The Washington Wizards will look to add a promising young talent that can help dig them out of roster limbo with the Ninth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
The Washington Wizards will enter the 2019 offseason with perhaps the bleakest outlook of any team in the NBA. The team’s franchise centerpiece, John Wall, tore his Achilles tendon and looks like he’ll miss a large chunk of next year, which doubles as the first of four years of his monster extension that eats up a third of the Wizards’ salary sheet. Dwight Howard is also still here, locked into another year after playing just nine games in 2018-19, and Ian Mahinmi’s locked into another $15 million next year. They have Bradley Beal, who had an All-Star season last year in Wall’s absence, but their summer will be extremely complicated because all of their young players who surprised in the absence of Wall, Howard, and Otto Porter — Bobby Portis, Tomas Satoransky, and Thomas Bryant — are all restricted free agents that the Wizards will have to make tough decisions about keeping.
That makes picking ideal targets for the Wizards in the 2019 NBA Draft very difficult. The simple answer to the Wizards’ draft needs is “talent.” But they pick ninth in one of the least talented drafts of the last decade, which may limit their ability to move the needle at all in terms of roster building. Their roster situation does give them options — they don’t need to focus on specific positions with four players on their active roster for next year — but it makes it hard to really assess drafting for fit given how fluid their roster construction could be over the next calendar year.
We don’t have a good idea of who will be calling shots for the Wizards on draft night, as they haven’t hired a general manager yet. That further complicates projection of who the Wizards should and will target. But we can take some stabs based on who is being projected in that range, and try to figure out who would be the best fits for the variety of outcomes that could come from this offseason in Washington.