After finishing 23rd in scoring last season and acquiring two defensive-minded players in Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza last week, the Wizards have an obvious need for perimeter scoring as they prepare for the NBA draft. Either Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist figures to be the choice when the Wizards make the third overall selection on Thursday at Prudential Center in Newark.
Several NBA scouts and talent evaluators view the 6-foot-4 Beal as the second-best player in the draft after Anthony Davis, and the demand for his services has created speculation about what will happen at No. 2. Will Charlotte draft Thomas Robinson? Will it trade the selection to Cleveland? Will the Wizards use No. 3 and No. 32 to move up one spot? That will all be settled by the time NBA commissioner David Stern makes the formal announcement and the Wizards’ third consecutive high lottery pick shakes his hand.
Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld is hoping this will be the last top six pick for some time, so it is important that he gets it right with this choice. Grunfeld has drafted one all-star in more than 20 years as an executive in New York, Milwaukee and Washington and Michael Redd, a second-round pick in 2000, hadn’t ascended to all-star status until after Grunfeld had moved on from the Bucks (He selected Devin Harris on behalf of Dallas in 2004).
The Wizards hired Grunfeld as general manager four days after Wes Unseld and Eddie Jordan selected Jarvis Hayes with the 10th pick of the 2003 NBA draft. In his nine seasons in Washington, Grunfeld has overseen eight NBA drafts and has made some bold trades and some decent selections considering the Wizards’ position. But he also has made his share of mistakes. Former No. 1 overall pick John Wall has displayed the most potential to be a star.
Here is a look back at his draft choices for the Wizards:
The pick: Devin Harris, Wisconsin (No. 5)
The result: Wizards traded Harris, Jerry Stackhouse and Christian Laettner to Dallas for Antawn Jamison. Jamison, averaged 20.8 points in 421 games for Washington, made two all-star appearances and helped the Wizards reach the playoffs four times. Harris has career averages of 13.1 points and 5 assists with Dallas, New Jersey and Utah. Made all-star team in 2009.
Players who were available: Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, Josh Smith
The pick: Peter John Ramos (No. 32)
The result: The third Puerto Rican player to get drafted by the NBA, the 7-3 Ramos earned the nickname “Party John” but scored just 11 points in six NBA games. Was a 2007 NBDL all-star.
Players who were available: Chris Duhon, Trevor Ariza
The pick: Andray Blatche, South Kent Prep (Conn.) (No. 49)
The result: Blatche backed up Antawn Jamison for 4½ seasons before getting an opportunity to start in February 2010. He has averaged 9.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in seven seasons, including a career-high 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in 2010-11. Has had highly productive career considering draft position, but has disappointed since signing a three-year, $28 million extension in 2010. Is considered a candidate for the amnesty provision after taking a step back last season.
Players who were available: Ryan Gomes, Amir Johnson, Marcin Gortat
The pick: Oleksiy Pecherov, Ukraine (No. 18)
The result: Pecherov blundered on draft night when he stated that he wanted to wear No. 41 to honor Dirk Nowitzki without realizing that number was retired for Wes Unseld. The Wizards’ least productive first-round draft pick in the past decade, Pecherov averaged 3.9 points in three seasons in Washington and Minnesota. Plays for BC Azovmash Mariupol in Ukraine.
Players who were available: Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar
The pick: Vladimir Veremeenko, Belarus (No. 48)
The result: Veremeenko never played in NBA. Was traded to Chicago in draft-day deal that yielded Kirk Hinrich and Kevin Seraphin.
Players who were available: Leon Powe, Ryan Hollins
The pick: Nick Young, Southern California (No. 16)
The result: A streaky shooter and scorer, Young led the Wizards in scoring with a career-high 17.4 points in 2010-11. Averaged 11.6 points and started 102 games in 4½ seasons in Washington before getting dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers on March 15.
Players who were available: Jared Dudley, Arron Afflalo, Wilson Chandler
The pick: Dominic McGuire, Fresno State (No. 47)
The result: A defensive-minded high-energy player, McGuire has career averages of 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds with Wizards, Sacramento, Charlotte and Golden State. He started 57 games and averaged career highs of 4.5 points and 5.4 rebounds in 2008-09.
Player who was available: Marc Gasol
The pick: JaVale McGee, Nevada (No. 18)
The result: A physically gifted, 7-1 center, McGee was a spectacular dunker and shot-blocker but also made a name for himself through head-scratching bloopers. Has career averages of 8.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots. Was dealt to the Denver Nuggets on March 15.
Players who were available: Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum
The pick: Bill Walker, Kansas State (No. 47)
The result: Walker was immediately traded to Boston for cash considerations. Has averaged 5.8 points and 2.0 rebounds for the Celtics and New York.
Players who were available: N/A
The pick: None in the first round*
The result: After finishing with 19 wins in 2008-09, the Wizards attempted to a make a playoff push by trading the No. 5 pick for Mike Miller and Randy Foye. Both players were gone after one season. Miller averaged 10.9 points in just 54 games. Foye averaged 10.1 points in 70 games.
Players who were available: Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson
The pick: Jermaine Taylor (No. 32)
The result: Wizards sold Taylor’s draft rights to Houston for $2.5 million. Taylor averaged 5.4 points in two seasons with Houston and Sacramento.
Players who were available: DeJuan Blair, Marcus Thornton, Jonas Jerebko
The result: Recently added to USA Basketball Select Team, the incredibly quick and athletic Wall has career averages of 16.3 points, 8.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Since steals became an official stat in 1970, Wall is the fastest player (134 games) to reach 2,200 points, 1,000 assists, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 90 blocks.
Players who were available: DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe
The pick: Kevin Seraphin, (No. 17)**
The result: Beefy big man from French Guyana, the 6-9 Seraphin has career averages of 5.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. He scored in double figures in 22 of 25 games after JaVale McGee was traded.
Players who were available: Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley
The pick: Trevor Booker, Clemson (No. 23)***
The result: Undersize but energetic, Booker has averaged 6.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 115 games for the Wizards. Has had past two seasons cut short because of foot injuries.
Player who was available: Landy Fields
The pick: Hamady Ndiaye, Rutgers (No. 56)***
The result: Ndiaye had more fouls (18) than points (14) in 19 NBA games.
Players who were available: N/A
The pick: Jan Vesely, Czech Republic (No. 6)
The result: A high-rising, highly athletic big man, Vesely struggled early with a hip injury but finished with averages of 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 57 games.
Players who were available: Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Iman Shumpert
The pick: Chris Singleton, Florida State (No. 18)
The result: Singleton became franchise’s third rookie in past 20 years to start 75 percent of his games, but finished with averages of just 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds last season.
Players who were available: Kenneth Faried, MarShon Brooks
The pick: Shelvin Mack, Butler (No. 34)
The result: Mack averaged 3.6 points and shot 40 percent in 64 games as a backup for John Wall.
Players who were available: Chandler Parsons, Isaiah Thomas
* Before the draft, Washington dealt the fifth overall pick, along with Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov, to Minnesota for Miller and Foye.
** Wizards acquired Seraphin, Kirk Hinrich and cash considerations in a draft-day deal for Vladimir Veremeenko.
*** Wizards drafted Lazar Hayward at No. 30 and Nemanja Bjelica at No. 35 and shipped them to Minnesota for Booker and Ndiaye.