1. Aim high in this draft (first AND second round)
Washington cannot let this draft go to waste. After committing to winning and re-signing some of the impactful players from last year, the Wizards will likely not be seeing a top-10 pick again for a while. This only increases the importance of finding a young man who can at least be a starter down the road.
The Wizards do not need to think about picking a player who will impact the team immediately and should prioritize finding a player who will make a lasting impact. They can go with a “Trust the Process” style pick who may take a few years to even see significant minutes on the court — like the injured Oregon freshman Bol Bol, who should take time to develop and heal from a foot injury, or other Duke freshmen Cam Reddish, or Coby White of UNC, all of which project nicely and have through-the-roof athleticism.
The Wizards currently do not have a second round pick and the players they have worked out are targets to be signed as undrafted free agents. What they also do is trade for a second-rounder.
Two NBA-ready second rounders like Villanova’s Eric Paschall or Purdue’s Carsen Edwards could quickly become impactful bench players. Two great, long defenders in Charles Matthews of Michigan and Matisse Thybulle of Washington could play the coveted Andre Roberson role on defense. Finally, they could pick up a player to stash for a few years to hone his game in the G League like Oregon’s lanky forward Louis King, or the uber-athletic high-schooler Jalen Lecque.
Acquiring a second-rounder will require giving up very little in terms of capital, likely just another second in a later draft. In addition, this draft’s second round is strong and riddled with players who have role player potential. Whichever way they go, the second round depth is something the Wizards can easily take advantage of.
Next season, the Washington Wizards could have the talent to make the playoffs if they commit to it and re-sign their young talent from this season. Beyond that, the eventual return of John Wall and the development of their draft assets will turn them back into a perennial competitor.