With the third pick in last year’s NBA draft, the Wizards selected Bradley Beal, adding a running mate in the back court for point guard John Wall. For the short stretch that both players were healthy at the same time this season, the pairing looked promising.
Washington navigated a different path to the No. 3 pick this time, needing luck to vault from the eighth slot in last week’s draft lottery. But Wall again is poised to welcome another highly touted young player to the fold.
“I don’t know,” Wall said of his hopes for the pick during a Red Bull-sponsored event at Gallaudet University on Saturday night. “It’s up in the air right now. I feel like we need a four man that can pick and pop, so we’ll just see.”
In a brief interview, Wall declined to discuss specific options but said he has not reached out to any of the players who could go in that spot, a group that includes Georgetown’s Otto Porter Jr. and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo (DeMatha). He said the top prospects have enough to worry about during a stressful time that is also a “once in a lifetime experience.”
Wall, sporting the jersey of Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls, was in town Saturday to help evaluate local players as part of the energy drink company’s second-annual search for the country’s top streetball talent. In that capacity, the former No. 1 overall pick said he’s tough to impress: “I feel like everyone should play like me.”
Meantime, the Wizards are busy with their own evaluations for the June 27 draft, trying to find the right piece to add to a lineup that hit its stride down the stretch.
After missing the first 33 games of his third season with a right knee injury, Wall finished the season averaging a career-high 18.5 points to go along with 7.6 assists. Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, he should have an even stronger supporting cast this time around.
“It’s great,” Wall said. “You don’t want to be in the lottery every year, but that’s the situation that we’re in. We just hope that we make the right decision with it.”