Each year, SB Nation gathers their NBA team bloggers together to do a mock draft of the first round.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to be a part of the festivities the past two years due to the Wizards not having a pick, so I was feeling extra frisky this time around. I wanted to see what opportunities the Wizards had to potentially move up in the draft, especially if a stud fell through the cracks. I packaged Kelly Oubre with the pick in an attempt to see what I could get, but ultimately, I couldn’t move up far enough to justify giving him away, so I decided to stick it out with the 15th pick.
There were several interesting options on the board at that spot. Lonnie Walker has intriguing upside and would fill a need in the Wizards’ backcourt. Troy Brown has a rare combination of skills as a defender and a playmaker. Keita Bates-Diop rates very well in Kevin Broom’s YODA. Ultimately, I decided to play it safe and go with the natural fit, Robert Williams, as I detailed on Ridiculous Upside:
John Wall made it clear at the end of the season the Wizards need to get younger in the frontcourt. While Robert Williams may not have all the offensive skills that teams are seeking nowadays in big men, he can fit in seamlessly with the Wizards’ pick-and-roll attack as a screener for Wall and Bradley Beal.
Better yet, Williams should be a big difference maker on the defensive end. He gives the Wizards a shot-blocking presence they’ve lacked since they traded away JaVale McGee in 2012, and he also has the versatility to switch on smaller players, which should come in handy on a team that’s had to play very traditional defensive coverages because of their outdated big men.
There’s a lot of JaVale McGee in Williams’ game the Wizards will need to iron out if they want him to be the starting center of the future, but after years of relying on old centers, at least Williams would give them a player worth developing.