Should Wizards draft for need or best available?
Regardless of which direction the Wizards go in the No. 3 overall pick June 27 draft, coach Randy Wittman insists they must go beyond need and talent.
The very best teams, such as the San Antonio Spurs for instance, will pass on a slightly more talented player, or position of need, if the attitude and personality doesn't fit the locker room.
“Attitude is a major factor. It’s huge. I've always believed that,” Wittman said.
After the Wizards (29-53) traded the disgruntled Jordan Crawford in February, the locker room is no longer a major concern.
In recent years the Wizards also purged themselves of Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee and Nick Young.
No one is complaining about minutes or their role, and the chemistry between John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene paid off when they were on the floor together as the Wizards went 15-7. All three combined to miss 80 games because of injuries.
Among the top picks in this year’s draft class, the attitudes appear strong. Ben McLemore (Kansas) and Victor Oladipo (Indiana) are guards, which isn't a primary need for Washington but could be excellent fits otherwise. Nerlens Noel (Kentucky) tore a knee ligament and didn't complete his freshman season but is an undersized center. Otto Porter (Georgetown) and Anthony Bennett (UNLV) are forwards, with the latter able to play more in the post.
The player who seems to have had the most character questions is small forward Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA), who was in the picture before the draft lottery when the Wizards were projected to pick eighth.
“You've got to have talent. If you don’t have talent in this league you’re not going to win. You also have to have good chemistry, good people, hard workers, guys that are going to be complementary to each other,” Wittman said. “We’re together too long. We’re not going to have 15 perfect guys. The intangibles play a huge part in the makeup of a person which also plays part in build up to the make up of the team.”