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Washington Wizards: 2022 NBA Draft Team Needs and Targets
With the 2022 NBA Draft fast approaching, we're taking a look at what each lottery team needs to target with their draft selections, continuing with the Washington Wizards.
Welcome back to our No Ceilings 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Team Series!
Over the next few weeks, we as a team are going to dive into the needs and targets of each lottery squad. What are the weaknesses and holes of each franchise? Are there players targetable in the lottery who can help fill those gaps?
We will answer those questions and more 5-on-5 style, continuing with the Washington Wizards!
Without further ado, let’s see where Washington should look for some help with the 10th overall pick.
1. What do you think is the biggest weakness for the Wizards that NEEDS to be addressed on draft night?
Nathan: The Wizards need another long-term shot maker next to Bradley Beal if the team is going to continue to build around him. Any perimeter defense and versatility would help as well, but if Washington could get lucky and marry the two needs together, I would say THAT should be the draft focus. And there are a few players who should be there in their range to target.
Tyler Metcalf: I legitimately have no idea. This team confuses me so much, and I’m not sure what their actual team-building strategy is right now besides just adding pieces. I’d love to see this team with a point guard, but unfortunately, this class lacks high-end talent in that category.
Nick: The team needs for the Wizards are pretty tough for me to wrap my head around, but I’m going to say that they need more guard help. They especially need more point guard help after shipping Spencer Dinwiddie off to Dallas; another floor-spacing shooting guard/combo guard wouldn’t hurt, either.
Albert: The roster makeup of this team is pretty ugly. Is that harsh, or am I 100% spot-on? I don’t know how the roster makes sense moving forward. Thye have a lot of interesting guys on this team but put together, it looks weird for now. I’d say their biggest weakness is that the team makes no sense.
Alex: Everything? It seems like Bradley Beal will be staying (maybe?) for the long-term, though, so I bet they will end up drafting whichever prospect they think fits best with him. That would probably be a playmaking guard who can get him the ball easier or maybe a versatile big to pair with Beal and run more PNRs.
Evan: I’m with my guys Albert and Metcalf here; I genuinely have no idea what to make of Washington’s current roster or in what direction they’re actually building. I like a lot of the talent Washington currently has, don’t get me wrong, but it seems like a hodgepodge of good pieces that aren’t really all that cohesive. I think grabbing a potential Bradley Beal replacement, as his future with the team seems to be questioned yearly, might be the way to go.
Maxwell: Players with franchise-altering upside. They have a cast of solid contributors, but they don’t have an elite star right now, nor a player who projects to be one down the road. If they want to get off the treadmill of mediocrity, they need to make a big move.
Stephen: Defense and shot creation. Prozingis has been brought in to play 2nd banana to Beal, who struggled with injury. Kuzma is fine. Avdija is fine. Gafford is fine. They need excitement in any area they can get it.
2. Which position group would you target most for the Wizards: Guards, Wings, Forwards, or Centers?
Nathan: I’m going to say either “Guards” or “Wings” should be in play here. Both can help fill the perimeter void on the team currently, and those needs likely will be answered based on how far the team wants to delve into the defensive rabbit hole around Beal. However, a number of guards could be great fits here.
Tyler Metcalf: Guards. They’ve loaded up on forwards recently and have a decent stable of centers, but they need some consistency and versatility in the backcourt with Bradley Beal.
Nick: Guards. They need more backcourt help, especially at point guard, and they could really use someone else who can do something with the ball in their hands on this roster, either as a playmaker or a self-creation threat.
Albert: Guard sounds good. I think grabbing another shot-creator/shot-maker next to or backing up Beal could help.
Alex: The answer is probably guards. Yes, they have Beal, but that’s about it. After drafting guys like Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura, and Corey Kispert, they have enough young interesting wings/forwards where I’d rather have them take a guard to pair with Beal.
Evan: Can I answer all of the above? If I had to choose, I’d say Guards.
Maxwell: I would say guards. Their forward crop is actually interesting to me, as I still have stock in Kispert, and I love Deni Avdija’s defensive upside and passing ability.
3. Is there any argument for the Wizards to draft based on fit around a core group of players, or should “BPA” be in play at all times for Washington on draft night?
Nathan: BPA!!! The Washington Wizards have so many intriguing pieces in multiple position groups, some of them with youth still firmly on their side. But trying to build around a team with pieces that may or may not be there within the next few years (including its best player) could potentially be a grave mistake. Address the needs by adding the BEST PLAYER who could fill those gaps.
Tyler Metcalf: BPA. Who knows what happens with Beal in the long run, and they don’t have a clear prospect eager to take the reins. If they can get lucky and find an All-Star talent by taking a swing, they’re better off than trying to fill a specific need.
Nick: The Wizards should go BPA here. Even if they really need more guards, they don’t have any position at which they’re overloaded such that they should look at anyone other than the highest-rated player on their board.
Albert: I’m fine with them throwing darts at the wall until the team makes more sense. Keep shooting your shot and let the pieces fall into place. This team is so weird. Do Wizards fans even enjoy this team?
Alex: BPA, but I fear they will not do that.
Evan: This team already, once again, just seems to be a puzzling collection of talent. I don’t see the Wizards bucking that trend in this draft, so it’s BPA for me. For a franchise with no clear direction currently, adding talent at any position really is a must.
Maxwell: BPA, with an emphasis more on “best ceiling long term” than “best player right now.”
Stephen: It’s BPA. Even if you land a player at the same position as Beal, you’re creating the necessary depth to compete. I’d be more concerned as to who they have as BPA rather than the philosophy itself.
4. Who are the Top 5 targets for the Wizards to select with the 10th pick?
Nathan: Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham, Bennedict Mathurin, and Ochai Agbaji.
Tyler Metcalf: Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham, Ousmane Dieng, and Bennedict Mathurin.
Nick: Dyson Daniels, Bennedict Mathurin, Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham, and Shaedon Sharpe.
Albert: Malaki Branham, Ousmane Dieng, Gabriele Procida, Bennedict Mathurin, and Ochai Agbaji.
Alex: AJ Griffin, Bennedict Mathurin, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, and Malaki Branham.
Evan: AJ Griffin, Bennedict Mathurin, Bryce McGowens, Dyson Daniels, and Keegan Murray.
Maxwell: Dyson Daniels, Shaedon Sharpe, Bennedict Mathurin, Johnny Davis, and AJ Griffin
Stephen: Dyson Daniels, Keegan Murray, Malaki Branham, Jalen Duren, and AJ Griffin.
5. Who is an under-the-radar surprise target for the Wizards?
Nathan: TyTy Washington. Washington has fallen on a significant number of boards and mock drafts of late, mine included, because a lot of scouts don’t view the same upside as they once might’ve in terms of him leading the offense as a primary playmaker. Next to another guard who carries the volume responsibilities, however, could be good for Washington and allow him to focus on him taking advantage of keeping the ball moving or shooting, not having to be the primary decision-maker. He could also continue to get reps as that lead ball handler with the second unit and further grow into the PG he and others see himself as being.
Tyler Metcalf: Kennedy Chandler. This would be a huge surprise for me, given where I have him, but if the Wizards want a point guard and Daniels is gone, there are many who have Chandler as their next best. Chandler is super-quick, a pesky defender, a great competitor, and showed some intriguing off-ball play later in the season that could fit nicely next to Beal.
Nick: Ousmane Dieng might be a bit of a reach at #10 overall, but he has the potential to shore up both their perimeter and interior defense if he hits his ceiling. Even if he doesn’t blossom into a defensive star at the next level, he should be able to switch 2-4 and knock down the occasional spot-up triple sooner rather than later.
Albert: I can see a world where Jalen Duren is available with the 10th pick, and the Wizards fall in love and give him the necessary time to blossom into his ultimate form. With Gafford and Porzingis in place, they won’t need him to be some supernova young center from day one.
Alex: TyTy Washington. Everyone seems to be down on TyTy as he didn’t have the best finish to the season after an ankle injury, but he’s a guy I can see the Wizards buying into with the shooting and playmaking ability. I do think he pairs nicely with Bradley Beal, but this is a little too high for me.
Evan: I’ll go with Bryce McGowens. I believe I’ve been higher on him all season than the rest of the No Ceilings crew has been. I think he fills the potential hole that Beal leaves if he finally asks to be traded or eventually bolts in free agency. McGowens could end up being the best shot-maker from this class, and I could see Washington taking that gamble on his upside at 10.
Maxwell: Jaden Hardy. He’s not the cleanest fit next to Bradley Beal; I get that. However, he was scorching hot to close the season, and there’s a reason he was rated so highly coming into the season. His shot-making and growing playmaking make him an enticing surprise target.
Stephen: I’d say Mark Williams. One of the quickest ways to revamp a defense is negating shots at the rim. Even though the Wiz have Gafford, I love the thought of Mark Williams here, serving as a Rudy Gobert-type player to cover the porous perimeter defense Washington figures to have next year.