With the 3rd pick in the 2013 Draft, the Washington Wizards select…
The answer was, of course, Small Forward out of Georgetown named Otto Porter. And really, Porter was not a bad choice, he suffered from an early hip injury that basically derailed his entire season and that injury kept him out of rotation and reps, so when he did manage to squeak some garbage time on the floor, he looked awful.
But, now knowing how the 2013-14 season played out, would the Wizards have chosen him again?
In the first part examinations were made of Solomon Hill, Reggie Bullock, Shabazz Muhammed and Sergey Karasev with Karasev eeking out in front with his international experience, and would make a good wing pair with Bradley Beal.
Tony Snell jumped from 4.4 PPG to 10.5 PPG from his freshman to sophomore year with the New Mexico Lobos. His production dipped and wavered a few times that year, but he still started all 34 games for the Lobos. In an era like today, it's hard pressed to call someone who left after their second year of college a veteran, but he's tenacity to stick around through a bad season does speak to earning some chops.
Snell played 77 games for the Bulls this season. He had a very impressive 2013 Summer League averaging 11.8 PPG and 6.8 RPG, but it did not translate to his regular season where the Bulls shooting dried up all around. His season average was 4.5 PPG and 1.6 RPG.
Snell is 6'7" and 200 pounds and although he looks slight compared to big men on the floor, he could athletically fill a space and if he finds his shot could put up a decent amount of points and rebounds on the interior. Being under a defensive oriented coach like he has in Chicago could bring an extra level of skill sets and make Snell a lockdown defender on the inside. The ways in which to worry about Snell is his streaky scoring habits and maybe he still needs another two years to get the muscles and mentality to be a full-time starter.
It seems no other draft pick out of 2013 became more of a phenom than Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 15th pick at age 19 charmed his way into the hearts of many NBA fans with his sheer joy at playing the game. It didn't help that he was 6'9" 205 pounds and still growing, with hands that could palm entire planets if he wanted to. Giannis did not shock the world with his stats of 6.8 PPG and 4.4 RPG, but the Bucks were an awful team. He did start 23 games for them and it was widely acknowledged that even though he was ready to go on the NBA level, he still did not even know his own game. The Greak Freak's ceiling to his game seems pretty high at the moment and even without being a superstar is becoming a fan and media favorite.
The only SF left on the board from that round is Otto Porter. Porter ended his 2nd year at Georgetown with 16.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG on a Hoyas team that went 25-7. It's hard not see why the Wizards would want him to fill that SF position, especially standing at 6'8" and almost 200 pounds. The pre-season hip injury limited him so much in the season and it will be hard to tell where his game is at until he starts performing in the Summer League games, but it's just as easy, he could be another bust from that draft.
Who should they have picked?
The top two prospects come down to Giannis Antetkounmpo and Sergey Karasev.
With Giannis once he's stopped growing, could be at the center position and Nene and his threatening knees could be put out to pasture on the bench. Undeniably, Coach Randy Wittmann could use his defensive wizardry on Giannis and could turn him into a next level superstar big man.
With Karasev, the interior of the Wizards would stay the same, but the front office could afford to lose a Drew Gooden and Trevor Ariza, if Karasev is covering those wing spots. An Eastern European pairing with Marcin Gortat would be fun to watch with touch passes and eurostepping abound.
In the end, I think the prospect of The Greak Feek's promise is too good to turn down.