Following the NBA draft lottery results, the official order of the NBA draft 2018 is set and the Washington Wizards have two picks for the first time in years.
With the NBA draft lottery behind us, the 2018 NBA draft becomes a bit clearer as the Washington Wizards own the No. 15 and No. 44 pick of this year’s draft.
However, the last time the Wizards made a selection in the NBA draft was back in 2015 when they selected Jerian Grant No. 19 overall. Since then, the Wizards have traded away their valuable draft picks and it seems to finally catch up to them as the team grows older.
Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld is entering a contract year and must prove his worth first through the NBA draft, something he’s been unable to do the past few years.
More from Washington Wizards
- Washington Wizards Officially Introduce Dwight Howard (Video)
- Washington Wizards Could Be Landing Spot for Dwight Howard
- Washington Wizards Trade Marcin Gortat to Clippers
- Washington Wizards Final NBA Mock Draft Roundup: First-Round Picks
- Washington Wizards 2018 NBA Draft Scouting Profile: Robert Williams
First comes the NBA draft combine which is slated for May 16 through May 20 as the Wizards must watch closely on their draft prospects.
The Wizards will almost officially know who’s in or who’s out in the NBA draft on May 30, which marks the last day for early entrants to officially announce if they will hire an agent or return to their college basketball team.
Finally, June 11 is the final deadline for early NBA draft entrants to depart from the draft.
Ten days later on June 21, the 2018 NBA draft will take place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets. By then, the NBA will have crowned a new NBA champion and offseason rumors begin to swirl.
Oh, and the flood of NBA mock drafts have already taken place following the lottery. With that being said, let’s round up a collection of NBA mock drafts for the Washington Wizards squad. Some mock drafts featured will include both first and second round draft predictions as others will feature just first round hopefuls.
The picks: Zhaire Smith (SG, Texas Tech), Devonte Graham (C, Auburn)
NBADraft.net’s 2018 Mock Draft predicts the Washington Wizards to select freshman shooting guard Zhaire Smith out of Texas Tech. The 6-foot-8 guard officially announced his decision to enter the 2018 NBA draft and forego his collegiate career by signing with Roc Nation on April 17.
The decision comes after just one year at Texas Tech where he averaged 11.3 points and five rebounds including two 20-point performances against Iowa State and at the time, No. 8 Kansas.
Tajh Jenkins of NBADraft.net writes Smith still needs to improve upon his basketball skills, most specifically, his three-point shot.
Jenkins also writes:
"As of now, he brings much more value on defense than in any other aspect of his game … Once he gets stronger, he’s is going to be the total defensive package from the wing spot … Smith has declared for the 2018 draft but stopped short of hiring an agent, thus giving him the option to return to Texas Tech for his sophomore year based on feedback from NBA scouts/personnel …"
With the Wizards second-round pick, NBADraft.net predicts Kansas point guard Devonte Graham to go No. 44 overall, a position the Wizards have been looking to fill as a backup to John Wall for the past several years.
The Raleigh, North Carolina native averaged 17.3 points, 7.2 assists and four rebounds in his senior year with Kansas.
"1st Team All-American selection, DeVonte Graham, is perhaps the most experienced college point guard in the draft field this season … A crafty scorer … Possessing a high quality outside jump shot, Graham shot .40% from deep as a senior, and sported three point percentages over 40% for three of his four years at Kansas … Devonte has shown the ability to shoot both off the dribble, and as a spot up shooter"
Graham could fit as the Wizards backup point guard for years to come, giving the position stability it hasn’t seen for a long time.
The picks: Lonnie Walker IV (SG, Miami), Devonte Graham (PG, Kansas)
Miami freshman shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV comes in at No. 15 in Sports Illustrated’s 2018 NBA Mock Draft 7.0, delivering projections for all 60 picks. With the Wizards second selection at No. 44 overall is Kansas freshman point guard Devonte Graham.
"Washington will feel a cap crunch next season and brings back almost its entire rotation at cost, barring any major moves. There may not be much immediate help worth reaching for at this spot, and investing in the best talent available is the prudent choice."
The pick: Keita Bates-Diop (SF, Ohio State)
Ohio State’s forward Keita Bates-Diop experienced a breakout season and vastly improved after returning to college, which is a rare feat nowadays as freshman overwhelm the lottery picks.
"Bates-Diop went from averaging 9.7 points in an injury-shortened 2016-17 season to 19.8 points in the 2017-18 season and improved in basically every way, which is why Ohio State spent much of this season nationally ranked and finished tied for second in the Big Ten regular-season standings."