Despite all of our prayers and wishes, the Wizards will select 8th overall in this year’s upcoming NBA draft. It’s where they were supposed to pick. That’s the problem though. This franchise needed some lottery luck for once and came up just short.
According to Ben Golliver, the Wizards and Spurs had the exact same number combination when the first three numbers were announced for the number one pick (14, 5, 8). The Wizards held six of the possible eleven final numbers, essentially giving them a 54.5% chance at winning the first pick. Instead, the Wizards terrible lottery luck continued.
Nonetheless, they have the 8th pick. They also don’t have a GM. That’s the bigger concern. With the draft coming up in just over a month, hiring someone soon is paramount. They need time to get their draft board together and come up with an offseason strategy.
There’s a plethora of ways the Wiz can go with this pick. They could:
- Hold firm at #8 and take a PG
- Trade up to take Scoot Henderson or Amen Thompson
- Trade role players to move back into the first round
With that being said, here’s a list of targets for the Wizards if they stay at pick #8:
No. 1: G Anthony Black (Arkansas)
At 6’7”, Black provides size and passing ability in the backcourt. Alongside Beal, his pass-first mentality will allow Brad to play more off-ball, where he excels. His shot needs some work, but the mechanics are there. He’d be a nice fit at a position of need.
No. 2: F Taylor Hendricks (UCF)
Although we have a stretch-big in Porzingis, you can never have too much shooting. Hendricks is an elite shooter for his position at 39.4% from three. He spaces the floor, protects the paint, and can switch onto smaller guards. His versatility is everything you want in a lottery pick. I would heavily consider taking him, even if Black is still on the board.
No. 3: Cason Wallace (Kentucky)
Kentucky point guards always seem to deliver in the NBA. Wallace is thought of as one of the best perimeter defenders in this draft class. His long wingspan allows him to get into passing lanes and disrupt shots. He ran Kentucky’s offense well this season, generating great looks for his bigs. He fills an immediate need at PG and can start right away.
No. 4: F Jarace Walker (Houston)
I’m a bit lower on Walker than most. His strength is a major factor down low, but his lack of height at just 6’7 worries me, especially at the PF position. I actually like his fit next to KP. He’d allow KP to play more free safety on defense and help us on the defensive end. If no more PG’s are there, I wouldn’t mind taking Walker.
No. 5: G Keyonte George (Baylor)
George is a flat-out scorer. He can get to the rim, pull up from mid-range, and knock it down from deep. What I like most is that he isn’t afraid to take the big shots. He stepped up when needed, and that’s the type of player I want. His fit in DC isn’t the best though, with Beal at SG and Johnny Davis entering year two.
Who is the best option of the five?
If I were picking at #8, I would select PG Anthony Black out of Arkansas. At 6’7”, his size alone sets him apart. Alongside a scorer like Bradley Beal, his court vision would be on full display.
His combination of athleticism and basketball IQ is an automatic upgrade on both ends of the floor. He simply makes everyone around him better.
I understand the concerns surrounding his jump shot, but we had similar fears with a young John Wall. You can teach someone how to shoot, but you can’t teach 6’7” with crazy bounce. I foresee him throwing lobs to KP out of the pick & roll and darting passes for open Bradley Beal jumpers.
In addition, he has the ability to score from all three levels. His drive and finish game is already there. Once the shot comes along, there’s no telling how good he can be. Think SGA upside with even crazier athleticism. That’s what you’re getting in Anthony Black.