Day 26 of our 2017 NBA Draftmas special focuses on the needs and targets of the Washington Wizards 2017 draft.
Under newly hired head coach Scott Brooks, the Wizards went 49-33, ranking fifth in points per game and 21st in points allowed. Their season was cut short after pushing the first seed Boston Celtics to seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The team’s offense was focused around focal point John Wall, who had a career year. The 2016-17 season was Wall’s first with over 20 points, 10 assists and two steals per game. His impact of the offensive and defensive end has transformed the Wizards into a perennial playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
With Wall being Washington’s Batman, we can consider Bradley Beal to be his Robin. Beal also had a career year, as he averaged 23 points and 3.5 assists on 48 percent field goal shooting.
Beyond the statistics, the greatest improvement for Beal was his durability, as he managed to start in all 77 games in which he played in. This is a huge uptick from the 35 games in which he started in the year before.
Other impact players include stretch four Markieff Morris, center Marcin Gortat and wing Otto Porter, who all averaged double figures. Off the bench came newly acquired Bojan Bogdanovic, who also averaged double figures in only 23 minutes per game.
Other role players include young wing Kelly Oubre, guards Brandon Jennings, Trey Burke and Tomas Satoransky, as well as big men Ian Mahinmi and Jason Smith.
The Wizards roster is fairly full, although with restricted free agents Porter, Bogdanovic and Burke, as well as unrestricted free agent Jennings, Washington could have some holes to fill. Most likely the Wizards will retain any restricted FAs, especially Porter and Bogdanovic, although if a team were to offer Burke an unmatchable contract, he could be moving on to another team.
Washington Wizards 2017 Draft Picks & Needs
After trading their lone first round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough, the Wizards will be left with only one pick in the upcoming draft.
First Round: N/A
Second Round: No. 52
Since their lone draft pick is at the back end of the second round, Washington will need to find a diamond in the rough. Their glaring need is defense, although with the possible losses of back up guards Brandon Jennings and Trey Burke to free agency, it seems as though drafting a guard could be the best possible solution.
Targets & Thoughts
Pick #52: Frank Mason, Guard, Kansas
Wooden Award winner Frank Mason has been projected as a late-second round pick due to his lack of size and potential, as he only stands at 5-foot-11 and is already 23-years-old.
His size failed to hold him back from becoming one of the elite point guards at the college level, and his talent and skill set give him the potential to become a great floor general at the next level.
The two-time Naismith Award winner averaged about 21 points, five assists and four rebounds in his senior season. He also led Kansas to two straight Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA tournament. His leadership and offensive ability will make him an asset to any team.
Pick #52: Edmond Sumner, Guard, Xavier
Sumner, a 6-foot-6 combo guard out of Xavier, was forced to redshirt in his freshman season after being involved in a head-on collision that left him motionless on the floor for about 10 minutes. After playing a full season in 2015-16, Sumner suffered a torn ACL that cut his sophomore campaign short.
His vast injury history has dropped his draft stock significantly, although his size and skillset project him to be an all-around guard who can contribute with or without the ball.
He averaged 14 points, five assists and four rebounds on 48 percent shooting this season. Defensively, he could be a great asset to the Wizards who would be able to use him as a versatile defender who can guard the one-three positions. His offensive and defensive skillsets would make him a perfect fit as a depth guard for Washington.
The Wizards don’t have many needs, as they were only one game away from squaring up with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. If they can add a cheap piece in the draft opposed to over-paying a depth asset in free agency, they would be able to save some cap for the future.
Frank Mason could become the depth floor general Washington may need if Jennings is not resigned. Edmond Sumner could be a better replacement for their current combo guard Trey Burke who struggles defensively. All in all, the Wizards are in a good spot, and will likely be in the Eastern Conference semifinals for a fourth time in the last five years.
Thanks for checking out the Washington Wizards 2017 NBA Draft profile and tune in tomorrow for day 27 of our NBA Draftmas special to see what the Memphis Grizzlies may do this offseason.
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