NBA Draft 2012: 3 Best Choices for John Wall and the Washington Wizards

Dan LewisContributor IIIJune 9, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: 3 Best Choices for John Wall and the Washington Wizards

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    Despite having the second worst record in the NBA this past season, the Washington Wizards ended up with the third overall pick in this month’s NBA Draft. 

    Anthony Davis is the clear-cut No. 1 pick and will be selected by the New Orleans Hornets, but after that the situation gets a little murky.

    While being considered one of the deepest drafts in recent years, most people agree that after Davis there is a big drop off in overall potential and immediate impact. 

    Fellow Kentucky star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist seems to be the consensus No. 2, with Florida shooting guard Bradley Beal and Kansas forward Thomas Robinson being a close third and fourth.

    In order for recently re-signed Coach Randy Wittman to take John Wall and the Wizards back to the postseason, what the Wizards do with the third overall pick will have major implications on the progression of the team.

    Trading down is also an option if for some reason Kidd-Gilchrist or Beal’s stock drops drastically or if another team makes a good offer, though much will depend on what the Charlotte Bobcats do with their the No. 2 pick.

1. Bradley Beal, Freshman, Florida

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    2011-2012 College Statistics

    34.2 MIN 14.6 PPG 6.5 REB 2.2 AST 1.4 STL 0.8 BLK  44.5 % FG 33.9 % 3FF 76.9 % FT


    NBA Draft Combine Measurements

    Height: 6’4 ¾”

    Weight: 202 lbs

    Wingspan: 6’8”

    The biggest area of need for the Washington Wizards is a deep threat and a capable starting shooting guard to pair with John Wall in the backcourt.  The Wizards proved to be one of the worst teams in the league last season, thanks in part to being the 27th ranked three-point shooting team at 32 percent.

    Despite being known as a fantastic shooter coming out of high school, Beal was disappointing in his one year at Florida, shooting a dismal 34 percent from deep.  The 41 percent he shot from three during the NCAA tournament is a better indicator of how good he really is from outside, as many scouts compare his shooting stroke to Ray Allen. 

    As a freshman, Beal showed great poise and leadership in the Gators run to the Elite 8 this past Spring.  In the four tournament games, he averaged close to 16 points on 61 percent shooting, along with a little over eight boards a game (he’s only 6’4"). 

    Jordan Crawford is a high volume scorer, but is better suited coming off the bench and providing a boost, rather than playing big minutes jacking up bad shot after bad shot at the 2. 

    Simply put, Beal’s potential is too good to be ignored, and his combination of athleticism, excellent shooting mechanics and leadership will make him the perfect complement to the Wizards backcourt with John Wall, Jordan Crawford and Shelvin Mack.

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Freshman, Kentucky

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    2011-2012 College Statistics

    31.1 MIN 11.9 PPG 7.6 REB 1. 9 AST 1.0 STL 0.9 BLK 49.1% FG 25.5% 3FG 74.5% FT


    NBA Draft Combine Measurements

    Height: 6’7 ½"

    Weight: 233 lbs

    Wingspan: 7’0”


    Many Washingtonians are hoping that the Charlotte Bobcats pass up on MKG, so he falls in the Wizards' lap.  While MKG’s high motor and defensive potential are attractive, his ceiling is much lower than what Beal’s is. 

    MKG’s shooting mechanics are awful, as he shot only 25.5 percent from deep.  While he is much more comfortable in the paint, he’s not going to create any more room for Wall in the half court if he can’t spread the floor at all.

    It can be agreed that the Wizards need high-energy guys to help change the losing atmosphere in Washington, but with the  No. 3 overall pick, value has to be considered.

    It wouldn’t be the worst pick the Wizards could make, but there haven’t been too many guys drafted based strictly on their motor in the top five in draft history, and the Wizards shouldn’t try to alter that trend. 

    On the plus side, his length and energy makes him attractive from a defensive standpoint, as he can most likely guard both guard positions and the 3.  If he were to get selected by the Wizards, he likely would immediately become their best perimeter defender. 

3. Thomas Robinson, Junior, Kansas

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    2011-2012 College Statistics

    31.8 MIN 17.9 PPG 11.8 REB 1.9 AST 1.1 STL 0.9 BLK 50.5% FG 50% 3FG 68.2% FT


    NBA Draft Combine Measurements

    Height: 6’8 ¾“

    Weight: 244 lbs

    Wingspan: 7’3 ¼”


    With the addition of Nene this past season, along with the emergence of Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker (when healthy), T-Rob would be the worst selection (in terms of top-five talent) that the Wizards could make given the other two guys on the board. 

    Word is that the Wizards have liked him for awhile now, but while there's much to admire in terms of T-Rob’s work ethic and toughness (and he’s a D.C. native), both Beal and MKG help fill bigger areas of need. 

    Robinson is slightly undersized, and struggled in the NCAA Title game going up against the bigger and athletic frontcourt of Kentucky, as he shot just 6-of-17 from the field, missing a handful of layups.  To make matters worse, he isn’t a great free-throw shooter (68 percent).

    Despite ranking below the other two guys, there is a lot to love about Robinson.  He was a monster on the glass during the NCAA Tournament, averaging nearly 13 per game, and grabbing 17 in the Championship game.  In addition, Robinson’s mid-range game improved dramatically as the season progressed. 

    In addition, his wingspan is a whopping 7'3", something that should make up for his slight height deficiency. 

    Ultimately, the greater area of need for the Wizards right now is on the wing.