Disappointing Wizards eye draft | Yardbarker


Another season is about to come to a disappointing close for the Washington Wizards, who seem to have given up on making the postseason.

That means attention for the team turns to the NBA Draft. If the season ended Friday, Washington (32-41) — which is 12th in the Eastern Conference —  would have the sixth-best lottery odds. The Wizards could fall behind the Orlando Magic in the standings, moving them to fifth best. (The NBA Draft Lottery is May 16.)

This could be a make-or-break draft for the Wizards. In the past two drafts, they selected Corey Kispert and Johnny Davis in the first round. Early returns indicate Kispert is a role player and Davis is a project. This draft could be Washington’s last chance at salvaging its core of Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma.

The Wizards need an immediate-impact player, either to help maximize the primes of Beal & Company or to be the star in a post-Beal era. Ideally, the Wizards would select a star point guard — the position where they are lacking firepower.

The Spencer Dinwiddie point guard experiment last season failed, and Monte Morris, who’s a solid player, isn’t someone who can take over a game. Washington has tried Beal as the primary ball-handler, but he’s not suited for that role.

The NBA Draft on June 22 is loaded with promising guards. In a perfect world for the Wizards, they’d earn the right to pick Victor Wembanyama (a point-center like Denver’s Nikola Jokic) or NBA G League star Scoot Henderson, a more traditional floor general who draws comparisons to future Hall of Famer Chris Paul.

If Washington remains at sixth or lower, though, it will still have solid options in the draft. Amen Thompson (City Reapers of Overtime Elite), Cason Wallace (Kentucky), Anthony Black (Arkansas) and Jalen Hood-Schifino (Indiana) are potential franchise cornerstones.

No matter whom the Wizards select, the player better be good. Washington can’t afford to miss.

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