Buying or Selling Washington Wizards Rumors and News Ahead of the NBA Draft
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As the 2013 NBA draft closes in, Washington Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld must buy or sell every prospect available and trade offer received before he and the rest of the front office decide what to do with the No. 3 overall pick.
Ever since the draft lottery completed on May 21, there have been plenty of rumors to go around about whether the Wizards are going to trade the pick, or if they keep it and draft a prospect. And if they choose to keep the pick, who will go off the board at that No. 3 slot?
For Grunfeld and his colleagues, buying or selling these offers and prospects will shape the Wizards for seasons to come and, more immediately, will determine what Washington does in the remainder of the offseason.
Buying these rumors and news items means the trades or draft picks are certainly a possible course of action for Washington to take, and it means making that move would produce a desirable outcome for the Wizards and would improve the team. Selling, of course, would then mean the idea is either out of the question or would only hurt the Wizards.
With only 10 days left as of Monday night before the draft, time is running out on who the Wizards are thinking of drafting, or finding out who or what they could get in return for their No. 3 pick.
Milwaukee Bucks Trade Wizards Ersan Ilyasova for No. 3 Pick
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As reported by a number of sources, including NBA analyst Brett Poirier, the Milwaukee Bucks are interested in sending small forward Ersan Ilyasova to DC in exchange for Washington's No. 3 draft pick.
While Ilyasova averaged career highs in points and assists this season, he isn't enough standing alone to convince the Wizards to trade the pick and forgo drafting a player.
The 26-year-old out of Turkey could open up the court for the Wizards and would fill their current hole at small forward. Ilyasova can also pull down some boards, averaging six rebounds per game for his career, four of those being on defense.
However, even if the Bucks were to include their pick in that deal, the Wizards would fall all the way back to No. 15 in the draft order.
At that pick, Washington would end up with a subpar draft pick such as Shane Larkin or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, players who may never be starters in the NBA.
If this offer is still on the table come draft day, the Wizards should ask the Bucks to include another player to even consider this offer. Even then, they should take the upside of drafting a player rather than putting their future at small forward in the hands of Ilyasova.
Drafting Anthony Bennett
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Besides small forward, the Wizards must address the power forward and center positions this offseason, as they are the oldest positions on the team.
A quick solution to that could be Anthony Bennett, the power forward out of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Bennett, who just underwent surgery on his left shoulder, wasn't able to work out for the Wizards but did visit the team this week.
Bennett, who only played one season at UNLV, struggled on defense but averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game.
During Bennett's visit on June 13, he took part in a media session and addressed his defensive concerns.
"It's something that I can improve on," he said, according to SB Nation's Mike Prada, who attended the event. "I go hard playing defense, but it just, I don't know how things end up. But I feel like if I work on my quickness, I'll be alright."
While he does have the injury cloud looming above him, Bennett has very high upside, especially if he can figure out his defense.
Bennett will likely be available at the third spot on draft day and should be on the top of the Wizards' board.
Drafting Otto Porter
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When all is said and done on draft day, the Wizards may just end up with the player they were projected to take as soon as they received the No. 3 pick, Otto Porter.
Porter has been the favorite to land in the nation's capital, given the fact that he is a hometown guy from Georgetown and that he fills Washington's currently vacant small forward position.
However, as Porter's hype has grown, the likelihood of him becoming a Wizard has decreased, as the top two picks are considering taking Porter.
The soft-spoken Porter wouldn't be much of a locker room presence with John Wall and Bradley Beal already on the team, but he would fit in nicely with Wall and Beal and give the Wizards one of the brightest futures in the league.
Porter's talent is so intriguing that it has been rumored by Michael Lee, who covers the NBA for the Washington Post, that the Cavs are considering taking him at No. 1 overall.
And who could blame them, after Porter averaged 16 points per game in his sophomore season with the Hoyas while shooting 48 percent from the floor.
If that happens, Washington's plan to take Porter at No. 3 obviously becomes moot. However, if he's available, he is the best option for the Wizards in the 2013 draft.
Trading the No. 3 Pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams, who will be entering the fourth year of his NBA career, is rumored to be up for a trade and could find himself in Washington by the end of the draft.
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Although bringing Derrick Williams to Washington would make headlines across the nation, the Wizards should realize that adding Williams to the team would be more valuable than just making a splash in the media.
This is certainly a tantalizing option for Washington, especially if Williams is grouped with Minnesota's No. 9 pick.
The third-year power forward out of Arizona has had to split time with Kevin Love but has started 71 games in his short career and averages 12 points per game.
Williams also averages five rebounds per game and recorded eight double-doubles during this season. Bringing in Williams would shore up Washington's power forward position for the future, and he could be a great complement to Wall and Beal, especially if he can improve on his defensive numbers.
Also, trading with the Timberwolves would still give the Wizards the No. 9 pick, where they could take someone like Shabazz Muhammad, which would give them both a small forward and a power forward.
It remains to be seen if Minnesota is willing to talk trades with Washington, but if the offer is there, this wouldn't be a bad alternative to drafting a power forward like Anthony Bennett.
Drafting Nerlens Noel
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As the stock of Otto Porter rises, the stock of 19-year-old Nerlens Noel falls.
That doesn't necessarily mean Noel is going to fall back to 10th or 11th, but the possibility of him being available at the third spot is becoming more of a reality.
The Washington Post's Michael Lee reported that Noel visited the Wizards last week, meaning he isn't just assuming he'll go at No. 1.
Noel is a defensive beast, standing at 6'10" and averaging four blocks per game in his abbreviated season.
Injuries are certainly a concern for Noel, who missed the second half of his freshman year at Kentucky with a torn ACL, but he has more potential than almost anyone else in this year's draft class.
Noel also pulled down nine rebounds per game and has plenty of room to grow at his age.
He has some things to learn on offense for sure, but his presence would only improve Washington's already solid scoring defense, which ranked eighth in the league last year. If Noel is available, the Wizards must look past the risk he carries and instead look at the potential he carries.
Reaching or Trading Back for Victor Oladipo
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With the way current mock drafts are going, drafting Victor Oladipo would put the Wizards in a very awkward situation.
First off, Oladipo doesn't seem too enthusiastic to play in Washington, after he declined to work out for the Wizards, according to J. Michael from Comcast SportsNet in Washington.
However, Michael later reported that the Wizards would go to Bowie, Md. to watch Oladipo work out.
There haven't been any reports of the Suns looking to trade that pick, and taking Oladipo at No. 3 would likely be a reach for the Wizards. Between Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter and Anthony Bennett, one of them will be available at the third pick and are all better options than Oladipo.
However, if they traded back, Oladipo could be a solid shooting guard coming off the bench behind Bradley Beal.
While some analysts, including fellow B/R writer Matt Schreiber, insist the Wizards should take Oladipo, they are better off taking Bennett or Porter. They have more raw talent than Oladipo and could wind up having more impactful careers.