The Washington Wizards suffered through an incredibly disappointing 2018-19 NBA season. After seeing John Wall go down with a season-ending injury early in the year, Bradley Beal did everything he could to keep the team afloat. Unfortunately, there was not enough talent around him to make that happen.
Dwight Howard was signed in free agency to be the Wizards’ missing piece. They had been searching for a true rim protector and post presence for years. When everything was said and done, however, Howard only played in nine games.
Looking ahead to the 2019 NBA Draft, the Wizards are in major need of finding an impact player. They hold the No. 9 overall pick, where they could end up getting a quality rookie. Washington could also consider making a move up or down in the draft, depending on how aggressive they want to be.
Trade rumors have swirled around both Wall and Beal. There is a chance that one of them could be dealt this offseason for the right price. Beal has a better chance to stick around, but he also has the higher value.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at the three best options for the Wizards with the No. 9 pick.
3. Draft Texas Big Man Jaxson Hayes
Washington has to find a big man to play the middle on both ends of the court. At No. 9, there is a player that could end up being an ideal fit for them. Texas big man Jaxson Hayes would make a lot of sense if they do keep the pick.
Even though he only played one season for the Longhorns, Hayes offers big long-term potential. He ended up averaging 10.0 points per game as a freshman to go along with 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. Hayes shot 72.8 percent from the field and 74 percent from the foul line.
Hayes may not be the most proven player, but his raw talent alone would make him a good selection.
2. Make An Aggressive Trade Up
Another option for the Wizards could be moving up in the draft to get a better talent. If they were able to move up to No. 5 or No. 6, they could end up getting an instant impact. Washington should certainly work the phones to see if they can find a suitable trade.
Moving up in order to get a player like Coby White, Darius Garland, or Cameron Reddish would be a huge addition for the Wizards. If they are indeed looking to trade one of their two guards, those three prospects would make a lot of sense. They may not want to pay the price needed to move up, but it would make sense.
1. Trade the Pick for a Proven Player
Finally, the Wizards should strongly consider trading the pick for a proven player. If they choose to continue playing with Wall and Beal, they need to add more immediate talent around them.
While they could get a solid role player at No. 9, they aren’t going to get a player that could change things in 2019-20. Trading the pick for a veteran would help them contend. Washington has some tough decisions about the future of their franchise and that will impact what they choose to do with their pick.