Friday, June 28, 2013

Wizards Draft Porter, Rice

Wizards draft former Hoya Otto Porter 3rd overall

For a minute there, I was worried: Since the Washington Wizards lucked into the third spot in last night's NBA draft, I'd been gearing up for the selection of Georgetown Hoyas forward Otto Porter. After all, the Wizards needed an all-around player who can lock up the 3 spot, and Porter was hands down... the best small forward option in the draft. Then the draft began, and the Cleveland Cavaliers picked Anthony Bennett instead of Kentucky standout Nerlens Noel. Suddenly, a premier 7' shot blocker was available (Orlando picked DeMatha alum Victor Oladipo at #2) and the selection of Porter was in question.

Or was it? The Wizards stuck with the plan, and chose Porter with the third pick... keeping the local product close to home. At 6'9 with a 7'1 1/2 wingspan, Porter is already an NBA-ready defender, with the ability to score in bunches. Add to that, he appears to be a great kid (locker room plus) who doesn't need the ball in his hands at all times (cue smiles from franchise star John Wall.) How could you not pick him?

Porter may be able to start right out of the gate, allowing free agent Marvin Webster to come off the bench. Suddenly, the Wizards are flush at the 3 with last year's opening day starter Trevor Ariza also on board (Ariza is entering the final year of his contract.) All done, right?

Wizards trade for Glen Rice, Jr.

Not so fast, as GM Ernie Grunfeld pulled off a trade... sending both of the team's second round selections (#38 Nate Wolters and #54 Arsalan Kazemi) to Philadelphia for scorer Glen Rice, Jr., a 6'6 guard who averaged 25 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the D-League playoffs last year. Rice, Jr. was picked 35th overall by the 76ers, and adds another scorer off the bench for Washington.

What's next? The Wizards will hold a Summer League Mini-Camp at Verizon Center, beginning July 8th before heading out to Las Vegas to participate in the 2013 NBA Summer League.