NBA Draft: Projecting bigs to the Wizards

NBA Draft: Projecting bigs to the Wizards
May 2, 2013, 11:30 am
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Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) drives through Maryland Terrapins center Alex Len (25) during the first half of the game at the Barclays Center Classic held at Barclays Center.

(Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Good news: The player pool is set for the 2013 NBA Draft

Bad news: The draft lottery order remains unknown until May 21

Good news: Mock drafts still exist so folks can at least guesstimate what the Wizards might do.

The Wizards currently have the eighth best odds when it comes to landing the No. 1 overall pick. That also means if the current odds list becomes the future draft order, Washington will own the eighth pick in the first round. 

In most cases, the drafters took into account the actual NBA teams, but not all. In all cases, these projections are nothing more than a snapshot in time. Players have yet to go through the workout/interview process. Once they do, valuations will fluctuate. If there is any potential takeaway it lies in the position of the players projected to the Wizards and the current top-7 hierarchy of prospects. Bigs are in.

Joel Brigham (Hoopsworld): Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana

Yannis Koutroupis (Hoopsworld): Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

Steve Kyler (Hoopsworld): Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana

Alex Kennedy (Hoopsworld): Alex Len, C, Maryland

Steve Alexander (Rotoworld): Alex Len, C, Maryland

Sean Deveney (Sporting News): Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV

DraftExpresss.com: C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh

*The selection from Draft Express is not specifically for the Wizards. McCollum is eighth player on its respective draft board

*In four of the six actual mock drafts, the same players were drafted among the top-7 even if the order shifted: Nerlens Noel (Kentucky), Ben McLemore (Kansas), Otto Porter Jr. (Georgetown), Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Trey Burke (Michigan), Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), Anthony Bennett (UNLV).

*Again, the odds of that group remaining intact by June 27 is slim, but for now it leaves the Wizards with a potential Alex Len or Cody Zeller debate. In theory both could serve the stretch-four role the Wizards desire. In reality, that's not a debate many would like the Wizards to have. Len offers greater athleticism and with it superior upside. There is likely a much shorter debate if Bennett, the No. 3 rated prospect according to DraftExpress, actually slides into Washington's range.

*In the drafts where Bennett fell to eight, Zeller and Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams cracked the top-7. The Sporting News mock has Zeller going No. 2 overall. Let's just say that would be stunning, in my opinion. On the other hand, Carter-Williams has the type of freaky measurables - plus stellar court vision -  that could push him into the higher portion of the lottery.

*We just listened to many an NFL draft guru discuss whether teams drafted for need or took the best player available. Considering the lack of franchise-altering talent in this draft and the specific makeup of the player pool, this draft is shaping up like a pure "best player" version. 

*The Wizards already are at a point where bringing back next season the entire trio of Trevor Booker, Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely does not work. If the draft shapes up where indeed a frontcourt/interior option makes the most sense, then at least one of those three really must go.