NBA Draft: Wizards have big need for big men

NBA Draft: Wizards have big need for big men
May 30, 2014, 11:15 am
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(USA TODAY Sports)
The Wizards have yet to start bringing in prospects for workouts ahead of the June 26 draft. That will change soon enough as Washington attempts to gather data in preparation for its second round selection. While the presence or absence of any player often has little to no bearing on what the Wizards will do in the draft, there are names to keep an eye on as the workouts begin.

We started with the point guards and wing guards, focusing on potential second round options. Next, big men, an area the Wizards are rather short in when it comes to returning depth. Outside of Nene, shrugs, at least until some combination of Marcin Gortat, Trevor Booker, Drew Gooden, Kevin Seraphin or Al Harrington sign back on for another stint in Chinatown.

Jarnell Stokes, 6-foot-9, Tennessee, junior: From DraftExpress, which ranks Stokes 41st overall in the 2014 Draft: "Stokes increased his production for the third year in row, as he finished the season averaging 19.5 points and 13.7 rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. He has also been able to increase his minutes as he has improved his conditioning each year, as he was able to play just over 32 minutes per game this season, which helped him become more relied upon in the Volunteer offense. ...Has an impressive 7'1” wingspan, which helps make up for his for the fact that he will be smaller than similar players in the NBA and is not particularly explosive. Stokes is very strong and uses his lower body well to carve out space on both ends of the floor."

Patric Young, 6-foot-10, Florida, senior: Feels like draft folk were waiting for the chiseled Young to figure it out and turn pro throughout his first three seasons. He didn't and so he didn't, though the power-packed big man manned the middle for the top-seeded Gators. Young averaged at least 10 points and six rebounds in three straight seasons

Johnny O'Bryant, 6-foot-8, LSU, junior: Yet another SEC big man worthy of discussion. O'Bryant entered college as one of the nation's top reserves. Started to play in that vicinity over his final two seasons, especially after shaping up his physique before his junior campaign in which he averaged 15.4 points and 7.7 rebounds.

Dwight Powell, 6-foot-11, Stanford, senior: From DraftExpress: "Powell's averages of 17.1 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted (down from 18.9), and 8.5 rebounds per 40 pace adjusted (down from 11.0) were significantly lower from his breakout junior campaign. Part of that was situational, as the veteran-laden Cardinals saw increased contributions from [their depth], taking possessions away from Powell, who was used much more as a high-post distributor in their Triangle offense than in the past. Still, Powell's lack of progress has to be viewed as a disappointment considering his talent-level. That being said, Powell's proficiency both in the post and on the perime'ter continues to present a matchup problem for many at the collegiate level. Powell's bread and butter in the post continues to be his right handed hook shot, which has shown continued improvement."

Isaiah Armwood, 6-foot-9, George Washington, senior: Teams wanting a shot blocker with leadership qualities will look at Armwood, who averaged 2.3 blocks as a junior and 1.5 this past season. Averaged 12.7 points and 8.4 rebounds last season led GW to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2008. Most of his offense comes on putbacks, but can make mid-range attempts. Not big enough right now (208 lbs) to bang inside, but Armwood's length and range makes him an interesting perimeter/high post defender. Long shot to be drafted, but will have a chance in summer league.