There’s been a distinct lack of updates from the Wizards on who they are bringing in for workouts. In the absence of that news, I would like to propose a few centers I think should be on their radar with the 59th pick or as undrafted free agents.
Drew Timme, F/C, 6’10, Gonzaga, senior
Stats: 21.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1 block, 2.6 turnovers, 61.6% FG, 16.7% 3PT, 63.2% FT
I know, I know. Tommy Sheppard is gone and with him the ties to Gonzaga. But guys aren’t this productive by accident and it’s worth seeing if any of that can translate at the NBA level. He’s got great touch, post-moves, and footwork. He runs the floor hard and is a monster in the pick-and-roll because he can also operate as the ball-handler in an inverted situation. He brings enough to the table offensively that he at least warrants a workout.
Charles Bediako, C, 6’11, Alabama, sophomore
Stats: 6.4 points, 6 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 65.9% FG, 35.5% FT (only 62 total attempts, made 61% the year before)
Bediako is a very large man who runs the floor well and can protect the rim. He was the anchor for one of the best defenses in the country and is an athletic finisher around the rim. You could do a lot worse with a third big. He’s also young enough to expect him to continue to develop as he was coming on strong down the stretch of the season. At the very least he would be a valuable addition to the Capital City Go-Go roster next year and may turn into more with time.
Jake Stephens, PF/C, 7’0, Chattanooga, super senior
Stats: 22 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.2 blocks, 55.2% FG, 40.8% 3PT (45.1% over the last two seasons), 82% FT
Stephens is arguable the best shooting big man in this class. He hit threes from all over the court and usually did so while well-contested. He was insanely productive at the mid-major level, especially around the basket where he made 70% of his attempts. He also has a really good feel for the game and keeps the ball moving within the flow of an offense. On defense, he uses his 7’10 wingspan to help protect the paint but he’s not a great athlete and is pretty slow laterally. He projects almost exclusively as a drop-coverage big. It still seems worth finding out if he can translate that overall production to an NBA game. If he ends up being a serviceable role player, it’s the kind of move that could make an NBA general manager look really smart. He would be one of my first calls on draft night if he goes undrafted, which is likely to be the case.
Liam Robbins, C, 7’0, Vanderbilt, super senior
Stats: 15 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1 assist, 3.2 blocks, 50.4% FG, 36.5% 3PT, 73.1% FT
Robbins protects the rim and projects as a floor-spacer. He played for Jerry Stackhouse the last two years and should be able to come in and understand an NBA offense right away. A plug-and-play third big could be valuable for the Wizards. He doesn’t defend well in space but for a team that may just need a big-bodied drop-coverage alternative, Robbins seems worth a flier. He suffered a season-ending leg injury in early March, otherwise he may have found himself getting drafted.
KJ Williams, PF/C, 6’10, LSU, super senior
Stats: 17.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 49% FG, 41.1% 3PT, 78.5% FT
Williams was dominant in the mid-major ranks the previous four years and had no problem stepping up a level and continuing to produce in the SEC. Why not see if he can make another jump? I really buy the shooting and he runs the floor hard. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really protect the rim or guard well in space. Because of that, playing a Thomas Bryant-like role in the NBA is probably the best-case scenario.