Mock Draft 2.0: Final mock before Thursday's 2021 NBA Draft
The Washington Wizards have one of the more under-the-radar young cores in the league, featuring Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija, and Daniel Gafford. This is obviously not a complete unit yet, however, other than Hachimura, the young core is not exactly in the limelight yet since the team is still being led by Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
Even though the Wizards are outside of the lottery, the team can still make a good long-term acquisition with the 15th overall pick. If I were them, I would be looking for the best player available that has long-term upside. With that pick, I have the Wizards selecting Stanford's Ziaire Williams.
Coming into the NCAA season, Williams was thought to be more or less of a lock to go in the lottery, but after a tough season with Stanford, he quickly fell on draft boards. While his jump shot was not falling and his frame made it difficult for him to be physical with defenders closer to the bucket, he had a good NBA Combine that likely dispelled some of the worries about his game.
Williams is an incredibly fluid athlete standing at 6'10" with a similar wingspan. His consistent free-throw shooting and shot mechanics make me very optimistic that his jumper will start falling soon, and he has upside as a facilitator as well. He should be able to slide in as the team's backup shooting guard and learn from Westbrook and Beal before either or both of them move on from the team.