Yes, they are on a hot streak right now, but the Washington Wizards are still technically a lottery team. If the season ended today (and the team didn’t win their play-in game), they would have the 11th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Several All-Stars and All-Star-caliber players have gone 11th in the last decade. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Klay Thompson were all the 11th picks in their respective drafts. On the flipside, Cole Aldrich, Michael Carter-Williams, Meyers Leonard, Doug McDermott, and Malik Monk have been considerably less successful.
Now that the Wizards are looking more like the team that the organization and fans hoped to see this season, it’s encouraging to think about how they could add to this year’s group and bolster the roster for next season. To get a sense for who the Wizards might be able to add to next year’s team, let’s take a look at who some of the marquee draft analysts are projecting at 11.
Both The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie and Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman have Baylor guard Davion Mitchell at 11 on their big boards. ESPN’s Best Available list has Kentucky freshman Isaiah Jackson at 11. Tankathon has Arkansas freshman Moses Moody going to the Wizards at 11 in their latest mock draft. I currently have Michigan forward Franz Wagner at 11 on my personal board.
Davion Mitchell, 6-2 guard, Baylor, junior
Case for: defensive menace especially on-ball, explosive, showed a lot of progress as a three-point shooter this season, solid ball skills and passing ability
Case against: probably closer to 6-foot, was a bad three-point shooter until this season, is a poor free throw shooter, old by NBA draft standards
For more on Mitchell, check out our write-up on his fit with the Wizards.
Isaiah Jackson, 6-10 forward, Kentucky, freshman
Case for: monster athlete, super long, top-tier shot-blocker, mobile enough to defend on the perimeter, strong rebounder, decent touch offensively, lob threat
Case against: really thin, limited offensive skills, basically a non-shooter at this point, did I mention he really needs to bulk up?
Moses Moody, 6-6 wing, Arkansas, freshman
Case for: prototypical 3&D wing, jumpshot looks very sound, doesn’t need a lot of dribbles to score, good length, would actually be the corner three-point shooting wing the team tried to turn Troy Brown Jr. and Deni Avdija into
Case against: not an elite athlete, doesn’t create for others, can fade into the background at times
Franz Wagner, 6-9 wing/forward, Michigan, sophomore
Case for: multi-positional defensive versatility (can guard 2 through 4), good three-point shooter, younger than most freshmen in the draft despite having more years of high-level experience, moves well without the ball, solid mobility for being a bigger wing, uses his length well in averaging over 1 block and 1 steal per game, good passer, would fit in well with the Wizards current offensive makeup. Plus, it’d be kind of hilarious to see them try to draft the younger Wagner after dumping the older one,
Case against: he was really bad offensively (1-for-10) in their loss to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament and that might scare some people off, not an elite athlete, only shot 34-percent from 3 (but 84 percent from the free throw line)