The Washington Wizards went 44-38 last season and were the No. 5 seed in the playoffs. The Wizards seemed to come out of nowhere in the playoffs, beating the Chicago Bulls in five games. True, the Bulls didn’t have Derrick Rose for the second straight postseason, but not many people expected the Wizards to win in five games or even win the series. The Wizards then beat the No. 1 seed Indiana Pacers on the road in Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs. Many people started to believe the Wizards may have a shot at beating the Pacers, but they went on to drop the next three games and eventually lost the series in six games.
The Wizards have only one pick in the 2014 NBA Draft — No. 46 (second round). The first question is, will the Wizards re-sign center Marcin Gortat? Gortat averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last year in the regular season. If the Wizards fail to re-sign Gortat they probably have to add a center through the draft. If they re-sign Gortat they could still draft a center to add some depth. Trevor Booker, Drew Gooden and Kevin Seraphin can all slide into the center position, but they are all more suited to play power forward.
If the Wizards want to go center, they could draft Patric Young out of Florida, unless the Atlanta Hawks use their second-round pick to select Young. True, Young doesn’t have the height of a typical center, but he is absolutely chiseled and will be able to play center in the NBA.
If Washington wants a small forward they could select LaQuinton Ross out of Ohio State. Ross has natural talent and led the Buckeyes in scoring last season. More than likely the Wizards will draft a power forward instead of a small forward, since Booker, Gooden and Seraphin are all free agents right now.
If the Wizards do draft a power forward, they’d love Adreian Payne out of Michigan State, but he’ll be long off the board by the time the Wizards’ pick comes around. Dwight Powell out of Stanford would make sense for Washington at 46. Powell is a 6-foot-11, 234-pound power forward, and his size would also allow him to play some center if needed. Powell is mobile, extremely coordinated and runs the floor well for his size. He can shoot the ball well, and the Wizards could use him in some pick-and-pop situations. Powell also has a high basketball IQ and there are no character concerns. Powell does need to work on having more moves to finish on the offensive end, but he could be a solid pick for the Wizards at 46.
The Wizards have their starting point guard in John Wall, but if they want to add some depth they could do worse than Russ Smith out of Louisville. Smith is one of the quickest players in the draft, and he uses that to his advantage on both ends of the floor. Smith can get hot shooting and has improved as a distributor, but at times his shot selection can be poor and he has turned the ball over carelessly at times. His size could be a problem as a point guard at the next level, but there is no doubt that Smith can play and his intangibles are superb.
Most likely the Wizards go center or power forward, but Smith wouldn’t be a bad selection at 46 either.