Washington Wizards: 2009 NBA Draft

April 30th, 2009

2009 NBA DRAFT NBA Team Needs/Capsules - NBA Mock Draft - Top 100 Prospects


- We’ll update our Team Capsules with more specific info once the lottery is complete.


Washington Wizards

2008-09 Record: 19-63; 5th Southeast


Draft Picks: 2, 33 (Pending Lottery)


Key Free Agents:

Juan Dixon

Mike James (Player Option)

Etan Thomas (Early Termination Option)


Projected Roster:

PG: Gilbert Arenas

SG: Dominic McGuire

SF: Caron Butler

PF: Antawn Jamison

C: Brendan Haywood

Key Bench: Jarvaris Crittenton, JaVale McGee, Darius Songaila, Nick Young


How they got here and what they need:

Things were looking up after the conclusion of the 2007 season. That quickly changed when Gilbert Arenas, fresh off signing a megadeal to keep him in Washington, endured a major knee injury similar to the one that kept him off the court for most of the previous season. Washington’s fortunes went the way of the economy, and plummeted towards an eventual 19-63 record. While Arenas did return near the end of the season, he was clearly still hindered by his troublesome knee. This will be a critical year for Arenas, as he can either become a remade player the franchise can build around or he’ll be Washington’s version of Allen Houston. He should be ready to go full speed by the start of next year, as will Brendan Haywood who missed all but six games of the 2008-09 season. 2009-10 will be the first in Washington for new coach Flip Saunders.


Despite nearly constant trade rumors centering on Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, it appears the powers that be in Washington will keep them for at least one more year in an attempt to make a championship run. Washington, when healthy, is certainly capable of being competitive in the still diminutive Eastern Conference. With the addition of a top three pick, the Wizards should certainly be a playoff team, perhaps even one that can make it past the first round and maybe even more. Because of Arenas’ inability to stay healthy and the fact he’s not a true point guard, finding someone to play the point so Arenas can play on the wing would be a huge step in the right direction for the Wizards. Javaris Crittenton is almost certainly not the answer at point guard, and like Arenas be better off playing as a wing. The Wizards could stand to get a little bigger in the frontcourt, where Jamison is a bit undersized and after Haywood there aren’t many quality players who can play center taller than 6-9. Last year’s first rounder JaVale McGee could be that guy, but he hasn’t shown he can be consistent yet.


Who they take:

The Wizards will be drafting very high this year. Should they land the top pick, there would be serious pressure from the fans and pundits to take Oklahoma star Blake Griffin. While he is the best player available in what is generally considered a shallow draft class, he doesn’t fill a big need for the Wizards, who already have quality players at the 3 through 5 positions. This doesn’t mean they should pass on him, as Griffin is one of those players who you find a way to use if you can land him. Should Washington not end up with the top pick, the easy choice for the team is international sensation point guard Ricky Rubio. Rubio has drawn comparisons to Steve Nash and Pete Maravich for his incredible passing ability. His shooting needs considerable coaching before it is NBA level, however this is a team that should be able to score efficiently if everyone’s healthy. If Rubio can come in and run the offense the way Derrick Rose did this past year for Chicago, this is a team that can be 2009-10’s big surprise.


10 Year Draft History:

2008: JaVale McGee (18th); Bill Walker (47th)

2007: Nick Young (16th); Dominic McGuire (47th)

2006: Oleksiy Pecherov (18th); Vladimir Veremeenko (48th)

2005: Andray Blatche (49th)

2004: Devin Harris (5rd); Peter John Ramos (32nd)

2003: Jarvis Hayes (10th); Steve Blake (38th)

2002: Jared Jeffries (11th); Juan Dixon (17th); Rod Gizzard (38th); Juan Carlos Navarro (39th)

2001: Kwame Brown (1st)

2000: Mike Smith (35th)

1999: Richard Hamilton (7th); Calvin Booth (35th)


2009 NBA DRAFT NBA Team Needs/Capsules - NBA Mock Draft - Top 100 Prospects


Top Prospects

Stephen Curry - PG/SG - Davidson

Tyreke Evans - PG/SG - Memphis

Blake Griffin - PF - Oklahoma

James Harden - SG - Arizona State

Jordan Hill - PF - Arizona

Ty Lawson - PG - UNC

BJ Mullens - C - Ohio State

Ricky Rubio - PG - DKV Joventut

Brandon Jennings - PG - Arizona

Hasheem Thabeet - C - UCONN