Washington Wizards

Analyzing Washington Wizards' Biggest Draft Needs

Otto Porter from Georgetown is the best option for the Washington Wizards at the third overall pick.
Otto Porter from Georgetown is the best option for the Washington Wizards at the third overall pick.Al Bello/Getty Images
Jonathan MunshawCorrespondent IMay 23, 2013

Now that lady luck has graced the Washington Wizards with the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Ernie Grunfeld and the rest of the team's front office must address either the small forward or the power forward position.

That No. 3 pick will likely be Washington's best chance to land a starter, as its next pick doesn't come until the second round, when it won't get much more than a D-League player.

While trading the pick for a veteran is tempting, the Wizards' best chance to immediately improve their team is through the draft. A rookie will help the team out in the long run, rather than a veteran who would only be around for two or three seasons.

First and foremost, Washington needs to look at taking a small forward at that pick, as it is the biggest position of need.

Martell Webster, the best small forward on the team during the 2012-13 season, is a free agent, and there haven't been any reports of Webster talking about a new contract with the Wizards.

Webster really came on strong in the second half of the season when John Wall came back from injury and averaged over 11 points per game. If he ends up signing with another team, that would leave Trevor Ariza as the starter, who rarely started and averaged under 10 points per game. 

Ariza, who only shot 41.7 percent from the floor, has his best years behind him and should no longer be a starter in this league. 

Besides Ariza, there is Chris Singleton at small forward, who only averages four points per game on his career in 19 minutes per game.

Otto Porter seems to be the best bet to fill this position for the Wizards. Porter, who played two years at Georgetown in Washington, DC, is not only a hometown guy but will also likely be the best player available at the No. 3 pick.

Porter averaged 16 points per game in his sophomore and final season at Georgetown, along with seven rebounds and just under three assists per game.

There were some games when the 19-year-old struggled, but he was quickly able to rebound by the time the next game came along. For example, when Porter only put up nine points in the Hoyas' loss to Pitt on Jan. 8, in the next game against St. John's Porter shot 5-of-11 from the floor and scored 19 points. 

Porter may never be a superstar, especially on a Washington roster that already features Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal, but he certainly has the potential to be a solid NBA player. 

If Porter is unavailable when the third pick comes around, the Wizards need to take a look at any players that could fill their power forward position.

Washington has two solid big men, Emeka Okafor and Nenê. Both are aging, and Okafor is only under contract for one more season.

Chances are, if Porter is selected before the Wizards' pick comes up, Nerlens Noel from Kentucky would be available and could be a great power forward or center on the Wizards.

Noel only played in part of this season before being injured, but he was still impressive, averaging 10 points and nine rebounds per game.

Noel, 19, had five double-doubles in 24 games and has huge upside. 

However, small forward seems to be more of a problem than power forward for Washington, as power forward at least has potential starters. Also, Porter is a rare player in the draft, as he not only brings clout to Washington's roster, but also fills a serious need.

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