The June 26th NBA Draft is rapidly approaching so it's time for our latest CSNWashington mock draft. In version 3.0, we look at the entire first round including how Joel Embiid's foot injury alters the top picks, new homes for Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Doug McDermott and Shabazz Napier plus the Wizards' lone selection.
Speaking of that 46th overall pick, the Wizards would be lucky to find a future starter in the middle of round two. Finding specific-type help, now that's something else and legitimate goal with this selection and possibly even among rookie free agents considering the tremendous depth in this draft. Here's a look at how some of those that have or are expected to work out for the Wizards could help.
*Hibbert kryptonite - The Pacers struggled against the Hawks and later the Heat in part because those teams had perimeter-shooting centers capable of pulling 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert away from the basket. FYI, Hibbert doesn't like being away from the basket. Toward the end of Monday's workout session, New Mexico's Alex Kirk (6-foot-11, 252 lbs) drained several long jumpers while simultaneously running in full court drills. Not a 3-point threat yet, but Kirk (Draft Express ranking, 84) showed good form with his shot and has a big enough body to bang inside. Dwight Powell (Stanford, 50) is more of a stretch-4 type, but measured a legitimate 6-foot-11 at the combine.
*Point guard of the future - Even if the Wizards keep Andre Miller, the veteran point guard's contract expires after this season. More importantly, he turns 39 in March. That's (hopefully) not an issue this coming season, but Washington will need a long-term plan behind John Wall. Xavier's Semaj Christon (58) might have left school too early, but he produced plenty during his two seasons with the Musketeers. One of three unanimous Big East 1st-team selections, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 17.0 points, 4.2 assists, 1.3 steals as a sophomore. Athletic and a strong ball handler, Christon needs more work on his work on his shot, though he sank 38.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc last season. He'd have time to improve on his entire game for a year behind Wall and Miller. Deonte Burton (Nevada, 35) and Markel Starks (Georgetown, 76) could fit into same role.
*Big man depth - At this moment Washington has five players under contract for next season with Nene the only interior option. Even if Marcin Gortat, Drew Gooden/ or Al Harrington return, the Wizards need young legs to help all those 30-somethings. That's the case even if Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin stick around on 1-year deals. UNLV PF/C Khem Birch (53) stopped by the Verizon Center on Tuesday. The Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year averaged 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocked shots per game last season. Though limited offensively to putbacks and dunks, Khem's ability to defend the rim makes him an intriguing prospect for the long haul. Rugged forward Johnny O'Bryant (41) looked like a first-round pick at times last season with LSU.
* Athletes in action - Other than Booker, the Wizards didn't have lots of dynamic runners, jumpers and leapers off the bench last season, especially in the backcourt. Drafting guards Roy Marble (Iowa, 47), Nick Johnson (Arizona, 48) or 6-foot-1 Bryce Cotton (Providence, 80) would change that. Cotton, a dynamic scoring threat for the Friars, reportedly flashed a 44-inch vertical during his workout last week.