Grunfeld: Injured prospects make draft intriguing
Until something changes, the Wizards have two second round selections, the 38th and 54th overall picks, in addition to their first rounder. It's no secret that Washington is not looking to bring three drafted rookies to training camp. It remains a secret as to the plan so that desire comes true.
In the case of the two No. 2's, they could be part of a larger deal involving the No. 3 overall selection or other current assets. Considering the reported depth in the middle of the draft (15-40), 38's relative value might not be much different in the eyes of some evaluators from a pick in the 20's, but moving ensures Washington could get a player they covet rather than waiting and hoping
Packaged together, the second-round picks could net Washington another team's first rounder, though on Tuesday team president Ernie Grunfeld said such a plan would be difficult. Then again several teams picking in the 20's are reportedly looking to move out of the first to avoid taking on a guaranteed contract.
Then of course, the most obvious path: the Wizards actually make the picks. Depending on what they do in the first round could dictate plans in round two, but essentially there are roster openings at every position*.
* Outside of John Wall and Bradley Beal, there are no guards currently on the active roster. John Wall and Bradley Beal have openly campaigned for a stretch-four. Emeka Okafor enters the final year of his contract and there is not a true defensive center ready to step in. Washington wants more scoring overall, notably from the wing.
With all that, here's a look at the top potential second-round option at each standard NBA position. The choices are based on conversations with league and college sources, team needs and author's discretion.
Point guard: Nate Wolters, South Dakota State. In the 20-50 prospect range, there are tons of floor leader types, though most are scorers masquerading as facilitators due to limited size. Not only does the 6-foot-5 Wolters (22.3 ppg, 5.8 apg) not have that issue, he offers scoring, significant range (37.9 percent from the college 3-point arc last year), and heady basketball instincts. Perhaps the primary concern is whether he can defend NBA point guards, but he Wizards can and perhaps should bring back free agent Garrett Temple (or A.J. Price) and let Wolters develop.
Others - Virginia Tech's Erick Green is a legitimate talent, but one likely headed into the first round. For a more traditional point guard option, look at Detroit's Ray McCallum over NC State's Lorenzo Brown (inconsistent), Louisville's Peyton Siva (size-challenged) or Baylor's Pierre Jackson (shoot, shoot, shoot).
Wing guard: Vander Blue, Marquette. Seeing as DraftExpress ranks the owner of the draft's best name 66th among the prospects, this call falls under that author's discretion category. The recent track record of Marquette players into the NBA is rather impressive (Jimmy Butler, Wes Matthews, Jae Crowder) especially considering they are generally underrated entering the draft. Typically that's because of uncertainty of future position or role due to physical dimensions or lack of overt offense. The assertive Blue, who is neither a strong shooter nor point guard, led the Golden Eagles to the East Region finals. The Wizards have no backup two-guard and could use a physical element in the backcourt.
Others: There are a bunch of off-guards in the 25-32 range, including Cal's Allen Crabbe, Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr., Kentucky's Archie Goodwin. With that glut, it's reasonable to assume one could slip; one scout told CSN he doesn't see Hardaway as being worthy of a first round pick. Not listed in this bunch, Temple's Khalif Wyatt and Florida State' Michael Snaer. Like Blue, neither not projected into the second round, but Wyatt already has a professional scorer's knack and Snaer was a clutch shooting machine for the Seminoles.