The Washington Wizards gave up this year’s first-round pick in a preseason deal that sent Emeka Okafor and the pick to the Phoenix Suns for veteran center Marcin Gortat. Wizards’ management had a win-now mentality heading into the season and the Gortat trade was a success if you look at it in those terms. Now the question will be if the Wizards can snag a rare impact second-round pick. Here are three players the Wizards should consider with the pick.
1. DeAndre Daniels, Connecticut
At 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Daniels has the prototypical build for a stretch 4 in the NBA.
Along with his size and length, Daniels has the ability to step outside and knock down the 3-point shot. He shot 41.7 percent from beyond the arc in college this year. That is a solid percentage, but it is even better considering he was not able to knock down 3s early in his career at Uconn.
His first year he shot 24 percent from deep and his second year a mere 30.9 percent. He has shown the ability to improve his range throughout his years in college and if he can continue that, Daniels could be one hell of a steal in the second round.
No one has ever questioned his talent. He was ranked the No. 10 player in the 2011 high school class, according to Rivals.com.
He showed flashes of that level of play in his first two-and-a-half years at Uconn, but it was on the biggest stage where he put it all together.
In the NCAA tournament this year, Daniels averaged 16 points per game along with 7.2 rebounds and hit two or more 3-pointers in four of the six games en route to leading the Huskies to a national championship.
In order to play the 4 in this league, Daniels needs to continue to get stronger. At 196 pounds, Daniels would get tossed around down low by most big as of nows. If he can put it all together, Daniels could be the steal of the second round.
2. Deonte Burton (Nevada)
With Andre Miller most likely being done with the Wizards after next year (could be done this year, but all reports point to the Wizards keeping him), they will need a backup point guard for the future. Backup point guards can go either way in this league. Some are considered game managers who try and just keep the game close until the starters get back in and others are gunners who are going to try and expand the lead. I’m biased towards gunners and that’s why I like Burton as a possible second round selection. He scores points. His senior year at Nevada, Burton scored 20.1 points per game on 47.1 percent shooting. He also 4.3 rebounds per game along with 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals. His 39.5-inch vertical shows how explosive of an athlete he is. Burton seems like he could be a solid backup behind Wall.
3. Walter Taveras (International)
UPSIDE!!! (That’s for HoopsHabit NCAA and draft expert Nathan Giese) But in all honesty, Taveras may scream “upside” more than any other player projected to be selected in the second round (maybe even the entire draft).
Check this guy out, via Draft Express:
He will probably be gone by No. 46, but if not why not take a chance on a 7-foot-3 shot-blocker who can run the floor, snag rebounds, and has only been playing basketball since he was 17. It could be an interesting option for the Wizards, who may have concerns in the paint pending free agency, if he is still available.