The SB Nation NBA site managers and the national team recently collaborated on a mock first round for the 2023 NBA Draft. For simplicity, no team was allowed to trade picks. The Washington Wizards have the 8th overall pick, and Bullets Forever was represented by Kevin Broom.
Here were the first seven selections in the mock draft.
- Spurs select Victor Wembanyama
- Hornets select Scoot Henderson
- Trail Blazers select Brandon Miller
- Rockets select Amen Thompson
- Pistons select Ausar Thompson
- Magic select Cam Whitmore
- Pacers select Jarace Walker
The rough consensus in recent weeks has the Wizards selecting Anthony Black with the 8th pick. Kevin — using his YODA tool — selected Bilal Couliabaly, a 6-8 wing who played with Wembanyama for the Metropolitans 92 in France.
Here is Kevin’s explanation for picking Coulibaly:
This pick was made before the team dealt Bradley Beal, but the trade doesn’t change much. I don’t believe in drafting for need, and besides: the Wizards’ biggest need is and was talent. In my stat-based system, Coulibaly rates as a top five pick. He’s long, athletic and young — turns 19 in July.
Coulibaly is not a perfect player, but he dominated under 21 competition and was productive as Wembanyama’s teammate in a strong professional league. The Wizards can afford to wait a couple years for him to mature, and their developmental process should be better with the new executive team and the additional resources team owner Ted Leonsis has promised.
Do you think Coulibaly could be a good addition for the Wizards this season? Let us know in the comments below.