Over the past 15 years, the Washington Wizards have become a staple in the lottery of the NBA Draft. They have had some solid selections like John Wall, but they have also had their fair share of busts like Kwame Brown.
The Wizards will again find themselves with a high pick in the upcoming draft. With a solid young nucleus, this selection could be another piece to the puzzle or another mistake.
Because of the lottery system, the Wizards' position in the draft will be unknown until a few weeks before the June draft. Despite the unknown, it is almost a certainty that they will find themselves in the top-10 with an opportunity to select a prominent player.
The following players have not officially declared for the NBA Draft, but it is likely that they will declare in the next few weeks.
Here are three players the Washington Wizards should target in the upcoming June draft.
Otto Porter, Georgetown SF
Georgetown has been in the news recently because of their shocking loss to Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA tournament. Although the Hoyas had an early exit in the tournament, they featured one of the best players in the country all year in Otto Porter.
Porter was selected to the preseason all-conference team and lived up to expectations for the Hoyas. Because of Georgetown’s inconsistencies on offense, they relied heavily on him for production, and he did not disappoint.
Porter averaged 16.2 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. One of Porter’s most notable performances came in the final Georgetown-Syracuse game at the Carrier Dome. Porter exploded after a sluggish start to shoot 12 of 19 from the field and scored 33 points while tallying eight rebounds en route to a Hoya victory.
The statistic that is most indicative of Porter’s value to Georgetown was that the Hoyas only scored 57 points against the Orange. This meant that Porter accounted for 58 percent of the Georgetown offense.
Porter has size and the ability to create his own shot and carry an offense. His size and length also help him on the defensive end where he can contest shots and disrupt passing lanes.
Porter would provide another scoring threat for the Wizards. Since Georgetown plays most of their home games at the Verizon Center, he would be used to the scenery and would be a welcome site in a Wizard uniform for the 2013-2014 season.
Alex Len, Maryland C
Len is another local player, but he is not quite as NBA-ready as Porter. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in raw talent and size.
This era of the NBA has become known as the era without true centers. Len is a true center who, at seven-feet tall, could give the Wizards a much-needed presence down low.
Len could probably benefit from another year of college to develop his talent, but his upside could be too much for the Wizards to pass up depending on their draft position.
Len averaged 11.7 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game and nearly two blocks per game. He was a force in the paint, but as evident by his relatively low rebound average, he has not begun to scratch the surface of his potential.
Len saved his best performances for the Terrapin’s toughest competition. He scored 23 points and recorded 12 rebounds in Maryland’s opener against Kentucky. He did that damage against Nerlens Noel, another highly-touted big man.
Len also recorded 19 points and nine rebounds against then No. 2 Duke, had 16 points and nine rebounds against Miami and had 20 points and seven rebounds against North Carolina.
Len has the type of upside that will make scouts drool and have his stock on the rise in the draft. If he is still on the board when the Wizards are on the clock, he would be a great option. There is no doubt that he is a bit of a project and could take some time to develop, but the finished product could be something special.
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga C
The junior forward out of Canada had been the catalyst for Gonzaga’s success this season. The seven-footer averaged 17.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and was a matchup nightmare for opponents.
Olynyk also knows when to pick his shots. His 65 percent shooting percentage is an indication that he takes quality shots and does not force production. He is also a versatile scorer. Olynyk can back an opponent down just as easily as he can spot up from the perimeter.
Although he only averaged just two blocks per game, Olynyk affected many more shots than the statistics would indicate. His presence in the paint makes guards think twice before driving, and he has altered countless shots.
Like Len, Olynyk also saved his best performances for the biggest games. In the three games against ranked opponents, he averaged 17 points per game.
Although most of the country is talking about how Gonzaga “choked” in the tournament, it was not because of Olynyk. In the two tournament games, he averaged 23.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Like Len, Olynyk will provide a complement to Emeka Okafor in the post and provide length in the paint.
Although nothing about draft position is certain because of the lottery, the Wizards improved play of late has hurt their chances of getting a top-five pick. They will likely pick somewhere between six and 11, and if they can get their hands on any of the above players, it will build hope for the 2013-2014 season.
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