As we enter the final days leading up to the 2018 NBA draft, we scout Washington Wizards first-round draft prospect Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Now with draft picks in their possession for the 2018 NBA draft, something they haven’t had in recent seasons, the Wizards could find a valuable point guard for years to come in University of Kentucky point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the No. 15 overall draft pick.
According to SI.com’s The Crossover, Gilgeous-Alexander is projected to go at No. 15 overall to the Wizards in their latest 2018 NBA Mock Draft 8.0, adding verification the Wizards could go with the freshman point guard out of Kentucky.
Gilgeous-Alexander, 19, stands 6-foot-6 tall and averaged 14.4 points, 5.1 assists and 1.6 steals in his lone season at Kentucky. Compared to players such as Ron Harper and Dejounte Murray by NBADraft.net or share the same traits as last year’s No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz by Matt Haughton of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Gilgeous-Alexander is a workhorse and displayed constant improvement throughout the season under Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
Per NBADraft.Net, Gilgeous-Alexander’s strengths and weaknesses include:
- 7-foot wingspan
- Works extremely hard on defense
- Converted on 40 percent of his threes
- 81 percent from the free throw line
- Doesn’t shy away from big moments and puts willing to put team on his shoulders
- Slight frame, weighing at 180 pounds
- Force offensive drives and has tunnel vision at times
- Passes up open shots while defenders guard for his drive to the basket
- Needs to utilize his athleticism during games
From Dec. 29 through Feb. 10, Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 15.8 points, 4.9 assists and 1.4 steals and shot 48.2 percent from the field, along with a career-high 30-point performance in an overtime victory over Vanderbilt on Jan. 30.
Jeremy Woo had this to say about NBA draft prospect Gilgeous-Alexander in his latest mock draft:
He showed major improvement over the course of the season at Kentucky, and that capacity to adjust quickly and deal with adversity should play in his favor. Gilgeous-Alexander could theoretically play alongside both John Wall and Bradley Beal, although it’ll likely take him a couple of seasons to mature into big minutes. There’s some risk here if his body doesn’t fill out, or if he regresses back to his passive habits.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley has Gilgeous-Alexander going No. 13 overall to the Los Angeles Clippers in his latest NBA Mock Draft, with other mock drafts showing around the same draft projection range. So, the Wizards would be fortunate to find the Kentucky point guard available at No. 15 overall, which will give a tremendous boost to the Washington Wizards bench and someone to back up John Wall for years to come.