On June 27, the Wizards will take part in the 2013 NBA draft. Currently the owner of picks 3, 38 and 54, the franchise could go in almost any direction with those selections - including trading them - as Washington attempts a sincere playoff push.
Washington's primary needs, some of which can be addressed during free agency, include adding overall scoring punch, finding a power forward with perimeter touch, a long-term answer at small forward, plus backups for John Wall and Bradley Beal. Between now and the draft, we’re going to identify some of the players the Wizards might target whether the team stays pat or moves around in the first round with analysis from coaches, scouts, beat writers and national analysts.
Up next, Virginia Tech guard Erick Green. Check below for a running of list of all our draft profiles.
Erick Green, Virginia Tech
Draft Express overall ranking: No. 22
Height/Weight: 6-3, 175 lbs (combine data)
Key stats: 25.0 points, 3.8 assists in 2012-13
The player: For starters, the Hokies point guard led the nation in scoring, but don't assume this is a case of a player racking up stats on a bad team. Well, that's part of it, but the former Paul VI star was also very effective, ranking second among the point guard class with 1.068 points per possession while tops in usage (22.8 ppg). Despite being the primary decision maker and ball handler, Green avoided a high volume of turnovers. Further proof of his efficiency, Green averaged fewer shots per game by any national leading scorer since 1995-96. Further proof of his improvement as a shooter - he jumped from 29 percent as a freshman to 47.5 percent as a senior -, Green made tons and tons of buckets off the dribble. The ACC Player of the Year also sank 39 percent of his 3-point attempts.
The fit: Considering the Wizards need for a backup point guard and more scoring, this is a kill-two-birds-with-one-pick situation. Green provides a physical presence, an element currently lacking with or behind Wall and Beal, plus the ability to play on or off the ball. It's worth noting that he carved out a significant role as a Hokies sophomore even with potent options Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen in the leading men roles.
The issue: As one NBA source described it, Green, like many listed in the same position category, "is a two-guard in point guard's body." If the Wizards re-sign Garrett Temple or A.J. Price, that's not necessarily a deal breaker. The possible issue for the Wizards could be Green's defense, which is suspect against the pick-and-roll and when facing larger guards.
The analysis (as told to CSNwashington):
Mark Turgeon, Maryland head coach: "I see him being a scoring point [guard]. I think when he gets to the next level he'll think pass more than he had to at Virginia Tech. Tremendous scorer, tremendous in ball screens. Can shoot the three so you have to get out and guard, but can also drive it. Just a product of hard work; the kid worked and worked and worked...Its hard becoming an NBA point guard, but there is no question he has the talent. He'll have a chance...I think Erick will play in the league for a few years.
James Johnson, Virginia Tech head coach: (What are teams asking about Green?) "They want to know about his leadership, his work ethic. They like is size, his ability to score at all different levels. He probably has the best mid-range game in the draft and can shoot the long ball. They also want to know about his physicality, can he take a pounding when he goes inside. He's strong. His body doesn't wear down even though he has different types guarding him, from big and physical defenders to quicker guards." (Type of guard). "I think he's a scoring point guard. He's a basketball player that plays the point guard position - and he makes the right decisions."
Rob Dauster, CollegeBasketballTalk.com/NBCSports: "I love him. I think he's going to be a very good pro. Go back and look at what he did as a senior. He had an unbelievably efficient year and led the nation in scoring and he did all that despite being the only option that Virginia Tech had. They had nobody else. Ended up putting together a year that from an efficiency standpoint rivals the likes of [Michigan guard] Trey Burke."
The summation: Green declined an invitation to work out for the Wizards, likely because his agent believes the Winchester native won't last until the 38th pick - or wants to offer that perception. Based on chatter and draft pundit reports, it's probably the former, though this draft is point guard heavy from 20-50. The Wizards have stated they are unlikely to use all three of their picks. While the assumption is that one or both of the second rounders could be shipped as part of larger trade for a veteran, it's conceivable Washington uses them with other assets to move into the first round. Some teams are looking to avoid paying guaranteed money so they can purse the likes of free agents Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. That's obviously a long shot thought, but Green's overcame plenty of odds last year to turn in a dynamic campaign.
NBA Draft profiles:
Ben McLemore, Kansas
Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana
Glen Rice Jr., NBA D-League/Georgia Tech
Mike Muscala, F, Bucknell
Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Tony Snell, SF, New Mexico
Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown
Lorenzo Brown, PG, NC State
Alex Len, C, Maryland
Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA, SF/SG