General manager Ernie Grunfeld has let it be known that he doesn’t want three rookies on the Washington Wizards’ roster next year. But with no bench to speak of and little wiggle room in cap space to address it, Grunfeld may have to look to rookies to improve this unit.
Whoever Washington selects in the NBA Draft with the No.3 overall pick should be penciled into the starting lineup—if not, then why pick him—leaving Washington with two second round picks, No.38 and No.54 overall, to upgrade its horrid bench.
As I noted in a previous article, Washington began working out second round prospects in Wednesday’s pre-draft workout, headlined by Christian Watford and Peyton Siva.
Thursday’s pre-draft workout again features prospects (Keion Bell, Laurence Bowers, D.J. Seeley, James Southerland, Khalif Wyatt and DeShaun Thomas) slotted to go in the second round, and, of that group, Thomas is a player worth paying attention to.
While Thomas, a 6-foot-7 forward, showed a propensity to coast on defense in his time at Ohio State, there is no questioning his ability to score the basketball.
In his junior season, Thomas averaged 19.8 points per game as the lone scoring option on the Buckeyes. Further validating his scoring prowess was his play alongside Jared Sullinger and William Buford during his sophomore season when, as a third banana, he averaged 15.9 points per game. This bodes well for his NBA prospects because, like his sophomore year, Thomas won’t be a featured player at the next level.
Thomas profiles as one-dimensional scorer off the bench in the mold of Al Harrington. With a bench that currently has Trevor Ariza as its best scorer—ask the New Orleans Hornets how that turned out– Thomas is a prospect Washington should consider selecting come draft night.