By: Patrick Waring
The NBA season is over and all focus is now on the Draft this Thursday night in Brooklyn, NY. The Minnesota Timberwolves have the top pick and barring a trade, they should draft a big man to go with Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine and Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. Not to mention, KG would be there to help groom and teach.
The Washington Wizards own the 19th and 49th picks. A lot can happen between now and Thursday evening, but I expect the Wiz to draft a PF with their first selection. A stretch four type seems popular with the way Randy Wittman operated in the playoffs. His playoff formula and rotation was very successful. Successful until All Star PG John Wall suffered a broken wrist in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks that caused him to miss the next three games. The Wizards ended up losing the series, but it was another good year. The Wiz have made back to back playoff appearances, but need to continue to build and advance. The pieces are there. Wall and Beal in the backcourt, the development of Otto Porter and a very productive center in Marcin Gortat. Gortat is getting up there in NBA years, but doesn’t have as many miles that most his age have due to sitting behind Dwight Howard in Orlando. Paul Pierce is still on the fence about playing next year, but the big question is at PF. Nene is coming into the last year of his deal and I don’t know if the team is sold on paying Kevin Seraphin to be their answer playing beside Gortat. That and I think Seraphin will have a few teams interested. I would expect Dallas to strongly consider making an offer if they can’t land LaMarcus Aldridge. Drafting philosophies can vary. Some say draft for need, while others believe in taking the best player available. Ernie Grunfeld may be able to pull off both with the 19th pick. If still available at the 19th selection, I like Bobby Portis from Arkansas. Portis took home SEC Player of the year honors last year while averaging 17 pts and almost 9 boards per game. Yes, the same SEC that had a ton of future NBA players at Kentucky. Portis would have to work on his range, but he has the size and is tough. Portis recently said that he pictures opponents slapping his mom before games. How would you not want to go to battle on the court with a guy like that? Never mind a basketball game, I think I would take him in an alley with me. Other options could include UCLA’s Kevon Looney or Louisville’s Montrezl Harrell. Notre Dame PG Jerian Grant would also be interesting if he is still available and the Wizards look to go in a different direction on draft night. The PF position will have to be addressed in the draft or free agency, but I think the Wizards can land their player of the future on the stage in Brooklyn.
You can follow me @WaringPatrick.