The Washington Wizards simply have not been able to escape the web of mediocrity ever since they lost former franchise icon John Wall to an injury in late 2018. Since then, the Wizards have not finished a season with a record above .500. While that looks promising from a certain perspective, since NBA teams get rewarded with a better chance to draft better prospects the worse off they are. However, the Wizards have simply not been able to capitalize on their putridity.
Despite drafting in the Top 10 of the NBA Draft thrice in the past four years, the Wizards have not been able to draft a game-changing presence. Their 2019 draft pick, Rui Hachimura, showed flashes of reliable scoring, and at his size, he could have at least become a staple of their rotation for years to come. Even then, the Wizards had already given up on him, shipping him to the Los Angeles Lakers back in February.
Meanwhile, Deni Avdija hasn’t particularly developed one facet of his game that separates himself from the rest. He’s not the quickest and most athletic, he’s not the shiftiest ballhandler, and he’s not the best marksman from deep. Avdija does a lot of things well, but at the moment, he’s a jack of all trades, master of none kind of player — a star he isn’t.
And then there’s Johnny Davis, a player who barely got any minutes in his rookie campaign. Davis showed glimpses of becoming a rotation player towards the end of the Wizards’ season, but for the 10th overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, that is a disappointing outcome.
It’s clear that with Bradley Beal still in town, the Wizards can afford to take huge swings for future stars. The only way they can surround Beal with a co-star deep into his supermax contract is by hoping they draft one, as the Washington, D.C. isn’t necessarily a free-agent destination, and the Wizards look like they’re going to clog their cap sheet even further by re-signing Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma to major deals.
Thus, this is why the Wizards must target Anthony Black if they stay at the 8th overall spot in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Why Wizards must target Anthony Black in 2023 NBA Draft
Drafting for it is rarely the best idea. Even with a potential positional logjam, teams must still elect to take the best, most talented player available on the board, as the wheat almost always manages to separate itself from the chaff.
With that said, this must behoove the Wizards to select either Amen or Ausar Thompson, even with the twins’ struggles when it comes to spacing the floor. The Thompson twins can jump off the roof, and their ballhandling skills are top-notch. They have all the makings of becoming a featured offensive option if they pan out, and their lives on offense become even easier if they develop their jumpshot.
Their incredible athleticism also bodes well for their defense, especially as they fill out their frames. Their athletic gifts allow them to crowd passing lanes, and stay in front of opposing ballhandlers with ease.
Nevertheless, they may not be available when the Wizards’ time to select a player comes. Teams such as the Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, or even the Indiana Pacers may be interested in Amen or Ausar Thompson. (Amen, in particular, looks like such a future star.)
Even then, the Wizards won’t be drafting any consolations, as they should be more than happy to come away with the services of 6’7 combo guard Anthony Black.
Black’s athleticism doesn’t quite jump off the page like the Thompson twins. But as burgeoning playmakers such as Lonzo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton, and even Josh Giddey have shown in recent times, having 99th percentile athleticism isn’t exactly a prerequisite to becoming an elite floor general in today’s NBA. In Giddey’s case, he hasn’t even been the best marksman from deep and yet here he is, making waves for the nascent Oklahoma City Thunder.
Anthony Black has a preternatural feel for dishing the rock, and his size allows him to utilize passing lanes that may not be available to his smaller peers. His arrhythmic style of play also serves to benefit him, as defenses tend to struggle guarding to his herky-jerky motions.
His size also allows him to be a standout defender. He uses his height and length to disrupt opposing ballhandlers, and he has immense potential to become such an imposing presence both at the perimeter and at the rim, which will be such an asset at defending the point of attack.
With the league trending towards skilled size, Black boasts both skill and size in spades, and the Wizards will be better off believing that he could figure out the shooting part of the equation later on in his career.
The post Why Wizards must target Anthony Black in 2023 NBA Draft if they stay in No. 8 lottery slot appeared first on ClutchPoints.