April 28 represented the early entry deadline imposed by the NBA. Now that it's April 29, we know who is entering the 2013 draft and who stayed on the college level.
While notables including Miami sophomore guard Shane Larkin recently announced plans to turn pro, news over the last week did not impact the Wizards lottery options nor raise the opinion of those who consider this to be a rather weak class, at least at the top. If the May 21 draft lottery does not change the current order, Washington would pick eighth, though the franchise could finish with one of the top three picks or slide down as low as 11th overall. Between now and the June 27 draft, expect to hear the following names as potential lottery targets (order via DraftExpress.com):
1) Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
2) Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
3) Anthony Bennett, PF, UNLV
4) Victor Oladipo, SG/SF, Indiana
5) Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
6) Otto Porter Jr., SF, Georgetown
7) Alex Len, C, Maryland
8) C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh
9) Cody Zeller, PF, Indiana
10) Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
11) Rudy Gobert, PF, France
12) Michael Carter-Williams, PG, Syracuse
*While we can quibble with the rankings and understand they will change many times before the draft, the Wizards likely end up with one of these players if they land a top-8 selection. That is, assuming they do not deal out of the first-round for a veteran.
*The reason this draft is not considered elite stems from the lack of franchise-altering talent or even those considered future All-Star locks. The shot-blocking Noel is the clubhouse leader for the No. 1 overall selection despite coming off a season-ending knee surgery, though McLemore could unseat him depending on which team lands the first pick (Orlando has the best lottery odds).
*Based on the Wizards' current roster and need areas (stretch-4, backcourt depth, scoring), Porter, Bennett, Oladipo, Len, Muhammad and McCollum would be the best and most realistic fits. Only the 6-foot Burke should be considered an unlikely target for the Wizards.
*Based on the Wizards needs, other potential lottery names worth remembering include Kelly Olynyk (C, Gonzaga), Archie Goodwin (SG, Kentucky), Dario Saric (SF, Croatia) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG, Georgia)
*The Wizards also own two second-round picks, their own and one from the New York Knicks. Currently those selections are 37 and 54 overall. Potential second-round candidates include NC State forward C.J. Leslie, Virginia Tech guard Erick Green, South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters, Florida perimeter forward Erik Murphy and Colorado forward Andre Roberson.