NBA Draft 2012: 5 Second-Round Options for the Washington Wizards
The Wizards will likely use their first-round selection (No. 3 overall) on either a small forward or a wing player.
If the Wizards go small forward at No. 3 (likely Michael Kidd-Gilchrist), then they need to nab a shooting guard with the 32nd pick, which is the second overall pick in the second round. If the Wizards go for a shooting guard at number three (likely Bradley Beal), then they need to take a small forward with the 32nd pick.
The 46th pick is in the middle of the second round. At that position, the Wizards can take a chance on a project player or a serviceable depth player. The second round in this year's draft is very heavy with senior big men. The Wizards lack depth at the center position and could benefit by adding an experienced big to spell Nene.
In an effort to purge the team of rotten contracts (Rashard Lewis and Andray Blatche), it is very plausible that Washington GM Ernie Grunfeld makes a trade or two, and the Wizards add another one or two draft picks.
John Wall is entering his third season, and if he is not surrounded by winning talent, he is not going to be excited about signing a contract extension. This draft will add another one or two starters that should be the building blocks for the Wizards future.
John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt
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Height: 6'4" Weight: 215
2011-2012 Statistics: 19.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.2 APG
John Jenkins is arguably the draft's best shooter.
Jenkins led the SEC in scoring the past two seasons and tied the SEC single-season record with 134 3-pointers as a junior.
Jenkins played like a combo guard at Vanderbilt, but his skills are that of a shooting guard. He's not a great distributor, and he's also a bit undersized for a two-guard.
The Wizards do not have any three-point shooters on the roster. Two-thirds of all Jenkins' field-goal attempts came from beyond the arc, and he connected on nearly 44% of them. Jenkins would provide the Wizards with a three-point specialist and a pure shooter which they desperately need.
Jenkins is a safe pick that could contribute immediately. The Wizards were not a good three-point shooting team last season, and drafting Jenkins at the top of the second round would fill the void.
Will Barton, SG/SF, Memphis
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Height: 6'6" Weight: 175 lbs
2011-2012 Statistics: 18 PPG, 8 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG
Will Barton is one of the most versatile wing players in the draft—and one of its most underrated.
The 2012 Conference USA Player of the Year had ten double-doubles this season and averaged eight rebounds from the wing position. He also distributed the ball very well.
He is a fluid scorer who doesn't shy away from competition, as he played impressively against good teams this past season. He averaged 17 points against Georgetown, scored 28 at Louisville and put up 23 against a very good Belmont team.
Barton hit for 25 or more points eight times last season, so his scoring ability is not in question. He also shot over 50% from the field, but struggled beyond the arc, connecting on only 35% of his threes.
He also needs to add bulk to his thin frame to play defense against NBA shooting guards and small forwards.
If Barton is available when the Wizards pick in the second round, he will be a steal. He can finish and run the floor and would pair well with Wall in transition. Barton would definitely compete for a starting position on the roster.
Kevin Murphy, SG/SF, Tennessee Tech
Height: 6’6" Weight: 185 lbs
2011-2012 Statistics: 20.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.3 APG
Kevin Murphy is a name many college basketball fans don't know but soon will.
Simply put, Kevin Murphy drops buckets. He scores like it's Spring Break 1999. Murphy was the tenth-leading scorer in men's college basketball last season.
Need further proof?
Check out the 50 point egg he dropped on Southern Illinois-Edwardsville this past season. SIU-E is not a powerhouse, but 50 points is 50 points. Murphy became the first Ohio Valley Conference player in 20 years to score that many points in a game.
He can slash and catch and shoot very well, but Murphy can hit cold streaks, and his free-throw shooting percentage should be higher than it was in college. Many volume shooters also must make the difficult adjustment to playing significantly fewer minutes at the next level.
The Wizards need scorers and Murphy is an Eddie House-type of player who can provide instant offense. He can play both shooting guard and small forward, so he's valuable in both small and big offensive packages.
Because of his offensive range and ability, he is ready to contribute as a rookie. Murphy is a sleeper pick, and with the second pick of the second round, the Wizards could really elevate their offense by selecting him.
Robert Sacre, C, Gonzaga
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Height: 7'0" Weight: 260 lbs
2011-2012 Statistics: 11.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG 1.4 BPG
The big fella from Canada is a true seven-footer with an NBA-ready body.
He was a two-time All-West Coast Conference first team and was named the WCC Defender of the Year this past season.
He's likely the best free-throw shooter of any center in this year's draft, as he averaged 80% from the charity stripe last season. He's a blue-collar center whose game is similar to Kendrick Perkins, meaning that he provides hustle, grit and a defensive presence—but not much offense.
Sacre will likely be available when the Wizards select for a second time in the second round. There are not many true centers in this draft and even fewer seven-footers.
Kevin Seraphin provided valuable minutes as Nene's backup, but the Wizards need a true backup center. Sacre could spell Nene and provide a big defensive presence in the middle.
Henry Sims, C, Georgetown
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Height: 6’10" Weight: 245 lbs
2011-2012 Statistics: 11.6 PPG, 6 RPG, 3.5 APG
Sims was a late bloomer in college and did not break the starting lineup until his final season.
As a senior, the G'town big man was the best center in the Big East. His 7'4" wingspan makes him a looming presence in the middle, and he has shown the ability to be a good shot blocker.
On offense, Sims has a versatile skill set with a passing ability reminiscent of former NBA center Vlade Divac. Sims is simply the best passing big man in the draft.
He has a lot of upside and should continue to improve. His post moves need to get better, but he can knock down the mid-range shot.
He also rebounds well and could provide valuable minutes at center and power forward. His ability to hit the glass, play defense and pass the ball make him worthy of a second-round pick.