The Wizards intend to bring back restricted free agent shooting guard Nick Young this summer, but they could use the 18th pick to possibly find a replacement, if for some reason they can’t reach an agreement. Jordan Crawford played well toward the end of the season as Young sat out with a left knee injury, but the Wizards could certainly complement John Wall with a few more shooters and scorers.
After having Colorado shooting guard Alec Burks and Washington State’s Klay Thompson in town last week, the Wizards will welcome Texas swingman Jordan Hamilton and Providence shooting guard Marshon Brooks in consecutive days. Hamilton, one of the best scorers in the draft, should have an interesting duel on Tuesday with San Diego State small forward Kawhi Leonard, one of the better perimeter defenders.
The Wizards are considering Leonard at the sixth spot, and he could improve his position if he can slow down Hamilton in workouts. Hamilton likely won’t be around when the Wizards pick at No. 18, but he could be an intriguing option has a surprising slide out of the lottery. Maryland center Jordan Williams, Oakland center Keith Benson, Hofstra guard Charles Jenkins and Michigan guard Darius Morris will also participate in Tuesday’s workout.
Hamilton, a 6-foot-9 native of Compton, Calif., averaged 18.6 points as a sophomore and become a more disciplined shooter last season with the Longhorns. He has been training with Rob McClanahan in Los Angeles with fellow draft prospects Trey Thompkins of Georgia, Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight and Morehead State forward Kenneth Fared. He described himself at the NBA combine as “a Danny Granger type.”
Although he is known for his scoring ability, Hamilton said he is more versatile than he may have shown in college. “My passing has been very underrated. Shooting the ball from midrange, one, two dirbble pull ups, once I start working out, people will be able to see it. I can post up, do different things. I can rebound. People don’t know how explosive I am. I didn’t really show that at Texas.“
The 6-5 Brooks is in Indiana on Tuesday and is expected to return to action after twisting an ankle in New York last week. He was the NCAA second-leading scorer behind Jimmer Fredette last season, at 24.6 points per game. He roasted Georgetown for 43 points and 10 rebounds in an 83-81 last February and then dropped an NCAA-best 52 points on Notre Dame a few weeks later. He has a 7-1 wingspan and huge hands and could possibly sneak his way into the top 20. “Ever since I was young, I was always the guy with the long legs and long arms,” he said during the combine. “I’m not the most athletic guy, but with my long arms and my ball-handling ability, I’m able to get to the rim a little bit easier.”
Brooks has been compared to Kobe Bryant, which makes him a little uncomfortable -- and rightfully so. “I don’t like that,” Brooks said. “The respect I have for Kobe is out of this world. Nobody who hasn’t scored a point in this league should be even compared to him.”
He was a bit of a one-man show at Providence, and he joked that a lot the questions that teams have about him are because his team had few offensive options. “People say, ‘He’s a volume shooter. He shoots too much.’ You ask my coach. He’ll probably say I didn’t shoot enough,” he said. “With me being the only scorer on the team, carrying the load of a young team, I felt like it was my job to try to take the game over. That’s just the will to win in me. I think one of the questions is, ‘Can I knock down the open jumper?’ Obviously I couldn’t answer that at Providence, because everybody at the gym knew I was shooting.”
Thompson has been leaving an impression with his shooting at every stop, which may make it harder for him to around at No. 18. The 6-6 son of former 1978 No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson -- a college teammate of Flip Saunders -- shot 40 percent from 3-point range last season and could greatly help a team that ranked 28th in three-point shooting last season. “I think I can have a really good impact with any team I’m with. Every team needs a shooter and I think I can be a great scorer off the ball, coming off screens, and spacing the floor,” Thompson said. “I’m the kind of the player, you can’t leave open that much on the perimeter. I think I can help a team with my scoring prowess and my knowledge of the game. I’m trying to use that shot to my advantage.”
He said he would like to pattern his game after Ray Allen and Kevin Martin. “They are great shooters and complete guards. I think I can be at all-star level someday, with my ability to score.”
The junior guard accepted responsibility at the NBA combine for his suspension last season after getting cited for marijuana possession. “It was a humbling experience, I learned a lot from it,” he said. “It was bad judgment on my part. I plan on never making that mistake again.”