It’s a difficult question and one that will drastically affect the Washington Wizards over the course of the next few years. Two drafts ago, the Wizards selected one of the biggest busts in team history when they took Jan Vesely, who now barely averages three points per game and does more harm than good when he’s on the floor.
Last season, Washington selected Bradley Beal with the third overall pick. That turned out to be the right decision as Beal stepped in and stepped and became a regular starter alongside John Wall. He averaged 13.9 points per game and at one point in the season was averaging close to 18 points per game. After the season, Beal was selected to the All-Rookie team.
This season, general manager Ernie Grunfeld finds himself in the same situation as he did one year ago. The Wizards have the third overall pick and the opportunity better the team in a position where it is needing an upgrade. While picking third means more options to choose from, that also means more traps to fall into.
For Grunfeld, however, he can focus in on two main targets: Otto Porter Jr. and Anthony Bennett. Both players play a position where the Wizards desperately need improving at forward. While Martell Webster did a solid job at that position for the Wizards last year, he only managed to average about 13 points per game and that isn’t exactly what a team wants out of their starting forward.
Both Porter, 6-foot-9, and Bennett, 6-foot-7, have the height that teams are looking for in a forward, with Bennett outweighing Porter 240 pounds to 200. Porter has an impressive 7-foot-1 wingspan and really caught fire throughout the second half of the NCAA season. In terms of pure skill, both players are similar.
The way the Wizards should go about picking between the two of them is by looking at who they already have. Porter is a small forward, something that Wizards need, and Bennett is a power forward, something that Wizards don’t need as badly. With Nene as the teams’ starting power forward, there is a greater need at the small forward position.
While both players could potentially help the team, Porter seems to be smarter pick for the Wizards. He’s an athletic and versatile small forward that has a good set of moves with the ball in his hands and does a solid job of using the pump-fake to get to the free-throw line, something he did about five times per game last season.
No matter the decision, both players will be able to help the Wizards improve and build off of their fantastic finish to the 2012-2013 season. Washington has a lot of good things going for them, and making the right decision in tonights draft could be what puts them over the hump and back into the playoffs.