The Washington Wizards held their first Draft Workout (at Capital One) today, the reason for the distinction being that they worked a few players out like most teams do, during last week’s NBA Combine. Of the six players invited to this morning’s workout, only two of them were not guards. Chris Chiozza (Florida), Hamidou Diallo (Kentucky), Tiwan Kendley (Morgan State), and Jarius Lyles (UMBC) were the guards. Both Chiozza and Lyles were sub 6’3 while Diallo and Kendley were 6’5. So basically a pair of ones and a pair of twos (point guards and shooting guards).
Now for the bigs, Doral Moore from Wake Forest and Ray Spalding from Louisville. Neither of which is of the stretchy variety, but the common theme is that they played the role of rim protector and glass cleaner. Moore pulled down 9.4 boards a game this past season and Spalding hauled in 8.7. In terms of rim protection, both turned away shots at a respectable rate. Moore with 2 swats a contest on average and Spalding right there at 1.7.
We’ve talked about the types of players that we (The Focus TV) would like to see Washington bring in, both of today’s big men fit the bill although in different physical packages.
Moore despite being 280 pounds, is not a plodder. He literally played the role the Wizards would need of him last year at Wake Forest. He would get position, then finish. Even on the lobs, he had no issue getting off the ground and playing above the rim. Spalding despite a relatively thin frame, has no issue playing in the paint at all. He excelled at rebounding and finishing at 215 pounds, rebounding and shot blocking is a want-to type thing, and he seems to enjoy it. As a plus athlete, he’d have no problem running the floor with Wall or any other Washington guard pushing the pace. His 7’4 wingspan certainly helps him excel in his style of play.
Diallo and Lyles addressed the media after the workout and both seemed to understand a few of Washington’s holes and specifically in how they could aid in filling them. Lyles alluded to Washington needing “help off the bench” when asked what he could bring to the Wizards if selected. Diallo mentioned the Wizards having a fast point guard like Wall and them “needing someone to run with him.” So it’s clear both players have done their homework prior to their visit.
Of the players that came in today, the only one that could realistically be taken with Washington’s First Round pick is Hamidou Diallo. That’s not to say any of the other players aren’t on the Wizards radar, just not to the level of taking them in the first round.
It’s definitely a positive that Washington seems to be focusing on the areas in which their roster is flawed. The other point that stood out today is that John Wall was in the gym for the entirety of the workout. Obviously this could mean nothing, however it could also mean that Washington’s franchise player may have some input on what direction the team goes in regarding the draft. It’s far too early to say as today was just the first workout, but if he continues to be present going forward, that’s definitely a discussion worth having.
We’ll keep you updated as the workouts continue regarding the groupings brought in and the players who may fit best, especially with Washington’s first round selection.