How will local products fare in the NBA Draft?
On Tuesday night, one kind of NBA Draft speculation will end and another will ramp up dramatically. That's when we will learn the actual 2013 NBA Draft order and thus no longer have to mention that the Wizards have the 8th best odds (3.5%) of landing the first pick. Washington will wind up with one of the top three picks or anywhere from 8-11. That's it, that's the list.
J. Michael spent the past few days in Chicago and leading up to Tuesday night he'll provide insight on where the Wizards appear headed in the draft. As someone that covers the Wizards and college basketball for CSN, here's my take on what Washington is looking at depending on which draft slot fate - and the lottery ping-pong balls - determines.
If the Wizards land the No. 1 overall pick - Kentucky center Nerlens Noel is the favorite to be the first player selected even though the 6-foot-10 shot blocker won't be available until near the of 2013 because of a torn ACL. Based on potential and future needs - Emeka Okafor only has one year remaining on his contract - the Wizards could indeed take Noel. While rehabbing, the Wizards could also have him add bulk to his slender 206-pound frame. If the decision is about the future in addition to 2013 help, Georgetown small forward Otto Porter Jr. can step in right away as a defender and wing presence. If it comes down to wanting an immediate impact, Washington could deal the pick for a notable veteran. Based on their exit interviews, Wizards coach Randy Wittman and the players are cool with the latter plan.
Ideal scenario: Considering the uncertainty with the high-end prospects and strides the team made over the final 50 games, swapping the pick for a veteran and perhaps a later/future first round pick.
If the Wizards land the No. 2 or 3 pick - So let's assume Noel is off the board. Kansas guard Ben McLemore is a pure shooter and arguably the best player remaining in the draft, but the Wizards essentially already have him on the team. They call him Bradley Beal. Then again, the third guard slot is wide open, Washington must improve its bench scoring and is not in a position to pass on talent regardless of position. The more obvious fit is the versatile Porter. Depending on whether the Wizards re-sign Martell Webster to a multi-year deal, Porter could be the starting small forward by the 2014-15 campaign. Based on the draft board and positional needs, UNLV power-packed forward Anthony Bennett is a possibility despite his rotator cuff injury. Indiana swingman Victor Oladipo is a crazy athlete, but there are players with higher ceilings at this stage.
Ideal scenario: Still the trade for veteran angle, but...Porter's ability to contribute without plays run for him would be a major asset playing alongside John Wall, Nene and Beal. Having covered the Hoyas during Porter's two seasons on the Hilltop, I can say without doubt that at least from an attitude standpoint, he will be a coaches dream.