Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
While the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors prepare for the NBA Finals on June 4, the Washington Wizards and the rest of the Association are gearing up for the NBA Draft.
The Wizards hold the 19th pick, and they’re already bringing in a group of likely first-rounders for their pre-draft workouts on June 1.Headlining the participants are Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant and Utah’s Delon Wright, followed by Darian Hooker (NYIT), Juwan Staten (West Virginia), Cady Lalanne (Massachusetts) and Stefan Nastic (Stanford).
Grant and Wright are possible first-rounders and could serve the team well, as the Wizards are in search for a combo guard who could relieve both John Wall and Bradley Beal next season. Grant’s father, Harvey Grant, has franchise ties, which could bode well for the Wizards if they go in that direction. The elder Grant was a member of the Bullets for nearly eight seasons after being drafted by the club in 1988. Fast-forward nearly 20 years, and it’s his 6-foot, 5-inch son that might follow in his dad’s footsteps. The Wizards could go in a few different directions between backup combo guard and big man, but they are expected to draft one of the two positions in the first round later this month.
(Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press)
The younger Grant excelled in a starring role last season for the Irish, operating between point guard and shooting guard. Grant won numerous games for Notre Dame with some clutch shooting and a flair for the dramatic. Grant may not be the smoothest guard, which is why the team has penciled in Wright for a first day visit as well. Wright isn’t without his own heritage; his brother is NBA career journeyman Dorrell Wright. The younger Wright might find a more permanent fit in the league as a backup two-position guard that can produce as both a scorer at the shooting guard slot and as a defender and distributor at the lead guard spot. Wright may be a more realistic option for Washington at pick 19, as Grant is coming off of a career year and his father’s legacy could push him higher in the draft than his resume may warrant.
Whether it’s a backup combo guard and rugged defender/rebounder or simply a lanky scorer, Washington has to come away with an impact rookie if they want to raise the stakes for next season. The team is rapidly transitioning into a unit that will be led by their “Young Three” of John Wall, Bradley Beal and the rising Otto Porter. Cleveland, Atlanta and Chicago should be at the top of the Eastern Conference again next season, and the skill set among Washington’s current trio may not be enough to elevate the team past the second round. Washington needs to strike gold on their 19th pick, and it appears the team is pulling out the early stops to make sure it does just that.