After firing Team President and GM Ernie Grunfeld and falling all the way down to the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery (despite a 96 percent chance to get a higher pick… don’t get me started) the Washington Wizards once again find themselves in a peculiar position. With interim GM Tommy Shepard at the helm, the Wizards must make good use of their first-round pick, so let’s look at some of the top available options at number nine.
The last time the Wizards drafted a foreign player in the first round, with their infamous Jan Vesely selection, it did not work out. And that’s an understatement. But maybe the Zards could use an infusion of a foreign guy in the locker room. After all, the Raptors just won with multiple key players from outside America. That brings me to Sekou Doumbouya, and while you may be thinking that a developmental French player is the last thing the Wizards need, it could actually be perfect.
What people don’t realize is that Doumbouya has unlimited parallels to Pascal Siakam. Both are 6’9” combo forwards with crazy length, athleticism, and speed. Just like Siakam, he’s a late bloomer- Sekou didn’t start playing basketball until the age of 13. Doumbouya would be a great system fit as he could run the floor with Wall and crash the boards for Beal. Not to mention his great defensive upside.
I have seen Sekou Doumbouya being selected with the Wizards pick more than anyone else in recent mock drafts. I have seen a lot of hate about him, but just remember, before you knock Sekou Doumbouya, you should at least consider the Pascal Siakam comparison.
Cam Reddish was the third-ranked prospect in his entire college recruiting class. Unfortunately, he was outshined by the other two prospects ahead of him who just happened to be on the same Duke team in Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett.
Although Reddish disappointed, it is important to remember that he was the third-ranked prospect in his class for a reason. He has great length, athleticism, and the propensity to be an elite 3 and D player in the NBA. His game is reminiscent of Paul George as he could easily develop into a great third option or better for the Wizards.
Reddish averaged 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game, which is not as bad as you might think considering the negative press around him this year. Let’s hope he falls to the Zards at nine.
Bol Bol is just like Reddish because of their high-risk high reward potential. Bol, just like his father Manute who played for the Bullets in 1994, is a freak of nature. He is 7’2” with a 7’8” wingspan and strokes three-pointers like he’s 6’0”. When I say strokes them I really mean it. Bol shot 52 percent on the season, and in the process showed off some flashy moves that people that tall shouldn’t be able to make.
The problem with Bol is that his sample size is extremely small. He was only able to play in nine games before a foot injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. So while he has the potential to be an absolute steal, he has the same chance to be a classic injury prone Washington athlete.
Bol Bol would get me very excited about the upcoming season, something I can’t say any Wizards fans, including myself, have been for a while.