent shooter from the line, he'd still have a very poor true shooting percentage at the college level, and it will only decrease once he goes up against NBA defenders who will be more easily able to match up with his dynamite first step and handles. His lack of an outside shot would also hurt the Wizards' spacing, something that was already a team weakness to begin with.

Verdict: Pass ... but keep him in mind if you're a fan of other teams. Wroten will come to the NBA and immediately become at the very least a solid playmaker and slasher, and there should be room for someone like that on a bad team. Evans and Rodney Stuckey are the comparisons that have been made the most with regard to Wroten, but a former Wizard star might be an even better comparison.

Larry Hughes came into the NBA as a slightly better shooter than Wroten, but not by a whole lot. It took him some time to finally find a place where he could bloom as a combo guard and slasher due to how hard it is to slot a shooting guard who can't shoot into an offense, and Tony Wroten will most likely follow the same career path. Wroten is physically similar to Hughes with almost all of the same strengths and weaknesses.

Is this a player who should play major minutes next to John Wall? No, but he would be very valuable to a team running a motion offense, on a team like New Orleans that is in desperate need of perimeter playmakers, or next to a point guard with an excellent outside shot like Stephen Curry or Jose Calderon.

That's not good if you're the Washington Wizards, but Wroten has a very good shot at being a pleasant surprise for whoever winds up drafting him.