March 21, 2011

The Wizards Should Be Eyeballing Derrick Williams, Harrison Barnes With Their Pick

The Wizards are awful for the third straight season, which means they’ll have a high lottery pick for the third straight season. In 2009, we dreamed of Blake Griffin. In 2010, we were too broken to dream but landed John Wall anyway. In 2011, I don’t even know who we should be dreaming about.
What we do know is that this year’s pick is, after Wall, the second-most valuable asset the Wizards have got. So let’s turn to this site’s Wizards correspondent and Maryland sports correspondent, my friends Jack Kogod and Andy Peden, respectively, for their take on this year’s crop of likely top picks.
The players included are among the top 10 on mocks, and the words are Kogod and Peden’s. Hopefully it gives Wizards fans someone — or several someones — to look forward to and additional reasons to watch the NCAA Tournament. Away we go, and c’mon, Irene …
Kyrie Irving (PG, Duke, freshman) — Probably the best player available, but he won’t be coming to Washington even if the balls bounce right. If they do luck in to the top spot again they might actually be able to get decent value for a trade. Probably not though. (Kogod)
Irving’s the best player here, but he plays the same position as Wall so mark him off the list. (Peden)
Perry Jones (PF, Baylor, freshman) — I’ve had the misfortune of watching quite a bit of Baylor basketball this season. While Jones has great upside, length, and all of the other attributes that you expect to hear about on draft night, I don’t see him fitting in. He’s not a physical player, and he doesn’t do much of anything on the defensive end. (Kogod)
I want a guy with skill. Right now PJIII is more athlete than player. (Peden)
Jonas Valanciunas (C, international, 18) — Your guess is as good as mine. As good as he may look on YouTube, I don’t see Ernie and co. going in this direction. (Kogod)
I immediately cross off anyone I haven’t seen play. (Peden)
Derrick Williams (PF, Arizona, sophomore) — If Williams comes out he’ll probably be amongst the safer lottery picks. He can score in a variety of ways, he gets to the line, and he rebounds. His good hands and finishing ability would make him an ideal running mate for Wall. (Kogod)
Physically gifted. Williams has clearly put Arizona on his back throughout the season which I think translates well to the NBA. (Peden)
Jared Sullinger (PF, Ohio State, freshman) – Ohio State fans will probably tell you he’s coming back. Of course you should never listen to anything an Ohio State fan tells you. Sullinger’s body is still a work in progress, but he could give the Wizards exactly what they need. A post player who can establish position, work with his back to the basket, and control the glass. He isn’t the kind of athlete that you drool over, so he’s kind of like the Anti-JaVale. (Kogod)
As good as Sullinger is, he doesn’t have the athleticism to be a dominant big man. He’s going to be very good, but I want dominant. (Peden)
Enes Kanter (C, international, 18) — The last time I saw him play was at the Nike Hoops Summit, so it’s been a while. I imagine the Wizards will bring him in for a much anticipated workout. (Kogod)
I immediately cross off anyone I haven’t seen play. (Peden)
Harrison Barnes (SF, UNC, freshman) — His stock slipped after a rocky start at UNC, and that does nothing but help the Wizards. Barnes is still every bit as talented as we thought he was when he was the top high school talent in the country. Depending on how the roster shakes out an athletic small forward could be the Wizards most glaring need. I’d be thrilled to have him. (Kogod)
Barnes was super hyped and after a slow start has delivered in the clutch. He has very good range, is physically all you could ask for and he’s the guy who makes the big shots for UNC. I’d be happy with him or Williams but am leaning towards Barnes. (Peden)
Kemba Walker (PG, UConn, junior — No. (Kogod)
He’s lucky if he’s 6 feet tall. (Peden)
Terrence Jones (SF/PF, Kentucky, freshman) — He’s a bit more of a point forward than Barnes, which isn’t really what the Wizards need. His jumper is just ugly, although he manages to score effectively. He has good size and rebounding ability, but he’s probably not the best option on the wing. (Kogod)
I want a guy who isn’t a knucklehead. I think Terrence Jones gets eliminated there. (Peden)
John Henson (PF, UNC, sophomore) — Only if we can call him Route 50. And even then, do we really want a 210-lb. power forward? (Kogod)
He has no offensive skill. (Peden)
Donatas Motiejunas (PF/C, international, 20) — He’s intriguing, just not for us at this point in time. (Kogod)
I immediately cross off anyone I haven’t seen play. (Peden)
Alec Burks (PG/SG, Colorado, sophomore) – No need to bring in another young shooting guard with Young and Crawford on board. (Kogod)
I also haven’t seen Burks, because who really watches Colorado basketball?(Peden)
Jimmer Fredette (PG, BYU, senior) – Far too limited for a Wizards team that has so many needs to fill. (Kogod)
By Jamie Mottram

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