I've written a lot on the Twitter about the Wizards and the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery that takes place on May 30. Looking at the lottery odds (see chart below), our highest probability of selection is the fourth pick, with our second highest being the first pick. Of course, we all hope that Zach Leonsis can be the lucky charm we need to win the lottery and the right to select Anthony 'The Brow' Davis with the first pick (By the way, what do you think happens once Anthony Davis gets into the NBA? Will groupies accept the unibrow? Will he keep it as some sort of a trademark? If he becomes a superstar, could he do what even Al B. Sure couldn't, which is to turn the unibrow into some sort of a fashion statement, where people with unibrows will stop shaving them and go out with pride, saying, "Hey, if Anthony Davis can rock it, maybe I can too!"? Maybe he'll parlay this into some sort of an endorsement deal for laser hair removal? Maybe I'm putting too much thought into this?). Let's go through some of the possibilities:
Scenario 1: Wizards Win the Lottery
In this instance, we undoubtedly select Anthony Davis. But then what? One could argue that there was a blossoming glut in the frontcourt anyway with Nene, blossoming talents like Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin (there's also Andray Blatche, for whom we're still unsure about what's going on), as well as Jan Vesely. You would think that one of these would definitely be trade bait, right? As amazing as drafting Davis would be, that would mean that we still haven't addressed perimeter scoring, which I think is the team's biggest need. Maybe there's a way to trade for a proven wing player, or move back into the lottery somehow to grab another player. More on this later.
Scenario 2: Wizards End Up Selecting Between 2 and 4
This specific scenario was discussed on Bullets Forever. There appear to be strong candidates in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (MKG), Bradley Beal, and Thomas Robinson, depending on how the chips fall. What do you go for in this situation, best player available or need/fit? This is so tough to decide, and the decision will have ramifications for the next several seasons.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (MKG) - MKG is pegged as a potential elite defender, with prototypical small forward size (6'7, 220s), that has all of the intangibles of a good player, but hasn't proven to have a consistent jumper or scoring ability. By drafting him, you could presumably have the SF position sewn up with a winner that, while he still hasn't shown a knock-down jumper, has shown other ways of scoring efficiently and effectively. He could basically be our best-case scenario with Chris Singleton, maybe a better version of Andre Iguodala. But is it too soon to give up on Singleton? Is he just a marginal player, or could he make a big jump in his second season, the way Booker and Seraphin did?
Thomas Robinson - Thomas Robinson can best be described as a beast. He is an extremely athletic, aggressive 4 that offers tenacious rebounding and a still-developing offense. He's a potential game-changer, but much like with drafting Anthony Davis, doesn't drafting him make at least one of our other promising bigs expendable? And if so, which one? This may sound way off base, but how do we know that Robinson is a whole lot better than a polished Trevor Booker? I understand drafting Robinson if you think he's a clear upgrade over what we currently have, but I'm not 100% certain that he is.
Bradley Beal - Beal is an undersized shooting guard that, despite experts raving about his shooting touch, didn't shoot all that well in his lone season in college. Still, when "Ray Allen meets Eric Gordon" is the description that Chad Ford gives him, I get excited. He is an able defender, strong, great rebounder for his position, and possesses the potential to be the scoring option that we so sorely need.
I won't even begin to distinguish which player is going to be the best pro, but given that MKG and Robinson are still developing their offensive repertoires, I tend to lead towards Beal for the moment and hope that he can be the Eric Gordon-type that so many have projected him to be.
Scenario 3: Wizards End Up Selecting Fifth
I don't want to even think about this scenario, but I guess we have to. In this situation, there is a lot more going on. You could play it safe and draft Harrision Barnes, or take a chance with super talents with questionable desire like Andre Drummond and Perry Jones, III. OR you could trade the pick one of the several teams with multiple first round picks (New Orleans has two unprotected lottery picks, and Portland could end up with two lottery picks, as one is somewhat protected. Houston, Cleveland, Boston, and possibly Golden State also have two first round picks, but not the two lottery pick potential that New Orleans and Portland possess.). Unless I was able to trade down a couple of slots, and pick up an extra lottery pick, I think I'd just draft Barnes.
There's also an abundance of trade scenarios. I really don't think Eric Gordon is a realistic option for us short of a sign and trade, but good players like Andre Iguodala are said to be on the market. Is the contract of Rashard Lewis an attractive option to a team like Philly? If so, this could certainly affect draft plans. If not Lewis, Booker, Seraphin, or even Nene could be used as trade chips to bring back scorers or additional draft picks. Let's not forget about the two second round picks either. There's a lot going on, and a lot of opportunities to make an improvement, even more than I've mentioned here. The promise has to be exciting if you're a Wizards fan. Hopefully Ernie Grunfeld won't screw it up. This roster has the potential to be very attractive for the head coach of the team next season. By the way, who's the coach????