Lately for the Washington Wizards, the most exciting day of the basketball year is what happened last Wednesday in the form of the 2012 NBA Draft lottery selection. In a draft that had the Wizards projected at receiving the number two pick, this year Ted Leonsis and his staff will settle for number three.
For a Wizards organization that is in what feels like a forever rebuilding state, this years talent-stacked draft will provide serious opportunity for their development as a team. This being said, the Wizards are facing a serious task with possible serious consequences in finalizing a decision on who will be the latest campus phenom to have his face plastered over the Verizon Center banners.
It goes without saying that the Hornets are going to select Kentucky superstar Anthony Davis with their number one overall pick, leaving only Michael Jordan's Bobcats between the Wizards and a potential star at number three. Aside from Davis, there are debatably four other possible players who could go to Washington: Florida's Bradley Beal (SG), Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (SG/SF), Connecticut’s Andre Drummond (C), and North Carolina's Harrison Barnes (SF).
In all honesty the Wizards could use an upgrade at practically every position except for John Wall's, and any four of these players would realistically help improve their team.
I believe the “answer,” this year is Thomas Robinson.
At 6-foot-10, Robinson would bring an added physical presence and would most likely earn himself a heavy dose of court time whenever Trevor Booker is at center, which will most likely happen often this upcoming year since the Wizards' only solid option at center is Nene. Robinson can grab boards well-enough to help in an area that always has room for improvement and with no more JaVale McGee, who really was only good at rebounding, the Wizards will have to fill that void.
For most power forwards coming out of college, their shooting is usually a major factor in the number of minutes they get in crucial game times. Robinson does have the ability to knock down a midrange jump shot when he faces up his opponent on offense. At Kansas Robinson improved each year at the free throw line and he ended up shooting almost 70 percent from the line his senior year.
Robinson's raw athleticism will prove itself significant all in relation to John Wall. Since Wall can run, adding someone who can keep pace with him on offense and (more importantly) running back onto defense after John Wall can't finish at the rim.
Unlike possible choices Beal and Kidd-Gilchrist who only completed one year of college, Robinson played collegiately for four years, including several years of sitting behind former Jayhawk sensation's, brothers Marcus and Maurice Morris. Robinson is even working to receive his degree from Kansas.
For such a young squad like the Wizards, the crowd atmosphere, or more prominently the lack of, will be a deciding factor in many of their wins at home. Bringing in Robinson would present the possibility of an increasingly “live” crowd since he is native to the D.C. area. Born in the metro area, Robinson has already been quoted as saying it would be a dream to win a championship in his hometown of Washington D.C. Regardless of court performance, the fact that he has positive feelings towards a team that is hardly spoken about in the NBA expresses a lot about his attitude which is so critical in choosing from what are still very young kids.
The 2012 NBA Draft (second most important day of the year for the Wizards) will be held on June 28th, between the conference finals and finals, at 7 p.m on ESPN.