Can the Washington Wizards actually win the NBA Draft Lottery again? They actually have a better chance to win this year than they did last year, when they leaped up from the fifth-worst record in the league to take home the John Wall derby. This time around, the Wizards finished with the fourth-worst record in the league at 23-59, giving them an 11.9 percent chance to win. They can fall no lower than seventh, though fifth is their most likely destination.
The Wizards could use help everywhere but point guard. Up front, JaVale McGee is promising and Andray Blatche has a long-term contract, but there's no way the Wizards will turn down the chance to add a stud big man that can rebound and score effectively in the paint. The Wizards also could use help on the wings, with shooting guard Nick Young a restricted free agent and the small forward spot up in the air.
Like many teams, the Wizards cannot afford to be picky about what positions they need. They have their franchise player in John Wall, but he needs a running mate, no matter the position.
IF THEY WIN
The Wizards would probably take Arizona forward Derrick Williams, who could play both small forward and power forward and provide Wall with a pick and roll partner for years to come. That said, it will be very hard to turn down Enes Kanter, the Kentucky big man that was ruled ineligible last season. Kanter is the kind of rebounder and sturdy post presence that the Wizards have lacked for years, and you know Wall would love to have him because of the Kentucky connection.
Those two fit in very clearly. Beyond them, it's a mixed back. Kyrie Irving is essentially out because the Wizards already have Wall. Jan Vesely is a promising small forward prospect, but he had a bad year and isn't really known for his defense. Jonas Valanciunas is an interesting backup option if Kanter is picked, but who knows how his game will translate?
The Wizards' lottery win last year came after years and years of horrible luck in the lottery. Prior to 2010, the Wizards had been in the lottery 13 times, and had either stayed in their projected spot or moved down in 12 of those instances. The only time they had moved up was in 2001, when they picked Kwame Brown. Maybe last year ushered a change in the Wizards' lottery luck.