The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and projected targets. Today, the Washington Wizards will be evaluated.
The Washington Wizards finished the 2019-2020 with a record 25-47. They were invited to the NBA bubble when the restart began at June 4 but did not qualify for the playoffs. They finished third in their division and ninth in the conference.
Star point guard John Wall did not play a single game during the season, as he was recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon. Bradley Beal also skipped the NBA restart due to a shoulder injury, so their playoff chances were slim once entering the bubble.
A bright spot in the Wizards’ season was their only draft pick last year, Rui Hachimura. He averaged 30 minutes, 13.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Hachimura also held his own on defense, one of their lone defensive bright spots.
After a shakeup in the front office and missing the playoffs, the Wizards are at a bit of a crossroads. They have too much talent to blow it all up, but are not going anywhere with the current roster. If they choose correctly with their two 2020 NBA Draft picks, it could ease some of those concerns.
The Wizards have two picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 9
Second Round: Pick No. 37
Defense, defense, defense- The Wizards ranked second-worst in the entire NBA in opponents’ points per game, at 119.1. They also finished 29th in defensive efficiency and 24th in blocks. Long story short, an impressive offense means nothing if Washington cannot stop their opponents.
Rebounding- Ranking 27th in rebounding is also a problem, even if Washington was in the top half of possessions per game (12th). If the Wizards can hold on to more rebounds (particularly defensively), their offense could be even better.
First Round, Pick No. 9: Isaac Okoro, SG/SF (Auburn)
Okoro is one of the top-rated defensive prospects in the 2020 NBA Draft. The fit is a little odd, seeing as both the forward and guard positions are not only crowded but convoluted. The Wizards have plenty of each and endless combinations to throw onto the court.
However, as stated above, Washington’s first, second and third need is defense. Okoro is more than likely going to be the best defensive prospect available at the ninth overall pick. Plus, he can guard two to three positions on the floor, which extends his usefulness even further.
His three-point shooting needs a lot of work and he is not always the best hustle rebounder, but this is a slam dunk pick to help turn around the things that need changed for the Wizards.
Second Round, Pick No. 37: Killian Tillie, PF/C (Gonzaga)
It would not be a true Wizards conversation without injecting some injury worry into the draft process. With that in mind Killian Tillie could be a steal at pick number 37.
A true European big, Tillie can play both of the biggest positions, pass with authority and shoot the three at a great clip (40 percent from outside was his lowest in all four years at Gonzaga). He also plays great defense off of the ball, which centers need to be able to do in this era of NBA basketball while guards are searching for their open shots.
His blocks and rebounds are a bit lackluster, but at 6-foot-10 those can be coached up in a hurry. And, as mentioned earlier, he has injury concerns, mostly in his knees and ankles. But if Tillie can stay on the floor he will be the dynamic prospect the Wizards need.
Featured Image courtesy of Washington Wizards
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