Our series of 2019 NBA Draft prospects continues as we write about prospects whom the Wizards may want with the ninth overall pick. Today, we look at a prospect local college basketball fans are familiar withe: Bruno Fernando.
Bruno Fernando, Center, Maryland Terrapins
Where is he from? — Fernando is from Luanda, Angola. He moved to the United States in for high school before blossoming into a four-star recruit for college.
How did he do in college? In 2018-19, Fernando averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds a game for the Terrapins who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Fernando will help the Wizards in the following ways:
- Rebounding, Rebounding, Rebounding — Fernando averaged over 10 rebounds a game while playing for a major conference. That’s big.
- Athleticism — Fernando is able to go get alley oops and is the kind of post that John Wall wanted more of in recent years.
- Unselfishness — Many centers aren’t keen to passing the ball to teammates for shots because they often finish, rather than set up plays. But Fernando averaged 2 assists per game which is quite good for his position.
And here are some things Fernando has to work on.
- Carelessness with the ball — Though Fernando was able to pass the ball to teammates better than other posts, he still averaged 2.8 turnovers a game last season.
- Can he develop a stronger three-point shot? — He made 3-of-10 threes as a sophomore, but a more consistent perimeter shot could make Fernando a solid power forward option as well.
What was Fernando’s best game as a college player?
On Jan. 11, Fernando scored 25 points on 11-of-12 shooting, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished 3 assists in a 78-75 win over then-No. 22 Indiana at Xfinity Center.
Sorry to Alan Jenkins in advance!
Fit for the Wizards
The Wizards are tied at the center position at the short-term. Ian Mahinmi and Dwight Howard play the position. And there’s a good chance Thomas Bryant will be back as well.
However, it’s unlikely that the Wizards will re-sign Mahinmi or Howard so it’s not like Fernando figures to be a long-term end-of-the-bench reserve for each of the next two to three seasons.
I think Fernando is an intriguing prospect and don’t mind seeing him with the pick. If Washington drafts him, he will likely spend most of 2019-20 with the Go-Go while Howard’s and Mahinmi’s contracts run out. I don’t think Fernando’s addition means that Bryant will be guaranteed to go elsewhere.
Fernando’s place on the draft boards can vary. Sports Illustrated lists him as the No. 22 on the board. But Fernando is also eighth on NBADraft.net’s. So depending on what you value, Fernando could be a good fit as the ninth pick or the Wizards may be reaching a bit slightly.
Let us know what you think Fernando can bring to Washington in the comments below.