SBNation NBA’s 30 team sites held a mock 2021 NBA Draft last week. For simplicity, there were no trades, which left the Washington Wizards with the number 15 pick. After a quick discussion between Albert Lee, Kevin Broom and Diamond Hilton, we decided to select Gonzaga senior Corey Kispert.
Who was picked before us in the mock draft?
|1||Detroit Pistons||Cade Cunningham|
|2||Houston Rockets||Jalen Green|
|3||Cleveland Cavaliers||Evan Mobley|
|4||Toronto Raptors||Jalen Suggs|
|5||Orlando Magic||Jonathan Kuminga|
|6||Oklahoma City Thunder||Scottie Barnes|
|7||Golden State Warrios||Davion Mitchell|
|8||Orlando Magic||Moses Moody|
|9||Sacramento Kings||Jalen Johnson|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||Franz Wagner|
|11||Charlotte Hornets||James Bouknight.|
|12||San Antonio Spurs||Josh Giddey|
|13||Indiana Pacers||Jared Butler|
|14||Golden State Warriors||Alperen Sengün|
To look at the entire mock draft, click on the link below.
As the first non-lottery team selecting, we knew that as “imaginary Tommy Sheppard,” we weren’t getting the top picks based on Kevin’s preliminary YODA rankings. Cunningham, Mobley, Green and Suggs were four of the top players in his rankings. The fifth, Sengun, whom we were considered went to the Warriors at 14.
Thanks, Brady Klopfer.
— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) July 14, 2021
At that point, Kispert stood out as the best pick.
What will Kispert provide for Washington?
Right away, Kisper will provides point shooting. He made 44% of his threes last season (91-207 in 32 games) for Gonzaga last season. In fact, Kispert has been one of the nation’s most prolific shooters the past two seasons.
He’s also a good all-around scorer and rim-finisher at the college level. Kispert was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and averaged 18.6 points, and 5.0 rebounds on 52.9% shooting from the field. And he Gonzaga to the NCAA championship game.
Washington was 28th in made threes last season and 22nd in three point percentage (35.1%). Kispert should give the Wizards a boost from long range and while defensive attention remains on Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.
In other words, with Kispert, the Wizards should remain in position to make the playoffs and possibly advance a round next year, consistent with the Wizards’ goal of building on this season’s playoff berth.
What is Kispert’s down side?
Kispert is already in his “Taylor year.” He just finished his fourth season with Gonzaga, and as a 22-year-old, Kispert is closer to his prime than Suggs, who is 20 and can’t buy beer or wine on this side of the Canadian border.
That said, the Wizards aren’t looking for players who might become All-Stars in three or four years. They need someone who can perform right away. In other words, this isn’t much of a downside at 15.
What does YODA say?
YODA (short for Ye Olde Draft Analyzer) uses publicly available information to grade draft prospects, and the system has a favorable grade on Kispert — even after deductions for being an older prospect. His athletic testing at the draft combine suggests he’s at least adequate physically for the NBA.
What stands out in the numbers is his shooting — 44% from three-point range on 8+ attempts per 40 minutes, 63% from two-point range (an outstanding number), and 88% from the free throw line. And he seldom commits a turnover.
The statistical markers of athleticism are equivocal — the excellent two-point percentage is offset by low steals and blocks. Defense isn’t likely to be a strength, at least at first. The reason to draft Kispert: he’s a terrific shooter who doesn’t commit turnovers.
And, it’s not like he should be viewed as some kind of consolation prize. While YODA rankings may shift as analysis continues, Kispert currently sits ahead of guys like Franz Wagner, Davion Mitchell, and Jonathan Kuminga, and is on the same level as Moses Moody — all of whom were selected before him in this exercise.
Kispert surely doesn’t fix everything wrong with the Wizards, but that would be a lot to ask of any 15th pick. He should significantly upgrade the SF spot for them, however.
Is Kispert on the Wizards’ radar?
He has to be, even if the team hasn’t invited him for draft prospect workouts…yet. Plus, the Wizards have picked guys they haven’t hosted for individual workouts.
Will you like to see Kispert on the Wizards?
Given the Wizards’ goals next season, it’s plausible he can make an impact in Washington. Even if the Wizards end up rebuilding if they trade Beal or Westbrook, Kispert could still be a significant contributor — 22 isn’t exactly old.
Let us know what you think of Kispert in the comments.