Thursday, May 31, 2012
Despite a 20% chance to win the 2012 NBA Draft's top pick, the Washington Wizards will be selecting third next month behind New Orleans and Charlotte.
The Wizards, who ranked 22nd in points, 20th in rebounds, 27th in assists per game and 20th in points allowed, are in dire need of upgrades at a number of positions throughout the roster.
Following the lottery, ESPN projected Washington would select Florida freshman Bradley Beal. Described as "Ray Allen meets Eric Gordon," Beal would be an instant-impact shooting guard to pair alongside starting point guard John Wall.
Beal, who averaged 14.8 points on 45% shooting last year, is noted for his shooting prowess. He also used his powerful 6-foot-3 frame to pull in 6.7 rebounds per game, no small feat for a guard. He's got a complete game and would be a great addition to most NBA starting lineups.
But with Jordan Crawford already on the roster, it might make more sense for Washington to draft a big man. And with Kentucky's Anthony Davis the consensus No. 1 pick, other options available could include Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Kansas' Thomas Robinson.
Kidd-Gilchrist is likely to come off the board at No. 2, leaving the 6-foot-9, 237-pound Robinson as a possible addition.
He averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds as a junior, and is a gritty, physical player who plays tough defense and is one of the nation's elite rebounders.
"We're very happy with how things shook out, we think we'll add a very valuable piece with the No. 3 pick," team president Ernie Grunfeld said.
Still, with a 20-46 record last year, the team is far away from adding one piece to the puzzle and becoming a playoff contender. Davis would have been a terrific addition, and while Robinson and Kidd-Gilchrist will be good NBA players for years to come, Washington needs more help all over to lock Wall up beyond his rookie contract.