NBA Draft: Pundits on Wizards, top picks

NBA Draft: Pundits on Wizards, top picks
May 23, 2013, 10:45 am
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Bradley Beal surprised with the Wizards good luck

Now that the Wizards own the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA Draft, the pundit world has suggestions on what they should do with said pick along with other thoughts involving the top prospects and the other squads selecting near the top. The CSNwashington mock draft is here and here, projections primarily focusing on the Wizards are below. Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown - The Wizards get a very good outcome. Porter is a position need and coming off a season as the Big East Player of the Year that moved the versatile small forward into the top five. Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV. Starting small forward Martell Webster had a terrific season, but will be a free agent. The power forward position is also a concern, as it's unclear whether Brazilian big man Nene is better suited to playing center and if he can even stay healthy and motivated for a full year, let alone the three remaining on his contract. The Wizards ranked last in offensive efficiency last season and depth at the guard positions is another area the team might look to address. Anthony Bennett might be the most talented prospect on the board regardless of position, and also fills a major need as a shooting four that can play alongside both Emeka Okafor and Nene. He looks like a good fit here considering Washington’s struggles offensively. Porter - The Wizards need help at the small forward position and Porter, who played his college ball in Washington, appears to be the perfect fit. With two super backcourt scorers such as John Wall and Bradley Beal, having a forward who's a facilitator like Porter feels just right. The other player to watch carefully for the Wizards is Anthony Bennett. Sources say the Wizards also are very high on Bennett and could opt for his potent offensive game to expand their options at power forward. Porter - Here's where things get fun. The Wizards need a small forward, and GM Ernie Grunfeld got a good look at the Hoyas' Porter all season long. Porter is a versatile forward with an excellent mid-range game. But UNLV's Anthony Bennett -- who is unable to work out for teams because of a shoulder surgery -- has monstrous potential at either forward spot. Pencil in Porter, a more traditional small forward, for now, but don't expect it to be an easy call. Bennett - He's injured with a shoulder injury, but he's got far higher upside than Otto Porter. Bennett is a combo forward from Canada who can score both inside and out and can form with John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Zach Lowe: The other team whose calculus changed a bit last night was Washington. The Wiz view themselves a playoff team next season, and are confident they’d have made it this season had John Wall been healthy from the jump. They also already have six players who will be in either their second, third, or fourth seasons in the league next season — a lot of really, really young guys. In other words: A lot of folks around the league expected Washington to shop its first-round pick for some veteran help when that pick was slated in the mid-lottery. It will be interesting to see what the Wiz do now that they're picking third.

Chad Ford, on Bennett vs. Porter: Such a tough call. Those are the two players they are high on. Both are fits. If they need more offense and potential star power Bennett is the guy. Porter gives them the high basketball IQ, the passing, the defense, all the little things. Personally, I think I like Porter a little bit more, but if I was Ernie Grunfeld, I'd be torn here. The Magic are enough of an unknown at the No. 2 spot that it’s difficult to project what might be available with the ensuing pick, but at least two of UNLV’s Anthony Bennett, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Georgetown’s Otto Porter are sure to be on the board for Washington. Each of those players would contribute nicely to a Wizards rotation gunning for the postseason in 2014 while banking on more substantial improvement in the long term — a luxury born of bucking the odds with a selection in the top three.

Ford, on Oladipo: I'm telling everyone that will listen -- Oladipo is the guy that GMs love in this draft. May be the only one. I've talked to 14 or 15 who tell me he's their favorite player. Almost zero downside and still significant upside. Not sure he's a fit in Cleveland or Washington -- but Orlando and Phoenix both look like strong fits. Burke may be a bigger need, but Oladipo might be the better player long-term.

Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer, on the No. 1 picking Cavaliers: The player best suited in terms of need is Georgetown small forward Otto Porter. He's projected as a top three pick. Is there a way the Cavs can trade with No. 2 Orlando, and still grab Porter while adding a future first rounder? You can be sure that will be discussed.