By Kevin Broom
The NBA draft is just a week away, and the Wizards are well-stocked with needs. Due to the management skills of Ernie Grunfeld and Ted Leonsis, the team has a corpulent payroll while lacking elite performers and depth. That’s some kind of trifecta.
If they hope to step off the treadmill of mediocrity, the franchise needs an infusion of cheap talent -- preferably young and cheap. For some strange reason, Grunfeld hasn’t traded either of their picks yet, and, as luck would have it, this year’s draft is deep with NBA-caliber prospects.
Picking 15th, the Wizards probably won’t find a franchise-changing talent, but they should be able to select a quality contributor. If they’re smart, they’ll try to obtain an additional second round pick or two to take swings on talented performers who slip for various reasons. While it’s true that most second rounders don’t become quality rotation players, second round selections are cheap bets with little downside and potential for a big payoff in the future. For a team that needs young, cheap players, an extra pick or two makes sense.
In analyzing draft prospects, there’s no one “right” way. Teams use an array of tools, which include scouting, workouts, interviews, psychological evaluations, medical examinations that include analyzing how a player runs and jumps in an effort to determine if he’ll be more or less prone to injury, statistical evaluation, and background...