While they can’t meet in person with this year’s draft prospects, the Wizards are doing their homework on a number of players.
According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, the team has spoken to Kentucky’s Immanuel Quickley and intends to interview Maryland’s Jalen Smith this week. The Wizards have also touched base with Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji, as we noted on Tuesday.
While much of the draft speculation involving the Wizards will focus on the team’s lottery pick, the club is also projected to hold the 37th overall selection. The three players listed above could be candidates for that pick — Smith is ranked 30th on ESPN’s big board, with Nnaji coming in at No. 34 and Quickley at No. 54.
Hughes also points out that even if the Wizards don’t get a chance to draft any of those players, it makes sense to get as familiar with them as possible. For instance, after working him out a couple times, the team was high on Moritz Wagner leading up to the 2018 draft. Although they couldn’t justify picking him at No. 15, the Wizards ultimately ended up acquiring Wagner from the Lakers in a trade a year later.
Here’s more on the Wizards:
- In a two-part series, Sam Vecenie and Fred Katz of The Athletic break down what a number of different draft scenarios would look like for the Wizards, who will likely end up at No. 9 or 10 if they don’t get lucky in this year’s lottery. The Athletic’s duo have Washington selecting Anthony Edwards at No. 1 and view Tyrese Haliburton, Cole Anthony, and Devin Vassell as some of the team’s potential options in the 9-10 range.
- Head coach Scott Brooks said during an NBA TV appearance earlier this week that as long as “everything goes as planned,” the Wizards will reopen their practice facility for individual voluntary workouts on Friday, tweets Katz. As Katz notes, not all the Wizards players are still in the D.C. area, but some are.
- In case you missed it, Rui Hachimura earned a spot on Hoops Rumors’ All-Rookie Second Team for 2019/20, based on your votes. Check out the full results of our All-Rookie polls right here.