(Picture from CBS Sports)
The Wizards do not own their first round pick this year as a result of the midseason acquisition of Bojan Bogdanovic, so they only have their second round pick, which happens to be the 52nd pick (out of 60). In other words, do not get too excited about this year’s draft. For example, the Utah Jazz selected Weber State forward Joel Bolomboy with pick number 52 last year. Who is that? Exactly. Most likely, the player drafted will make no impact on the team this year.
However, with that being said, there have been late 2nd round picks who have made big impacts on their teams recently like Isaiah Thomas (sorry, too soon). So here are a few players I would like to see the Wizards consider. These are all players who are projected to be mid to late second round picks.
Frank Mason, Senior, PG, Kansas
Frank Mason was the best player in college basketball this past season. He doesn’t project to be a stud in the NBA or even a starter, but on the Wizards he wouldn’t be a starter. Mason could play 15 minutes per game off bench and keep the offense running smoothly. Plus his 47.1% clip from three is a nice bonus because you never can have too much shooting. The only real negatives with Mason are concerns about his size (5’11”) and age (23). The Naismith Player of the Year is already NBA-ready and could be next season’s Malcolm Brogdon, the 2nd round pick who becomes a major contributor.
NBA Comparison: Jameer Nelson
Monte Morris, Senior, PG, Iowa St
Monte Morris has been the starter at Iowa State for the past three years and has led the Cyclones to the NCAA Tournament in each of those years. He has the most steady hand in the draft as he led the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio last year with an outstanding 5.16. Morris has a good outside jumpshot and a high basketball IQ. His slight 175 pound frame is the biggest concern scouts have. Like Mason, Morris would be tasked with leading the Wizards offense whenever Wall needs a breather. I believe Morris could have a good career as a backup point guard.
NBA Comparison: Pre-Wizards Eric Maynor
Tyler Dorsey, Sophomore, SG, Oregon
Tyler Dorsey could be the backup shooting guard the Wizards have been searching for right behind star Bradley Beal. Dorsey is listed at 6’4″ which is slightly undersized for a two guard, but he more than makes up for it with his 3 point shooting. Dorsey shot 42.3% from beyond this arc this past year and demonstrated his ability to catch fire during the NCAA Tournament. Dorsey also has the ability to play the point guard spot, so the Wiz could utilize a backcourt of Dorsey and Beal for stretches when Wall comes out. Just like everyone else available this late in the draft, Dorsey has his flaws and will probably never be a starter, but he has the potential to be one of the league’s better scoring subs.
NBA Comparison: Allen Crabbe
Nigel Williams-Goss, Redshirt Junior, PG, Gonzaga
In his only year at Gonzaga after transferring from Washington, Williams-Goss emerged as one of the nation’s best players. The West Coast Conference Player of the Year could be the answer the Wiz are looking for at the backup point guard spot. He is a solid shooter who converted on 36.8% of his threes and also has a good handle that allows him to make his way through traffic. Williams-Goss has good vision and rebounds great for his size (6’3″). The major knock on him is his lack of athleticism and explosiveness, which could lead to him struggling to finish at the rim and make him a liability on defense. However, he is already NBA-ready and looks like a quality NBA backup point guard.
NBA Comparison: Cory Joseph
Sindarius Thornwell, Senior, SG, South Carolina
Sindarius Thornwell will be best known as the best player on the South Carolina team that went on a Cinderella run to the Final Four, but the Wizards should know him as a possible rotation player. The SEC Player of the Year can shoot (39.5% from three), and rebound (7.2 rpg), and he prides himself on his defense. He is aggressive and gets to the line. Thornwell has good size (6’5″ with a 6’9″ wingspan) for the guard position. The reasons he might be available for the Wizards are his age (22), lack of speed and concerns about being able to get his shot off. I like Thornwell as a backup shooting guard behind Beal.
NBA Comparison: Malcolm Brogdon
Melo Trimble, Junior, PG, Maryland
Most Wizards fans love Melo Trimble because of his putting Maryland basketball back on the map and late game heroics. With that being said, he is projected to go undrafted and I am not to confident in his ability to make it in the NBA. Trimble has his strengths. He gets to the free throw line at will, is one of the best in the draft at navigating the pick and roll, and has become a quality distributor. However, he has really struggled from beyond the arc the past two years, lacks athleticism, has a small wingspan (6’2″), and will be a defensive liability. Personally, I would advise the Wizards to avoid drafting Melo, but he is worth a look on the Summer League team is he goes undrafted.
NBA Comparison: Jarrett Jack
As you can see, the backup guard positions behind Wall and Beal are problems that need to be addressed, and without much cap space, the draft is a good spot to try and solve one of the problems. So tune in to ESPN on June 22 to see who the Wizards select with the 52nd pick.
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