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The Sideline Observer

Sports and Culture Commentary

Wizards Draft Preview

Going into the 2017 season, the Wizards had higher expectations than any past year I can remember. Boy, was it a disappointment.

We saw Wall go down early with a knee injury, we saw “everybody eat”, and maybe the only positive we saw was Bradley Beal take his next step to superstardom. However, it’s officially time to bury the 2017 season and never talk about it again. It’s draft season baby and the Wizards have many holes to fill.

At the top of the list certainty has to be finding an athletic big man; as fun as it was watching Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi roam the paint, it’s certainly time for a change. With that being said, we can honestly take any position at picks 15 and 44, because we could use all the bench help possible.

DREAM PICKS:

While these players will most likely not be available at 15, if one of them fell to the Wizards it would be monumental.

 

Wendell Carter Jr, C, Duke:

Wendell Carter is almost too perfect of a fit for the Wizards. The only problem is he will certainly go in the top 10. He is an athletic center who the Wizards could immediately plug into their starting lineup and give John Wall, for the first time in his career, a center who can run the floor beside him. Carter also has the ability to stretch the floor; he shot 41% from three in college. Every Wizards fan should be praying for Wendell Carter to slide to 15.

Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri:

Michael Porter Jr. may be the most polarizing player in this entire draft. He has question marks galore surrounding him, which is why mock drafts have him going anywhere from 2 through 15. Michael Porter was one of the top recruits in the country last year and if not for a back injury, he would certainly be a lock to go top 5 of this draft.

He has superstar potential and while he may not fill the biggest hole for the Wizards, he could become the third star along with Wall and Beal to form DC’s version of a big 3. However, like Wendell Carter, I don’t expect Michael Porter to be around at pick 15; but hey, the Capitals won the Stanley Cup so anything’s possible.

REALISTIC PICKS:

Robert Williams, F/C, Texas A&M:

This is certainly a name to remember on draft night. While the players I named above may be higher on draft boards, I believe Robert Williams is the realistic plan A for the Wizards. Williams is a freakishly athletic, physical player that could start right away at either center or forward.

Williams is a force defensively, and while he is somewhat limited offensively, he could provide John Wall what DeAndre Jordan provided for Chris Paul during the lob city days. If the Wizards were to take Williams at 15, I would definitely count that as a win.

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami:

If the Wizards choose not to pick a big man with the 15th pick, I believe they will add depth to their bench, primarily at the guard position, by drafting Lonnie Walker. Lonnie Walker seems to be the best option. He’s a long, athletic, slashing 2 guards who can also shoot the 3.

Walker would provide the Wizards bench with the much-needed scoring ability which it has not had in years. The length of Walker and Wave Papi (aka Kelly Oubre) off the bench could also be a defensive nightmare for opponents.

SLEEPER NAME TO WATCH:

Moritz Wagner, F, Michigan:

All the reports I’m hearing are that the Wizards are in love with Moritz Wagner. Yet they feel taking him at 15 is too much of a reach, but believe he won’t be available at 44. Wagner is an amazing shooter who has great range, as well as the ability to score in the post. He is not a great low post defender or rebounder but would immediately be able to stretch the floor for the Wizards. Interested to see if the Wizards potentially trade back into the late part of the 1st round to select Wagner.

-Sean Hannegan

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